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Dr. Kofi Dompere On Nkrumah’s Scientific Thinking 11

Sat, 21 Mar 2015 Source: Kwarteng, Francis

This characteristic feature of Prof. Dompere’s academic profile constitutes a defining moment in his hybrid of creative and productive intellectualism. Among other things, it is to stress the importance of formal and informal education to personality development, intellectual independence, and character formation. It also points to the variables of knowledgeability, vision, persistence, methodological versatility, curiosity, and intellectual cosmopolitanism as potential expressions of his scholarship. Evidently these facts cannot be overemphasized or glossed over. They are what have made Prof. Dompere one of the greatest thinkers alive today.

It is no coincidence that Prof. Dompere has plumbed the internal dynamics and dialectic prospects of nationalism for Africa’s development economics. He has, and continues to do so, by employing the empirical vista of cultural motifs in which he takes aim at successive generations of African leadership that have consistently failed to apply the continent’s vast wealth, cultural capital, and human capital to reverse the negative trend of her development economics.

A corollary of Prof. Dompere’s methodological approach to African problems is his frequent use of everyday cultural symbols and memes, an approach similar to those who developed the Theory of Relativity using pedestrian materials, such as clocks and trains and their mechanical behaviors, to formulate frames of cosmological theories for exploring and explaining extraterrestrial phenomena. In doing so, Prof. Dompere invariably directs Africa to either take a closer look at her immediate environment or take a deep look within herself for some of the hidden truths about herself, including, but not limited to, the causation of her internal tensions and their correlative effects on her political economy, growth and development, corruptibility of African leadership, patriotism, direction as well as destination of her scientific and technological advancement in the twenty-first century.

Deciphering creative hints for practical solutions to untangle Africa’s contemporary dilemmas defines the political and moral essence of such an enterprise as conceived by Prof. Dompere. The concept of sociology of knowledge is paramount to correct or proper interpretation of the burden Prof. Dompere imposes on Africa. On the other hand there is a range of exegetical possibilities that can be ascribed to the preceding paragraph. What do we mean? Africa can choose to take Prof. Dompere’s directive as an inquiring metaphor, an axiom, or a hybrid of the two pending the political sanction of situation analysis. Unlike us, however, his empirical methodology makes no such choice. Either way, he reaches the same destination of philosophic and scientific authentication. But advanced mathematics, logic, and science give the theoretical choices jolts of empirical actuation in respect of the question of directional certainty on the matter of Africa’s development economics and her internal organizational cohesion.

The irony is that this proposition may not necessarily parallel the eschatology of heaven and hell, with a limbo sandwich. We invoke heaven and hell merely as metaphors, not even as reified constructs, concepts with no immediate provable scientific and mathematical existence. Nkrumah captured the essence of our arguments with the following statements: “I am not concerned with plans for exploring the moon, Mars or any of the other planets. They are too far from me anyway. MY CONCERN HERE IS ON EARTH WHERE SO MUCH NEEDS TO BE DONE TO MAKE IT A PLACE FIT FOR HUMAN EFFORT, ENDEAVOR, AND HAPPINESS. SCIENCE MUST BE DIRECTED TOWARDS FIGHTING AND OVERCOMING POVERTY AND DISEASE AND IN RAISING THE STANDARD OF LIFE OF THE PEOPLE OF THE EARTH; ITS AIM MUST BE FOR THE PROMOTION OF PEACE AND, THROUGH PEACE, THE HAPPINESS OF MANKIND. UNLESS SCIENCE IS USED FOR THE BETTERMENT OF MANKIND, I AM AT A LOSS TO UNDERSTAND THE REASON FOR IT AT ALL. IT DOES NOT REQUIRE A CLEVER BRAIN TO DESTROY LIFE. IN FACT ANY FOOL CAN DO THAT. BUT IT TAKES BRAINS, AND EXTRAORDINARY BRILLIANT BRAINS TO CREATE CONDITIONS FOR HUMAN HAPPINESS AND TO MAKE HUMAN LIFE WORTH LIVING” (our emphasis; see Nkrumah’s “The Academy of Sciences Dinner” Speech).

Nevertheless, this quote is not meant to question Nkrumah’s intellectual and philosophic investment in space science, per se, for he clearly understood science enough not to have imputed negative literal connotations to its practical usefulness. Rather, it is meant to underscore Nkrumah’s understanding of the immediate utility of science to addressing man’s everyday problems before considering expanding its frontiers to accommodate space science. What is more, it does not make practical sense to begin to think of resolving the totality of human problems before expanding the frontiers of science to space science. Space science itself has solved a number of human problems, and continues to do so. Still, it is from the standpoints of context, cost-benefit analysis, and strategic prioritization that give real meaning to Nkrumah’s observations. Africa had just come out of five hundred years of slavery, colonialism and imperialism through his vision, selfless sacrifice, and political supplantation of the colonial order, and therefore Africa and her new leadership could not afford to mis-prioritize her goals.

The choice of strategic prioritization and efficient allocation of resources to Africa’s nascent development economics therefore enjoyed status assignation among a rank of other choices. But neocolonialism has taken the place of slavery, colonialism, imperialism, and poor African leadership. Neocolonialism reinforces Africa’s dependency complex, a situation that requires an effective array of responses for its extirpation or suppression, thus undermining her chances of remaining independent in an interconnected world of interdependence. Strategic prioritization, organization development, team building and team management, cost-benefit analysis, group development, consciencism, knowledge management, Afrocentricity, STEM, strategic planning, and human relations remain central to Prof. Dompere’s scientific project as far as the internal and external organization of the African state, Africa’s political economy, and her external relations goes.

The scholarly works of Nkrumah and Prof. Dompere demonstrate a clear need for a useful interaction between theory and praxis. Prof. Dompere’s empirical methodology thus treats the question of choices collaterally as serious inquests of mathematics, logic, and science. How do we look at the same question through the lens of African leadership? One major problem, it seems from our analytic station, points to a dilemma posed by the disparate or variegated elements within the larger community of African leadership. These elements are not united in their arrant rejection of outmoded ideas detrimental to the continent’s development, growth, organization, and strategic interests. The theoretical identification of this problem and strategies for its practical resolution stand out against the exegetical backdrop of Prof. Dompere’s text “African Union: Pan African Analytic Foundations.” This book should be read critically in close conjunction with the other one on the theory of polyrhythmicity, “Polyrhythmicity: Foundations of African Philosophy.”

Yet, the afore-mentioned question is equally good for ordinary Africans from whose midst the anchorage of African leadership finds sustenance and characterological definition, to answer. Let us be clear: We are not necessarily advocating uniformity of ideas across the social-political wavelength of ideational diversity. Neither are we advocating groupthink nor stilted conformity to ideas per se, however detrimental to the national enterprise of organizational cohesion. We strongly argue in favor of these statements as they stand, and of their logical negations. The implications of our argued positions notwithstanding, it comes as a major surprise when some Ghanaians (and Africans) fail to appreciate the gustatory unity represented by the nomenclatorial formula of Okro soup, Groundnut Soup, Light Soup, or Palm-nut Soup, given the uniqueness of each dish’s recipe as derived from a diversified unitariness of culinary strategies, ingredients, condiments, etc. The optimal interaction between human anatomy and physiology, where the major systems of the body collaborate to produce homeostasis to keep the human organism going, represents another example.

Evidently, there is richness and cultural aesthetics in the enabling soul of diversity. This is also one of the major themes Prof. Dompere undertakes in his scientific investigations into the symbolic world of Africa’s cultural motifs, memes, social ethos, phenomenological pathos, and Nkrumahism. These inquiring methodological inevitabilities are part and parcel of the normative scientificness of Prof. Dompere’s holistic scholarship. In one sense, unity is such an essential operational commodity in the political economy of any society’s internal development and her external relations. That the anthropic principle and the fundamental physical constants, anatomy and physiology and homeostasis, string theory, unity of science, unified theory, harmony in music theory, to name but a few, cannot be sufficiently accounted for without some form of methodical, experimental, or conceptual allegiance to untangle any contestations between praxis and theory from the standpoint of unitary empiricism, is not in doubt. Curiously enough, it is in the heat of contestations, clashes, and polarizations that some of the profoundest of human ideas find material expression.

Our emphasis and context are the strategic internal re-organization and creative manipulation of Africa’s political economy where her people are the beneficiaries. This is what Nkrumah attempted to realize with his consciencism theory and African-centered political philosophy, concepts which Prof. Dompere subjects to simulation, mathematical modeling, and scientific verification. Yet, intimate familiarity with the political economy of cultural aesthetics in diversity, polarizing or not, alone is not enough to drive Africa’s development economics toward the desired destination of collective acceptation. For the most part Africa is still in the doldrums of development. Ghana, for instance, has not achieved much in the area of development, science, technology, and growth since Nkrumah’s CIA-orchestrated coup (see Robert Woode’s book “Third World to First World-By One Touch: Economic Repercussions of the Overthrow of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah”). It is also not in doubt that the coup plotters and their CIA co-conspirators destroyed some of the revolutionary scientific and technological ideas (the Atomic Energy Program for instance) Nkrumah had put in place to produce an industrial economy, which he had hoped to use as a model for the continent. The National Liberation Council (NLC) even allowed the CIA to seize some of these technologies and ship them to America.

Also, those governments that came after him [Nkrumah] either left the industries he built across the country so as to rot to appease the neo-liberal West or sold them among themselves, to their families, their cronies, and their Western friends, leaving a huge gap in Ghana’s developmental map. Turned out, most of these leaders were/are not guided by the same level of intellectual and philosophical precision in the area of development economics and quanta of qualms, vision, technocratic prescience, patriotism, and creativity as by those that guided Nkrumah. The constitution of these governments were/are more of the persuasion of ideological Luddites than of strategic thinkers!

What do we do in the face of all these developmental anomalies, since we have already said intimate familiarity with the political economy of cultural aesthetics alone is not enough to move Africa forward? In that case other collaborative variables are also called for! We have already mentioned STEM education and scientific education; information technology; popular democracy; gender equality; responsible journalism; environmental consciousness; resisting superstition and religious dictatorship and corruption; universal quality education; strengthening the private sector; enhancing the quality of parenting; technocracy; improved public health; improved and expanded public services; personal and collective responsibility; food security; protection of Africa’s strategic interests; investment in research and development (R&D); improved standard of living and of quality of life; data collection and data analysis (analytics); promoting scientific skepticism among the citizenry; and combating illicit drug infestation of Ghanaian politics and society, etc., as part of the general policy plumage of practical resolution strategies, all of which we have meticulously advanced in a number of previous essays.

These development variables are implied in Prof. Dompere’s large body of academic works, yet his multipronged empirical methodology goes far deeper than most authorities on the political economy of framing realistic solutions to match Africa’s myriad problems. These policy strategies should be framed with the youth, Africa’s future leaders, in mind! Thus, developmental psychology and pedagogy theories require that parents, school authorities, society, religious institutions, and the like closely monitor children for bad and good behaviors, while simultaneously discouraging negative behaviors and reinforcing as well as inculcating in those children who portray negative behaviors positive behaviors, attitudes, and prompts. The youth should be trained to respond positively to these instructional regimens in their formative years. Juvenile delinquency, child slavery, teenage pregnancy, juvenile street hawking, malnourishment and undernourishment in children, and so on constitute a few topical preoccupations that have consumed Prof. Dompere’s intellectual passion. Hence his measured faulting and critique of parents, institutions, and African leadership for putting Africa’s future in the frigid purchase of mortal collapse. Nkrumahism takes the welfare of the youth very serious.

Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ recent investigational journalism and sequent disclosure of stolen food meant for the poor and maternal mothers, policy misprioritization, and leasing of vast arable African lands to foreign multinationals while Africans reportedly go hungry do not make a mite of practical sense, a troubling trend that adds up to the shameful dilemma confronting the continent today. A future without enabling conditions and environments does not bode well for creativity or inventiveness. Yet the future is also a product of historical and contemporary actualities, both of which are malleable as human psychology invariably is. It means therefore that the future follows the dictates of human psychology. A future for generations yet unborn has a place in the compartmentalized heart of Prof. Dompere’s multifaceted scholarship and Nkrumahism. Prof. Dompere cares so much about African children and wants to see their plights reversed. What are we driving at among other things, going back to pedagogy and developmental psychology theories and development economics strategies? Software development, computer programming for instance, should be introduced in and taught from high school up across the pedagogical landscape of Africa. Software development, scientific management, curiosity, and strong institutions are what drive the enabling engines of industrial economies today!

Software development also constitutes one of the pillars of analytics and therefore teaching children programming skills early in life offers them ample room for improvement. It also offers them ample opportunities to face up to instructional and absorption challenges posed by programming techniques and formatting. Thus, Africa needs to create the necessary environment for creativity, as we said previously. Alas, at the present moment universal corruption represents the major drawback to Ghana’s and Africa’s progress and social-political stability. In the main, social decay contributes enormously to erosion of Africa’s development economics and African values, negative tendencies we may all have to learn to deal with and not to allow it to become an albatross around the neck of South Africa as portrayed through the realistic novelism of Angela Makholwa, South Africa’s crime fiction writer. It is clear that social justice and social stability are central to the flowering of development economics, a tenacious correlation Prof. Dompere’s empirical methodology establishes as part of his conceptual foundation of nation-building. This line of argument was also a fixture of Nkrumah’s intellectual landscape yet, somehow, the neo-colonial political psychology of post-Nkrumah African leadership pursues a divergent pathway.

That is why Prof. Dompere has not ceased to advance cogent arguments for stronger institutions, with the executive, the judiciary, and the legislature in mind.

We shall return…

Columnist: Kwarteng, Francis