Discuss the value of the African Renaissance.
At least 8 points.
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The idea of an African Renaissance, put forward by former South African President Mbeki, is important for the continent in many respects:
1 - for a continent that was colonized by Western powers and whose people were enslaved and considered inferior, the Renaissance aims to reinforce the rights of African people to determine thier own history and political, economic choices;
2 - it aims to promote the development of African unity, overcoming the conflicts that have characterized its history and that may be considered as part of the negative legacy of colonialism;
3 - it seeks to develop African human resources, so that crucial progress can be made in technology, industry and education thus benefitting the continent's economy;
4 - the African Renaissance is also about giving fairer opportunities to all social groups that live on the continent and improve social inclusion;
5 - in its perspective of fostering development, the program aims to fight the corruption that its proponents feel has held back the continent and favor instead a more transparent and accountable governance;
6 - the African Renaissance demands that Africans take pride in their own culture although some of its critics argue that the adoption of the very term "renaissance" is unfortunate as it betrays a subaltern attitude towards European history and culture;
7 - it challenges the distinction between "developed" and "developing" countries and the adoption of Western standards as universal. We perceive Western countries as "developed" because of their advanced economies, but theorists of the African Renaissance claim they may not be as developed when their social records and conditions are taken into account;
8 - the African Renaissance bears witness to the intellectually-stimulating post-Apartheid South African context in which it was first elaborated. However, it remains a subject for debate how far its implementation has really gone so far and what it will its fate in future years.
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