Lynda Iroulo / Juliana Tappe Ortiz

Dear German Academia: What is Your Role in African Knowledge Production?

Africa Spectrum | 2022

  • Abstract

    Although African critical scholars since the 19th century have challenged the culture of studying and writing about Africa, research practices on Africa are still entangled in epistemic injustices resulting from colonial structures of power. In this reflective contribution, we illustrate how such knowledge production perpetuates coloniality and outline the ways in which academic coloniality affects the quality of research and is detrimental to both research subjects and knowledge consumers. To that end, we draw on our own experiences as researchers and teachers in German institutes and universities to analyse current trends and patterns in African Political Science. We provide concrete examples to demonstrate that this coloniality in academia is detrimental to research, fieldwork and publishing practices, teaching, and academic hiring policies. To challenge and change how knowledge is produced, Africanists from the Global North need to be aware of, and sensitised towards, their role in knowledge production. This article continues the debate on decolonising research on Africa.

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