Arguably, few issues so overwhelmingly obsess African governments and societies as the question of development. Many would claim that it is the leading existential rationale of African governments. This has certainly been the case since the commencement of the era of African self-rule. The lack of success in making headway in the development of African societies has kept interested parties close to the grindstone. What over the past few decades has become clear to many is the fact that culture in general and language and literacy in particular are crucial to the development endeavour. The questions that emerge from there are that, what are the relevant contextual linguistic realities of contemporary Africa? How do they affect the issues attendant on development? How do the dominant assumptions and epistemology in applied linguistics relate to the challenges that face Africa today? This article will address these issues.
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