Knowledge Policies For Sustainable Development in Africa A Strategic Framework for Good Governance Draft Working Paper  ________________________________________ © Jacques L. Hamel, ECA/SDD 23 December 2004 Table of Contents Abstract …………………………. ………………………………………………………………………….. 3 1- Introduction: Efficient Knowledge for Sustainable Development ………………………………………… 3 2- Fundamental Perspectives On African Knowledge For Sustainable Development …………………….. Exciting / Inspiring / Prolific / Hopeful knowledge; Sustainable / Available / Accessible / Efficient knowledge; Complex / Multidimensional / Mysterious / Incomprehensible knowledge; Fragmented / Disjointed / Compartmented / Disintegrated / Fractured / Dismembered knowledge; Symbolical / Mythological / Magical / Analogical / Metaphorical / Proverbial / Poetical knowledge; Limited / Imperfect / Uncertain / Unknown knowledge; Existential / Passionate / Emotional / Obsessive / Sentimental / Mystical / Ecstatic knowledge; Empirical / Logical / Rational / Analytical knowledge; Utilitarian / Instrumental / Operational / Functional knowledge; Autonomous / Evolving / Deterministic / Creative / Renewable knowledge; Uncontrolled / Destructive / Pathological / Misused / Faulty / Dysfunctional knowledge; Plastic / Moldable / Manageable / Constructive / Emancipating Knowledge; Wise / Mature knowledge; Masculine / Feminine / Androgenic knowledge; Relative / Subjective / Self-deceptive / Possessive / ‘Schizophrenic’ knowledge; Authoritative / Commanding knowledge; Conscientious / Deliberate / Chosen / Elected knowledge; Linguistic / Idiomatic / Translated knowledge; Relevant knowledge; Material / Institutional knowledge; Strategic / Decisive / Potent knowledge; Future knowledge. 3-Specific Perspectives on African Knowledge For Sustainable Development ………………. ……………16 3. 1 Modern knowledge ………….. …………………………………………………….. ………………. 6 Literate / Contemporary / Cultured knowledge (knowledge modernization / westernization); Scientific / Predictive / Up-to-Date / Accurate knowledge (knowledge scienticization); Technical / Engineering / Medical / Managerial knowledge (knowledge technicization / Africanization); Promising / Precious / Capable knowledge (knowledge valuation / evolution / revolution); On-line / E-knowledge (knowledge acquisition / digitalization / diffusion / globalization); Open-source / Free knowledge (knowledge / facilitation / distribution); Open access knowledge (knowledge universalization / popularization); Communal / Shared / Networked / Participatory knowledge (knowledge hybridation / fertilization / cooperation); Embodied knowledge (knowledge incorporation); Embedded knowledge (knowledge internalization / indigenization); Assistance knowledge (knowledge collaboration); Licensed / Franchised / Rented knowledge (knowledge commodification / marketization); New / Innovative / Frontier knowledge (knowledge creation / generation / production); Outsourced / Leased knowledge (knowledge complementation / absorption); Patented / Rare knowledge (knowledge rarefaction / protection / codification / standardization); Marketable / Open knowledge (knowledge competition / intermediation); Drained / Untapped knowledge (knowledge circulation / repatriation); Unused / Underused / Underexploited knowledge (knowledge depreciation / dispersion / utilization); Sleuth / Espionage knowledge (knowledge prospection / extortion) Privatized knowledge (knowledge appropriation); Carnal knowledge; Expanded / Inflated / Encyclopedic / Erudite knowledge (knowledge accumulation / addition / intensification); Diet / Poor / Lacking knowledge (knowledge starvation / asphyxia / privation); Spam / Garbage knowledge (knowledge pollution / spoliation); Non-consensual / Non-authorized knowledge. 3. 2 Ancient, Indigenous, Endemic knowledge ………………………………………….. ….. ………26 Neolithic / Antique / Ancestral / Indigenous knowledge (knowledge reproduction / fossilization); Rich / Poetic / Cultural knowledge (knowledge demonstration); Backward-looking knowledge (knowledge regression / retrogression); Tacit / Oral knowledge (knowledge explicitation / validation / formalization / externalization); Occult / Esoteric / Arcane / Secret / Disguised / Camouflaged / Magical knowledge (knowledge ritualization); Endangered / Lost knowledge / Authentic (knowledge erosion / preservation / documentation); Stolen / Pirated / Plagiarized knowledge (knowledge remuneration / compensation); Devalued knowledge (knowledge trivialization / revaluation); Patriarchal knowledge (knowledge feminization / androgynization). 3. 3 Medieval Middle-Eastern Religious Knowledge ……………….. …………………. …………29 Evangelical / Qur’anic knowledge (knowledge division / opposition / contradiction / revelation); Supreme / Omnipotent / Fetishistic / Hegemonic knowledge (knowledge priorization / hierarchization); Written / Codified knowledge (knowledge transmission / reification); Responsible / Accountable knowledge (knowledge responsibilization); Single / Lone / Sole / Monopolistic knowledge (knowledge monopolization / enslavigation); Rote / Copycat knowledge (knowledge programmation / coercion / deletion / detoxication); Obsolete knowledge (knowledge decomposition); Incapacitating / Impotent knowledge (knowledge liberation / capitulation / resignation); Censored / Sanctioned / Authorized / Certified / Official knowledge (knowledge repression / policization); Closed / Enclosed / Hermetic knowledge (knowledge doctrinization / oxygenation); Controlled / Inherited knowledge (knowledge self-determination / cognition); Critical / Progressive / Dissident / Rebel knowledge (knowledge examination / problematization / revision); Infallible / Dogmatic knowledge (knowledge inoculation); Untouchable / Sacred-Cow / Canonical (knowledge deification / intimidation / profanization / deprophetization); Hypocrite / Deceitful knowledge (knowledge pervertization / alteration); Blasphemous / Supernatural / Sinful / Heretic knowledge (knowledge desecration / alienation / detabooization); Phony / Counterfeited / Fake knowledge (knowledge purification / decontamination); Faithful knowledge (knowledge immunization); Doctrinaire / Orthodox / Unconscious knowledge (knowledge indoctrination / discrimination); Humanist / Civilized knowledge (knowledge humanization / democratization); Stagnant / Inert knowledge (knowledge dynamization). 4- Summary and Conclusion: Knowledge Policies for Good Governance and Sustainable Development ………………………. 35 Acronyms ……………………………………………………………………………………. ……. ………….. 44 Glossary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………44 Bibliography …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 49 Knowledge Policies for Sustainable Development in Africa A Strategic Framework for Good Governance Abstract: Knowledge may be the chief currency and the essence of modern age.
It can also be a strategic resource and a lifeline for Africa’s sustainable development, which requires the acceleration of economic growth, the rehabilitation of the resource base, and the realization of a Green Revolution. These are core conditions of sustainable development. Indeed, sound environmental management, poverty reduction and food security are among the critical mainstays of sustainable development, incorporating vital elements of JPOI and key MDGs targets – in themselves a workable vision of sustainable development. The implementation of this vision requires more efficient development knowledge as an infinitely expansible resource.
This knowledge can support more knowledge-intensive sustainable development and needs to be mined, harvested and promoted. Its expansion – a truly revolutionary phenomenon – and its increasing role in development are changing the nature of African societies and their place in the international knowledge order. A better understanding of this knowledge and of the foundations, structure and characteristics of African Knowledge Societies (AKSs) – a concept that goes beyond the prolongation of the information or the digital society – is necessary for formulating policy issues and directions, for upgrading anachronistic knowledge bases and for accelerating the transition from largely pre-modern, knowledge-deprived unsustainable AKSs to fast progressing ones.
The nature, content and architecture of these AKSs can be conceptualized as diverse assemblages of a few basic, partially overlapping and competing ancient, medieval and modern macro knowledge systems. This conceptual framework enables the articulation of a knowledge policy for sustainable development – a non-African myth stemming more from the excesses and ‘collateral’ damages of modern development than from the problematic of non-developing traditional societies. The myth of modernization, supported by scientific, technical and business knowledge, sustains relatively successful development of up to half of Africans, particularly the well-connected, entrepreneurial and opportunistic urban fringes. Modern knowledge remains well below world standards but is improving.
It emerges mainly from the release of the power of questioning against traditional forms of thought, which must be encouraged throughout AKSs for removing obstacles to modern knowledge generation, acquisition and diffusion and for transforming an inefficient pre-modern knowledge edifice into an efficient one. On the one hand, ancient and indigenous knowledge is sustaining the subsistence of up to a quarter of Africans and is geared more toward the past than the future. It is effective for reproducing and enhancing ‘stationary’ societies but not sufficient for profound structural transformation and development. Some pre-modern knowledge may constitute irrelevant relics of long-gone societies and may be holding back development.
On the other hand, religious medieval knowledge is capturing, confining the minds and hindering development of up to another quarter of Africans. This knowledge provides sound ethical bases for sustainable development but also engenders insidious obstacles to knowledge advancement. Indeed, Evangelical and Qur’anic knowledge is amongst the most powerful ‘soft’ knowledge ever fashioned by humans but it lacks a set of critical values for knowledge-based sustainable development, such as democratic governance, fundamental freedoms, gender equality, a concern for nature and for the future and a focus on life before death – all necessary conditions of knowledge-enhanced sustainable development.
Vigorously promoted by a pervasive physical and human infrastructure – not exactly a fountain of fresh knowledge, – this knowledge, under certain conditions, constitutes virtual owners’ manual for one’s life, especially for Africans-of-one-book, dwarfing development knowledge promoted by development organizations. In this context knowledge-driven sustainable development must be pursued more forcefully to narrow the growing knowledge divide, which will not be achieved in large parts of AKSs without a profound reform of knowledge. This paper proposes such a reform for a prosperous and sustainable Africa, which must be pursued in the 21st century as aggressively as Africans pursued the myth of the independent Nation-State in the 20th century.
Knowledge pursuits must better serve sustainable development. For this, AKSs must seriously take up the tremendous knowledge challenges they face. They must invest massively in knowledge to improve the social soil and environment on which it grows, keep abreast of knowledge development, set in motion dynamic knowledge-creating processes, reduce knowledge deficits, free knowledge from impurities, strengthen knowledge infrastructures and institutions, fight knowledge obsolescence and increase knowledge performance. They must embark on a new adventure of knowledge and realize a knowledge renaissance for knowledge-led sustainable development. 1- Introduction: Efficient Knowledge for Sustainable Development
The essence of sustainable development in Africa commands a dramatic reduction of poverty and hunger and improved development prospects for future generations. Considerable progress on these fronts is necessary to achieve meaningful sustainable development. This requires more efficient knowledge and more capable AKSs for increasing the annual rate of per capita food production to at least 4% and real economic growth rate to at least 7% without further damaging the environment– it is the thesis put forward here — by better knowing, harvesting, managing and using knowledge as a vital, effective and competitive development resource.
The absence of progress on these fronts, on the other hand, spells under-development, mis-development, non-development or unsustainable development. A growing number of analysts and observers are talking of an unfolding African tragedy and disaster, or a worsening economic catastrophe. These scenarios are perhaps too pessimistic for the slowly but steadily developing components of AKSs and perhaps too gloomy for its apparently knowledge-deprived non-developing components. This paper adopts a more optimistic view. Signs of some development in the region are everywhere. Governance is more democratic. Economic policies are better. Natural resources and commodities are in high demand and at better prices. Relevant development knowledge is more accessible.
Increased investments in many development areas, such as in Internet and mobile infrastructures, agriculture colleges and infectious diseases, for instance, and some initiatives, such as NEPAD, will probably produce positive impacts on economic growth and social progress only in the years ahead. A lot of things are going in the right direction and all this points to brighter prospects for the region. But non-evolving, obsolete and deficient knowledge bases remain the main obstacle to solving the acute environment, poverty, hunger and unemployment crises, which affect large parts of AKSs. Relevant and efficient development knowledge continues to be the key to knowledge-driven sustainable development and to a better future. Although the big picture is generally optimistic this paper focuses on the half–stagnant, low-speed, knowledge deprived components of AKSs.
This half of Africa is more problematic and some pessimism is amply justified without the implementation of vigorous policies to upgrade their antiquated knowledge bases with efficient development knowledge. The focus on the non-developing components of AKSs should not overshadow the relative successes of the other – slow but nonetheless developing – components. Africa’s development has puzzled the international development community for decades. Many development paradigms and strategies have been pursued with some successes. Yet, half of Africans are not progressing and are not likely to embrace a knowledge-supported sustainable development path soon. They do not enjoy the benefits of development or the benefits of globalization. Why?
Usual explanations hinge on blaming the West (World Bank, colonization, WTO, subsidies, etc. ) or blaming the lack of everything (basic education, investments, trade, technology, integration, innovation, democracy, water, fertilizers, medicine, infrastructure, etc. ). Although these approaches are warranted and necessary this paper surveys different avenues emphasizing knowledge deficiencies and shortcomings in the fundamental determinants of sustainable development (social, cultural, economic, political, anthropological). Since efficient knowledge is the key to knowledge-rich sustainable development, attempts could be made in each AKS to identify the main knowledge issues that knowledge policies should address.
Various types and categories of knowledge and key corresponding knowledge processes could to be considered. These could be mapped into a number of possible knowledge policy areas. This paper explores these processes and these policy areas. Scores of new concepts need to be created to capture the issue-oriented content of AKSs, particularly in relation to a range of development pathologies and potentials. These new concepts will be formulated throughout this paper. They are required to overcome the confines of current thinking and to lay the foundation of a genuine framework for analyzing and theorizing AKSs.  What Africa knows largely determine how it develops. Tell me what you know and I will tell you how you develop or not develop” the saying may go, hence the central role of knowledge in cultural, environmental, social, political and economic development of AKSs. If Africans develop from what they know – natural resources without knowledge are undervalued or value-less – then it is of paramount importance to know African knowledge, particularly knowledge relevant to knowledge-led sustainable development. This is necessary in order to develop favorable knowledge environments and more efficient knowledge bases. Knowledge interacts with sustainable development in many ways. What do Africans know or do not know favors or constrains their pursuit of knowledge–based sustainable development (but not all Africans are pursuing this myth).
Furthermore, sustainable development applies quite differently to the ‘developed’ North, which is struggling with the unwanted consequences of overdevelopment or misdevelopment, and to ‘developing’ Africa, which is struggling with the unwanted effects of slow or non-development. Knowledge- sustained development is not on course on a global scale. Both poverty and wealth put pressure on the resource bases. Both underdevelopment and overdevelopment are incompatible with meaningful sustainable development. Knowledge for sustainable development is something knowable, modelable, reformable and manageable through effective knowledge policies only to some extent. Nonetheless, the acquisition of an in-depth knowledge of the African knowledge corpus and repertoire is necessary in order to outline such effective policies. In the absence of such policies the impact of the nowledge explosion on African Knowledge Economies (AKEs) may accentuate or sustain current trends with negative prospects for knowledge-intensive, competitive and open sectors. A laisser-faire attitude could lead to more social exclusion in the midst of a few scattered islands of prosperity. Knowledge expansion on a global scale may also lead to a depreciation of agricultural economies and an accentuation of the resource curse. As the industrialized and industrializing worlds are moving progressively toward more knowledge-led economies some components of AKSs are likely to do relatively well and many others are likely fall further behind. Substantial progress can be made in these non-performing components if vigorous knowledge policies are implemented.
It is the object of this paper to outline such policies for knowledge-enhanced sustainable development. The paper is exploratory, speculative, radical and ‘unscientific’. It lays the groundwork for a theory of African knowledge as it relates to knowledge-driven sustainable development. Its style is adapted to the challenge of opening a new and most intricate field of research, whose scope and ambition go way beyond the reach of a single researcher. It focuses on a policy area that remains largely unexplored and uninvestigated. One reason for this is that current investigative efforts, in whatever areas of inquiry, concentrate on quantitative analyses to the detriment of qualitative analyses. This bias has considerable consequences.
It may leave large areas of knowledge, for instance, out of research fields and out policy areas. The complex, intangible, incommensurable or vague is too often ignored or disregarded or even viewed as irrelevant. It is this kind of abdication that leaves the most difficult but the most important out of research work. The paper is built on a comprehensive and ambitious vision of African knowledge for sustainable development. It constitutes a possible contribution to better knowing and managing African knowledge, given its importance in the sustainable development process. It is also a possible contribution to monitoring sustainable development in Africa.
Indeed, the paper provides a number of concepts that can be useful to assess the direction, robustness and breath of development as well as key constraints to sustainable development in the continent. The paper pays attention to many neglected issues in the sustainable development discourse and plants a seed of doubt on current thinking and approaches to the African problematic at this particular juncture. This can facilitate dialogues and discussions on the key questions related to the formulation of effective knowledge policies for sustainable development, whose implementation commands a review of governance structures and practices. Some of the thoughts on knowledge emerging in the paper may appear incoherent, unintelligible and even contradictory.
This is partly due to the nature of knowledge itself: unfathomable, un-unifiable, un-reductible, un-rationalizable, and unvalidable or unprovable within the linguistic or logic system in which it is produced. And it is also partly due to the fact that the investigation of African knowledge requires a multidisciplinary approach. It can be an object capable of being appreciated from a multitude of angles, giving the impression of multiple objects. For these reasons, among others, there cannot be unanimity of views on all the ideas, concepts and conclusions that are put forward. The paper is divided into two parts. The first part explores some fundamental perspectives on African knowledge for knowledge-backed sustainable development.
These perspectives are helpful to conceptualize, assess, model and characterize knowledge and to uncover the physiognomy, profile, content, structure and dynamics of AKSs as well as their place in the changing global geography of knowledge. They may also be helpful to identify issues-oriented knowledge areas and design corrective measures, if need be. The second part deals with specific perspectives on knowledge. It complements in some details the assessment of the state of knowledge in AKSs in relation to knowledge-driven sustainable development. It comprises three sections. The first section explores modern knowledge (including scientific, technical, agricultural, managerial, medical).
This knowledge is spearheading some modernization and development and constitutes a hope for Africa’s progress. The second section examines indigenous, traditional, endemic knowledge. This knowledge is the best and most adapted knowledge for sustaining the status quo (non-development) and provides a base for further advancement and development. The third section deals with religious medieval knowledge, particularly the faith-based knowledge stemming from the great religious orthodoxies, which pervades AKSs and profoundly influences their collective psyches, behaviors and development. It also influences the sustainability of the natural environment. This section is more speculative.
The paper attaches some importance to this faith-based knowledge in view of the fact that the relation of this knowledge to knowledge-enlightened sustainable development in Africa has not been investigated. The last part of the paper provides a comprehensive summary and conclusion, advocating the formulation and implementation of effective policies for strengthening, liberating, demystifying, rejuvenating, prioritizing and developing knowledge for knowledge-engineered sustainable development. This requires further deprivatization, improvement, reform and transformation of governance. 2- FUNDAMENTAL PERSPECTIVES ON AFRICAN KNOWLEDGE FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT Exciting / Inspiring / Prolific / Hopeful knowledge
Perhaps with the exception of ancient Greece and the Enlightenment, the world is going through the most fertile, creative, productive and fruitful period of history in knowledge — possibly the greatest producer of wealth, affluence, prosperity and ‘development’, and also of pollution, destruction, poverty, hunger and inequality between humans. These are amongst the foremost issues of sustainable development. This knowledge is fueling a growing global knowledge system in which AKSs are entangled. As we move forward into the 21st century, superior development knowledge bases, knowledge assets and knowledge capital are conceivably the ultimate development resources for the sustainable advancement of the African continent. It may also be the only real antidote against stagnation, arginalization, prejudices, illiteracy, illness, environmental degradation and hunger. The proliferation of exciting and inspiring knowledge has important consequences for AKSs, which are being buoyed and integrated / marginalized by the most advanced industrial knowledge societies (IKSs). This exciting wave of new knowledge provides knowledge opportunities for the sustainable development of the continent. These opportunities can and must be exploited through adequate knowledge policies. Sustainable / Available / Accessible / Efficient knowledge A perspective on knowledge as a sustainable resource for development has not been properly formulated yet.
In the final analysis knowledge is what enables an intimate communion with the essence of reality and a transformation of this reality for development. In this perspective knowledge that is efficient in grasping and changing this reality is a necessary condition of sustainable development. Constructed environments, such as electronic, institutional, social, economic, cultural and political environments, that complement natural environments, facilitate, hinder or require the creation and circulation of this knowledge. Political environments, for instance, require full universal access to relevant knowledge for making sound political choices and for meaningful, participative and democratic governance.
Cultural environments require the full utilization of all talents and available knowledge, and a diversity of knowledge sources, including from women (see section on masculine/feminine knowledge). Economic environments require full access to modern and efficient development knowledge. These environments must be organized according to the principles of sustainability, which can become the central organizing principles of AKSs. This means organizing development knowledge, as much as possible, as an inherited universal and accessible public good. This is the challenge of the sustainability of knowledge for sustainable development. Meeting this challenge will contribute to social justice and equality of opportunity in the use of knowledge.
It implies the preservation, ease of use and development of knowledge in diverse environments, particularly where it is most needed. Unrestricted and fair access (not necessarily free access but access at affordable conditions) to development knowledge is a principle coherent with knowledge as a common human heritage and the property of humanity. In this perspective commercially exploited knowledge is well justified in some environments (such as corporate or private knowledge) but it is a momentary and transitory phenomenon and an exception to the rule. Sustainability of knowledge has to be a concern since knowledge can be sullied, devalued, misused, corrupted and ruined in many ways.
Knowledge embodied in peoples is biodegradable, and may be easily lost; knowledge embedded in institutions may be contaminated, altered, distorted, misused, misplaced, etc. ; knowledge incorporated in culture, such as ancient mythological knowledge, may be eroded by modern knowledge development and by obsolescence. Sustainable development requires the full utilization (including feminine), fairness, efficiency, availability, accessibility and diversity of knowledge. Complex / Multidimensional / Mysterious / Incomprehensible knowledge Knowledge is extraordinarily elusive, indefinable, versatile, multipurpose, multifaceted, diverse, incommensurable, heterogeneous.
It is specific or general, trivial or significant, common or rare, simple or intricate, theoretical or empirical, true or false, verifiable or non-verifiable, appropriate or inappropriate, qualitative or quantitative, certain or uncertain, objective or subjective, etc. It is non-spatial. It is durable although its relevance or effectiveness may diminish. It is the most intractable development resource for sustainable development. Its investigation requires an adequate conceptual framework and a multidisciplinary or transdisciplinary approach. Development knowledge refers broadly to the totality of representative mental or abstract structures and constructions related to sustainable development.
Ancient Greek philosophers discussed for hundreds of years its subtleties. Modern philosophers, sociologists, anthropologists and scientists have added to these reflections. It can be viewed as the fourth historical development megawave: agriculture, industry, services, knowledge. It has an economic, a social, a cultural, a philosophical, a historical, a linguistic and a political aspect. Its presence or its absence feeds discussions, diversity of views and controversies on a host of development issues and policies. It has the capacity to reconcile or to divide. It gives meaning. Reliable and objective meaning. It is closely associated with beliefs and values.
Its sources, conditions, foundations, effectiveness or determinants are not entirely known or knowable. It is related to reason, emotion (emotional intelligence), perception, information, representation, conceptualization, observation, explication, comprehension, induction, deduction, investigation and computation. A good understanding of the complexity, diversity, heterogeneity, incommensurability, multidimensionality, uncertainty, comprehensibility, relativity and kowability of knowledge may facilitate the formulation of effective policies for knowledge-oriented sustainable development. Fragmented / Disjointed / Compartmented / Disintegrated / Fractured / Dismembered knowledge
The rate of knowledge creation does not seem to diminish, forcing all disciplines to fragment into an increasing number of specializations and narrow expertise, which makes it difficult to find links within fields and with other specializations. The ever-growing process of the division of labour is producing ever more specialized knowledge, understandable only by specialists and experts. The result is an ever more fragmented knowledge base, which makes it hard to acquire a broad and integrated view in any given area or branch of knowledge. Specialized knowledge tends to be organized in egotistical cliques with monopolistic powers and privileges. Unity of knowledge may be lost forever. This can have some disagreeable consequences at the level of policy-making.
Available relevant knowledge for solving a particular problem, for instance, may not be found, and needed knowledge may appear to exist while it doesn’t. Knowledge of trees prevents knowledge of the forest. Hence the necessity to organize and integrate scattered expert knowledge in a way that is understandable to policy-makers, to special interest groups, such as farmers, and eventually to whole AKSs. Integrative knowledge keeps AKSs from disintegrating. It requires leadership and vision, which need to be improved throughout AKSs in institutional policy-making, implementation, monitoring and in integration of science, technology, innovation and knowledge policies with other development policies.
These integration processes can be facilitated by the appointment of high profile and highly credible and respected Chiefs Knowledge Officers (CKOs), by the setting up or strengthening of Parliamentary Committees, such as Parliamentary Committees on Science, Technology and Innovation (PCSTI), already in existence in a growing number of African countries, and by the creation of Interdepartmental Coordination Forums, such as Interdepartmental Science, Technology and Innovation Forums (ISTIF) or the creation of Interdepartmental Task Forces on the African Green Revolution (AGR), for instance. These initiatives can help ‘defragment’ knowledge and link compartmented knowledge. Symbolical / Mythological / Magical / Analogical / Metaphorical / Proverbial / Poetical knowledge
Knowledge is closely intertwined with signs, symbols, myths and magic, which figure prominently in AKSs and which is inherently evocative, evasive, hazy and indefinite. Symbolical, mythological, magical, metaphorical, proverbial, poetical knowledge pervades AKSs and is the social cement that holds them together. Hence its importance for the acquisition of a comprehensive view of their functioning. In fact, African knowledge is profoundly dependent on signs, symbols, myths and magic in beliefs, arts (including petroglyphs and rock arts), writing systems, textile, ceremonial objects, decorative drawings, tattoos, rites, masks, figures, architecture, legends, fables, metaphors and proverbs. Symbols can be extremely powerful.
For instance, hundreds of thousands of Africans died for the national flag – a powerful symbol. This knowledge conveys specific ideas (on the cosmos, ancestors, gods, wisdom, patriotism, etc. ). Images, objects, figures and words are used symbolically to preserve and transmit knowledge, feelings and values. As they play such an important role in the African conception of reality, an adequate understanding of African patterns of thought requires an appreciation of the nature and function of symbolism and magic as an important knowledge medium in AKSs. This knowledge is also widespread in IKSs but these societies have more standardized knowledge and diversified sources of knowledge.
Symbolic, mythological, analogical, magical, metaphorical, proverbial, poetical knowledge needs to be better known for a thorough understanding of the dynamics of AKSs – a precondition for formulating sound knowledge policies for knowledge-driven sustainable development. Limited / Imperfect / Uncertain / Unknown knowledge It is important to appreciate the infirmities of knowledge. Indeed, there are multiple confines to knowledge (historical, sensorial, cognitive, biological, cerebral, neuronal, etc. ) that need to be known for acquiring a proper breath of knowledge on African knowledge. Knowledge is full of limitations, imperfections, deficiencies, shortcomings, inadequacies, simplifications and uncertainties.
These are grounded in both an uncertain, undetermined, unpredictable, unknown, indefinite and mysterious universe and a brain highly limited in its capacity to apprehend the infinite complexity of the cosmos and the nature of life. The infra-texture of the physis (the lively physical world) and of the biosphere (including the tiniest parcel of life) cannot be apprehended exhaustively and in totality by the brain, which cannot capture things in themselves but only highly mutilated and disfigured representations of the perceptible and conceptualizable phenomena (in the middle band). Only a small fraction of the total universe of knowledge generated throughout the ages is known. All knowledge is uncertain.
Even scientific knowledge, which rests on indemonstrable postulates, unverifiable principles, unrevealed axioms or hidden paradigms, contains some degree of uncertainty. All knowledge is to some extent hallucinatory because of the defective and limited perception, representation and reproduction processes at play in any knowledge formation. Knowledge is the product of human interactions and is always corrupted by inevitable inaccuracies and errors, submerged in a multitude of redundancies and confronted with uneliminable noise (from communication). Uncertainty cannot be eliminated and is necessary for any progress of knowledge. Existential / Passionate / Emotional / Obsessive / Sentimental / Mystical / Ecstatic knowledge
The most powerful engine of knowledge is the human’s infinite desire to learn and possess knowledge. Possessing knowledge gives the feeling of possessing the universe. Its quest is for humans an existential obsession and imperative. Human pursuits strive for harmonious knowledge, which is – in the context of this paper – knowledge that provides some adequation between the mental representations of Africa and Africa itself. When this knowledge is found there is the ecstatic relief of the ‘ah’. It emerges from the most profound parts of the human psyche. It is closely associated with emotions, passions, pulsations, affections, sentiments. It involves the totality of being and acts as a regulator of human fortune.
In the context of this paper the possession of adequate, true or efficient knowledge appears as a necessary but insufficient condition for knowledge-empowered sustainable development. Intensity of effort is critical. Sustainable development requires going beyond informative or contemplative knowledge. Knowledge for sustainable development must be passionate and obsessive. It must excite religious fervor and involve the whole AKSs. Empirical / Logical / Rational / Analytical knowledge In Neolithic times, Africans had already developed rich empirical, logical, rational and analytical knowledge and developed ‘scientific’ knowledge, which was really advanced in relation to previous scientific knowledge.
This scientific knowledge was based on extensive botanical, zoological, ecological, pyrotechnical (control of fire), geological, mechanical (tools making) and operational knowledge (hunting, fishing, housing, etc. ). It differs of course from the more powerful contemporary scientific knowledge, which obeys to the more rigorous North Atlantic scientific paradigm, but empirical, logical, rational and analytical knowledge has been present in Africa since immemorial times. Today this knowledge is more organized, verified, packaged and shared than it was thousands of years ago but scientific thinking is not something that appears recently. It has played an important role in the development process and is complementing the symbolic, mythological, magical, proverbial, metaphorical mode of knowledge discussed above.
In the AKSs context, this knowledge provides a foundation for knowledge–driven sustainable development. Utilitarian / Instrumental / Operational / Functional knowledge Knowledge is a resource, an asset, a skill (know-how), an advantage, a tool. In this perspective a technology can be seen as the aggregate of all knowledge relevant to the technology, such as knowledge to conceptualize, design, test, evaluate, produce, operate, transfer, protect, market, maintain, use and reproduce the technology. Development experts focus on this knowledge, which is sometimes referred to as procedural or ability knowledge or know-how. It is an economic concept.
Most references to AKSs are related to economic development, hence the concept of knowledge economies or African Knowledge Economies (AKEs) as subsets of AKSs. In this perspective knowledge is a means to an end, which has been pre-identified. It is demand driven and can be mediated by markets. It is cumulative. It supports technical activities in the production of artifacts and the individual enterprise of the craftsman, the technical worker or the engineer. It is appropriated through technical training and apprenticeship. It is supported more and more by science. It is value-free, under social control and a solution to well-defined problems.
It is a faithful servant, who is not exploited to the fullest extent possible in AKSs and who has not been used or applied as much as in other regions of the world. This has led to underdevelopment or non-development in large parts of AKSs, hence the low status of AKSs in the global knowledge system. In other parts of AKSs, where knowledge advance is more successful, this utilitarian / instrumental / operational / functional knowledge is supporting development and needs to be more actively promoted and widely disseminated, particularly in rural areas, to achieve, amongst others, an AGR and sustainable development. Autonomous / Evolving / Deterministic / Creative / Renewable knowledge
Knowledge is somewhat autonomous, selective, transitory. It is at the heart of an emancipation, liberation, progression, maturation process, which is largely involuntary or unplanned. It is somewhat self-generating, emerging, blind, fluid, value-neutral and little under social control. It levels and equalizes cultures open to knowledge and distances those closed to knowledge. It has its owns dynamic, its owns laws of development, its own logic. It forges its own itinerary and destiny and its direction is unpredictable. It underpins a liberal perspective of progress and of the humanization process. It transforms humans and the idea of being.
It is a system of objects / subjects or a social / organizational concept. It is a social product. It is the main driver of history. It is not always linked to precise ends: it can be a means in search of an end. It is the result of both contingent and non-contingent processes. Knowledge evolution and social change come as a package. Social institutions evolve in tandem with knowledge institutions. It has its own purpose – truth and efficiency. It is the result of a selection process where inferior knowledge is displaced by superior knowledge (in terms of validity, usefulness, effectiveness). In this perspective superior knowledge leads the knowledge-enhanced sustainable development process.
It generates various forms of tribal or feudal societies but only one basic form of societies based on modern knowledge. It has a universal character. It is a homogenizing force in history. It leads to civilizational convergence and to a “mass man”. It is a fatalist outlook on knowledge. Going down the knowledge path forecloses possible ways of life. A progress in knowledge is considered a development progress. It points to a growing knowledge divide between AKSs and the more knowledge-fertile North. Hence, the need to promote policies for reducing this knowledge divide, a condition for achieving knowledge-driven sustainable development at the global and regional scale.
Uncontrolled / Destructive / Pathological / Misused / Faulty / Dysfunctional knowledge In this perspective knowledge is sometimes a bad a master, who contributes to unsustainable AKSs. It can be an ideology in search of materialization (knowledge for its own sake or an end in itself). Some knowledge, such as scientific, mythological or ideological knowledge, is often misused, misinterpreted or misappropriated. It leads to unsustainable AKSs (unsustainable agriculture, unsustainable forests, unsustainable water use, unsustainable fisheries, unsustainable climate, unsustainable cities, etc). It is not holistic and neutral. It is piece-meal and possibly negatively value-laden.
It is a cultural concept. It can be more a problem than a solution. It violates a promise and is held responsible for many civilizational or cultural problems (health, social, environmental, etc. ) The critiques of modernity emphasize this view of knowledge. Some knowledge, particularly specialized knowledge, is often badly utilized and applied. It is somewhat out of control and can be detrimental to peoples or to workers. It can be blamed for modernity’s evils. It frames undesirable ways of life, in much the same as the absence of knowledge also frames uncomfortable poverty lifestyles. It can be viewed in a pessimistic or negative way.
Far from contributing to the happiness of AKSs it adds to their ills. It is also a bit imperialistic because it forces its way into application even if application may be culturally undesirable or possibly harmful. Technical knowledge, for instance, leads to a technization of AKSs and subjugates peoples to a technocratic (bureaucratic) social order, which can be seen not as an end that is voluntarily pursued but an unwanted consequence. Medical knowledge, on the other hand, has also improved reproductive health and increased population growth, with the unwanted consequence of possibly hindering economic growth and contributed in some ways to unsustainable development.
In this perspective the trajectory and evolution of AKSs is the result of some misguided choices, a misappropriation, misinterpretation or a misutilization of some knowledge, which needs to be better assessed, selected and used to achieve knowledge-enriched sustainable development.  Plastic / Moldable / Manageable / Constructive / Emancipating Knowledge From another perspective knowledge is power. It distributes and redistributes power. It is domination. It is an essential pursuit of humans and a passport to human development. It relies on knowledge leaders for its credibility, authorativeness and growth. It is a virtual potential that needs to be actualized through political processes. It is a political object, politically driven and a political challenge. It is an agent of change.
It is value-laden and its development can be politically managed through activism, incentives, legislations, protocols, treaties, conventions, charters and other democratic processes and institutions (ex: Green parties politics, the Protocol on Biosafety, international conventions on the environments, on endangered species, etc. ). In this perspective knowledge is not deterministic but moldable. As a responsibility of the community it can shape a deliberate social order. Its trajectory is the result of collective choices. It is a means for various possible ends. It is an opportunity, a way of being and becoming. It is exercise of human capacities and faculties. It is an undetermined future.
It can be a development escalator and a cause for celebration. It can explore the full plasticity of humans. It makes knowledge-based sustainable development in Africa a possible adventure and a hope for poverty, hunger and unemployment reduction. It holds the promise of a radical reconstruction of modernity, a restructuration of democracy for the knowledge age and a reinvention of the sustainable development paradigm. Wise / Mature knowledge Knowledge can also be viewed alongside a continuum: data – information – knowledge – wisdom. It grows with age. On the one hand, for instance, the baby learns to walk step by step and acquires linguistic knowledge word by word.
Wise knowledge, on the other hand, is said to be acquired much later in life, often in old age, as the result of a long practice and experience, meditation and reflection. Indeed, peoples continue to learn, absorb and create knowledge throughout their lives. This may be relevant to get a better understanding of the problematic of AKSs. Undeniably, these societies are young by any standard. Average life expectancy of AKSs is about 47 while life expectancy in IKSs is above 75 – a 28 years difference. Median age in AKSs is 18. 3 versus 38. 9 in IKSs (Western Europe) – a huge difference (more than double). In addition, life expectancy has been declining in many AKSs.
What are these statistics telling us in terms of knowledge for knowledge-heightened sustainable development? If wise knowledge grows with age then could there be a wise knowledge deficit in AKSs compared to IKSs? If there is then is this wise knowledge deficit more than compensated by the immature knowledge of the energetic, full-of-life and innocent youths, who are relatively more important than the youth in IKSs, many of which are experiencing a youth deficit? The influence of the demographic structures of AKSs on knowledge for knowledge-led sustainable development perhaps needs to be investigated. Relative / Subjective / Self-deceptive / Possessive / ‘Schizophrenic’ knowledge
Human knowledge is ego-centric, geno-centric (family identity), ethno-centric (tribal identity), socio-centric (national identity), religio-centric (influenced by fundamental religious beliefs), linguistico-centric (linked to a language), civilizatio- centric (belonging or the product of a specific civilization) and chrono-centric (time-bound). It is determined by a multitude of influences. There is no absolute knowledge. It is totally relative to the experience of the knower at a specific environment, time and space. All knowledge is also somewhat subjective for it is always rooted in or appropriated by individual subjects, who have their own history, characteristics and specificities.
Any knower of African knowledge has its unique distinctive mental structures, which construct a unique vision of this knowledge. There is no knowledge separated from a knowing subject. African knowledge needs to be ‘objectified’ as much as possible to be an object of ‘objective’ knowledge, even if it is totally a ‘subjective’ object. African knowledge has to be somewhat detached from the subject to be apprehended and analyzed. In this case ‘objectivity’ is attained by intersubjectivity, or intersubjective interactions, such as dialogues, sharing of views, competition, questioning, debating, peer reviews, mutual criticism, pluralism, research, dissidence, deviance or through knowledge guilds.
Studying African knowledge involves much the same mental processes as studying an elephant, but knowledge is a more abstract object, which cannot be measured and described with scientific instruments. Knowledge of knowledge is a mental activity of second order. It is meta-knowledge. It can be self-deceptive, virtual, contradictory, conflicting, possessive and schizophrenic. African knowledge taken as an object will always contain the subjective mental structures and constructions imposed by the knower, with all its biases, prejudices, preconceptions, presumptions, peculiarities and individualities. African knowledge cannot be known in itself but only perceived and recreated subjectively and appreciated relatively to a specific context. Conscientious / Deliberate / Chosen / Elected knowledge
If knowledge is the ultimate factor and the key resource for sustainable development then learning is the key process and the key strategy, including learning to unlearn part of the knowledge repertoire if necessary (deleting knowledge). Knowledge organizations must be prepared and willing to seriously take up the challenge of life-long learning for development through proper knowledge management. This is constrained by difficult learning environments. Indeed, the defective social, cultural, economic and political structures of AKSs constitute obstructions to learning and to knowledge acquisition and development. AKSs must reform these structures in order to take the place they deserve in the world of knowledge at the beginning of the knowledge millennium.
What must be taught is not so much knowledge itself but the love of knowledge and knowledge acquisition as a lasting concern. Masculine / Feminine / Androgenic knowledge Men and women have exactly the same knowledge abilities but a slightly singular brain. They have a basic bicameral and bi-hemispheric brain that differentiates only to a small extent feminine and masculine knowledge. Being a woman involves some knowledge (and sensitivities) unknown to men and vice versa. The left side of the brain is commonly referred to as the ‘feminine’ brain and the right side as the ‘masculine’ brain. In other words the brain is bisexual and almost biologically identical in men and women.
However, if the biology of knowledge brings masculine and feminine knowledge close together, the sociology of knowledge drives it apart. Indeed, some knowledge seems to be more patriarchal than matriarchal. The knowledge class, for instance, particularly knowledge associated with political, religious or mystical power, is more masculine than feminine in all AKSs, although this situation is changing. Those that cherish and jealously keep their knowledge for governing, preaching, healing, etc. , are men in majority. Women, on the other hand, possess essential knowledge for sustainable development and have a greater propensity to share their knowledge. They are at the center of education, health, agriculture and food.
Knowledge-driven sustainable development requires the full utilization of the talents, capacities, faculties, genius and flair of the whole AKSs – male and female. This is a fundamental challenge of knowledge and a requirement for sustainable development. Feminine knowledge is as important but perhaps not recognized as much as masculine knowledge. In this context, there is need to feminize or androgynize knowledge through social and political reforms. This is an issue that applies to almost all types of knowledge, from antique to modern and from mythological to scientific. Authoritative / Commanding knowledge Knowledge is closely linked to authority. Indeed, authoritative establishments play an important role in the direction and growth of knowledge.
Important sources of authoritative knowledge include gods (and other mythological alter ego), ecclesiasts and clerics, kings (and similar monarchs and rulers), chiefs, husbands and peoples (democracy). It is important to understand the relationship between knowledge and authority for formulating a comprehensive knowledge problematic and theory of AKSs. Since ‘God’ occupy the top of the hierarchy, knowledge acquired from ‘God’ (by the lucky ones! ), such as Evangelical and Qur’anic knowledge, for instance, needs to be made an object of scrupulous inquiry. Its influence on world evolution and on AKSs is considerable, and extends to dictate ways of life that may not be conducive to sustainable development. Its influence on governance is also significant, particularly in North AKSs and in the Sahel AKSs.
Given its importance in their dynamics this knowledge will be explored in great details in later sections, which concentrate on revealed or prophetic knowledge or what many Africans consider knowledge received from deities or from extranatural sources. Linguistic / Dialect / Idiomatic / Translated knowledge Knowledge precedes languages but knowledge and languages are closely related. Knowing appropriate foreign languages is in itself knowledge and a passport to efficient knowledge. Modern knowledge is mostly available in international languages, dominated by English. Little modern knowledge is available or accessible in vernacular AKSs languages. Furthermore, little modern content is truly African.
This may give a knowledge advantage to English speaking non- Africans and to English speaking Africans and raises a number of issues that must be addressed properly. Knowing English is a must for anyone aspiring to be part of the global knowledge economy or dreaming to be a global knowledge worker. AKSs function in hundreds of languages, thus raising many issues for governance. Adequate linguistic policies are needed to promote knowledge assimilation capacities of AKSs. Relevant knowledge In the context of this paper, some knowledge is directly related to sustainable development, such as knowledge of behaviors of large-scale or micro ecosystems and knowledge to conserve, repair, enhance, reconstruct or manage natural or constructed environments.
Some other knowledge may somewhat indirectly or distantly be related to sustainable development, such as knowledge of history, psychology or philosophy. And some other knowledge may not or hardly be related to sustainable development at all, such as literature, painting or music. That means that the first task of the policymaker interested in knowledge policies for knowledge-enhanced sustainable development is to distinguish and separate relevant from irrelevant knowledge. This is an important issue since much knowledge, such as mythological and faith-based knowledge, is usually considered irrelevant for development while it is highly relevant (as we will see).
In fact significant parts of AKSs are not developing not only because they lack relevant modern development knowledge (the current thinking) but also because they are inundated with irrelevant knowledge that keeps them from developing (a new line of thinking explored in this paper). Physical / Material / Institutional knowledge Knowledge in itself is intangible but it needs a material, physical, energical or biological infrastructure to exist and live. AKEs can develop without going through the normal, historical trajectory but they cannot develop properly without modern infrastructures. Indeed, large parts of rural AKSs are without telephone or electricity, thus deprived of the means needed to run computers (and access Internet) or TVs.
Even the diffusion of cheap radios and mobile telephones is constrained by the lack of energy infrastructures. Batteries and generators are still out of reach of much of rural Africa and alternative (such as photovoltaics or wind turbines) are off the reach of many Africans, half of whom are living on one dollar a day or less. This has important consequences on knowledge policies for knowledge-dependent sustainable development. AKSs need to evolve somewhat modern industrial and agricultural bases to compete in the world. This requires efficient knowledge infrastructures. Strategic / Decisive / Potent knowledge In order to achieve knowledge-driven sustainable development a majority of Africans must be considered knowledge workers.
And to carve themselves respectable places in the unequal international order knowledge workers need to create valuable sustainable comparative knowledge advantages and positions, nurture competitive knowledge niches and sustain them over a long period to break the current development impasse in which many find themselves. Rapid progress calls for better governance, going beyond marginal adjustments, breaking from knowledge taboos, exploring uncharted knowledge territory and knowledge avenues, focusing on knowledge management effort and the promotion of more supportive knowledge strategies. These strategies should champion knowledge reforms affecting the entire fabric of life of every African.
Development or competition requires the identification of needed efficient knowledge. Modern efficient knowledge must be increased and anti-development mythological knowledge must be reduced. Indeed, AKSs can take ownership of their future by improving their knowledge bases. A first step in this direction may be for AKSs to appoint Chiefs Knowledge Advisers (CKAs), mentioned earlier, as chief knowledge development strategist, whose mandate would be to develop knowledge indicators, evaluate the knowledge landscape and the knowledge divide, assess knowledge strengths, weaknesses, failures, shortcomings and opportunities, identify knowledge gaps and requirements, formulate knowledge hallenges, encourage knowledge criticism, support knowledge markets, diversify knowledge sources, promote knowledge portals, hubs, factories (such as knowledge centers) and medias, promote training of specialized knowledge workers, develop new mechanisms for knowledge transfer and knowledge acquisition and trace possible knowledge itineraries. CKSs could also organize national dialogues on some of these key issues. Future knowledge AKSs stand at the dawn of a new knowledge era. On the one hand, knowledge is revolutionized by the development of a global artificial cerebrality fueled by a growing planetary information and communication system.
This development has not reach maturity yet and still has a long way to go. It will eventually closely interconnect a good part of humanity. New bio-chemical developments point to the possibility of enhanced mental processes, such as those involved in conscience, intelligence and memory – processes that have the potential of influencing knowledge capacities. And who knows how genetic manipulations can influence knowledge in the future. The new knowledge age is characterized by a formidable increase of individual power and at the same time an increase in obscurantism involuntarily promoted, amongst others, by ever richer and powerful establishments.
Peoples can be empowered by relatively easy access to all sort of knowledge that can change their lives and also be disempowered by outdated mythological knowledge, which finds some ways to cohabit with scientific knowlege. Knowledge organizations must be transformed by the knowledge revolution or run the risk of sinking into obsolescence or irrelevance. In the context of a historical knowledge outburst and knowledge-determined economies, one may ask: what will be the place of AKSs in the future of knowledge? Will it entail more marginalization or more integration, or both? In any case, in a shifting global capitalist knowledge landscape, Africans have to forge their own knowledge future for sustainable development. – SPECIFIC PERSPECTIVES ON AFRICAN KNOWLEDGE FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 3. 1 Modern knowledge The various perspectives on knowledge for knowledge-intensive sustainable development outlined above can be useful for the formulation of policies that could drive the transitions of non-developing AKSs to dynamic learning AKSs. These transitions must rely, among others, on modern standardized development knowledge, which is being appropriated by up to half of Africans (perhaps successfully by a quarter) and which should be actively promoted for sustainable development. This section explores this knowledge. Literate / Contemporary / Cultured knowledge (knowledge modernization / westernization)
An emerging modern knowledge system is ‘modernizing’ or ‘Westernizing’ AKSs. This knowledge system has been progressing rapidly during the last fifty years and knowledge new and useful to AKSs is perhaps growing exponentially, supported by the rapid expansion of ICTs. This is good news for AKSs’ development. Modern knowledge is created, acquired, shared, sold, leased, accumulated, diffused. It is a bit Eurocentric and Americanocentric and is the engine of AKSs. It supports knowledge-driven agricultural development, industry and services and facilitates the integration of AKSs into the world most advanced economies. It comprises codified, formalized, standardized, specialized, skilled, certified knowledge.
It also encompasses medical and business knowledge. It is acquired through non-religious schools (basic knowledge), institutions of higher education (knowledge factories), books, newspapers (literate knowledge), learned societies, professional associations, conventions, exhibitions (professional knowledge), academies (scholarly knowledge), the Internet (the supertechno knowledge media), international radios and TV channels (popular knowledge), the African Diaspora and through other means. This knowledge needs to be nurtured for knowledge-intensive sustainable development. Scientific / Predictive / Up-to-Date / Accurate knowledge (knowledge scienticization)
Scientific knowledge is progressing rapidly in many parts of AKSs but is still at very low levels. This is one of the reasons – among the most important ones – for the poor state of development of AKSs. The acquisition and development of scientific knowledge is also, in a certain way, a spiritual activity, movement and endeavor. Scientific knowledge is a bulldozer on the landscape of invalid knowledge, a chronic disturber of still and definite knowledge, a destroyer and a creator of new mythological knowledge, a mediator between human and nature, an enhancer of human capability, a shaper of development, a definer of civilization and an enlarger of the domain of human destinies.
New scientific dynamisms must be promoted for putting the region on a solid sustainable development path. It is valid knowledge until proven invalid. It is built on evidence that can be corroborated by critical thought, observation and verification. If all the achievements of scientific knowledge were suddenly wiped out, lights would go out, manufactures would stop, cities would come at a stand still and the world economy would collapse. Sc