Based on the premise that cultural forces are at work in positively determining and sustaining the development process, this paper seeks to delineate the nature, dynamics and modalities of these forces and in so doing interrogate the tendency in development studies to dismiss culture as either a neutral factor or an impediment to the development process. The paper argues that the nonrecogni-tion and dismissal of cultural forces as positive elements in development limit proper and meaningful articulations of project design in the same way that disciplinary limitations in the definition and articulation of notions such as “development,”“achievement,” and “progress” preempt proper and full accounting of African women's achievements. In grounding its arguments, the paper draws from the insightful elaboration of the behavioral aspect of cultural forces as contained in research on the economic psychology of African ethnic groups but goes further to focus on the structural and institutionalized aspects in the form of indigenous women's associations. Ultimately, by focusing attention on the cultural imperatives that guarantee successes in the development enterprise, the paper argues for a reimagining of social change (in theory and practice) not so much in terms of introducing and establishing new paradigms and structures but in terms of the intelligent refashioning of old structures to respond to new ideas and chart new directions. Although the paper focuses on African women and programs in Africa, the fundamental argument that undergirds it has a wider and more global application and relevance.