Social Work in a Developing Continent: The Case of Africa


  • Christopher Chitereka The National University of Lesotho



Social Work, Social development, Africa


Social work is a professional approach to ameliorating social problems. It is generally understood as a helping profession that utilizes professionally qualified personnel who use its knowledge base to help people tackle their social problems (Mupedziswa, 2005). Nevertheless, in developing countries, social work is a relatively young profession which was influenced by colonialism in its formation. The type of social work practiced in these countries largely mirrors the one that is being practiced in Britain, France and Portugal among others. Utilizing the continent of Africa as a case study, this article argues that social work practice in Africa tends to be curative or remedial in nature and is not adequately addressing people’s problems. It therefore proposes a paradigm shift from remedial to a social development paradigm if it is to make an impact in the 21st century.

Author Biography

Christopher Chitereka, The National University of Lesotho

Senior Lecturer in Social Work Department of Social Anthropology/Sociology and Social Work The National University of Lesotho. Research Interests- HIV/AIDS; Developmental Social Work; Child Welfare; Poverty Issues and School Social Work