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Abstract

Small-scale farmers in sub-Saharan Africa face malnutrition and a low level of dietary diversity despite often living in areas endowed with high agrobiodiversity. In Western Kenya (Vihiga County), malnutrition occurs despite it being a highly biodiverse area with several options for diversifying diets. The main purpose of this thesis is to assess the potential of biodiversity to improve diet quality in a sample from Vihiga County 1 . We approached this objective using a variety of indicators which were retrieved by (i) a correlation study on the association of agrobiodiversity with diet quality, (ii) an intervention study on the effectiveness of a participatory approach to improving diet quality through agrobiodiversity use, (iii) a qualitative study following up on the intervention study by exploring pathways to improving diets and (iv) a literature review on dietary assessment methods for neglected underutilised species (nus). This thesis highlights the importance of studying the full scope of agrobiodiversity, including on-farm biodiversity, food consumption, perceptions and pathways to diverse diets. Nutrition must be seen in the context of ecosystems that determine our agriculture and nutrition in the long term. The transition to more sustainable and equitable food systems requires greater participation from the people who produce our food and nurture biodiversity.

In: Afrika Focus

Abstract

The goal of this study on the legal framework for virtual assets in Mauritius is to find any gaps in the legislation, come up with solutions to close such gaps, and improve the existing legal framework for virtual assets. The article concentrates on the provisions of the Virtual Asset and Initial Token Offering Services (vaitos) Act 2021, which seeks to control the market for cryptocurrencies and other virtual assets in Mauritius. Selected countries were studied in order to discover the various techniques used with regard to regulatory challenges. Although Mauritius passed a comprehensive law on the issue, we find that the Financial Services Commission, the country’s regulatory authority, lacks the necessary tools to effectively oversee cryptocurrencies and other virtual assets. The integration of virtual asset services with African nations is also lacking.

In: Afrika Focus
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In: Afrika Focus

Abstract

This article explores Russia’s influence in Africa, which poses a significant challenge to the West. In recent years, Moscow has gained momentum on the continent, becoming a formidable rival to Western powers. It has formed strategic alliances with key African nations, solidifying its foothold. Many African countries now see Russia as an alternative to Western partners. To establish this influence, Moscow prioritises military and economic partnerships, offering trade, investments and security assistance in exchange for political support. The West has been slow to respond, either preoccupied with domestic issues or disengaged from Africa, allowing Russia to gain the upper hand. The implications of Russia’s African influence are far-reaching, posing a significant challenge to Western interests. This situation could escalate geopolitical tensions and potentially lead to conflict with the West. We aim to explore Russia’s motives and its impacts on African nations, shedding light on how they affect Western interests.

In: Afrika Focus

Abstract

This article examines the activities of (il)legal online lenders in Nigeria. A qualitative method was adopted in which literature, media reports, commentaries and indepth interviews were deployed. We argue that the insufficient regulatory role of the government, the laxity of laws, a failure to initiate social security, poor access to loan facilities, corruption and poverty, among other factors, account for the incursions of illegal online lenders (loan sharks) who deploy unorthodox methods in reclaiming their loans from defaulters in Nigeria, and that use of force remains ineffective. We recommend a more robust and holistic framework to tackle (il)legal online lenders. This must, among other things, start from the government’s political will, revamping the economy, establishing an effective regulatory role of government and its agencies in the online and offline financial institutions, and creating job opportunities, access to loans and an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.

In: Afrika Focus
In: Afrika Focus

Abstract

Tax evasion and avoidance have remained fundamental reasons for the gradual pace of development of Nigeria’s economy since the inception of colonial rule. This study examines the issues of tax evasion and avoidance in Nigeria, and the role of the government, the citizens and the enabling laws in the under-development of the Nigerian economy. To present credible evidence around the focus of the research, the study adopts historical research methods considering both secondary sources (textbooks, peer-reviewed journal articles and newspaper reports) and primary sources (archival materials and oral interviews). The eventual findings of the paper indicate that some Nigerian groups frequently avoid paying their proportionate share of tax. The paper further finds that although tax reduction can help to reduce the incidence of tax evasion, resource-poor people frequently pay higher taxes than the wealthy, who commonly find ways to avoid paying their fair share of taxes; and also that tax officials manipulate tax rates in favour of rich clients. The study therefore concludes that tax evasion and avoidance will be mitigated if policymakers ensure that taxation is less arbitrary and burdensome.

In: Afrika Focus

Abstract

The objective of this study is to analyse Arabic and French news articles published in the two Moroccan daily newspapers, Aujourd’hui le Maroc and Assabah, from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2018, using content analysis. The study addresses three research questions: (1) how does Moroccan media portray sub-Saharan migrants both textually and visually? (2) What type of narratives does Moroccan mainstream media circulate about sub-Saharan migrants? (3) How are sub-Saharan migrants framed by the two newspapers? The study is based on mass communication framing theory. Twenty-five articles were selected for the textual analysis and 12 headline images were chosen for the visual analysis. The content analysis findings revealed five frames: administration, border security, criminality, economic-social integration, and vulnerability and victimisation.

In: Afrika Focus

Abstract

This report develops interrelated perspectives on North–South collaboration, with a particular focus on joint PhD research. A specific – but perhaps atypical – case will be presented, in which the doctoral student is located and collects data in the Global North but is co-advised by supervisors from both Ghent University (Belgium) and the University of the Western Cape (South Africa) in the context of a strategic inter-institutional partnership between the two universities. The report details how the research project is inserted into interdependent trajectories and attends to crucial questions about academic cooperation in a transnational context across institutional, geographic and socio-cultural settings and with global academic aspirations. Is joint research only a matter of academic collaboration with relevant expertise? How does the project connect to pressing challenges of (sociolinguistic) knowledge production and – in this particular case – the theme of decolonisation?

In: Afrika Focus

Abstract

This paper examines issues of the slave trade and slavery in the Momo River valley of Cameroon. Using primary sources (oral tradition and archival materials) and secondary sources, the paper shows the impact of the transatlantic slave trade in the region not only in the slave trade and slaving activities but also in the transformation of some old social institutions and the emergence of new ones. The paper argues that the transatlantic slave trade introduced capitalists in this part of Africa, who continued to make profits from legitimate commerce after the abolition of the slave trade through the persistent enslavement of other Africans to work in the palm oil industry. The Momo River valley continued to be a major source of these slaves. This paper therefore brings into the limelight slavery and the slave trade in an area which contributed to the transatlantic and the post-transatlantic slave trade but which has still not received adequate scholarly attention.

In: Afrika Focus