Présence Francophone: Revue internationale de langue et de littérature


This article attempts to answer two main questions: “What does it mean to teach political science in an African university when oneself is African?” and “what social realities are we documenting (or should we document)?” As a political scientist, I came to ask myself these questions based on my encounter with the genocide of the Tutsi in Rwanda, and based on the questions that this major event had kindled in me. My encounter with the subject of “genocide” was in all respects an upheaval because I understood suddenly a large weakness in the way political science was taught at Université Gaston Berger. This weakness resides in the absence of reflexivity of the contents, the methods, and the objectives of our teaching and of our research. The most obvious manifestations of this are the marginal control of the dynamics and issues that are at the heart of the evolution of our societies, and a remarkable lack of African perspectives in our instruction. The genocide of the Rwandan Tutsi, or more precisely its absence from the curricula of African universities in general, and at UGB in particular, signals a lack of intellectual sovereignty. If we look more closely at the matter, it appears that all the social sciences taught at our universities are more or less concerned with this issue. In light of this, I will attempt to outline an epistemological project, from my point of view, on what political science teaching and research in Africa ought to be.



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