Moving Beyond Collective Learning from the Global North and

Bringing Humanity Back to Itself:

Pan Africanism, Women, and Co-Development1 

Lisa Aubrey

 Laying Out the Rules of the Game

In international development cooperation — that is, the process whereby donor countries and recipient countries theoretically work together via states, organizations, and individuals for the improvement of living standards and conditions of underdeveloped populations of recipient countries — it is generally believed that knowledge transfers for development move in a unilinear direction from the Global North to the Global South. In other words, it is believed that "developed" countries bring expert knowledge, skills, education, training, materials and money to "developing" countries in the form of aid to assist the latter.2  Many scholars and well-intended activists from the Global North operate on the premise that Northern institutions and individuals give this aid altruistically to the needy and desiring Global South. Less often do these scholars and activists question whether or not this altruism is really for the long-term benefit of the Global South.3  Neither are the patronizing attitudes of many in Northern development institutions questioned in a way that rigorously challenges the universal modus operandi of international development cooperation. Not only do questions rarely come from the Global North, but also questions rarely come from the Global South.4  Instead, aid for international development cooperation has become so commonplace that many in the Global South "cannot imagine life without ‘aid’."5 

Despite the fact that half of a century has passed since both the ascendance of modernization theory in the international development discourse and its concomitant failure in the development policy process, the angle of vision from which many understand, teach, learn, and promote international development has not significantly changed. This is especially true in academica, as well as in key decision-making institutions in international development such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Trade Organization (WTO)6  who assume leadership in international development via Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs) and free trade. International development’s dominant paradigm of neo-liberalism continues to anchor itself on the presumption that the Global North transfers development to the Global South by financial, technical, material, educational, technological, and now democracy "assistance."7 

To argue that many do not question the motives of international development, or to ask who the real beneficiaries of international development are, is not to suggest that scholars, activists, and laypersons are incapable of critical examinations. Instead, to make this argument is to suggest that perhaps it is easier to see globalization’s harsh realities of inequalities through rose-colored lenses or "school-colored glasses,"8 for it is more expedient for many to become part of the international development business, rather than to genuinely question the global effects of international development. To call to question the correlation between international development and global inequalities would necessitate an interrogation of the very foundations and premises of the dominant and hegemonic modernist, conservative, and market-oriented North-to-South development paradigm.9 

The case can be made that many in the North, as well as the South, turn a blind eye to the effects of international development in order to personally benefit from the business, as gainfully employed intellect workers10  and technocrats who keep the international development business rolling, most profitably for the North. They function as cogs in the system that maintain the status quo, keeping the North in control politically, economically, socially, culturally, educationally, and technologically while developing countries continue to work toward the elusive and enigmatic goal of "development," — a goal which in all respects is defined by the Global North and not intended to "develop," "equalize," or "liberate" the Global South. The culpability of some compradors11 in the Global South with major Northern international development pundits profoundly raises questions of the ethics of international development cooperation and implicates many development groups in the development game — for-profit and non-profit organizations, government and non-government organizations (NGOs), men and women included.12 


A Problematic Discourse

Problematic in the discourse on international development are the very concepts and their definitions which dominate the discourse. Exactly what do we mean by Global North and Global South? In academic parlance, the terms represent dichotomous global divisions. Global North and Global South emerged post-1945 in recognition of the widening gap between the materially rich industrially advanced countries and the materially poor underdeveloped countries.13  More specifically, the Global North refers to countries that are rich and industrialized and that have never been members of the former eastern bloc (with the exception of East Germany which was unified with West Germany in 1990 after the fall of the Berlin Wall). Included in the Global North are most of Western Europe, the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Synonyms for Global North include "industrialized" countries, "developed" countries, "rich man’s club" and "donor" countries.14   Concomitantly, Global South refers to the world’s less developed or developing countries which include the "rich but yet-to industrialize" countries of the Middle East to the so-called Fourth World. The Fourth World is described as the poorest countries on the globe which include the Indian sub-continent, most of sub-Saharan Africa and most of the Caribbean. Synonyms for Global South include "developing," "underdeveloped," "Third World," or "recipient" countries.15   It is important to note that many of the countries of the Global North were former colonizers of Southern countries; and, most countries in the Global South are former colonized countries.

Global North and Global South more accurately describe the political and economic divisions of the contemporary world and the widening economic inequalities in the absence of the ideological struggle between capitalism and communism than do the terms East and West. Yet, although these terms more precisely reflect the world’s current configuration, they disguise important differences not only between countries, but also within countries in the Global North and in the Global South.16 

These caveats point to the limited usefulness of the concepts Global North and Global South for understanding ethnically and racially linked learning communities, such as continental and diasporic African women, and their roles in formulating, implementing and evaluating development projects and programs via international development cooperation despite their different geographic locations. Recognition of the bonds between similar learning communities points not only to the falsity of the Global North/Global South dichotomy, but also to the resistance by some in the learning communities to accept these divisions.

Principally, the Global North and Global South dichotomy is false because there exists a significant North within the Global South, and a significant South within the Global North. That is, within the Global South, there exists groups who live in material and social conditions that are quantitatively and qualitatively more characteristic of the Global North — high per capita income (PCI), secure employment and income, wealth, high consumption rates, leisure time, access to resources, etc. Such groups include the elite of various hues — political, economic, military, educational, technological — of whom some are regarded as compradors. Likewise, within the Global North, there exists communities who live in material and social conditions which are quantitatively and qualitatively more characteristic of the Global South—low PCI, insecure employment and income, poverty, no savings, debt, low consumption rates, limited access to resources, etc. Such places in the United States which make-up the South in the Global North include, but are not limited to, Cabrini-Green in inner city Chicago, Illinois; parts of Jackson, Mississippi; the city of Monroe, Louisiana and Desire Projects of New Orleans, Louisiana; much of Youngstown, Ohio; Gary, Indiana; the cities of Detroit and Flint, Michigan; Camden, New Jersey. The list goes on. Common characteristics of these "South" communities are high majority African American populations, and high levels of single women heads of households alongside high employment rates, low per capita income, and minimal access to jobs and social services.17   These populations, black and female in the Global North, are least (if at all) discussed in the international development discourse, even though they are both the enigmas and the amalgams that remind us that 1) our world is too complex to be divided in two neat categories of Global North and Global South18  and, that 2) transnational learning communities often defy these rigid dichotomous divisions. These populations are also the ones that tell us that despite our neat categories, the majority of African peoples, no matter where geographically located live under Global South conditions. Why is that the case? Is it mere global coincidence, or a result of racial and ethnic globalization?

Alfred Zack-Williams (1995) tells us that there is an uncomfortability in academia, as well as a conscious avoidance, of bringing in the variable of race into the international development discourse. This is the case for several reasons: 1) the similar conditions of African peoples everywhere confound our bourgeois intellectual conceptualizations and operational definitions for teaching and learning; 2) the conditions of African communities globally, and their very existence, make an indictment on the racist and sexist nature of capitalism and globalization;19  3) there is "comfort in ignorance" which allows those who dominate the international development discourse to politically maneuver and not broach the subject of global racist underdevelopment, even in the US which too often denies a colonial past; 4) if we do not talk about race in Africa, we can avoid discussing the slave trades, colonialism, neo-colonialism, and racist tourism which are key causes of historical and contemporary underdevelopment;20  and, 5) we can also evade the discussion and negotiations of global Africa’s reparations.

By not focusing on the salience of race, international development cooperation is able to circumvent dealing with African diasporic groups that have been systematically excluded from governments’ formulation, implementation, and evaluations of development policies and practices in the Global North directed toward the Global South. Moreover, international development cooperation pundits are able to establish inter-organizational cooperation with groups with whom it is easier to ignore or side-step the historical and racist colonizer-colonized relationship between the Global North and the Global South. Because racism is less overt in daily living in Africa (although it is ever present, especially in post apartheid South Africa), Northern donor countries find it more facile to establish development relationships with groups in continental Africa than to deal with the Africa in their own backyards. One questions how there can be an outpouring of sympathy for and empathy with continental Africans when African diaspora groups endure similar marginality and elicit little commiserative response. Speculations suggest that perhaps it is because there is greater deference for "whiteness" in Africa than there is in the diaspora. It is not uncommon for instance to hear in Ghana "se woo ko asore na se wo hyia broni a sane woakyi efise wo ehunu nyame" (the white man is a substitute for God), especially from churchgoers who feel that they do not have to fulfill their Sunday obligation in church because they saw a white person while enroute; or "broni waawu" (the white man has died), which is the common reference for second-hand clothing from the Global North.21

African American groups, and African American women in particular, are basically ignored in international development cooperation because they are marginal to the neo-liberal international development project. African American women offer little, if any, support for the maintenance of the Global North’s hegemony over (under)development in the Global South partly because they are relatively powerless as a group in the U.S. body politic. If anything, they are perhaps thorns in the side of pundits as they are demanding changes in policies, or are looking for alternative Pan African strategies for development.22  Continental African women, however, are critical actors in the international development project as target groups and recipients of "aid" especially when they fit the description of the South in the Global South (i. e., the poorest of the poor), and when they conform to the dictates of the international development patriarchy that depicts Southern women as helpless and marginalized victims of the patriarchal political economy, sexual labor for human reproduction, and the most traditional of underdeveloped societies who deflect modernization, hence progress.23  Concomitantly, continental African women who are part of the North in the Global South and who constitute the elite, for instance, are less discussed than African women who make up the South in the Global South, because they do not represent the stereotypical "beast of burden" to which international development women in/and development programs speak.24  Instead, they are lynchpins with compradorial interests allowing deeper hegemonic penetration by the Global North into the Global South. For these reasons, it is imperative to look beyond the rhetoric of women in/and development that is found in international development organizations in order to decipher their attitudes toward women, especially toward women in the Global South — attitudes which are shaped by archaic, misogynist, and sexist theories about women in general, and are sharpened by racist perspectives on African women in specific.25 

Much of the stated goals from the Global North for international development cooperation, which include teaching women to become entrepreneurs and run small businesses, teaching women to manage micro-finance projects, teaching women to become better farmers (producers) and sellers of crops, and teaching women to become "democratic" leaders26  are fundamentally about knowledge transfers to foster "collective learning" in the Global South from the Global North. Collective learning refers, in these cases, to the process of acquiring information through various modes which include memorization and imitation which occurs between, at least, two unequal groups.27  The group which has less power learns new information from the dominant group; and, in the process of doing so, develops a taste and desire for the materially grander lifestyle of the dominant group from whom they learn. This includes also a desire for the goods, services, and information that are consumed by the dominant group28  and which are produced by information and commodity markets external to and/or unaffordable by the group that is learning.29  In international development cooperation, collective learning is the process by which individuals and communities of Southern countries cultivate the desire for the lifestyles of foreigners as gleaned from foreign international development elites (who often live lifestyles in foreign countries which they can not enjoy at the same standard in their home country), from the foreign media — film, TV and radio, and from other communications technology, which increasingly includes the internet.30 

In reflections on development in his home country of Nepal, Nanda Shresta (1995) tells us that collective learning by one group from a politically and economically dominant group often pits one against oneself when one is not in the dominant group That is, one strives to become like the other, yet the economic means and the ontological disposition are absent. One does not have the same material base, and one is usually not white, male, economically secure, and politically powerful, especially since the majority of the world’s collective learners (or populations in general for that matter) and recipient Southern countries are not white, or male, or economically secure, or politically powerful. Shresta shows us that the desires of wanting to be like the dominant group when one is not part of that group and the feelings of dispossession one experiences when one realizes that s/he will never be part of that group can lead to a crisis. Yet, this crisis can be liberating if one uses this experience as a springboard to critical interrogation of self vis-a-vis others. For those of us who have the "moral courage" to deconstruct the notion of self as invented and taught (conscious or unconscious) by others, we begin a journey toward respectful, ethical, and honest relationships with others. The question is how many of us have the propensity, resolve, and will to make that internal revolution.

Knowledge transfer, as a mode of transmission from the Global North, creates the outputs and exacerbates the outcomes of collective learning in the Global South. Knowledge transfer simply means the conveyance or delivery of a body of information from one group to another. Yet, it is not that simple or neutral. In international development cooperation, the knowledge that is transferred can be technical, technological, or ideological, and; it is definitely political. The reason is because the transfer of knowledge from the Global North to the Global South necessarily questions, and most time negates, the validity of epistemologies and knowledge systems of the Global South. Basically, the transfer of knowledge usurps and replaces Southern bodies of knowledge with Northern bodies of knowledge. Inherently, in this process, a political statement is made by the Global North that reinforces its hegemonic position—that is, knowledge from the Global North is more valid, of a higher order, more relevant, more scientific and systematic, and more applicable for development in the Global South.31   As an example, at an international workshop for university professors from across the globe in which I participated, it was argued, by a professor from the Global North who was trained in philosophy, that European philosophers engage universal philosophical thought while African philosophers engage ethnic folklore, which emanates from a lower level mode of thought and, at best, constitutes mere "ethno" philosophy. Hence, if we accept this argument, Descartes of France is a philosopher and Ogotemmeli of the Dogon in Mali is merely a foklorist.

Clearly, a value judgment, and not a objective choice, is made when epistemologies from the Global North are used as the foundations for knowledge transfers to be applied universally. In this value judgment lies also the denial of the legitimacy, and sometimes the very existence, of epistemologies from the Global South. Moreover, the effects of knowledge transfers are almost always assumed to be positive for development in the Global South, as knowledge transfers assume not only the "unidirectional flow of knowledge" from the Global North to the Global South, but also the "superiority" of the former over the latter. This arrogantly and fallaciously assumed "superiority" of the Global North over the "inferiority" of the Global South is also collectively learned and becomes psychologically embedded in the minds of the learners to which knowledge from the Global North is transferred.32 

The concepts of collective learning and knowledge transfer, like the concepts of Global North and Global South, problematize the international development discourse, hence these concepts must also be interrogated. The reason is that, as concepts constructed by the Global North, they serve a political end — the maintenance of Northern hegemony over the Global South. Hence, we must ask ourselves: What do collective learning and knowledge transfer really mean for development in the Global South, and for international development overall? Do collective learning and knowledge transfer create development and development capacity in/for the Global South? If so, what kind of development? Is knowledge transfer really development "aid?" How does knowledge transfer affect those who construct and transmit this knowledge? How does collective learning affect those who learn? These are questions which must be asked to determine "who gets what, when, how," how much, under what circumstances, and at what costs33  from international development cooperation.


Defining Development

Defining development as a concept and as a process which involves the cooperation of groups, individuals, states, and other institutions, also poses problems for some in the international development community who seek clarity of goals, purpose, direction in implementation, as well as precision in the discourse.34  Like the definitions of Global North, Global South, collective learning, and knowledge transfer, conceptually "development" is problematic; and, its definition is rarely ever agreed upon by those who attempt to define it. The basic reason is that development is a value-laden term in which there is an inevitable calculus of "who gets, what, when, how," how much, under what conditions, and at what costs.35  Therefore, its definition varies with who is defining it and what is at stake at a given point in time. Moreover, since development involves the transmission of resources, some of which are finite (i.e. finances, technical, and material assistance), development, from conceptualization to implementation to evaluation, is necessarily political. Who will receive the finite resources? How will these resources be distributed upon receipt? What will be the exchange for these resources?36 

Many critics of international development cooperation agree that development is fundamentally a process in which those in power attempt to maintain power, in spite of rhetoric about and gestures toward the improvement of the lot of others — individuals, groups, and states. Even when rhetoric espouses redistribution, equity, and equality, actions by the more powerful demonstrate that the global political economic order is bent on maintaining power for a certain class, race, gender, and ethnicity.37   Those who have power want to keep and gain more power, and are therefore not willing to broach genuine discussions of change, and are much less likely to take action to initiate change. These are the very inequalities that make development programs "necessary," justifiable by the Global North, and acceptable to the South, in the first place. Despite the Global North’s unwillingness to shift political and economic power, it continues to espouse its "noblesse-oblige," humanitarian," philanthropic" rhetoric of helping the "poor and needy, but developing." From the United Nations where Northern states use "state terrorism," "political coercion," and threats of and actual economic punishments against Southern states who do not conform to dictates of the Global North38   to local women’s groups at the grassroots to whom the resources are allocated;39  to some African American women who pride themselves on being the first and only Black or the first Black woman to have reached a certain goal (i.e. Condoleezza Rice, U.S. Government National Security Advisor, George Bush Junior Administration, 2001-) many of us have uncritically collectively learned and internalized the ways of the hegemonic group. Is it human nature that we make greater attempts to maintain and gain more power? Is it not human nature to make greater attempts to share power and engender equality?

One of the reasons for the drive for more power in international development cooperation so intensely by so many is that the dominant neo-liberal development paradigm equates development with power, and power with money, and money with being in charge, and being in charge with the "right" to dominate and to control. From this vein, development is fundamentally driven by beliefs in the patriarchy and its masculinist ideologies and notions of power. According to patriarchal maculinist logic, to have power is to have the ability to coerce, to force, to control, to dominate, to rule.40  To not have power, is to be dependent, for in this paradigm, power is asymmetrical to dependence.41 This definition of power directly reflects the impact of knowledge transfers and collective learning on the developing world. For instance, Development Plans of some African countries (Kenya, for example), in their parroting of SAP strategies exogenously contrived, demonstrate the power of those who dominate the unidirectional flow of knowledge, technology, and resources for development (i.e. the World Bank, IMF, WTO) and their resultant ability to leverage control.

The key power brokers in control of international development cooperation in Africa are clearly not continental and diasporic African women, although some women in these groups have embraced patriarchal notions of power and a few have become extensions of the global patriarchy, though they remain on the margins and are only permitted entry when they serve the whims of men, the state, and the patriarchy.42   When these groups of women and/or their allies do define development, their definitions, directly and indirectly, demonstrate the power and strength of those who control international development discourses. That is, their definitions embrace patriarchal definitions of development, thus legitimizing the power of the international development patriarchy. Studies have shown that some women political actors attempt to become part of the development business themselves by mainstreaming43  or "male-streaming."44 In a concurrent counter hegemonic move however, some women attempt to redefine the goals and foundations of development by turning the prevaling definiton on its head.45 


Pan Africanism, Women and Co-Development

Women making transnational linkages between continental and disaporic Africa are challenging the hegemony of international development cooperation. These women are developing strategies to make improvements in women’s lives and opportunities. The basis of their coming together is a commonality of ancestry, color, consciousness, and condition which are the life threads weaving them together in global women’s Pan African learning communities. Their efforts are laudable, yet not novel, for global women’s Pan African transnational organizations and programs can be traced back to the 19th and 20th centuries with the "colonization" of Liberia during which time "development" of Africa was an emerging priority for some Africans in the United States. Although we know more about the views of African men in the U.S. regarding development in Africa at this time, activist, journalist, anti-lynching crusader Ida B. Wells-Barnett surfaces as women’s lone voice in recorded history in 1892 as to this matter.46  Wells-Barnett supported development in/of Africa through African American commercial investments in Africa. She focused on the mutuality of benefits for continental and diasporic Africans. She also supported repatriation for those who wished to return to Africa.47 

Some African American women currently making transnational linkages with Africa are doing so through non-goverrnmental organizations (NGOs). One such NGO is The National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) created in 1935. NCNW is currently based in the US with transnational linkages to Egypt, Senegal, Zimbabwe, Togo, Eritrea, Ghana, and most recently Benin. It works through advocacy and community-based programs to assist African women in the countries aforementioned and African American women in the U.S. to improve the quality of their lives and their families’ lives. NCNW’s outreach totals approximately 4 million. NCNW is a regularly represented at African-American Summits which bring continental and disaporic Africans together in continental Africa every other year to chart the future development of the continent, with diasporic assistance. Some of its partner organizations in Africa include: African Federation of Women Entrepreneurs (FAWE), Ghana Association of Women Entrepreneurs (GAWE), Federation of African Media Women of Zimbabwe (FAMWI/Z), Federation of Senegalese Women’s Associations (FAFS), and National Union of Eritrean Women (NUEW).48  Additionally, individual African diasporic women, many of whom are academicians, practitioners, and intellectuals, also take up the charge of global women’s Pan African development. Some are at universities where they are having strong positive impacts on creating and conscientizing learning communities that counter and challenge the collective learning that fosters racist and sexist globalization and Northern ideological hegemony. Many of those universities are Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the U.S. that both work within the educational system of the Global North, and also simultaneously teach strategies of resistance, and protest for survival to marginal learning communities within the Global North.

Professors Gloria Braxton, Shelby Lewis, Jewel Prestage, and Pearl Robinson,49 for example, have histories of revolutionary teaching which have created counter learner communities inter-generationally and cross-nationally in Pan Africa. These women offer us a legacy for understanding, teaching, learning, and promoting co-development in the Pan African world, which can be applied with appropriate modifications throughout the Global South. Their work offers important lessons for those of us working with and in learning societies. Prioritized on their agenda are:

1) Unlearning Eurocentrism and correcting miseducation about self and the "other," beginning with reading classics such as Carter G. Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro, W. E.B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk, James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time to the more recent work of bell hooks, Ain’t I a Woman, and Salvation: Black People and Love, and Nell Painter, Sojourner Truth: A Life, a Symbol.

2) Teaching global race, gender, and class consciousness, not only as social constructions, but as historical and contemporary determinants of group identities, circumstances, and power, as a way to contextualize and inform the Global Black struggle, and women’s leadership roles within that struggle.

3) Deconstructing the false dichotomies of Global North and Global South highlighting the correlation between race, gender, and global socio-political location.

4) Engaging African epistemologies as well as Northern epistemologies on equal footing, focussing on the works of Leopold Senghor, Marcus Garvey, B. T. Washington, John Mbiti, Kwame Nkrumah, Alain Locke, bell hooks, Patricia Hill Collins, Marimba Ani and others.

5) Representing Africa’s global interest in the U.S. and becoming Africa’s active constituency with fortitude in the foreign and domestic policy arenas, in study abroad programs, in church programs, in international development studies programs.

6) Redirecting the flow of knowledge from the Global South to the Global North in order to prioritize and create spaces for African intellectual production and consumption.

7) Interrogating, from historical and contemporary perspectives, Pan African linkages and populism in a way that allows Africans globally to visualize and bring to fruition genuine development for Pan Africans’ collective interests and co-development.

This agenda holds promise for bringing Africans the world over back to themselves in symbiotic genuine development, and for bringing larger humanity back to itself as well. This notion is not far-fetched, given that Africa is the cradle of world civilization. But who among us will listen to voices from the South? It is perhaps these voices that will transfer the knowledge that will transform the world.

Those of us interested in strengthening the bonds of transnational learning communities and fostering greater equality in the world must take action and give support to voices from the Global South. Consciousness, knowledge seeking, coalition building, and deconstruction of artificial boundaries that separate us are critical for taking anti-hegemonic stances and collective action. We must break the bonds of dependence — political, financial, social, cultural, and psychological — on the hegemons of the Global North. The way in which we can do this is the essence of the radical agenda previously discussed. For our collective liberation, there can be no divide between the ivory-tower academy and grassroots activism.



1 I would like to dedicate this article to Professors Gloria Braxton, Shelby Lewis, Jewel Prestage, and Pearl Robinson. Next to my mother Shirley Aubrey, these women molded me. I would also like to thank D. Akil Houston, Visiting Professor, African American Studies, Ohio University for careful reading and criticism of this article.

2 See critiques Aubrey (1997); Ake (1996); Goulet (1995); Smith (1990); Meena (1984).

3 Ake (1996); Korten (1996); Smillie (1995); Tandon (1990); Addo (1985).

4 Aubrey (1997); Ake (1996); Tandon (1990); Meena (1984); Kobia (1985).

5 Otieno-Hongo and Ochien’g (2001).

6 Jain (2001); Aubrey (1997); Scott (1995); Apter (1987); Addo (1985).

7 Carothers (1999).

8 Jain (2000).

9 Jain (2001); Sandbrook (2000); Aubrey (1997); Ake (1996); Goulet (1995).

10 Eyoh (1997); Sweezy (1965).

11 The concept comprador is a Portuguese word that refers literally to a buyer. Dependency and underdevelopment theorists from Latin America primarily popularized the concept in the 1970s to refer to indigenous agents who represent and pursue interests for foreign business in their home countries against the well-being of their people. Compradors function as the links for foreign extraction and exploitation of the periphery/satellite countries by the core/metropole countries.

12 Aubrey (1997); Goulet (1995).

13 McWilliams (1993); Nagle (1992); Hansen (1979).

14 U.S. State Department (1987); Hansen (1979).

15 US Department (1987); Hansen (1979).

16 Camacho (1995); Nagle (1992).

17 Robinson (1990); U.S. Government (1990); Marable (1983); Lindsay (1980); Lewis (1980).

18 Camacho (1995).

19 Isaak (1995); Lewis (1988); Marable (1983); Lindsay (1980).

20 Aubrey (1997); Zack-Williams (1995); Lindsay (1980); Rodney (1971).

21 I have tried to capture the Ghanaian alphabet as accurately as possible although there are characters that can not be typed on an English keyboard. Thanks to my students Alex Mintah and Kwaku Owusu-Banahene for their assistance with this,and to Matt Kirwin and Alex again for proof-reading.

22 Braxton (1997); Robinson (1990); Lewis (1980); Lindsey (1980).

23 Parpart (1995); Scott (1995).

24 Ibid.

25 Scott (1995); Yudelman (1987); Rogers (1980).

26 Carothers (1999); Aubrey (1997); Scott (1995).

27This definition of ‘collective learning’ attempts to debunk the rhetoric of Global North organizations that attempt to establish partnerships with organizations in the Global South that are resource dependent. Even though the rhetoric of the former may espouse exchanging, sharing, interacting, valuing, and mutual appreciation, in reality power differentials reflecting locational, class, race, gender, and resource differences play out in inter-organizational power dynamics in most cases, exposing the vulnerability of less powerful groups from the Global South.

28 Carothers (1995).

29 Isaac (1995).

30 Otieno-Hongo and Ochien’g (2001).

31 Mosley (1995).

32 Shrestha (1995).

33 Aubrey (1997); Lasswell (1936).

34 Jain (2001); Cowen (1995); Shresta (1995); Addo (1985); Charlton (1984).

35 Aubrey (1997); Lasswell (1936).

36 Levine (1969).

37 Sandbrook (2000); Aubrey (1997); Ake (1996).

38 Childers (1994).

39 Aubrey (2000); Mama (1999).

40 Jaquette (1984).

41 Emerson (1962).

42 Aubrey (2000, 1997); Mama (1999); Jaquette (1984).

43 Aubrey (1997); Dolphyne (1995); Gachukia (1993).

44 McFadden (1990).

45 Scott (1995); Nzomo (1988).

46 Skinner (1992); Jacobs (1981).

47 Jacobs (1981). Not enough is known about Wells’ definition of development to determine the extent to which she took a radical stance. Some may argue, somewhat convincingly, that Wells may have indeed been promoting African American capitalism in Africa.

48 The effectiveness of African American NGOs in bringing about development in Africa is an understudied topic. I am currently engaged in teaching/researching this. It is both fascinating and frustrating because of the dialectical identity of many African Americans — part African and part American. This often causes a conflict of allegiances which manifests in inconsistent political behavior. This duality is also used strategically in maximizing the gains in the game of "who gets, what, when, how, under what circumstances, and at what costs."

49 Some of these women are not at HBCUs, but all are activists with strong Pan African linkages.



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Lisa Aubrey <> is currently Associate Professor of Political Science and African Studies, Ohio University. She was formerly Fulbright Scholar at the Universtiy of Ghana at Legon, and author of Politics of Development Cooperation: NGOs, Gender and Partnership in Kenya (Routledge 1997). She has contributed articles on gender, devleopment, democratization, and NGOs to the Journal of Asian and African Studies, and is currently working on a manuscript called "Gender and Democratization in Ghana." Lisa’s other research interests include Pan-Africanism, especially as related to African Americans in Africa.