chapter  11
Development Implications of Tradition
Pages 20

The discourse on tradition and development has gone beyond wrestling with the question of ‘whether tradition matters’ to ‘how tradition matters’ in the development process. These questions were absent from the same discourse when Western countries were at about the same stage of development as contemporary African countries. There has never been any question as to whether or how Western arts, music, dance, and languages affect development. In fact, the theory of a positive association between tradition and such desirable outcomes as improvement in skills and talents, knowledge, community cohesion and socio-psychological development is taken as a given in the West. It is therefore hardly any wonder that much time, energy and financial resources are dedicated to the development, maintenance and/or preservation of relics and vestiges of Western culture and civilization.