The cultural and artistic productions of Africa have various dimensions that emphasize the pivotal role art plays in the development of societies. This justifies why art and social living and development are intertwined. This report clarifies the influence of art in the social, political, and economic development in African societies.
African art is related to the maturation of the complete life of Africans. Including the dressing styles, eating customs, values and the norms in the African society. It also embraces the use of art and our cultural heritage in addressing the social issues faced by the ethnic societies in the African continent. Many contemporary societies in Africa are faced with the challenge of teenage pregnancy, environmental pollution and other kinds of social vices. Strategies and solutions to those staggering problems are found in the sound values, norms, belief systems and practices in Africa. As an example, many scholars in African studies and cultures are calling for a re-visitation and revival of the indigenous practices of initiation rites for the childhood that ensured that moral chasteness was maintained by the youth, including the abstinence from pre-marital sex and the other kinds of social vices associated with the youth today. It was the measure set up by the elderly members of the societies in introducing the mantle of leadership to the youth. The initiation rites were platforms for maintaining the childhood abreast with their social duties as responsible adults.
Finding ways of implementing such precepts in modern African societies could bolster their social growth. Moreover, African art and culture unearth the language diversities of Africa. It traces the historical development of languages, that’s the first step in understanding the cultures of a people. The study of the various types of art, for example, attire, color choice, design elements, shapes and so forth, aids in understanding the social classes and personalities in the African society.
Politically, African art and culture play fantastical characters in the political lives of the African American people. The political artefacts function as a way of identifying and defining the political purposes of rulers like traditional chiefs, spokespersons, traditional priests etc. The political arts empower the ruling class in Africa in performing their priestly duties; exercise their administrative, executive, judicial and military duties.
Economically, the many forms of African art enhance the standard of living of the African individuals. The production and use of the arts satisfy the requirements of the people in the society either directly or indirectly. The direct way of producing the artworks in addressing the demands of these people are through the selling of their art pieces and the use of them in carrying out their daily activities. It also involves the use of art forms as incentives for increasing the production of different products and services in the area to enhance the overall wellbeing of the people. The study of African American art and culture highlights the role of art in supplying vocations and job paths for the members of their society. In times of financial strains, the artworks can be sold to improve the conditions of living of the people. Court artists that produce the overall regalia of the state such as stools, palanquins, spokesmen staff, textiles and others generate economic revenue from them. Counterfeit copies of a few of the chief’s regalia are produced as souvenir items and exchanged for foreign currencies. During festivals and other cultural events in Africa, these regalia souvenir items are sold to the general public, especially tourists, generating monetary revenue. This greatly enhances the tourism sector of countries in Africa.
The article highlights the terrific benefits that African societies can benefit in the arts and culture practised by the people. African governments, ministries and NGO’s in charge of the development of art, culture and tourism must ensure the growth of this discipline. Funding in the form of scholarships, research grants and awards must be provided to young scholars, musicians and researchers to enhance the study of African art and culture because it is a pinnacle of the social, political and economic development of Africa.