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African History Seminar on the “The Role of History in a Country’s Development”

On Tuesday, May 15th, ASE hosted Dr. Arthur Vido from the Department of History and Archaeology at the University of Abomey-Calavi, who presented in African History Seminar on the “The Role of History in a Country’s Development.”

In his introduction, Dr. Vido provided a short background on the changing definitions of history and historians, explaining that history was originally considered to be a record of past events, and that the historian served only to recall these events.

However, the conception of history later evolved through time to become a veritable and distinct discipline, as the historical discipline began to take shape in the 20th century, classified under the social sciences and humanities.

With regard to the role of history in a country’s development, Dr. Vido provided the examples of tourism and the celebration of cultural heritage, arguing that a nation capable of valorizing its historical and cultural heritage is able to attract the world, and consequently wealth for economic and social development.

Dr. Vido defended the notion that history reminds us of the foundations of our people and can be utilized to resolve a wide variety of problems. He further reminded the audience that the historian—in drawing from the past—projects onto the future.

“History can be considered as a tool of scientific and technological development,” Dr. Vido concluded, before responding to a series of questions.

Photo (Left to right): Clément Litchégbé (IAS Research Assistant), Wilfried Gnanvi (Coordinator of the Institute for  African Studies), Serge Ouitonah (IAS Associate Researcher) and Dr. Arthur Vido