Value-Ethical System in Sub-Saharan Africa. From the Past to the Future


Aida Moseiko


The article is devoted to the analysis of the value-ethical system in Sub-Saharan Africa in historical retrospect with the transition to modernity. The concept of “value-ethical system” reflects the specifics of the African worldview, in which all values have a moral meaning. The article analyzes the value foundation on which Africans want to build “the Africa they dream of” (as stated in the program document of the African Union “Agenda 2063”). The author examines African traditional values based on the research of modern African scientists, on her own African archives, on memories and personal impressions collected by the author during her stay in the countries of the African continent.

In traditional Africa, there exist value-ethical complexes in which ancient folk wisdom is concentrated. This is, for example, Ubuntu of the Bantu peoples – humanity, equality of people, regardless of race, nationality, religion. It is also a community solidarity associated with the importance of family ties. The author proves that the culture of Sub-Saharan Africa belongs to the collectivist type. Collectivism in combination with Ubuntu serves as a barrier to the adoption by Africans of a Protestant work ethic that welcomes individual success, competition, and profit orientation (outside of the principle of fairness). “Western” values are the opposite of traditional African ethics and values. Currently, the countries of sub-Saharan Africa are looking for their own way of development within the framework of capitalism. African scientists want to develop a system of economic philosophy that includes traditional African values in order to make capitalism relevant to African countries and acceptable to the African mentality. Special attention is paid to the issues of dialogue, traditional democracy and African organizational and managerial principles.


Sub-Saharan Africa, values, ethics, Ubuntu, community, traditional values, pan-African values, Protestant ethics, collectivist culture, dialogue, traditional democracy, organizational and managerial principles




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