A Tool for the Social, Political and Economic Development

Africa, African Culture, African Art

The cultural and artistic productions of Africa have various dimensions that highlight the pivotal role art plays in the evolution of societies. This justifies why art and societal living and development are intertwined. This report explains the influence of art in the social, political, and economic development in African societies.

African art is connected to the maturation of the complete life of Africans. Including the grooming styles, eating habits, values and the standards in the African society. In addition, it adopts the use of art and our cultural heritage in addressing the social problems faced by the ethnic societies from the African continent. Many modern societies in Africa are faced with the challenge of teenage pregnancy, environmental pollution and other kinds of social vices. Strategies and solutions to these staggering issues are found in the sound values, norms, belief systems and practices in Africa. As an example, many scholars in African cultures and studies are calling for a re-visitation and revival of the indigenous practices of initiation rites for the youth that assured that moral chasteness was maintained by the youth, for example, abstinence from pre-marital sex and all other kinds of social vices associated with the youth today. It was the measure put in place by the elderly members of those societies in introducing the mantle of leadership to the youth. The initiation rites were platforms for maintaining the youth abreast with their social duties as responsible adults.

Additionally, the African cosmological belief systems also involve living in harmony with nature while sustainable using nature’s resources. Finding ways of implementing such precepts in contemporary African societies could bolster their social growth. Moreover, African art and culture unearth the language diversities of Africa. It traces the historical development of languages, that’s the initial step in understanding the cultures of a people. The study of the various types of art, including the attire, colour choice, design elements, shapes and so on, aids in understanding the social classes and personalities in the African society.

Politically, African art and culture play fantastical characters in the political lives of the African American people. The political artefacts serve as a means of identifying and defining the political purposes of rulers such as traditional chiefs, spokespersons, traditional priests and so forth. The political arts enable the ruling class in Africa in executing their priestly duties; exercise their administrative, executive, judicial and military duties.

Economically, the many forms of African art improve the standard of living of the African American people. The production and use of the arts satisfy the requirements of the people in the society either directly or indirectly. The direct means of producing the artworks in addressing the needs of the people are through the selling of their art pieces and the use of them in carrying out their everyday activities. Additionally, it requires the use of art forms as incentives for increasing the production of different products and services in the community to improve the overall well being of the people. The study of African art and culture highlights the role of art in providing vocations and job avenues for the members of the society. The terrific riches from artworks is an asset for the society. In times of financial strains, the artworks can be offered to improve the conditions of living of the people. Court artists who produce the overall regalia of the nation such as stools, palanquins, spokesmen staff, textiles and others generate economic earnings from them. Counterfeit copies of some of the chief’s regalia are produced as souvenir items and exchanged for foreign currencies. During festivals and other cultural events in Africa, these regalia souvenir items are offered to the general public, especially tourists, generating fiscal earnings. This greatly improves the tourism sector of countries in Africa.

The report highlights the terrific advantages that African societies can benefit in the arts and culture practised by the people. African governments, ministries and NGO’s in charge of the development of art, culture and tourism must ensure the development of this field. Funding in the form of scholarships, research grants and awards must be offered to young scholars, researchers and artists to enhance the study of African art and culture as it is a pinnacle of the social, political and economic development of Africa.

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