How gift economies work
The Link to Humanity - Gift Economies
Beverly Bell, Other Worlds | "Birthing Justice" Series
21 April 2012
Coumba Toure | Bamako, Mali
All of Coumba Toure’s work is aimed at keeping African values alive. As part of this, she is deeply involved in a women-led movement to keep the gift economy thriving. West African gifting is based on the interrelated values that all humanity is linked and that one’s well-being is only as strong as that of one’s neighbor. Proﬁt and exchange are trumped by a commitment to care for community.
“African values” refers to a set of values that people share. How do you recognize a human being? How do you treat people? What do you do with what you have? We are talking about a universal, positive way of life. What Africa has to give the world is a reclaiming of humanity. It teaches that there are other ways of living and doing and being with each other. We share values with those everywhere who believe in the dignity of the human being.
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