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Using Indigenous African knowledge in development programs

PART 3 of Rwagweri Stephen talks about preserving African culture, writing books

Our approach to development is the use of indigenous knowledge and reconstructing it into today’s development practices and theories.

Rwagweri (in green suit) inspects an exhibition organised by his Engabu Za Tooro

We have been recognized for this, we challenged the existing development paradigm which insists on transplanting the western knowledge into our communities as the accepted civilization, if you want to teach our communities to do certain things or address certain problems, you have to pick certain standardized models determined by the western civilization but we are saying that we are in the modern civilization but the traditional wisdom of our ancestors can also be relevant to help us today tackle the development challenges and problems.

Development is a process incarnated within our own community, incidentally people still consider development as an external idea and people go to New York to get development models to solve the problems in their villages which isn’t proper thinking.

We have a belief that there is a solution in every problem, when learning mathematics my teacher used to call numbers problems and when you see a mathematical problem, within it lays a solution. Our people must learn to appreciate the values and relevance of our traditional wisdom in our communities and adopt it in today’s development practices so that our development is incarnated in our own experience and identifies with us.

Much more I am also in electronic communication where I use radio to communicate to people who are more of a listening than a reading population.

I have been having a number of radio programs on different topics and challenges facing society but the current one is called Ekoomi, on one of our radio stations in Uganda. It looks at the origins of society and how they influence the present day development.

People are doing so many things in this world and I don’t consider myself the busiest person. As long as what you are doing is coming from your experience, building on your experience and all building towards a certain direction. I do many things all aimed at social, economic and cultural liberation of our people and passing through different forms.

Promoting Traditional Arts in Uganda

For instance, I promote traditional performing art, traditional enterprises where people realize their incomes through traditional enterprises, human rights because at times people are constrained by their own beliefs and the gluttony of leaders who feel that they can only be leaders by making other people not understand what they should do.

The writer Solomon Akugizibwe is a graduate journalist and also works for Tooro Center for Development and Peace (TOCEDEP)

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Rwagweri Stephen talks about preserving African culture, writing books

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  1. Pingback: Rwagweri Stephen talks about preserving African culture, writing books | Latest Uganda Africa News, Business, Politics, Agriculture, Sports, Entertainment, Tourism, Uganda Elections, Education

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