Cultural communities define and promote human abilities they perceive to give expression to their core values. Indigenous sub-Saharan African communities place a high premium mainly on abilities that promote or give expression to the value of social interests. This article considers human abilities from a cultural psychology perspective, one that reflects the understandings of culturally competent informants of valid and valued abilities in their context together with ways of knowing about such abilities. This article describes the utilization of an appreciative inquiry approach to understand human abilities among sub-Saharan African communities, including increasingly important abilities associated with schooling or modernization and particularly as they enable the expression of social interest values. Cultural emphasis on social interest are likely to continue to heavily influence which and how human abilities are valued by sub-Saharan African communities.
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