Published online by Cambridge University Press: 16 October 2020
While the concept of progress that gave birth to the development episteme in Africa emerged from European post-Enlightenment traditions, the idea of development in Africa has been reshaped as much by the targets of development as by those who claimed expertise. The illusion of the omnipotence of the development episteme will only be exposed when we can see clearly the crumbling stones out of which it was built. Development is not the powerful edifice it claims to be; it is a holdover of colonialism that is quickly losing relevance in our current world. A decolonizing of the mind, not of Africans but of people living in the global north who see Africa as perpetually less than, is the wave of the future. Today the development discourse is a global debate in flux and Africans have more influence than ever over reshaping the development episteme. This final chapter discusses recent debates about progress, modernity, and development in Africa and offers some closing thoughts on what development might mean for Africa’s future.