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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Foreign financing of research and the development of African social science
Author:Bujra, Abdalla S.ISNI
Periodical:Discovery and Innovation (ISSN 1015-079X)
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:social research
social sciences
international relations
Foreign aid
Abstract:This paper was presented at the Codesria (Council for the Development of Economic and Social Research in Africa) symposium on 'Academic freedom, social research and social responsibility in Africa' in Kampala, Uganda, 26-29 November, 1990. It looks at the role of foreign financing for research in Africa. There is a widespread view amongst African researchers and intellectuals that behind the altruism of the donor agencies there is a hidden political agenda. The larger the proportion of agency funding in African research, the more dependent the researchers become, the more leverage the agencies will have in influencing the direction of social research in Africa. The present paper argues, however, that focusing on foreign donors in the development of African social science gives false importance to their role and impact. African researchers have not been mere passive recipients of Western social science, but have played an important role in the development of African social science. The fact that there is as yet no clear-cut 'African school' of social science owes more to the objective conditions of the continent itself than to any effort by the funding agencies to derail such a potential development.