African indigenous knowledge systems and relevance of higher education in South Africa


  • Hassan O. Kaya, PhD University of Kwuzulu-Natal
  • Yonah N. Seleti, PhD National IKS Office


The higher education system in Africa and South Africa in particular,
is still too academic and distant from the developmental challenges
of African local communities. The integration of African indigenous
knowledge systems (AIKS) into the higher educational system could
improve its relevance. This is due to the holistic, community-based nature
and approach of AIKS to education and knowledge production. However,
this requires an African indigenous theoretical framework of knowledge
to guide the integration process. The framework should also clarify the
relevance of African indigenous languages in knowledge production
and sharing in the era of globalisation. There is also need for a strong
institutional support system for a sustainable integration as shown by the
experiences of some higher educational institutions in South Africa.