The Case for African Liberal Arts

My latest column for Infoboxx on how liberal arts can help address some of the continent's human resource challenges.

Full disclosure: This column is admittedly biased because I'm the product of a liberal arts institution, but there's some research (cited in the column) to support the pro-liberal arts argument.

To compete in the globalized economy, many African government officials are apt to say we need more scientists and engineers, doctors and architects. But we also need more writers and historians, artists and activists. Christian Madsbjerg and Mikkel B. Rasmussen of ReD Associates, a strategy and innovation consulting firm, note that the humanities focus on the “hard skills of understanding other people, their practices and context.” Both groups should be equally prized in our globalized economy, and we do not need to sacrifice the latter to support the development of the former. We can help spur the development of diverse African professionals through liberal arts education.

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