African Communalism versus Western Individualism: A false dichotomy

Humanist Association of Ghana

This post is the personal opinion of the author and may not reflect the views of the Humanist Association of Ghana.

Professor Osei’s presentation at the International Humanist Conference in Accra, 2012 entitled The Relevance of Secular Humanism to the Contemporary African Society asserted that the Western construct of Humanism is bringing excessive individualism to Africa in opposition to its traditional values of communalism. Professor Osei also said we need to think about the issue of LGBT rights within this context.

To find a distinctly African expression of humanism sounds like an attractive project, yet the assertion has also been bothering me. I have been pondering on these issues since that presentation and hope I may have found a resolution to the apparent conflict.

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