08 August 2012

Relatio Economics

The indigenous traditions, background and values of African peoples are disregarded and often viewed as being behind the times. Colonialism implemented Western systems while disregarding established, functioning systems of African resource allocation. The western systems of interaction are out of touch with cultural priorities in rural Africa, a society much more complex than many assume.

In our paper “Relatio, an examination of the Relational dimension of resource allocation”, through a review of literature augmented by qualitative interviews and observational analysis, we show the evolutionary nature of rationality. Thus, two parallel systems for addressing basic questions of choice and resource management exist; a traditional “rational” Western system, and a “relational” African system.

In the current economic turmoil, these findings on African uniqueness do provide for refreshing inputs. Current views of economic choice can change to involve broader conceptions of its constitution, restraints, and motivations, involving both social and material forms of capital.

In a shrinking world, decisions taken somewhere affect us all. It is time for economic decolonization. I would hope that our publications counter-penetrates Western thinking, from rural Africa.

Reference: K. Sheneberger and G. van Stam, “Relatio: An Examination of the Relational Dimension of Resource Allocation,” Economics and Finance Review, vol.1, no.4, pp. 26–33, 2011.