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Epistemic Injustice, Decolonisation and Environmental Policymaking in Africa

Thursday 9 March 2023, 16:00-17:30 GMT

Please join us on Thursday 9th March 16:00-17:30 (GMT) for a research seminar with Dr Diana-Abasi Ibanga who will speak about:

"Epistemic Injustice, Decolonisation and Environmental Policymaking in Africa"

The research seminar is hosted by the Leeds University Centre for African Studies and will take place online (via Zoom).

This presentation is based on the research that Dr Diana-Abasi Ibanga undertook during his LUCAS/LAHRI Fellowship about “Decolonizing Environmental Policies in Nigeria” with the University of Leeds in the year 2022-23.


The presentation is set out in four parts. First, it argues that the top-down approach to environmental policymaking in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) increases epistemic injustice on the continent. Second, it argues that African environmental policies reproduce epistemic injustice primarily by transplantation of western of conceptual frameworks or integration of policies from Western paradigms, while neglecting local wisdom. Most conceptual tools downloaded from international environmental treaties into regional, national, and local regulatory frameworks in SSA were uploaded from western environmental policies. Third, it highlights the five ways African environmental policies are reproducing epistemic injustice in SSA – linked to other forms of social injustice such as poverty, racism, tribalism, sexism, nepotism, marginalization, speciesism, etc. Fourth, it demonstrates that the epistemic injustice can be mitigated by applying Kwasi Wiredu’s technique of Conceptual Decolonisation to environmental policy analysis. The paper concludes that local and indigenous knowledge systems can be starting point in the development of environmental policies in the continent.