Alamin Mazrui and Kimani Njogu
This presentation explores some of the dialectics of the interplay between language, education, and political economy in Africa within the wider context of global inequalities and imbalances of power. It theory, it departs from the premise that language policies in education do not develop nor do they exist in isolation from the politico-economic forces at play in the societies in which they are pursued. Although African nations demonstrate a range of divergent policies and practices that have been shaped by different conjunctures of local realities, most have tended to manifest common patterns of dependency that have continued to influence both the direction and socio-economic consequences of education, due in part to processes of a global nature – from Francophonie to World Bank conditionalities, from neoliberal competition to the new dynamics of nationalist politics in the world. Drawing on a wide range of language instructional experiences and orientations in the African classroom, the presentation will seek to provide an analysis of language policy as a politico-economic construct in historical space, and an outline of potential alternative strategies for the linguistic “dehegemonization” of African education.