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Indigenous African Knowledge Systems and Scope - 2013
A Review conducted in 2009 by a team of external and internal experts on African Indigenous Knowledge Systems (AIKS) capacity at the University of Kwazulu-Natal (UKZN), revealed that the university has great capacity and potential in terms of active researchers and publications on AIKS in its various units. In-line with the institutional vision “ to be a Premier University of African Scholarship” and promoting Africa led -globalization, UKZN has identified AIKS as a strategic focus area for research, teaching and community engagement. Taking into consideration the holistic and multi-disciplinary nature of AIKS, the scope of research undertaken in the field is quite comprehensive. Researchers are engaged in collaborative research work locally, nationally and continentally in areas of :
- African Indigenous Agriculture and Food Security including use of Wild food resources and Postharvest Technologies in the context of natural resource and disaster management systems for climate change adaptation and mitigation. Researchers in these areas investigate the behaviours of living organisms as early warning systems, taboos and totemic systems as indigenous environmental protection mechanisms;
- African Traditional medicine involving working with traditional healers in the identification and screening of medicinal plants for the treatment of various community ailments; smoke research for conservation, cultivation and improving chemical constituents of indigenous medicinal plants;
- African Indigenous Approaches to conflict management and transformation. This includes investigation into actors, principles, mechanisms and their applicability in modern times within the context of culture, gender and human rights;
- African Traditional Leadership and Governance Systems. Researchers investigate the nature and characteristics of African traditional institutions; issues of legitimacy, democracy and accountability; traditional African institutions and modernity (challenges and prospects);
- Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Creative/ cultural Industries, especially with regard to promoting indigenous community enterprises for employment creation and income generation among vulnerable social groups (women, youth and people living with disability);
- African Indigenous Languages where researchers investigate issues on the diversity of African Indigenous languages and its impact on development policy, language demographics, linguistic features of African Indigenous languages, etc.
The issue of gender and language is crucial in all these AIKS research areas at UKZN due to the centrality of African women and language in sustainable community livelihood in African communities.
|Contact us |
|Prof Hassan Kaya - IKS Director |
Tel: +27 (0)31 260 7237
Fax: +27 (0)31 260