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Publication Details

Reference
Mapadimeng, Simon (2006) On Ubuntu Culture and Economic Development in South Africa: A Critical Review of Debates.. Centre for Civil Society Colloquium on the Economy, Society and Nature: 1-51.

Summary
Introduction
Debate around the ubuntu/botho culture and its potential developmental role
in SA occurred in the context of the post-colonial era and the subsequent
challenges it presented for the African countries (see Gyeke, 1997). It was
necessitated by imminent collapse of the colonial, apartheid political order
became imminent in the late 1980s and the prospects of the creation of a
democratic order were high; with the prospects of re-entry into the global
community and markets were also high. The debate gained even greater
momentum in the post-apartheid, democratic 1994 period and the end of the
20th century that marked the beginning of the 21st century as a new
millennium. This is the period in which SA and most other African countries
publicly declared the 21st century as the century for renewal and
advancement of the African continent so that African countries become active and competitive players on the global stage. Consistent with this declaration were some bold initiatives taken by the African states aimed at achieving the above goals through strategic positioning of the continent in the era of increased globalisation.

Those measures include amongst others the formation of regional political and economic blocks such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad), and the conversion of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) into the African Union (AU)with a new mandate and renewed focus to relevant addressing of the new challenges facing Africa. In South Africa similar initiatives were taken at the country level. They include the launching of the South African Chapter on African Renaissance1998 at the conference held in Johannesburg. The conference was attended and addressed mainly scholars and business and political leaders from across the continent.

Its main objective was to define who Africans are and where they are going in the global community as well as to formulate practical strategies and solutions for future action for thebenefit of the African masses (see Makgoba
et al, 1999).

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