Utu-Ubuntu development Model: Towards Rethinking Neoliberal Development in Africa.

Authors: Mary Kinyanjui*, Nairobi University-IDS
Topics: Africa, Development, Cultural Geography
Keywords: Africa, utu-ubuntu, development, informal, neoliberal
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Virtual 22
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The informal economy, small-scale peasant farmers, artisanal mining, herding, and fishing activities dominate African production, distribution, and exchange. Development scholars wonder why these forms of production, distribution, and exchange dominate the African scene. To many, it is failed development and there is an urgent need to redress the situation and chart the African course of development. I argue that this is not failed development. Individuals involved are not a livelihood book rehearsal. They are actively involved in work, production, distribution, and exchange that caters to their well being and livelihood. They are involved in a model of development which I refer to as the utu-ubuntu development model. Utu is a Swahili word that means humanness while Ubuntu is a Zulu word that means connectedness or solidarity. The Utu-Ubuntu development model espouses self-reliance and solidarity in transactions. The model is hinged on the human spirit of survival and flourishing, solidarity, and reciprocity. It is a model that has been struggling to survive the onslaught of neoliberal modernity over the years. This book documents the struggle of the utu-ubuntu development model in the context of neoliberal modernity stifling and suppression.

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