Coloniality in the Scramble for African Knowledge: A Decolonial Political Perspective


  • William Jethro Mpofu



coloniality, Africanity, Euro-American Empire, pan-Africanism, Afrikology, Afrocentrism


The scramble to describe Africa, and to name the African condition in the global information and knowledge economy is a colossal enterprise whose stampede is as suffocating as the Berlin Conference of 1884 that saw Africa being sliced up into convenient pieces of colonies, to be shared among the self-appointed masters of the universe. A bold assumption of this paper is that all powers, be they dominating or liberating, are accompanied by complementing knowledges. The resistance to Eurocentric knowledge of Africa by scholars and intellectuals in the African academy is as sweaty and as bloody as the nationalist and pan-Africanist battles that dethroned judicial colonialism in Africa and liquidated administrative apartheid in South Africa. Colonialism was accompanied by colonial knowledge of Africa, consequently Afrocentric activists and scholars are generating decolonial African knowledge in resistance and negation to coloniality, which is a power that is the oxygen of colonialism and which lives after colonialism has died. Combative Afrocentric schools of thought such as Afrikology, Afrocentricism, negritude, bolekaja criticism and decolonial thought have been generated by thinkers and philosophers in the global South to contest the Eurocentric domineering epistemologies on Africa. Decolonial thought and its view on 'unthinking' Eurocentric epistemologies on Africa is used to unpack the hidden elements of coloniality in the scramble for African knowledge.


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How to Cite

Mpofu, William Jethro. 2017. “Coloniality in the Scramble for African Knowledge: A Decolonial Political Perspective”. Africanus: Journal of Development Studies 43 (2):105-17.