Volume 29, Issue 3, 2019
Philosophy in an Age of Crisis, Part III
Ọmọ́táyọ̀ Ayọ̀dèjì Ọládèbóa
Globalization and the Question of African Cultural Identity
A Defense of Complementarism
This paper engages in the debate between cultural modernists and cultural traditionalists concerning the importance of cultural fidelity as faced by African people via globalization and its alleged homogenizing tendency. Central to this debate is the issue of cultural truths and its use, that is, development. The paper therefore argues that African peoples do not need to “essentialize” their cultures. This is because the “truths about reality” with which they intend to employ in this quest for development are not exclusive to any particular cultural society. The implication of the foregoing is the paper’s insistence that Africans adopt a complementarist attitude in their determination for cultural fidelity. It maintains that this attitude will make Africans avail themselves of ideas from elsewhere. Ultimately, the paper posits that this new disposition of Africans to their cultures and those of non-African societies will set her beleaguered states on a solid developmental trajectory.