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Cultures of Innovation of the African Poor. Common Roots, Shared Traits, Joint Prospects? On the Articulation of Multiple Modernities in African Societies and Black Diasporas in Latin America

  • Dirk Kohnert

    ()

    (GIGA Institute of African Affairs)

The globalized Western culture of innovation, as propagated by major aid institutions, does not necessarily lead to empowerment or improvement of the well-being of the stakeholders. On the contrary, it often blocks viable indigenous innovation cultures. In African societies and African Diasporas in Latin America, cultures of innovation largely accrue from the informal, not the formal sector. Crucial for their proper understanding is a threefold structural differentiation: between the formal and informal sector, within the informal sector, according to class, gender or religion, and between different transnational social spaces. Different innovation cultures may be complementary, mutually reinforcing, or conflicting, leading in extreme cases even to a ‘clash of cultures’ at the local level. The repercussions of competing, even antagonistic agencies of innovative strategic groups are demonstrated, analyzing the case of the African poor in Benin and the African Diasporas of Brazil and Haiti.

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Paper provided by GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies in its series GIGA Working Paper Series with number 25.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gig:wpaper:25
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  2. Kohnert, Dirk, 1996. "Magic and witchcraft: Implications for Democratization and poverty-alleviating aid in Africa," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 1347-1355.
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