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The unreported Western intellectual theft in Africa

The modern historical silence about Africa's intellectual contribution to the development and advancement of Western education is a gross negation to our intellectual triumph and credit


It constitutes a substantial affirmation of the negation. Embedded in all sincerity and honest practices,is to expose the Western commission of intellectual theft in Africa to the whole world. There are a number of indisputable grounds upon which the intellectual class of Africa can establish and prove this claim . Despite the number of intellectual enunciation and written piece of documents on the illustrations of the theft commission , the West continues to strike a dispute against all assertions.The only factor that animated their contention is that the ultimate effect of the dispute would subsequently affirm Africa's intellectual inspiration to the world.


If intellectual property rights would provide any course to seek cognitive justice, then such a process should have been first initiated in this context.


Today, great deal of the intellectual credit of contribution and excellence with which the West are associated are all African creations. Whether one illustrates the theft commission from a historical perspective , philosophy, science, arts amongst others, the West have stolen the creations and products of the African mind.


Affirmatively, in the sciences and mathematics, it is crystal clear that Pythagoras acquired his education from Egypt and he later on developed what is called: "Pythagoras theorem ". The theorem was named after him. Geometry which is an African creation has no nomenclature that suggests that it is developed by Africans . Instead of the West calling it as "Egypteometry" because it was developed in Egypt (practice of people of the Nile River ) ,but no ,they called it "Geometry ".


The modern graduation Gowns, solemn assemblies and processions and the organisational pattern of University graduation amongst others are all African initiatives.Europeans were only following African patterns after the renaissance.


In the area of Arts ,history teaches us that most of the European Museums are occupied by African arts and artefacts. This assertion was further adumbrated by James in his book : "the stolen legacy " that most of the European art works and philosophy were stolen in the Alexandra war which led to the looting of Egyptian Royal library and the 19th century war which also led to the invasion of the Dahomey Kingdom.


Despite the protestations of many African academics about the return of these art works to Africa ,the Europeans are still mute and arrogantly refusing to give it any relevance . I am happy to note, that the French President Macron, admitted this guilt and promised to facilitate the return of stolen African art works and artefacts . This admission came shortly after the speech delivered by Benin President, Patrice Talon at the University of Ouagadougou.


In the area of philosophy, George James argued that a large number of Aristotle works were the modified imitation,versions and ideological directions of the Egyptian philosophy but which were never acknowledged and or referenced. In fact ,George further reminded us that Aristotle was a member of Alexander's party : a party that looted the Royal Library thus providing access to many African intellectual works . A large number of European philosophical work had African inspiration but they are seldom acknowledged.


And unfortunately, despite the commission of their intellectual theft,the West still refuse to plea the admission of any guilt. They have their history silent about it . It is never reported in their books and works.


It is against this silence and denial , that I believe that cognitive justice must be sought and the African intellectual mind must conspire and engage in the re-writing, interrogation and decolonisation of our curriculum . The truth about Africa's intellectual contribution in the world is hidden. It is up to ours and our Universities to initiate the journey of rediscovering the truth.


By: Ousman Jassey

Faculty Of law

University Of The Gambia




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