Jan 25, 2016
CEFIKS will promote and advance indigenous knowledge systems in Ghana through research, education and research development. CEFIKS will strive to become the centre of excellence in indigenous knowledge research, training and development both locally and regionally. All researchers involved in research projects networked and coordinated by CEFIKS are designated Associates of the Centre. In other instances, where and when funds are available, CEFIKS may grant fellowships to individual researchers it deems fit to be accorded such status for periods of up to 2 years in each case. Circumstances permitting, such fellowships can be renewed once. Fellowships will only be granted in cases where specific project funds are available or can be raised. Post-Graduate researchers and visiting researchers with independent means who wish to undertake research in Ghana and the West African region as part of their post-graduate studies or for other purposes, can be accorded Associateship of the Centre provided they have their own research funding. In these and similar instances, all costs of such attachment will be borne by the Associate. CEFIKS may provide desk-space and limited administrative assistance to such researchers. CEFIKS will facilitate the acquisition of research funding where possible.
Areas of research of CEFIKS include but not limited to the following:
1. Reference Works
This focus area deals with the compilation of various reference works (e.g., dictionaries, bibliographies, etc) that will facilitate research in indigenous knowledge systems. We have started work on Mfantse (Akan) dictionary - a sample entry of the dictionary is provided here. We will extend our work to other local languages in Ghana.
2. The indigenous knowledge systems and indigenous technology This research focus will consist of basic research to expound on the fundamental philosophy of IKS, to enhance our understanding of it, as means to accord it protection and to raise its social value and status as a system of knowledge. Central to this focus will be the creation of the necessary intellectual space and capacity for the development of conceptual and analytical framework for IKS in Ghana. Research in this focus area will deal with issues of origin/production, utilization, transmission, evolution, and preservation of IKS.
3. Traditional Medicine and Indigenous Health Systems Ghana has an extremely rich bio-diversity, which has remained largely unexplored. Coupled with that is extensive indigenous knowledge relating to the use of herbs and plants, on one hand, and animal products, on the other, for the treatment of disease. The focus in this research area will seek to bring this knowledge to the fore in order to investigate its potential use and integration into modern medicine and to potentially reap socio-economic benefit for the communities where such knowledge resides. At the heart of this research focus will be indigenous medicine and pharmacology, encompassing human health and indigenous medicine, maternal and child health, sexual health and disease, and veterinary medicine and animal health. Research projects in this area will as far as possible, have to integrate the following elements: indigenous taxonomy and systematics; chemical, pharmaceutical and biochemical studies; and most importantly, the socio-cultural context of the medicinal and health systems.
4. Built Forms and Architecture
What lessons and concepts can be derived from indigenous built environment to areas of spatial planning, housing, infrastructure development, and rural development in contemporary situations? Land resource management, social context of house building, and the management of the environment are some of the areas of research we are interested in.
5. Indigenous Food Systems The focus in this research area will be on indigenous methods and systems of dealing with food supply such as preservation, processing and production, as well as value addition through other approaches and the use of modern (bio-) technology. Here is an example of the research we are conducting with regards to food in Ghana.
6. Performing Arts The performing arts of Ghana include, but not limited to music, dance and theatre.r Music: Adenkum; Adowa, Fontomfrom, Kete, Popular Music, Musical Instruments
Popular Dance: Adowa, Agbadza, Kpanlogo, Damba, Fire Dance of the Bassari Theatre: Puppetry, Storytelling, Poetry, Proverbs: Storytelling at Ampia Ajumako
7. Socio-cultural Systems This research area will deal with the contrasts, impacts (historical and current) and dynamics of the modernity versus traditionalism divide. The main focus of research in this section will be on the delineation of indigenous socio-cultural systems, for example, ethical and legal systems; education, training and learning systems; economic systems; conflict management and conflict prevention systems; religion and culture; indigenous notions of science, mathematics, and technology; impact of modern technologies (and the cultural homogenization they bring) and how indigenous communities are resolving and/or balancing these issues; as well as the interface between these and other systems of knowledge.
8. Political Belies and Political Organization