Dilemmas and paradoxes of capacity building in African higher education: concluding remarks

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  • Lene Møller Madsen, Københavns Universitet, Danmark
  • Stig Jensen, Københavns Universitet, TEO Center for afrika, Danmark
  • Hanne Kirstine Adriansen
This chapter discusses and reflects on the dilemmas and paradoxes of capacity building in African higher education by drawing on the findings of the case-based chapters in the book. The collection confirms the importance of using geography of knowledge as an approach for understanding how capacity building influences and affects African academics, institutions and degree programmes. The chapters also illustrate how reflexivity and positionality can be important tools for highlighting the power relations inherent in capacity building. In this chapter we discuss the three interwoven dilemmas of firstly capacity building projects and the power of knowledge, secondly the geography of knowledge and cultural production of academics and thirdly Africanisation of curriculum and powerful knowledge. We claim an important element of future capacity building programmes should be related to how to counter neo-imperial effects of internationalisation. We finally argue that capacity building programmes can be a means to assist African universities to ‘find their own feet’ if they are based on long terms partnerships, a close understanding of historical, political and geographical context, and not least a common exploration of knowledge diversity. This exploration of knowledge diversity is important for higher education both in Africa and in the Global North.
TitelHigher education and capacity building in Africa : the geography and power of knowledge under changing conditions
RedaktørerHanne Kirstine Adriansen, Lene Møller Madsen, Stig Jensen
Antal sider12
Udgivelsesår8 nov. 2015
ISBN (trykt)978-1-315-73462-0
ISBN (Elektronisk)978-1-315-73462-0
StatusUdgivet - 8 nov. 2015
SerietitelRoutledge Studies in African Development


  • Videregende uddannelse, Uddannelsespolitik, Samfund/samtid, Organisationsudvikling

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