Abstracts by Name
Impact of Socio-Economic Factors on Rural Poverty Alleviation: Smallholders in Sierra Leone
According to most utilized economic indicators, Sierra Leone is, despite being rich in natural resources, one of the poorest countries in the World. The civil war that lasted over a decade (1991 to 2002) increased poverty levels, especially in the rural areas. Agriculture is essential to Sierra Leone's economic and social development, two-thirds of the country’s population live in rural areas and depends largely on subsistence farming. As a result, recent aid programs in Sierra Leone have focused on the reduction of rural poverty and food insecurity as a pre-condition to support the development of the country. The purpose of this paper is to analyze and identify key factors contributing to the technical and economic performance of rural smallholders in Sierra Leone, focusing on farms that are engaged in the production of the main staple (rice) and cash crops (coffee and cocoa). The aim is to provide a better understanding of what type of aid programs are more likely to induce greater efficiency and effectiveness in the reduction of poverty and food insecurity in rural areas. For this purpose descriptive and regression analysis are used. More specifically, Ordinary Least Squares is used to explain the impact of influential factors on income and production of farm households and Multinomial Logit model is used to determine the impact of socio-economic factors on the different level of performance achieved. Data is obtained for the year 2009 from two main sources: primary field survey (socio-economic micro data) from 600 farm households and secondary data from reports of international organizations and national statistics from Sierra Leone. The results of the analysis allow us to draw conclusions on the importance and the magnitude of the impact of several socio-economic factors including household characteristics, resource constraints, productive constraints, market prices and aid programs. Overall, this paper highlights how the aforementioned factors influence the technical and the economic performances of small farm households taking into consideration their initial constraints in terms of their productive and institutional contexts.
Poverty Eradication and Empowerment for Sustainable Growth in Africa: Insights from Ben Okri’s In Arcadia
This research paper is an exploratory study of Ben Okri’s In Arcadia. The novel is beautifully written in political, mythical and metaphorical language to project the meaning and meaninglessness of man’s life and struggles in a world ridden with poverty and socio-political decadence. The paper elicits through the study of the characters, themes, plot, thought, style, and vision of the writer powerful teachings of some major factors that hinder poverty eradication and empowerment of the poor masses for sustainable development in Africa. These factors include hypocrisy, especially on the part of the government and leadership towards the proletariats as they show no sincerity in keeping their promises of eradicating poverty and improving the living conditions of the masses. Other factors highlighted are economic, political, religious and moral decay and bankruptcy. The paper reveals that the scourge of poverty and social decay, though it appears more prevalent in Third World countries, is universal. The approach of practical textual criticism is applied and also the method of interpretation to present in-depth representations of characters, thoughts, as well as implied opinions of Ben Okri on how these epidemics can be managed for the development of the African continent.
Poverty Eradication and Nation Building in Akinwumi Ishola’s Creative Works
Poverty is an endemic issue ravaging most part of sub-Saharan Africa. In Nigeria, the government is aspiring to reduce the level of poverty to the barest minimum by introducing national poverty eradication programmes in order to meet the needs of the citizens. In fulfilling their social commitment to the society, some Yoruba literary artists have creatively proffered solutions to the issue of poverty and its eradication. Therefore, this paper examines poverty and its eradication in Akinwumi Isola’s creative works with special emphasis on his Yoruba poetry, novels and plays. The paper is anchored on the Marxist-sociological theoretical framework. The paper brings to the fore the synergy between the efforts of the government and those of the citizenry in order to have a society free of poverty. The paper submits that, as shown in Isola’s creative works, the poor and the masses need to employ the weapons of determination, self-assertion and self-actualization in order to free the society from poverty and build a strong nation.
African Politics in Transition: Change and Empowerment
From the pre-colonial era to modern times, African political system has been subject to change. The monarchical system, which prevailed in the pre-colonial period, did not operate on elective system. Kings received their authority and empowerment to rule from the people and religion. Religious institutions were utilized to legitimize and maintain political authority. Similar to what occurred in Europe, African rulers, especially in centralized states, enjoyed absolute powers based on the concept of "divine right of kings." Political change took place in Africa, however, in the wake of European imperialism of the late nineteenth century and with the imposition of colonial rule. There was political transition from African monarchy to European parliamentary system. African rulers ceased to be central to the political system as their political status shrunk. Although their political power diminished, they continued to enjoy some privileges and empowerment from their people. This paper will examine the political transition that took place in Africa, the concept of political empowerment, and the role of African rulers in contemporary political system.
Poverty and Job Discrimination against the Physically Challenged In Nigeria: Vocational Skill Acquisition to the Rescue
This paper observes that Physically Challenged individuals are still being discriminated against in the Nigerian job market. Data were collected through two rating scales from one hundred and eighty final year undergraduates studying vocational courses: 45 students each from the fields of Agricultural Science, Business Education, Fine and Applied Arts and Home Economics. Data also came from 40 employers in Public and Private Enterprises during a 12-week ‘Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme’ (SIWES). The rating scales had twenty items on which respondents were to choose from ‘Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree, Strongly Disagree and Indifferent.’ The purpose of this exercise was to rate participants’ perception of employers, the general public and individuals about job capability and acceptability of the Physically Challenged. Responses from the two groups of respondents were compared using the Correlation Co-efficient and hypotheses tested at 0.05 level of significance. The result confirms great discrimination against the respondents in the job market irrespective of whether they were highly educated, skillful or confident. The findings were discussed in line with governments’ “Youth Employment Program” (YEP), National Poverty Eradication Program (NAPEP) and curriculum review for vocational courses for self employment. It concludes that skill acquisition by all Physically Challenged persons could encourage self employment and reduce national unemployment.
Poverty in Africa and the Force of Change: Reflections on Rawl’s Difference Principle
The African continent is, no doubt, endowed with resources necessary for the achievement of development in all areas. The pre-colonial era as crude as it has been described, was characterized by values for self sustenance. However, the crises being witnessed in Africa as it manifest in hunger, lack and scarcity over these years have been on one hand, argued to have resulted from the contact Africa had with the external forces of colonialism. These forces, as claimed, ushered in unbridled economic system with its implications on value system of brotherhood, reciprocity and fraternity among others. On the other hand, the internal forces which manifest in corruption, mismanagement and bad leadership, have totally grounded development to a halt. This paper aims to critically examine these forces of change with the view of identifying the missing link. It also suggests ways for charting a new course in order to regain lost values. The paper applies John Rawls Difference Principle as a theoretical framework.
Social and Economic Inequalities: The Least Advantaged and the Quest for Justice in Africa
Modern theories on the concept of democracy emphasize the importance of political participation which is inadequate to guarantee a stable social order. Much emphasis is also laid on questions relating to legal justice. Social stability requires that political office holders use political power at their disposal for the achievement of a fair distribution of benefits and burdens in society. How to achieve this constitutes the core question of distributive justice which has not been adequately addressed in available literature. The problem of political instability and social disorder is closely connected to the problem of unjustifiable inequality in the distribution of benefits and burdens in contemporary African societies. To effectively resolve the problem of socio-political instability and disorder in Africa, adequate attention must be paid to the question of distributive justice. An application of Rawls’s Difference Principle, which prioritizes the demand of social equality over that of liberty, would reduce the problem of social inequality and its attendant negative consequences, which include widespread poverty and unemployment. This would be achieved as this version of the Difference Principle is designed to ensure that social benefits and burdens are distributed equally to the advantage society. Also, it would undermine ill-will between the privileged and the less privileged.
Dele Jegede: The Artist as an Activist and a Nationalist
This paper examines the artistry of Dele Jegede, cartoonist, artist and art historian whose body of work connects diverse issues and is also tied to activism and nationalism. It compels us to turn away from the traditional historiography of texts and narratives and the characteristic staples developed by historians. The paper encourages an engagement with the historicity of images and ideas developed by artists and what their artistry embodies about humanity, time and space, the memory and mores of the society in which they live. Put simply, the body of work by Jegede represents an alternative history. The visual collective— cartoons, paintings and drawings— though not essentially saturnine in its totality, the degree of its contestation with the universe of leaders and elites in the country, and its recall of the tensions within the social fabric underpins Jegede’s discontent with the structure of his society and his longing for an utopian state. His art crusade - a necessary enterprise - narrativizes, satirizes and critiques the boom and austere periods of Nigeria’s history, and the gloom and vivacity of metropolises in a postcolonial state. In snapshots of pen and brush strokes and large canvases laden with images brought to life in lush colors, Jegede chronicles the tropes of his society - how it degenerates from affluence into hardship, from wealth into woes, blessings into curses. In the trauma of the embattled state, the artist refuses to be a passive onlooker. In dreaming of the ideal, his creative cadence detours from the sheer pursuit of beauty and begins a conscious engagement with social realism and political visual expressions. His artistry firmly ties to activism and to a nationalistic credo.
Revamping an Ailing Sector: The Trope and Travails of the Power Holding Corporation of Nigeria
This paper examines institutional failure and decay in the Power Holding Corporation of Nigeria (PHCN), the nation's power sector, and the various attempts the government has made to arrest the troubling situation. Nigerians are embattled on all fronts in terms of systemic failure and infrastructural decay. Since the mid-1980s electricity supply has been epileptic and for some non-existence. The systemic failure in this sector has engendered other challenges including the importation of generators which pose health and security hazards and even death to some unfortunate citizens. As a result of the grave experiences of the citizens in the aftermath of a comatose sector, the PHCN and the Nigerian public have developed a love-hate relationship such that no matter how hard government tries to convince the public about revamping the system and ending their trauma such rhetoric have become dins in the ears of the citizens. The sector has not always been in such a grave shape. There were good old days when the system was efficient, stable and serviceable. Where did things go wrong? How has the nation and the citizenry been managing the crises that this important sector of the economy generates? What has been done thus far, and what palliative measures remain to be explored? Where is the PHCN headed? These are some of the issues that will be discussed in this paper. As an engineer and manager of one of the units in the PHCN, the submissions in this essay are from an insider’s perspective.
Yahoo Plus and Globalization in Nigeria
Advances in technology such as global telecommunication infrastructure, the internet, satellite networks and wireless telephones are all credited to globalization. Computers, mobile phones and the internet have brought about major transformation in world communication. One of the fall outs of globalization evident in Nigeria is the issue of cyber crime. The advent of computers and the internet has opened up a vast array of possibilities for the young and the old in the country with access provided to the world from their homes, offices, cyber cafes and so on. But lately, internet or web-enabled phones and other devices like iPods and Blackberry are in popular demand in the country. With these devices, access to the internet is now easier and faster. This has resulted in an increase in the spate of cyber crimes. Previously referred to as ‘Yahoo Yahoo’, cyber crime in the country is now nicknamed ‘Yahoo Plus’, which is an improvement in the methods being used, especially by the youths, to perpetrate these criminal activities. This paper examines the issue and investigates various dimensions of cyber crime, especially those that emanate from Nigeria. It examines how widespread the problem is, factors responsible for the crime as well as possible ways of tackling the problem.
Poverty and Food Security Interface: Reflections on Nigeria
Nigeria is an important and resourceful African country; yet its poverty and food security status, interalia, have demeaned the country among its peers. Nigeria in spite of its oil wealth, presents an interesting but appalling bridgehead between poverty and food insecurity. The glowing living standard record of mass of Nigerians during the early years of independence gave way to a steady decline and stark poverty as the nation advanced in years. This study, therefore, establishes a connection between poverty and hunger by saying that poverty is a threat to food security. It argues that hunger is a distributional problem. To be sure, chronic malnutrition in the country today is not lack of food, but food not getting to the people who need it most – due to lack of income to buy it when necessary. It further argues that the country’s hungry rural poor are not prone to resort to crime, violence and other social vices unlike their counterparts in the cities. It concludes by drawing inferences on Nigeria for its near and far neighbors which it has mutual relationship with.
Anthropology of Oil: A case of the Bagungu of Uganda
My paper will highlight `superstitions` about oil among the Bagungu of Buliisa district in western Uganda and will attempt to predict the success and failure of the oil industry in Uganda. Oil explorations are still in their early phases, yet Buliisa district`s map is today spotted with several oils wells. The people of Bullisa, however, contrary to everyone’s expectations are `not seeing` what everyone else sees: THE CASH! How safe will our animals be? Shall we be evicted? Where shall we go? Tullow never compensated us well for the crops they destroyed during our seismic survey. Does the oil mining bring desertification? We could hardly sleep during the gas flaring, because the heat and smoke were unbearable. We are told the government will build a pipe line where the oil will be taken and drilled at the president’s home. We have been told that if we do not take our children to school, this oil will bypass us like a cockroach by passes a chicken’s beak. For other Ugandans, oil is a national resource and not for the Banyoro. No one has a correct idea of what the Production Sharing Agreements are! Whose oil does it belong? It belongs to government but the land is ours. We hear oil has benefited countries like Norway and the same oil has been disastrous to countries like Nigeria, we don’t know our fate, we need to be educated. Why are you asking me about oil, do you want me arrested? When allotting the revenues, the one displaced from the land where the oil well is situated should take the biggest share, the clan member and the district leaders should also benefit...The Banyoro want to take the revenues to develop Masindi and Hoima through their kingdom, why didn`t the kingdom come to rescue us during the Balaalo incidence. The Bagungu speak a different language, actually they come from Congo. Cases of corruption have been cited by parliament, and the church is asking the corrupt ministers that took the oil bribes to step down. Raw deals made by government and the exploring companies have been cited as well. What is the fate of the Bagungu? What is the fate of all Ugandans? What is the fate of Government? What is the fate of the exploring companies? What is the fate of the environment with many of the oil wells being located in wildlife reserves? This paper reflects on these critical questions.
Unity in Diversity: The Nigerian Youth, Nigerian Pidgin English and the Nigerian Language Policy
Language is widely recognized as one of the most basic and fundamental social instruments ever used by man. As a social instrument, language is not immune from societal vagaries. Consequently, social stratification and inequalities influence language choice and use as well as the processing and output of language. Nigeria has to grapple with lingual complexities emanating from its multilingual nature and high illiteracy rate with the latter culminating in a higher dimension of social inequality. To achieve unity in the highly diverse nation, the Nigerian government assigned unifying roles to four languages, namely, English, Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo. Unfortunately, this has not brought about the intended unity due to several factors traceable to the nature of the Nigerian society itself. Understandably, English Language cannot be a unifying language to those who can hardly speak it. However, the failure of the indigenous languages to succeed as unifying languages is food for thought. What is even more perplexing is the fact that a colloquial form of English is succeeding where the indigenous languages have failed particularly among the youth in southwestern Nigeria. The aim of this paper therefore is to find out (i) the extent of use of Pidgin English as a unifying language among the Nigerian youth across Nigeria, in terms of tribe, location, sex, social and educational status; (ii) the reasons for their choice of Pidgin English over indigenous languages; and (iii) the social and educational implications of the choice and use of Pidgin English by the Nigerian youth. To achieve these objectives, quota sampling technique will be used to select 100 youths from each of the six geo-political zones of Nigeria making a total of 600 youths. A questionnaire will be developed and administered to collect relevant data for the study. Data collected will be analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics.
Poverty Alleviation and Implementation Programmes at the Grassroots in Nigeria
Poverty is a virulent challenge to humanity because of its multi faceted dimension and impact on people. Among the developing nations especially, it stands defiantly tall, denying people of several necessities of human life and development such as access to medical care, food, shelter, clean environment, high standards of living and quantitative contributions to human development. In Nigeria, the devastating impact of poverty is palpable everywhere and more endemic especially among the rural dwellers, the food producers of the nation. The scourge is a perpetual reminder to the ruling class that a crucial tenet of democracy is the provision of basic amenities and equitable distribution of the resources of state to all its citizens. As a result of this vexing and soaring tide of poverty, successive governments over the years have adopted measures to reduce poverty among the citizenry. This paper reviews Nigeria’s poverty alleviation approaches since the inauguration of “Operation Feed the Nation” (OFN) in 1978 and up to 2010. It examines the causes of the deepening of poverty among the rural dwellers in spite of government’s efforts at poverty reduction. It identifies among other things, lack of political will and or insincerity on the part of government, poor governance, misplaced priorities, and the inability of policy makers to carry the beneficiaries along as some reasons for the failure of some of these programs.
Empowering the Poor in Nigeria through Adult and Community Education: Implications for Educational Policy Reform
In response to challenges posed by poverty in Nigeria, federal, state and local governments and individuals have invested heavily in formal education as one of the strategies for alleviating poverty. However, formal education which is expected to provide opportunities for the acquisition of needed knowledge, practical and social skills has not fared well. Consequently, many products of the formal education system exist below the poverty line. The objective of this paper is threefold: first, to examine poverty situation in Nigeria; second, to review government’s investment in various sectors of education; and third, to examine the link between all forms of education and empowerment and poverty reduction. This is with a view to determining the implications of enhancing adult and community education as a strategy to empower the poor. Findings from review of related literature and documents reveal that the type of education that can empower and reduce poverty has to be seen in its broadest sense to encompass formal, non-formal and informal systems. This suggests that adult and community education as a non-formal type of education if fostered through educational policy reform in Nigeria can empower people and reduce poverty.
Securitizing Corruption for Development in Nigeria: An Agenda for Action
Why does systemic corruption persist in Nigeria, and how can it be effectively tackled to enable socio-economic development in the country? This paper attempts to answer these questions by arguing for a ‘securitization’ approach to combat corruption in Nigeria. Securitization as used here, is the move that takes an identified phenomenon or issue (in this case corruption) in a political community like the state beyond the established rules of the game, and frames it as a special kind of politics (or problem) that requires extra and urgent attention. Based on the failures of past and present institutional efforts to curb the spread of corruption in Nigeria on one hand, and the need to achieve rapid socioeconomic development in the country on the other, this paper argues that it has become necessary to securitize corruption as a main cause of poverty in Nigeria. The paper argues that the continued existence of a paradox of plenty (mass poverty amidst abundant resources) in Nigeria is traceable to systemic corruption in the country. From a middle-income country at the peak of the oil boom in the early 1980s, Nigeria declined to the world’s 25th poorest country by 1999, and presently ranks 142nd out of 169 countries on the United Nations Human Development Index. Thus, in the three sections of this paper, an examination of why corruption persists in Nigeria, its negative effects on socioeconomic development, and how a securitization approach can be achieved are explained.
Deconstructing African poverty against the backdrop of a ‘rich’ musical heritage: A Paradox
Most of the world’s poorest nations today are in Africa. However, Africa still possesses an extremely rich musical heritage reflected in the tales of the griots, professional historians, praise-singers as well as African musical entertainers of modern times. Defining African poverty in the context of its resources is problematic, given the continent’s vast riches; however, this paper will focus on music as an artistic resource that can be economically exploited for the growth of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of African nations. Every African musician has the potential to improve his or her income per capita if guided and supported by African governments through such programs as micro financing. The success of musicians is contingent upon the contextualization of the polemical nature of the words “empowering Africa economically through music” which in the context of this paper is conceived to undergird economic disparities across Africa. Music can be tapped as a resource for social and capital mobility especially when the artists are encouraged to produce their music for local, regional and international consumption. In the current times, there is need for African musicians to re-arrange their music to encompass modern pop styles to expand a global consumption. Africa’s musicians are all-encompassing and their music is ready to make the desired economic paradigm shift. The presentation of this paper will be accompanied by a live musical demonstration of a young Rwandan musician, to showcase a prototypical African artistic resource that can be harnessed to leverage the economic status and ameliorate the poverty levels of young people in Rwanda.
Modern Day Slavery: Poverty and Women Trafficking in Nigeria in the Age of Neo Liberal Orthodoxy
Poverty and Insecurity: A Drag on Sustainable Socio-Economic Development in Nigeria
This paper tries to address some fundamental issues in Nigeria with respect to poverty, insecurity and socio-economic conditions of the people. With the analysis of indices for economic development, the discovery is that Nigeria’s economy has not found her feet in addressing poverty which has given way to insecurity and affected the growth of the economy, given her Gross National Product (GNP), income per capita, and cost of living among others. The cause of poverty and insecurity in Nigeria is traceable to political structure which breeds corrupt leaders that constitute a drag on socio-economic development of the country. It is discovered that the poor level of social security in the country is likely to worsen if the government at all levels fails to address the problems of unemployment and hunger among the youths especially university graduates. A number of recommendations made in this paper will enable Nigeria pursue vigorously the evolution of pragmatic political order that can ensure efficient selection of political leaders, to be able to stabilize on sustainable basis.
Okada Mentality: State Response to Poverty Alleviation in Nigeria
Broadly speaking, okada mentality describes a culture of living by the day largely as result of an inability to predict or plan for what could happen in the next twenty four hours. The World Bank imposed structural adjustment programme introduced in 1986, among other things, destroyed the hope of Nigeria’s industrial development and created a huge gap between the rich and the poor. The boisterous middle class and engine room of development which was almost wiped out had to seek refuge in other more stable societies resulting in capital flight and massive brain drain. Evidence would be led to demonstrate that the response of the state to self imposed poverty was mere tokenism, misplaced, grossly inadequate and misconceived in formulation, design and execution. The forces of international capitalism, political naivety of successive administrations, wrong conceptualization of the social contract, misplaced priorities and poverty of progressive and liberating ideology combined to produce a Nigerian tragedy of inadequate response of the state to poverty alleviation in a depressed and collapsing economy.
Between Poverty and Language in Africa and the Caribbean
In Africa and the Caribbean, migration, colonial conquest, the slave trade and post-colonial nationalism have all been a threat to languages and the economic future of their speakers. In the twenty-first century linguists and social scientists approach the problem from two different but overlapping perspectives. The former focus on the death of languages spoken by the world’s poor who shift to more prestigious forms. The latter are becoming more concerned with how speaking stigmatized or minority languages exacerbates a community’s poverty. That non-linguists are increasingly becoming aware of the significance of language issues to citizens’ well-being is illustrated by efforts such as the 2010 international conference on “Language, Education and the Millennium Development Goals” sponsored by UNESCO, UNICEF, Save the Children, and CARE, among others. This paper will consider the relationship between language and poverty in the context of minority endangered languages, stigmatized pidgins and creoles, and national and global lingua francas, focusing on case studies drawn from Southern Africa, Nigeria and the Anglophone Caribbean.
Poverty and the Religious Factor: Current Developments in the Ghanaian Christian Church and Its Implications on Poverty
This paper posits that poverty in Ghana can be attributed partly to religion. The paper identifies two key attitudes of some Christian churches (the commercialization of the church and the amount of time spent on church activities) as factors contributing to poverty in Ghana. Instead of being a sanctuary for the poor, the church has become a theater of exploitation. People have to pay high amounts of money for spiritual counseling. People concentrate more on church activities than on their jobs. A popular perception among the Ghanaian folks is that spiritual forces can cause harm to humanity. This of course is true according to the Bible, but people always want to attribute their problems to spiritual cause instead of taking responsibility for their own actions. Some so called “men of God” take advantage of this for their personal gains. Against this background, this research piece underscores the inherent contradictions characteristic of some Christian churches in Ghana. These practices are the very antithesis of what the Bible teaches. This emerging trend in the Ghanaian church is a phenomenon that must be understood and a threat to be controlled. Any attempt to eradicate poverty must take into consideration this new development. The paper concludes by suggesting measures to contain the situation.
Creating Common Sympathies through Nation-Building and Nationalism in post-Apartheid South Africa
This paper examines the links between nation-building and nationalism as tools of political mobilization and transformation in South Africa. Nation-building has been an on-going process in South Africa since the fall of the apartheid regime in 1994. When the African National Congress (ANC) government took over power after winning the first democratic elections in 1994, it embarked on the processes of rebuilding a non-racial South African nation based on principles of democracy and the Bill of Rights, which centered on ideals of liberty, freedom, and equality. The apartheid regime divided South African citizens along racial groups namely, Black, White, Colored and Indian and forced Black South Africans to live in the homelands and in reserves in the outskirts of cities and towns. These homelands and reserves too were sub-divided along black ethnic groups namely, Zulu, Xhosa, Sotho, Pedi, Tswana, Swazi, Ndebele, Tsonga/Shangane and Venda, in line with the apartheid policy of separate development and divide and rule. This paper examines how racial integration and nation-building have evolved over the past 17 years after the fall of apartheid. It argues that nation-building through excavation of nationalism has yielded little results due to complexities of cultural and racial differences among the South African citizens. The paper also contends that cognizance of cultural pluralism and the diversity of views, opinion, wants, and need are paramount, not only for the coexistence of individuals in communities, but for nation-building and nation-hood. This is crucial for the creation of common values which all South African ethnic groups can identify with as a nation.
Political Over-Determination of Nigerian Agriculture
After independence in 1960, Nigeria was among the top agricultural producing and exporting countries in the world. It controlled 42 percent of world’s shelled groundnut exports; 27 percent of world palm oil export and 18 percent of world cocoa export in 1961. Today, the statistics and trends have changed significantly and Nigeria has moved from an agricultural exporting country to food importing nation. Nigeria’s percentage of world export of groundnut, palm oil and cocoa have been on the spiral turn to the bottom at 16 percent, 4 percent and 0.4 percent respectively as at 2008. This downward retrogression has been blamed on the discovery and shift in focus from agriculture to oil as the major foreign revenue source, poor planning, macroeconomic defects, corruption and poor management as the main reasons for the retrogression of Nigerian agriculture. Even as the argument seems valid, this paper will argue that, Nigeria agricultural development trajectory is lost in transition and unable to transcend beyond subsistence smallholding partly because of the petro-dollar paradox but more importantly due of political over-determination of Nigeria agricultural policies and support in Nigeria. This paper will focus on the allocation and distribution of agricultural supports and inputs in Enugu State on the Soinghai Enugu Initiative and the World Bank funded Commercial Agricultural Development Project (CADP).
Islam, Popular Empowerment and Poverty Eradication in Nigeria
Eradication of extreme poverty by 2015 is one of the cardinal objectives of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) but barely three years to the deadline set for the actualization of this very laudable objective, poverty remains one of the deadliest scourge ravaging most African countries especially Nigeria. In spite of Nigeria’s reputation as one of the largest oil producing countries in the world and the stupendous wealth the country earns from it, the mass of the people unenviable remain poor. This paper examines in a historical and exploratory manner the theoretical constructs and the praxis of erstwhile attempts at poverty alleviation and or poverty eradication in Nigeria. It insists that given the nature of the state, high rate of unemployment, character of the ruling elites which manifest in their lack of vision, wanton corruption, impunity and the pervasive greed culture at the level of state and society make the quest for poverty eradication and consequently sustainable development a mirage. While not advocating a theocracy, the paper establishes a symbiotic relationship between popular empowerment and poverty eradication. It argues that the institution of zakat (payment of the poor due), the giving of sadaqat (voluntary alms) and such other people oriented precepts such as the Islamic (Interest free) banking prescribed by Islam can be utilized in order to eradicate poverty in Nigeria.
Gendered Poverty in Africa: Implications for Women’s Emancipation
In many African societies, women carry a disproportionately high burden of material deprivation, lack of or inadequate education, and marginalization with little or no opportunity to influence the political, economic and social processes that control their lives. Hence they are trapped in a cycle of poverty. Women render unpaid reproductive labor and caring work at home while their roles in agricultural production often go unrecognized or undervalued because they are referred to as the weaker sex. This paper takes a look at gendered poverty as they affect Nigerian women. Data were collected through a questionnaire and interview schedule administered on 240 women (120 literates and 120 non-illiterates). The results revealed stereotypes, prejudices, lack of finance and confidence to risk business ventures, skepticism, mistrust and perceived lack of suitability for leadership roles, as major challenges that encourage gendered poverty. The paper discusses the findings in line with the first and third Millennium Development Goals and concludes that for women to be at the forefront of change, gender inequality in all its ramifications needs to be tackled. It recommends the review and abolition of customary laws that are biased against women. It also reiterates the need for skill acquisition, compulsory education and other women-only initiatives for empowerment and emancipation through Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) at all levels of governance to enable women act autonomously in decision-making and project management to build self confidence as catalyst to bridging the poverty gap.
Religious Institutions and Empowerment: The Case Of Indigenous Religions In Ghana
The relevance of institutions, in terms of directing or influencing both collective and individual actions in societies, cannot be overemphasized. It is not a coincidence, therefore, that a lot of literature emphasizing the role of institutions in directing social interactions abounds. This paper examines the role of indigenous religious institutions in the empowerment of people using the indigenous/traditional religions in Ghana as a case study. In this study, indigenous institutions refer to the structures or strategies including the worldview, beliefs and practices customs, norms, values, etc. that are designed to empower and at the same time regulate the general attitudes and actions of people in a society. In traditional or indigenous African societies, such institutions are usually underpinned by the local religious thought. Sadly, the importance of traditional religious institutions in empowering people are not as strong as they used to be due to factors such as the weakening of indigenous African religions, which form the basis of many of the traditional institutions in African societies. But this study argues that indigenous religious institutions are important resources which when well developed can continue to empower the people especially indigenous people to improve upon their livelihoods. They should, therefore, not be allowed to disintegrate since this will worsen the plight of the indigenous peoples.
Fome Zero for Ethnic Marginalization?: Re-conceptualization of Empowerment in Contemporary Afro-Brazilian Popular Culture
Unlike other erstwhile slaveholding countries, when Brazil abolished slavery on 13th May 1888, the problem of the ruling elites was not what to do with the millions of newly-emancipated Blacks but how to carry out their Eugenic agenda. In effect, long before slavery ended, Brazilian elites had begun to be ashamed of the reputation the country had acquired in developed countries of Europe where Brazil was looked down on as an extension of Africa in view of its overwhelming Black population. So, the solution was to eliminate the Blacks. When, barely a year after abolition, Brazil changed from Monarchy to become a Federative Republic, different projects were conceived to remove, within a predicted period of 30 years, all traces of Blacks in Brazil, ranging from systematic genocide through the application of Eugenic theories to economic and social exclusion. At the same time, the Brazilian elites undertook a systematic whitening of the society by inviting impoverished European immigrants – Germans, Poles, and other Eastern European citizens – to whom the government gave land, seedlings and other forms of assistance to cultivate and colonize the fertile and expansive southern and south-eastern regions of Brazil. The only condition imposed was that they must not employ Black workers. The result was that the horde of Black Brazilians was denied access to jobs, housing and social stability, forcing them to live on the periphery of the emerging modern Brazilian society. This led to the formation of what is today the greatest headache of contemporary Brazilian society – the favelas – notorious as the abode of drug traffickers, prostitutes, kidnappers, and other social undesirables that are almost always the end results of institutionalized and wide-scale poverty and exclusion. However, the ideological and socio-racial reorientation introduced by the Government of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (2003-2010) tried to tackle the problem of the so-called PPP – preto, pobre, periférico (black, poor and periphery dwellers) by introducing various social programs like the Fome Zero aimed at eradicating poverty and socio-racial inequalities. The present paper intends to analyze and problematize the reception, interpretation and implementation of this and other social-racial programs in contemporary Brazil from the point of view of the target population of Afro-Brazilians, looking at how these reactions are reflected projected and/or contested through contemporary Afro-Brazilian popular cultural expressions.
Postcolonial West African Railroads: State Management, Infrastructural Decay, and Privatization
At independence in the 1960s West African nations “inherited” from the departing European colonial authorities railroad networks, infrastructures, and operations, developed between the late nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth. In the postcolonial period these transportation infrastructures, which up until the 1990s were exclusively managed by the post-colonial state, were envisaged to serve as one of the key pillars of West African economies. Beginning from the mid-1970s, however, West African railroad corporations - managers of West African railroad networks - started experiencing severe deterioration in operations and in the provision of services. Coupled with this, railroad physical infrastructures were rapidly decaying; the result of years of neglect; lack financial resources, skillful and talented workforces, and new equipment. Further, railroad transportation was rapidly losing market share to its greatest competitor, road transportation. Consequently, by the mid-1990s West African railroad services had virtually ceased to exist; and railroad corporations were in serious financial crises. Consequent upon these developments, West African governments and International Financial Institutions (IFIs), including the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and African Development Bank (ADB), started proposing and subsequently began implementing commercialization and privatization policies and programs, for the sub- region’s railroads services and infrastructures. This paper therefore seeks to examine the origin of postcolonial infrastructural decay and economic decline of West African railroads; attempts made to reorganize, rebuild, and modernize this particular mode of transportation through commercialization/ privatization; success and failure of such policies and programs; and the implication of all these for Africa’s socio-economic development, growth, and engagement with the current globalization process.
Nigerian Popular Music and Its Implication for Music, Culture and Development
Popular music deals with familiar themes and issues of the moment. Also, it is understood and accepted by a lot of people not as a final solution to their problem but as a tropical reflection of their sentiment in music, culture, society and current worldview. This paper highlights the historical development of Nigerian popular music, its positive and negative implications on culture and society with recommendations for its continuity in a way that economic values of the society can be improved.
Decolonizing Knowledge: A Panacea to the Western Imposed Epistemicide in Africana Societies: The Yoruba Example
In recent times, African (a) societies have witnessed decline in standard of living, quality of life and economic development. This paper argues that a major cause of these decline is the Western imposed epistemicide and its attendant consequences on Africana Societies. The paper posits further that the deliberate and conscious effort of the West in destroying the cultural foundation of African knowledge and forcibly imposing western knowledge on the African intellect culminating in mental colonization, are majorly the bane of underdevelopment and poverty in African societies. Moreover, the paper submits that for Africa to move forward and get viable solutions to some of her social problems and underdevelopment, decolonizing knowledge which harps on diverting Epistemology in African thought of all undue influences emanating from western imposed epistemicide must be urgently done. In addition, the paper emphasizes that decolonizing knowledge with specific reference to the Yoruba society will serve a positive means of exploring resources of African indigenous epistemological schemes as a panacea to western imposed epistemicide and catalyst for development in Africa.
An Investigation of the Language of Nigeria People’s Parliament
Language plays a pivotal role in any nation and society. National identity as it relates to ethnicity, economy, social stratification and culture in general is portrayed using language. Selected written documents (letters) from individuals across the country that provide various pieces of information on the poor state of the Nigerian society were gathered for analysis in this study. These were culled out from The Punch newspaper. Some common features that marked these letters out as significance were noticed and investigated. The searchlight of language using the Critical Discourse Analysis was employed to analyze the letters as well as to dig deeper to the contextual variations that surrounded the selected letters. This was complemented by Systemic Functional Linguistics. The significance of the work is seen in the fact that the selected letters serve as signposts for which Nigerian government must urgently direct her attention to, in order to eradicate destitution, insecurity, poverty, wobbling economy, and grow economy that tends toward achieving sufficiency, stability, patriotism, as well as regaining the confidence and self worth of the embattled populace of the Nigerian nation.
Affirmative Action as a Pastoral Liberative for the South African community
The present South African landscape is typified amongst other debates by the affirmative action which was employed to redress the imbalances that were orchestrated by the previous apartheid regime. It is aimed at giving opportunities to the previously disadvantaged groups as a result of segregation and discriminatory laws. It is through the government departments, companies and other stakeholders that affirmative action is used to review and correct the injustices of the past. Although it has been embraced by many people now, it is without doubt that some people still have mixed feelings and even argue against it. There are those who argue that it is apartheid on the reverse side, others understand it as a way of punishing and getting rid of those who enjoyed the benefits of the previous injustices. The paper aims to highlight by way of research some arguments that are raised against affirmative action as well as checking whether pastoral caregivers can help to remedy the situation by giving some pastoral guidelines, particularly to those who feel betrayed by the system.
Does Corruption Buy Peace?
According to the ‘corruption buys peace’ argument, corruption has a role in undermining group warfare. Providing material inducements often operates as a means of solving conflict. There are several notable examples of this phenomenon in Africa; leaders who began as rebels and then transformed themselves into political leaders, despite questionable credentials in transparency and accountability. Applying two-stage least squares regression to cross-sectional data consisting of 46 African countries in 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2008, this paper establishes that countries which experience civil war prior to 1997 had higher levels of corruption than countries that did not experience civil war.
Abstinence-Based Programs and Preventing HIV Transmission: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa
President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief or PEPFAR is the US Government’s global strategy for preventing AIDS/HIV. PEPFAR’s main prevention program features the controversial ABC strategy: Abstain, Be faithful, and correct and consistent use of Condoms. This study uses the “difference-in-differences” (DID) estimator to assess impact of ABC on slowing the spread of HIV in PEPFAR’s sub-Saharan recipient countries. Applying DID analysis to a panel of 40 African countries we found PEPFAR’s preventative measures did not reduce adult HIV rates. These results call into question the effectiveness of ABC as a HIV preventative strategy in sub-Saharan Africa.
Evaluating Anti-Corruption Conventions in Sub-Saharan Africa
Over the last decade African states have ratified three major anti-corruption conventions: (1) The United Nations "Convention against Corruption," (2) "The Southern African Development Community "Protocol against Corruption" and (3) The African Union "Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption." This study uses the "difference-in-differences (DID) estimator to assess the impact of these measures had on stemming corruption in sub-Saharan Africa. Applying the DID analysis to a panel of 46 African, we found that these measures did not reduce the Kaufmann, Kraay and Mastruzzi's "Control of Corruption" index in ratifying states. Similarly, DID analysis applied to a panel of 33 African countries reveal that these measures did not reduce Transparency International's Corruption Perspective Index. This paper identifies the weaknesses in these conventions and what should be done to make them more effective anti-corruption instruments.
The Hanging Ghost of Poverty: Focus on the Fattening Room Institution among the Efik of Cross River State
African societies, prior the advent of colonialism, were basically traditional, exhibiting indigenous religions that controlled their economic, social, political and cultural life. This was the case with the Efik people of Cross River State of Nigeria, who had their distinctive values and norms. The fattening process of their young maidens was one of such. For the Efik, plumpness was a mark of beauty and also a show of wealth by the parents of the maiden. The period of fattening, which is a period when the maiden is secluded from all physical activities also represents the last rite separating childhood from womanhood. This period served as a kind of “educational workshop” for the girl when all the best adult females would be summoned to prime her marriage. The instructions given to the girl during this period becomes more specific and goal-oriented, dealing with the preparation of different kinds of food, behavior with the husband, children upbringing and general family organization. However, by the closing decade of the 19th century when African societies came under colonial rule and consequently, Efik institutions, norms, beliefs and peculiarities lost their indigenous character, acquiring new features. This paper intends to bring to bear how the “fattening room” institution to some extent negatively impoverished the female gender economically, health wise, educationally, politically and caused underdevelopment among the female gender.
Poverty Reduction and the Care of the People (COPE) Program in Yenagoa LGA, Bayelsa State, Nigeria: A Beneficiaries' Perspective
Since the implementation of Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) in the 1980s by the Nigerian government, the incidence of poverty has continued to increase in spite of various poverty reduction programs targeted in the main at children and young adults. Failure of past poverty reduction programs to consider poverty among the aged seems to have exacerbated their deprivation and poverty. Against this backdrop, the study explores the perception of age headed household beneficiaries of Nigerian CCT programme (COPE) in Yenagoa Local Government Area (LGA) of Bayelsa state on the extent their poverty has been reduced. The research made use of both secondary and primary sources drawn from two out of four communities where operates. The study reveals that most of the participants’ conceptualization of poverty reflects the life history and childhood experience of age headed households’ beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries though they do not consider themselves poor. Findings also show that beneficiaries do not perceive their poverty to have been reduced but that COPE has helped them maintain a minimum standard of living by relieving immediate hardship and suffering. The study finds a weakness in the implementation strategies particularly targeting criteria and conditionalities such that those who need it the most are excluded and most of those included have no school age dependants. In addition, findings reveal that the elderly are the principal breadwinners and caregivers for their grandchildren which place an undue burden on them. The age headed household beneficiaries seem to be at the service of COPE rather than being served by COPE. The study concludes that the aged headed households need an interventionist policy tool that is not conditional but specifically addresses the needs of the elderly as a dependent group.
Defining and Conceptualizing Poverty – Intellectual and Leadership Dimensions of Underdevelopment
CLR James has been underappreciated in his perceptiveness regarding the Africana predicament. There is often the tendency to suppose that he was concerned mainly with Haiti. This is partially true on a narrow reading of his works. In this discussion, I argue that his concern was more with Africa writ large, especially in understanding the impoverishing factors responsible for Africana underdevelopment, and the perpetuating factors which continue to compel Africana mendicancy. In this essay, I link the seminar works of James to the need for a holistic definition and conceptualization of poverty, thereby assisting in the process of weaning the intellectual and leadership categories of Africa from the debilitating stupor of plantation mentality on the one hand, and on the other the even more pernicious forces of neo-colonialism masquerading as globalization, free market and democracy in contemporary Africana societies.
Cattle Raiding in Pre-Colonial Madagascar
Cattle-raiding is a widespread phenomenon in southern and eastern Africa that has attracted quite scholarly attention in recent times. However, there is little research on pastoralism in Madagascar, one of the poorest countries in the world. This paper will analyze the impact of cattle raids on society and economy in western and southern Madagascar in the early eighteenth century. The allusions in a comprehensive account of a shipwrecked sailor, who lived for fourteen years in this region and recent archaeological fieldwork, allow a critical assessment of the effects of such raids. The evidence reveals that local rulers in the pastoral regions of Madagascar often raided each other’s villages to steal cattle as well as slaves. Such raids were highly focused and organized activities, which led to numerous feuds. Frequent skirmishes and internecine warfare used up many resources and thus hindered the economic development of large parts of Madagascar long before French colonial forces seized control of the island.
Jamahiriya and the Libyan Youth Movement: A New Chapter
Mu’ammar al-Qaddafi espoused a politico-theoretical view he called the Third Universal Theory, enumerated in his work The Green Book. Qaddafi’s theory holds that authority belongs in the hand of the people and not tyranny. He levied a critique against both western democracy and eastern communism followed by his own theoretical alternative of Jamahiriya, or state of the masses. By organizing people in such a way as to participate directly, Qaddafi theorized that such a political system could begin engaging in genuine democracy. During the rise and at the height of his political philosophy’s popularity the youth in Libya were a driving force behind both Qaddafi and his policies. Given recent events in Libya, the importance of a theoretical unfolding of Qaddafi’s thought is best explained by Alex Inkeles as he writes of his work on the Soviet Union, “Insofar as [men’s action] reflect[s] a mutual adjustment between ideology and social realities, an understanding of the ideology becomes a necessary condition for an understanding of the action.” Important also is a comparison of the Libyan youth who supported Qaddafi as a liberator in years past to the current Libyan youth movement that worked at toppling his regime. As the current Libyan youth movement has thus far disavowed party and ideological affiliation their political philosophy is in transition, away from revolution and on toward building a new chapter for Libya. The ideas they are looking at and espousing now may be a key indicator of where Libya might go in the near future.
Developing a “Green” Africa: The Seed as a Source of Western Capital Cultivating
Alongside the global discussion of climate change, the food crisis in Africa prompted the push for a revitalized “Green Revolution”—a development plan largely funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, or AGRA, is based on the principles of the original Green Revolution, which took place throughout Asia and Latin America during the 1960s and 70s, leaving Africa “behind.” Therefore the Gates Foundation has stepped in to finance today’s overhaul of Africa’s agricultural sector. For Kenya, agricultural development begins with the adaptation of Monsanto’s seeds, genetically engineered to suit small farmers’ needs. This project seeks to (re)contextualize the Kenyan food crisis within colonial history in order to understand how globalization and neo-colonialism coalesce into one issue—the seed. By rooting the seed solution within the colonial context, the project is able to further interrogate the image of the “hungry African” as well as the Westernized notions of science and progress. Furthermore, by drawing upon Arturo Escobar’s development discourse, this project is able to dismantle the rhetoric of the Gates Foundation and AGRA in order to examine the ways in which small farmers in Kenya are turned into clients of the Western world and consumers of Westernized products and thoughts. With field research conducted in Kenya, this project situates the final argument in favor of indigenous farming methods.
Poverty, Ethnicity and Appropriation of Resources: Analyzing the Poverty Conundrum in the Niger Delta
No doubt, the Niger Delta region of Nigeria is one of the most resourceful regions of the world and is unarguably the most resourceful in West Africa, and Nigeria to be particular. During the colonial period the oil palm trade flourished in the Delta. Till date the region remains the bastion of the nation’s economy. As a result of its position as the hub of oil exploration and production activities, the world has always seen the Niger Delta as very important to the global economy. But in the midst of this resourcefulness and famed wealth, the region and its people have remained one of the poorest parts of the earth. A region that once boasted of being an agrarian market economy that delivered food and services is pitiably poor today. Undeniably, poverty remains a conundrum and a scourge that has become an established reality in the Niger-Delta region whose many of inhabitants struggle to make a living. What happened? And why has poverty become ubiquitous in a region that once held its own fort in the economic realm and was able to feed its teeming populace? To answer these questions and unravel this puzzle called poverty, this paper appropriated for itself the task of analyzing poverty as a concept and a human condition with many facets and consequences, and with the utmost interest in locating the role of ethnicity in the political economy of Nigeria as it relates to the appropriation (including allocation and use) of the resources of the Niger Delta and the concomitant poverty ravaging the region like an unbridled rapist.
August Meeting, Participation, and the Strength of Women in community development process in Igbo Land.
Globally, the role of women in community development cannot be over-emphasized. Women have been described by many authors and development analyst as the bedrock in enhancing sustainable community development programs. Their roles and contribution in community development process have remained silent, and less-publicized not only in the media but in the wider society. This discouraging situation has affected effective reporting and publicity of women’s contributions in community development programs which could have uplifted their participation in political, economic, and social activities of our society. On the part of women, these lapses did not affect their continued interest in enhancing the development of their various communities as their participation in most institutionalized organization through which these development programs are initiated, planned and executed, continue to wax strong. Women August meeting in Igbo land remain one known institutionalized forum for women that has been encouraged by women themselves through active participation which has outsmarted men’s effort in community development of many communities especially in Igbo Land. This article will use qualitative approach to examine those barriers that hunt effective publicity and reporting of women’s contribution to community development programs in Igbo land and proffer solution that will help to encourage women to do more in their effort to enhance sustainable community development in their various communities.
Good Governance and Poverty Alleviation in Nigeria
This paper explores the relationship between good governance and poverty alleviation in Nigeria. The idea of good governance and poverty alleviation are part of received concepts by African countries from the Bretton-Woods institutions. These are efforts at experimenting with the failure of development in Africa. It is argued that good governance provides for the efficient management of the economy and the sustenance of equitable development. The paper argues that in the context of the contradictions of neo-liberal capitalism, the attempt at implementation of good governance and poverty alleviation programs further dis-empowers the poor. Poverty reduction instead is suggested in this paper as an alternative programme to be implemented by a people-driven development policy.
Poverty in an Oil Rich Country (ORC): The Nigerian Situation
Unarguably, Nigeria is a wealthy nation. This paper therefore profiles and examines wealth and poverty in Nigeria. It submits that since independence till date, Nigeria records positive and sustained growth rate in its total revenue accruing from oil and non-oil earnings (7th among the top 10 oil rich countries in the world) and yet rated by United Nations Development Programme as the 27th destitute nation on earth; characterized by poor human, social and economic development indicators, with high poverty incidence as a consequence. To achieve these objectives, the paper estimated two models using Ordinary Least Square (OLS) method and Bivariate Correlation analyses. The results reveals that oil revenue has negative and insignificant impact on poverty population (below the expected result) This situation is attributed to the strong positive relationship between corruption (measured by Corruption Perception Index) and the oil revenue which is reflected via chain effect on the poverty incidence. The positive relationship shows that 51% of the oil revenue is lost to corruption and consequently, the poor performance of the oil revenue spending in addressing absolute poverty in the country. The argues that if these hindrances are not addressed, the incidence of poverty will continue to increase by 10%t every three years, otherwise an annual per capita growth of 5% would be required to significantly reduce absolute poverty in the country.
Semiotics of Poverty: the Engaging Narrative of Empowering the Powerless in African Literature
Although views of African writers on and interpretation of, African reality might vary, perhaps in degree, or markedly differ one from another, topical issues that define or characterize Africa and the African Diaspora have engaged the bulk of the African literature. The obvious difference in the writers’ representation of the African experience is traceable to their level of consciousness and degree of exposure. These are factorial of the writers’ creative as well as interpretive or critical sensibilities. Whatever ideology propels an African writer, or any writer for that matter, to eloquence also determines how far he can go in interpreting the reality that engages him. African literature is largely reflective and less than often refractive, going by the trend of topicality, from its oral tradition of epic and panegyric forms, of a people characterized by sporadic wars, insecurity, slave raid, etc., occasioned mostly by inordinate urge for expansionism by empire builders, etc. The colonial and the postcolonial era inclusive, writers have always been engaged in interpretive discourse of the reality that defines Africa. There were conscious attempts to complement the efforts of the nationalists in their struggle for self rule during the colonial period. However, no sooner that the independence was attained than disillusionment and despair of unfulfilled hope set in. Majority of African writers had believed that the hard earned independence would usher in true emancipation from socioeconomic oppression, etc., but they were mistaken. In place of the colonialists a set of home-grown tyrants emerged, a band of looters who lacked the right vision and who squandered the gains of independence. Therefore, the attention of the writers shifted to the home-grown tyrants and their activities. This study examines how through selected works: Ngugi wa Thiog’o’s Devil on the Cross, Ayi Kwei Armah’s Two Thousand Seasons, Ola Rotimi’s Hope of the Living Dead, and Ademola Dasylva’s Songs of Odamolugbe, and the use of various techniques including deployment of symbols and symbolism, African writers consciously make efforts at empowering the powerless by generating sufficient awareness to resist oppression by tapping into their potentials for self liberation and subsequent state emancipation. The paper observes that critical and creative sensibility of the dimension described above was long beheaded. It calls for a renewed effort on the part of the African writer at creating necessary awareness for the empowerment of the oppressed in Africa and the African Diaspora.
Ethno-Religious Conflicts and Women in the Middle Belt Region of Nigeria
“Nigeria since independence has produced a catalogue of religious, ethnic and communal conflicts that resulted in an estimated loss of over 3 million lives and unquantifiable psychological and material damages” (Salawu, 2010:345). About forty percent (40%) of ethno-religious based conflicts are credited to the fourth republic in Nigeria and a greater proportion of such conflicts in the Middle Belt region (Logams, 2004). The Middle Belt region is characterized by a thick concentration of ethnic minorities who are in most cases Christians and a heavy concentration of Hausa and Fulani who are predominantly Muslims. Plateau State for example, has over 50 ethnic groups (PIDAN, 2010) and Adamawa has about 80 ethnic groups (Alubo, 2006, 2004:12).The area also illustrates the close relationship between religion and ethnicity in Nigeria based on segregated ethnic and/or religious settlement patterns created by recurrent conflicts. (Alubo, 2004; Enwerem, 1995), such that conflicts that are essentially ethnic in nature easily have religious colorations (and/or interpretations), (Sha, 2005:196). This research proposal identifies the neglect of women in the Middle Belt in academic research and also explores historical and social context of women’s roles in these conflicts. Specifically, it examines how families are displaced by these conflicts and how ethno-religious conflicts influence family and public life as a means of amplifying women’s concerns in conflict/ conflict situations. In addition, it examines the roles played by women in conflict resolution in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria.
Representing Poverty in the Congo
Explicitly referring to Joseph Conrad’s novel Heart of darkness, the Belgian Thierry Michel’s film, entitled Congo River: Beyond Darkness (2006), follows the Congo, from its river’s mouth on the Atlantic Ocean to its source near the Zambian border. Boats, however, are no longer operating on the river, and people travel on barges that are tied together. The movie follows the journey of such a “floating village,” where no distinguishable boundaries exist between individual and communal spaces, nor between spaces reserved for animals and for humans. Kisangani is located on the river’s bend, after which rapids, falls and cascades mark the river’s course, and only dugouts and small rafts can be used as means of transportation. By traveling against the current, travel on the Congo river becomes a journey in the country’s enigmatic genesis, its complex trajectory (during the colonial and postcolonial epoch), and its brutal interruptions (with, among others, Lumumba’s assassination). The director explicitly refers to this interpretation by inserting archival footage. I show that this juxtaposition of images is disturbing and argue that it does not allow to read the movie as a sign of hope “beyond the limits of darkness” as its title seems to suggest. However, I propose that hope for a better future for the country can be found in people's individual strength and initiatives (represented in side stories). Finally, because of aerial filming, the river acquires a universal meaning and becomes a testimonial to the incredible force of nature that contrasts with the limits of the individual though tragic story of men. The background music by Lokua Kanza reinforces this dimension. My paper will further reflect on Western visual representations of poverty in Africa, linking past and present issues of poverty, religion as a refuge to escape poverty, empowerment, and globalization.
Perceptions of Social Fragmentation and Alienation in the ways Older Ethiopian Children construct their National Identity
This study employs a social constructivist approach to obtain an in-depth understanding of the context in which Ethiopian children (ages 8-11) construct their national identity and develop a sense of their own personal affiliation to it. Three Ethiopian children, who lived and had early primary education in three different cities in Ethiopia, were interviewed about their knowledge, beliefs, and attitude towards their country and their national in-group (other Ethiopians). Analysis of their responses showed fundamental differences in three areas. First, the cognitive representations of their nation (imagined community) were characterized with difference in elaborateness that seemed to be the function of age. Second, the primary social contexts that informed the orientations/perspectives from which they viewed their national in-groups were largely different in emphasis. Third, this difference in perspectives/emphasis seemed to correspond with the difference in their level of sense of personal affiliation with the collective identity. However, even though their responses varied in these important respects, the descriptions of the imagined communities of all the three children were deeply affected by solid, yet, unconscious perceptions of different aspects of social fragmentation. Discussion is made on the nature of the above variations and similarities, and on the implications they have for future research on educational approaches that can help bring social cohesion and national solidarity.
Making Economic Sense of Military Malfeasance: A Case Study of Post-Colonial Uganda
This paper examines the disturbing history of enforced disappearance and extra-judicial punishment in post-colonial Uganda, paying particular attention to the links between poverty and militarized violence. It suggests that during times of economic crisis, the military (or other security agencies) becomes an attractive employment option for poor men and women. However, when soldiers are not paid on a routine basis, as is often the case in many parts of Africa, they may use violence or the threat of violence to gain access to additional resources. During Idi Amin’s dictatorship (1971-1979), for instance, the military “disappeared” countless Ugandan citizens. Not all of these disappearances were related to economic motives, although many certainly were. Using testimony gathered during the Commission of Inquiry to Investigate Violations of Human Rights in Uganda from 1962 until 1986, as well as recent reports from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, this paper tries to make economic sense of military malfeasance. It is part of a larger project that traces the history of “disappearance” in modern Africa.
Decongestion Exercise in the City of Accra and the Ironies
This research paper maintains that the exercise of decongestion in the city of Accra has achieved little success as far as its purpose is concerned. The government in its quest to manage urban slums and to do away with overcrowding faces a dilemma: Do you embark upon a policy when doing so might lead to your abrupt removal from office? Yet it remains an issue of national concern and for that matter must be resolved. In the Ghanaian context, there is a nexus between one’s electoral fortunes and such an exercise. What is even more interesting is that an opposition political party instead of cooperating with the government may capitalize on that to woo voters. Where the exercise has even been carried out, little or no attempt has been made to provide places of haven for the affected persons. For instance, people continue to sell on the roads because of this. Compensations paid to the victims have not only being inadequate but unnecessarily delayed. Against this background, this research paper explores the weaknesses associated with the decongestion exercise. Could such an exercise be successful without providing some kind of a life support system? Why the demolition of people’s houses without adequate compensation? Again, why prevent people from selling at some places without providing alternative space for such people to engage in their economic activities? These are the questions that this paper seeks to address. The paper concludes by recommending measures to handle the situation. These amongst others include providing adequate compensations for the victims, providing convenient but economically viable environment for people to sell, quickening the process of paying compensations and a political dedication to such a cause.
Diet, Disease and Poverty in Three Urban Centers in Ghana, 1945-1990
The late colonial period has been characterized as the era of the ‘great social surveys’ in Africa. The principal focus of these researches, described as “imaginative works of sociological data collection geared towards the better regulation and structure of the colonial and post-colonial town.” In colonial Ghana (then the Gold) three major surveys focused on the Kumase, Sekondi-Takoradi and Accra. The studies recorded deplorable conditions of living marked by poverty, disease and poor housing conditions among many urbanites. The colonial period witnessed dramatic but unstable population growth resulting principally from migration into the urban centers where it was assumed that one could best access the agencies of modern change which included formal education as well as ‘modern’ economic opportunities such as paid occupations. The migrant populations were drawn mostly from the rural areas in the south, generally from the north and from neighboring West Africans who considered Ghana to be more prosperous. The problem was how to maintain order and control change in this environment of flux. This paper examines urban transitions, construction of urban cultures and regulation regimes within the cities and the forces that mediated these changes in three urban centers of Ghana southern in the period 1945 when Meyer Fortes commenced the Ashanti Social Survey to 1990 to coincide with the implementation of the first phase of the Program of Action to Mitigate the Social Cost of Adjustment (PAMSCAD). It does this by addressing the questions: by who and how was the urban environment controlled? How did people access what the cities offered and who mediated the process. It explores the links between such dominant urban phenomena as underemployment/unemployment, and health, diet, stress, crime, and violence in the period under study. It also examines government responses to these developments.
The Paradoxes of One Time Premium Payment for National Health Insurance of Ghana
This study contends that the proposed one time premium payment for the national health insurance in Ghana cannot be feasible and accordingly must be given no consideration. Findings from this research indicate that the average Ghanaian cannot afford such a fee. Figures presented by the Deputy Minister of Health in parliament indicate that the policy cannot work. This is because most people cannot even afford the current system with figures far below the proposed one time premium payment. The major aim of the health insurance policy is to make health facilities affordable to the poor in the society. Therefore, it would be misleading to think that such a proposed policy can fulfill the aim of making health facilities cheap. How can the poor pay such a high fee? In a country scourged by high poverty yet the need to ensure the health safety of the citizenry, it would be appropriate to search for better ways of making such a policy a dream come true. These measures are recommended as ways of making health insurance workable rather than the search for new instruments. These include charging low fees and political will and commitment from top government officials.
Flooded and Dried-out Livelihoods – Deepening Poverty in Communities along the Black Volta in Ghana’s Upper West Region
This paper presents a qualitative analysis of community vulnerability and poverty situation as well as community perceptions of sustainable livelihoods among people living on the banks of the Black Volta in the Upper West Region (UWR) of Ghana. A thematic analysis of interviews (n=18) and focus groups (n=2) from three communities, indicate the livelihoods of these communities are threatened by a paradoxical occurrence of annual floods and extensive dry periods in the area. Communities living along the banks of the Black Volta in the UWR are predominantly small-scale food crop farmers who also engage in fishing to supplement their incomes and food requirements. The single cropping season in this area is between the months of May and August. The construction of the Bagri Dam upstream in Burkina Faso has brought severe negative impacts on crop cultivation and fishing in these communities. The annual opening of spill gates of the Bagri dam results in the flooding of crops on farmlands and the destruction of rudimentary fishing facilities of communities close to the Black Volta. Outside the raining/cropping season, the rest of the year is generally without rainfall. No form of crop cultivation takes place during this period due to the lack of irrigation facilities. With their livelihoods built around agriculture and fishing, these occurrences are aggravating poverty and destitution in the area. Findings from this study indicate high levels of out-migration from the area. Findings also indicate extensive existence of poverty among households indicated by the kinds of coping strategies adopted.
On The Poverty Question in African Societies: An Overview
Poverty is a multifaceted phenomenon and spans the ideological, cultural, technological, educational, economic, financial and other dimensions. The wind of poverty is not indigenous to the African environment. This paper examines the genesis of poverty in Africa. Whereas pre-colonial African formations had adequate agrarian and market structures that sustained the needs of the society, imperialism and related developments over the centuries raped Africa of its resources, dislocating her economic foundations creating poverty and underdevelopment. Today, the scourge of poverty is felt in African societies where majority of the African population struggle to make a living and the model of alleviating this syndrome is however suspect. There is consensus of opinion among people in the society that poverty is not natural but man-made. Along these lines of reasoning, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were conceived by the United Nations as an effective strategy for solving developmental problems in underdeveloped countries including Africa. Although the goals of the MDGs are laudable, the paper concludes that more needs to be done towards achieving the MDGs by vision 20:20:20 target. This includes among other things, sincerity of purpose and the elimination of corruptive influences in all its ramifications.
Poverty Alleviation Strategies in Nigeria: Problems and Prospects
Nigeria presents a paradox. Although the society is rich in culture, religion, ethnic and political diversity, its people are poor. Arguably, peaceful co-existence cannot be guaranteed in any environment if there is a sharp division of the inhabitants into poor and non-poor. Towards laying a solid foundation for sustainable poverty reduction, employment generation, wealth creation and value orientation, regimes in Nigeria have been introducing programmes to reduce the scourge to a manageable level. Despite the struggle, there seems to be a growing gap between the rich and the poor with the latter having an increasingly higher proportion. Poverty updates and statistics reveal that 7 out of every 10 Nigerian live on less than US $1 a day. Against this backdrop, this paper attempts a critical review of poverty alleviation programmes in Nigeria. Relying on secondary and oral sources across the country, available evidence show that problems exist in the effective operation of the programmes to reach the target audience. As long as the situation remains, such programmes may be elusive. Nevertheless, the paper concludes that prospects are realizable if adequate measures are put in place to improve upon existing programmes.
Poverty and abuse of the Elderly in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
Poverty is a global problem facing many elderly persons. In Akwa Ibom State, poverty and abuse of the elderly are widespread and severe, but although poverty continues to be at the centre stage of national discourses, the problem of elder abuse is yet to receive the attention of both the state and federal governments. This paper attempts to discuss poverty and elderly abuse in domestic settings in Akwa Ibom State. It discusses the high prevalence of elderly abuse in the area, and argues that poverty is both the cause and consequence of abuse of the elderly in the area. It argues further that the better the educational and income levels of the elderly and their families; the less likely they are to suffer abuse. The paper advocates increased public awareness on the ills inherent in elder abuse. It also recommends the inclusion of the elderly in poverty alleviation programs of government at various levels, and the institution of social security programme for the elderly to substantially reduce poverty, and resultant abuse of the elderly.
Nigerian Video Films and Female Spectatorship: Deconstructing the Male Gaze
Anchored in a historically specific period of classical Hollywood cinema, classic feminist film theories drawing from Laura Mulvey’s seminal paper, ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’ deny the neutrality of the cinematic apparatus and posit a male gaze in films that obliterate the feminine on and off screen. The positioning of women in such an analysis renders the female spectator non-existent or needing recourse to either a masochistic identification with the sexually objectified female or a trans-sexual alignment with the active male subject for active spectatorship. Extending this analysis to the Nigerian film industry begs the question, how relevant is Mulvey when examining female spectatorship in Nigerian home video? This work problematizes the male gaze and questions the existence of other spectatorial positions that give agency to the female. How does the specificity of the Nigerian culture and social anxieties intersect with Nigerian video production and its female audience? What does the eroticization of such Nigerian male actors like Ramsey Noah, Desmond Elliot, and Emeka Ike, the upsurge of film genres of alternative sexualities and strong female bonding, and the strong independent sexually aggressive female heroine who appropriates the gaze, mean for the female spectator? Can we talk of a female gaze and if there is, does it carry with it active power or remains ‘desire to desire’, incapable of being acted upon?
The Need for Arts Management as a Strategy for Rapid Development of Arts in Nigeria
Arts Management is a key asset for arts development. Arts Management in the context of this study covers a variety of activities put together to develop and improve the potentials of art, artists and art organizations. It involves directing and controlling the activities of individuals operating in the system and all other materials or resources found within the system. For art and art organizations to experience growth and development, a conscious effort ought to be made towards harnessing resources to create enabling environment for success. There is the need for Nigerian artist to keep abreast of development trends in the sector. This topic has been carefully chosen to achieve the objectives of the times in the promotion of arts for national development. The paper identifies the issues and challenges facing art, artists and art organizations in Nigeria that needs to be addressed for the attainability of sustainable economic growth. These challenges include the lack of recognition, poor funding, low audience participation in artistic activities, poor and unmaintained facilities among others. Recommendations are appropriately made based on issues reviewed thus, arts Management seems to be the solution to the problem of arts development in Nigeria, and artists to re-orientate themselves into accepting to be managed by professional art manager /administrators.
“Amelee heni Ame je”: Mobilizing & Empowering the “Tabom” Youth to “Perform” Brazilian Identity
“Amelee heni Ame je” is a phrase in one of the Ghanaian languages, Ga, that literally means “they do not know where they come from.” This is a common phrase that emerges whenever I interact with or interview the older “Tabom” generation. The “Tabom” people are Ghanaians of Afro-Brazilian descent. “Amelee heni Ame je” is often used to explain why the “Tabom” youth are somewhat disconnected from their Brazilian heritage. This paper examines the socio-cultural and historical forces that created these disengagement, the processes by which the “Tabom” Mantse (chief/leader) and the elders of the community as well as the Brazilian Embassy in Ghana are mobilizing, empowering and motivating the “Tabom” youth to “perform” Brazilian identity through various forums and avenues within and outside “Tabom” communities. This paper seeks not only to show the significance of “Amele heni Ame je” to the preservation of Brazilian identity alongside a Ghanaian character; but memory of an ancestral homeland in Latin America as a result of the Middle Passage experience. In general, this paper is presented within a larger discourse of reverse migrations, trans-Atlantic narratives and other degrees of performances within the Ghanaian-Atlantic Diaspora.
Advancing the Anti-Poverty Crusade through the Enforcement of the Right to Education under the Laws of Nigeria
Poverty in most part of Africa is endemic. The quality and standard of life often measured from the per capita income of each nation leaves a majority of Africans living below the poverty line. The poverty situation in Nigeria is an enigma to socio-economic scholars as Nigeria is rated as the sixth exporter of petroleum globally. It is puzzling that while there are pockets of economic development in Nigeria, majority of the population can barely afford the basic necessity of life. Electric power supply is epileptic. The roads are seen as dead traps. Food supply is largely dependent on imports despite a clement weather for agriculture all year round. Even access to food is lopsided as a majority of the population can hardly afford the costly imported supplies. There appears to be a connection between elitism and access to the national wealth. This paper therefore analyses the legal regime of the right to education for the Nigerian child as a panacea for poverty eradication. It explores the Constitutional provisions for the right to education for the Nigerian child as expressed in Section 18 of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution. It also analyses the provisions of other legal instruments like the Universal Basic Education Act and judicial pronouncement on the right of the Nigerian child to education. It is the thrust of this work that a well trained citizen is a better positioned crusader against poverty, as amongst other benefits education creates self-reliance and the ability to better grapple with economic growth.
Microfinance Services in Developing Countries: A Proactive Approach to Poverty Reduction
This study examines the usefulness of Microfinance services in poverty reduction as part of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in developing countries. It also examines the major achievements of Microfinance institutions in Nigeria. Exploratory research method is applied to reach an understanding. The finding indicates that the operation of Microfinance institutions (MFIs) in some major developing countries including Nigeria has grown from informal participation to the reluctance of banks to fund the emerging micro enterprises and that the sub sector faces a number of challenges, which have to be addressed by the concerned authority.
Owner’s Age and Business Performance in a Nigerian State: Implication on Rural Poverty
The study appraises the effect of age on the performance of rural non-farm enterprises in the rural areas of Osun State of south-western Nigeria. This was with the view of investigating the implication of this on poverty. The study employs multistage sampling procedure to select 480 rural non-farm entrepreneurs as respondents for the study. Data were collected through a duly pre-tested and validated interview schedule. Data were also analysed with both descriptive and inferential statistical tools such as frequency counts, ratio and percentages, t-test and regression analysis. The result shows that the age of sampled business owners significantly influenced the performance of their enterprises. The study concludes on the note that age is a critical factor when designing rural poverty alleviation programme on rural enterprise development for the rural people.
Desire for the Familiar: Myths of Exceptional Ethnicities and Tribes on the Anthropological Pedestal
During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, anthropologists working closely with colonial administrations or under the funding of colonial offices scoured every corner of the continent for exceptionalism. In essence these ethnographers looked for examples of structures, practices and beliefs that mirrored that which was familiar to European sensibilities. Born from this desire to control, categorize, and make sense of Africa on the various European terms was the Hamitic myth. Though most acutely applied to ethnic groups of Northeast Africa with what came to be defined as "caucasoid" features - long noses and limbs - the notion permeated depictions and understandings of Africans all over the continent though in slightly more nuanced and sub-conscious ways. This paper interrogates the implications and impacts of Monica Wilson's studies on the Nyakyusa. One of a number of ethnic groups in Southwestern Tanzania, the Nyakyusa were portrayed and thus perceived as distinct from, and in essence superior to, other surrounding 'tribes'. Wilson created the Nyakyusa spectacle by exceptionalizing their use of age-sets, age-villages, and age-mates as a form of social and political organizing. This type of work continues to influence whose histories go untold and whose get retold fifty years after the demise of colonialism, thus it is critical to re-examine the history of anthropology in various corners of the continent.
Poverty in Postcolonial Africa and the Legacy of Contested Perspectives
The point that Africa is poverty-stricken is an established, widely known fact. However, perspectives on the causes and the solutions to the “African Drama,” to borrow Gunnar Myrdal’s phrase for a similar situation in Southeast Asia, remain awash in the sea of contestations/debates. This paper examines the debates and their implications for Africa. Pursuant to this, it raises a number of questions and provides their answers. First, what are the dimensions of the contestations/debates? The paper argues that the debates have many interrelated dimensions elaborating in the context of the dynamics of historical trajectories. For instance, the Cold War dimension manifested in ideological divides, as old debates about the roles of internal and external factors/actors resonate. Second, what accounts for the lack of consensus or the persistence of the debates in spite of for instance, the end of the Cold War? The study argues that differences in orientation are largely implicated. Third, what are the implications of the debates for Africa? The paper argues that they have reinforced poverty on the continent. The paper employs historical, descriptive and analytical methodologies to analyze basically secondary sources.
The Challenges of Poverty Reduction: Some Views
Africa’s persistent poverty and underdevelopment problems have together emerged not only as challenge to the international community but as the 21st century’s new discipline for study because nearly all of the models and approaches prescribed by development experts, development institutions and social scientists over the years have failed to bring about any practical economic growth or poverty reduction. Instead the scale of poverty and underdevelopment has been exacerbated. This paper examines some of the key factors that have contributed to poverty in Africa; explores the historical contexts of poverty in Africa, its impact on the region, and possible strategies to move Africa forward from this state of affairs.
Running Head: Mungiki Violence against Women
Mungiki is a Kenyan terror group that emerged in the 1980s (Phombeah, 2003). The group grew in the 1990s and early 2000s to gain significant strength in the country. Current membership of the group is estimated at four million people (Mwai, 2000). Mungiki operates like an organized crime to achieve the organization’s stated vision of reverting Kenyans to traditional cultural practices (Anonymous, 2008a; Phombeah, 2003). The organization has a specific agenda to force women to re-learn old cultural traditions of female circumcision, or female genital mutilation (Harris, 2000). The movement is interested in forcing women to return to traditional cultural practices, and to dress modestly by doing away with miniskirts and trousers (Harris, 2000). This paper discusses Mungiki behavior toward women educators, activists, and people who speak out against female genital mutilation. It examines evidence of abuse, rape, and discrimination of women leaders by members of Mungiki. It cites specific incidences of Mungiki terror activities towards women observed directly during practice of medicine in emergency department, and women’s ward in a general hospital in Nairobi. It also provides other examples of Mungiki terror against women, and women leaders reported by the members of the Kenya Development Network and Consortium. These arguments are supported with corroborative newspaper reports illustrating that Mungiki terror activities are common knowledge in Kenya.
Fate of Children of Perceived Political Activist Parents
Mungiki is a dangerous terror organization operating in Kenya. The members follow their mission of bringing Kenyans back to pre-colonial tribal traditions with religious fever and zeal. They are also known to be highly determined and unafraid of death in exercising their mission. They are not afraid of killing those who refuse to accept their vision. Political activists are a special target of the Mungiki members who maintain that Christian politicians have to revert to traditional ways of worship, and that women must do away with short skirts, and trousers, and undergo the traditional female circumcision as a rite of passage. Political leaders who focus on promoting western style politics and education are a specific target of Mungiki, as members of the organization consider such leaders as an obstacle to achievement of the mission of Mungiki. The organization shows hostility to children of political activist and often uses them to teach their parents a lesson. Members of Mungiki are particularly hostile to politicians who are also Christians. In order to understand why the members of Mungiki are hostile to Christian politicians and their families, one has to understand what is wrong with Christianity in the eyes of Mungiki. The paper will explain the problem with Christianity according to Mungiki to help understand the fate of Christian politicians who interfere with Mungiki’s mission of “restoration of dignity.” The paper aims to unravel Mungiki criticism/s of Christianity after a critical examination of the historical origins of the Mungiki.
Ethnographic Imaginations Gone Wild: Cool Mamas and their Hot African Daughters
This paper examines ethnographic research on Kaguru and Zalamo women in central-eastern Tanzania. During the twentieth century, anthropologists T.O. Biedelman, who worked in Kaguru communities, and Marja-Liisa Swantz, and Lloyd Swantz, who worked among Zaramo people, did extensive fieldwork and published many accounts about the lives of these matrilineal-Bantu-descended ethno-linguistic people. In particular, their works placed much emphasis on understanding women’s and girls bodies and their treatment. Although much of what we now know about the early histories of these groups was not as well known when they completed their fieldwork, the ethno-centric and biased accounts they generated about their Kaguru and Zalamo objects/subjects reveal much about enduring epistemological assumptions about women and gender in Africa. Their conclusions, however, biased and no doubt refined in light of more recent research continue to erroneously frame the way researchers in Africa examine women, particularly their sexuality and maternity. By using Kaguru and Zaramo examples, this paper offers some ways to develop more constructive research paradigms.
How Africans Underdeveloped Africa: the Nigerian Experience
Africa experienced centuries of exploitation and domination. This began with the historic Trans Atlantic slave trade, followed by the era of Imperialist conquest and colonization under which Africa’s hope for development was nearly shattered. From late 1950’s African countries, more specifically West Africans fought and regained their sovereignty. On the 1st October 1960, Nigerians got their independence and began the process of governing their economy and society by themselves. Six years into independence, Nigeria experienced coups and counter coups that brought to an end the first civilian elected rulers of the country. Since then peace eluded the polity. From the experience of the 1960’s and 1970’s that divided the country into Southern and Northern parts, Nigeria moved into religious and tribal divide of 1980’s and 1990’s and indeed to that of ethnic extermination of the 21st century. Disunity, ethno-religious and tribal sentiment characterized social relations in the country. “Cultism” of all sorts became determinant for appointment into positions of responsibility at federal, state and local authority levels. Development cannot be achieved under these hostile environments. On the 30th October 2010, Nigeria celebrated its fifty years of self rule without any significant indices for development, though blessed with human and natural resources. This paper attempts an explanation of the forces behind these challenges. It argues that the inability of Nigeria to develop since independence can be attributed to forces from within.
Africa Conference 2012: Poverty and Empowerment in Africa
Convened by Dr. Toyin Falola and Coordinated by Sylvester Gundona and Tosin Funmi Abiodun for the Center for African and African American Studies
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