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  • Jérôme Chenal

Examining African contributions to global health: Reflections on knowledge circulation and innovation

2022


TitreExamining African contributions to global health: Reflections on knowledge circulation and innovation

Publié dansGlobal Public Health

Volume17

Pages1-16

Date2022-09-08

Mots-clés (libres)

LaboratoiresCEAT


Publications validées par des pairs


Travail produit à l'EPFL


Articles de journaux


Publié


This article unites different disciplinary debates on ‘southern innovation’, ‘theory from the South’, and ‘decolonisation of knowledge’ in order to discuss existing understandings around the role of Africa in the production of health-related knowledge, public health policy, and medical innovation. Arguing that high-income countries have much to learn from the global South when it comes to health-related knowledge and practices, we propose an interdisciplinary research approach to uncovering and examining African contributions to global health, drawing on an ongoing collaborative project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. We present four empirical case studies concerning drug development, healthcare systems, and urban planning to critically enquire into both historical and contemporary transcontinental knowledge circulation and learning potentials, as much as cases of forgetting and silencing. On this basis, we argue that ‘learning from the South’ must mean more than transplanting quick and cheap technological fixes to serve societies in the global North, but rather recognising the vast contributions that Africans have made to global epistemologies, without losing sight of the asymmetries inherent in South–North knowledge exchanges. Lessons learned might apply to fields other than those discussed here and go far beyond ‘reverse innovation’.

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