Decolonisation, knowledge construction, and legitimation at African universities in the 21st century: Relevance of François Lyotard

  • Sunday Paul C. Onwuegbuchulam Center for Gender and African Studies, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein
Keywords: Decolonisation, Knowledge construction, Knowledge legitimation, African Universities, Education Transformation


The events surrounding the fallist movement in South African, revealed the reality of the various forms of alienation experienced by African students at higher education institutions. The fallist movement did not only call for the physical removal of the reminders of colonial subjugation, but they also called into question the relevance of continually maintaining and perpetuating some aspects of colonial heritage, especially as it relates to knowledge construction at South African higher education institutions. Hence, the issue relating to transformation and knowledge decolonisation also came into limelight, with some students at the time calling for the overthrow of science as a system of knowledge; hence the #sciencemustfall. This can be placed in the wider context of the argument, replete in extant literature, that African centres of learning are founded on colonial epistemologies and forms of education. Apparently, it is a reality that hampers any effort of these centres of learning to achieve proper transformation and decolonisation. This essay utilised desktop methods to engage in the debate on knowledge decolonisation at African universities in the 21st century. Specifically, the article theorises on the philosophical basis for knowledge decolonisation and legitimation at African higher education institutions. 

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