African epistemologies and the decolonial curriculum

Acta Academica 55 (1):1-19 (2023)
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Abstract

In this article we argue that a discussion on African epistemologies must precede the quest for both the decolonisation of knowledge and curriculum in Africa. Decolonial thought in Africa is significant because it focuses, among other things, on the decolonisation of Western epistemological supremacy within the space where knowledge is produced and transferred. We contend that knowledge acquired through the process of learning must resonate with people’s lived experiences and realities. To meaningfully pursue that involves placing in focus people’s modes of thought and epistemic ideas, in the interpretation of their experiences and the realities around them. This article argues that designing a decolonised curriculum that centres unique African intellectual ideas should be informed by the understanding of African epistemologies, whose principle of epistemic validation is grounded on the idea of interconnectedness in African thought. Considering a decolonial curriculum as an attempt in pursuing ‘centring’ is to align curricula with the modes of knowledge validation in African thought.

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