Optimizing community-driven development through sage tradition in Cameroon

Fonchingong Che, C. (2016) Optimizing community-driven development through sage tradition in Cameroon. Global Social Welfare. pp. 1-9. ISSN 2196-8799.

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Powering community development requires a re-invention of traditional authority. This paper interrogates this proposition: how does sage tradition engender social resilience and what is the impact of traditional authority on the modern governance architecture? Sage tradition construed culturally as elder-led authority is anchored on wisdom and respect for elders—a pivotal asset in community development transactions. Informed by indigenous knowledge, social capital and asset-based concepts, an empirical account of strategic leadership by the elderly is proffered, uncovering indigenous governance in the North West Region, Cameroon. A pyramidal power structure validates village elders as key players in advancing social justice. They offer counsel and arbitrate in community affairs and mobilise community members for infrastructure provision—community halls, equipping schools, digging roads, building bridges and supply of fresh water. Though elder esteemed traditions prove perfunctory, findings show communities are benefiting from the accumulated, incremental cultural assets factored into local development. The paper concludes that thriving cultural assets should be amalgamated through a policy drive that taps into the utility of traditional authority, in synergy with modern state institutions to bolster social development, address poverty and social inequality.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Wellbeing > School of Public Health, Midwifery and Social Work
Depositing User: Dr Charles Fonchingong Che
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2016 14:45
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2019 15:31
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/14914

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00