Natural Justice’s Cape Town office hosted its second monthly Skill and Information Sharing Session on 29 February 2016. We were honored with the presence of Mr. Wilberforce Laate, our Ghanaian partner from CIKOD. His discussion focused on endogenous development and traditional leadership. It is particularly of interest since Natural Justice is currently working with the National Khoi & San Council to realize the formal recognition of Khoi-San peoples’ customary leadership institutions and its communities.
This approach of endogenous development entails the idea of taking a look backward, to pick up ideas and values that were useful from the past, in developing the future. It advocates that all aspects of a community must be regarded in that community’s development, those relating to the spiritual world, material world and social world. According to this endogenous development approach, development is already active in communities all the time. It is also a combination of both indigenous and appropriate external knowledge and support.
Mr. Laate also shared the traditional authority system in Ghana; how it works and what challenges they have faced and how they have been addressing these issues since the late 1950s when their colonial system ended.
The Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill 2015 (PDF), the first to give recognition to Khoi-San leadership institutions, is currently in South African parliament and open for public consultation (see Parliament news here and here). Thus, at this time, Mr. Laate’s insight on endogenous development and his example of the place of traditional authorities in Ghana serves as a shared African experience.