In a recent pos
t I wrote for Savage Minds, I discussed the state of anthropology in Nigeria, and by extension Africa.
The note on which I ended the post pretty much summarises why I think we need to have a lively discussion not just on the anthropology of Africa, but on the reputation of the discipline in Africa, and its state in African universitities:
Does Nigeria, and by extension other African countries, have need of the anthropologist’s contribution in its present predicament? Can the problems thrown up in the country be framed in anthropological ways? Are these problems not always being framed in such ways whether or not people realize or admit it, whether or not people study their society, its mental, material and behavioural artefacts, and engage one another, self and other, with the benefit of ethnographic and theoretical training received in university departments of anthropology? At the risk of sounding chauvinistic, I think that it is always anthropology, good or bad—from Huntington to Soyinka.