Postcolonialism and national HRD: Understanding contemporary challenges to skills development in sub-Saharan Africa

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Abstract

This paper argues that national human resource development (NHRD) practices,
policy imperatives and challenges in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are linked to
colonial experiences and coloniality. In doing this, the essay provides a brief
overview of the intersections between postcolonialism and NHRD theory and
practice, arguing that postcolonial insights can help overcome the ahistorical
nature that characterizes much NHRD theorizing and also its reification. By
demonstrating how current challenges to education and skills development in
SSA are linked to colonial heritage and coloniality, the paper seeks to stimulate
HRD theorists and practitioners to think differently and work beyond dominant
neo-liberal constructs and taken-for-granted assumptions about NHRD in
postcolonial contexts. The paper also argues for the decolonization of NHRD and
proposes some ideas about how knowledge about NHRD theory and practices
might be made global and inclusive, thereby contributing to a tradition of
paradigmatic critique in HRD theorizing.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHuman Resource Development International
Early online date7 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 May 2019

Keywords

  • NHRD
  • postcolonialism
  • education
  • skills development
  • sub-Saharan Africa

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global Development Institute

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