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Author: Carol Chi Ngang
In The Right to Development in Africa, Carol Chi Ngang provides a conceptual analysis of the human right to development with a decolonial critique of the requirement to have recourse to development cooperation as a mechanism for its realisation. In his argumentation, the setbacks to development in Africa are not necessarily caused by the absence of development assistance but principally as a result of the lack of an operational model to steer the processes for development towards the highest attainable standard of living for the peoples of Africa. Basing on the decolonial and capability theories, he posits for a shift in development thinking from dependence on development assistance to an alternative model suited to Africa, which he defines as the right to development governance.

Abstract

Non-formal apprenticeship opportunities have a clear record of effectiveness, as evidenced by several research studies. After completing short-term vocational training, apprentices demonstrate the required vocational skills. How is learning constructed in a non-formal learning process? What forms of interaction are developed? What are the determinants of the effectiveness demonstrated by apprentices?

This article answers these questions by analysing data from a survey that evaluates the elements of the training context and the level of skills acquired by apprentices. It shows that there is great flexibility in the organisation and techniques of learning, as well as permanent interdependence between apprentices, which facilitates the co-construction of skills.

In: Afrika Focus

Abstract

Several programmes by government and non-governmental organisations aimed at improving maternal health in many sub-Saharan African nations have not achieved significant results. Use of traditional maternal care services has been identified as still prevalent and thus a possible factor. This study investigated determinants of use of traditional birth services (tbs s) among patrons in tbs-inclined communities of Nigeria and Ghana. A total of 180 and 160 patrons of tbs s were selected from the respective countries, using a multi-stage procedure. The most utilised tbs s include home delivery, concoctions/herbs and family planning. Educational level, constraints to using conventional services, income, and perceived social and economic advantages significantly influenced utilisation. Patrons in Nigeria had better perceived relative advantages of tbs than Ghana, while the accessibility of conventional maternal services, performance rating and overall utilisation of tbs s did not differ significantly between the two countries. Social bonds and economic status were the main reasons for continued patronage of tbs s.

In: Afrika Focus

Abstract

Mauritius won its first victory when the “tribunal constituted under Annex vii of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea” delivered its award “in the matter of the Chagos Marine Protected Area (mpa) Arbitration, between the Republic of Mauritius and the United Kingdom”. The award declared that the mpa established around Chagos by the United Kingdom was against international law. However, the decision desired by both Mauritius and the Chagossians is found in the dissenting opinion, which is, as a matter of law, non-binding. The dissenting opinion is to the effect that the tribunal had jurisdiction to consider the issue of sovereignty over Chagos and that if such issue was considered, Mauritius had a strong case for winning back sovereignty over Chagos. This article aims to make the dissenting opinions more widely known and reflect on the legal value of such opinions, alongside their high political and moral value and relevance to Mauritius and the Chagossians.

In: Afrika Focus
In: Afrika Focus

Abstract

The financial sustainability of microfinance institutions (mfi s) is crucial if their benefits are to be enjoyed in the long run. This study investigated the determinants of mfi s’ financial sustainability at growth stage. The study aimed to address the following questions: are factors influencing financial sustainability at maturity equally important at growth stage? What influence do lending terms have on financial sustainability at growth stage? The study used panel regression models and four-year survey data from 106 rural mfi s in Tanzania. Decomposition of lending types was adopted to unveil the contribution of lending terms to financial sustainability. We found that most factors influencing financial sustainability at maturity stage are equally important in influencing sustainability at growth stage. In addition, two factors appear to affect financial sustainability at growth stage only. Moreover, lending terms matter in determining financial sustainability at growth stage. The study provides insights on how lending terms can be used to influence financial sustainability at growth stage.

In: Afrika Focus

Abstract

For the last two decades, scholars within the dominant, largely Western, approaches to democratic consolidation have considered the consolidation of democracy in sub-Saharan Africa to be stymied, if not impossible. Drawing on the various models of this democratic consolidation, this article seeks to examine whether African (and Latin American) democracies have really failed to meet all the necessary criteria of democratic consolidation, or whether the measures and/or application of the dominant approaches are methodologically flawed in their application to non-Western cases. The case study analysis suggests that while Senegal has sufficiently met the ‘alternation of power’ requirement as well as demonstrating significant deepening of democracy, it has failed to maintain low levels of governmental corruption – a necessary criterion for consolidation according to the dominant approaches. Moreover, given their contagion effect, larger regional instabilities pose a significant threat to the country’s democratic survivability. However, as the case study analysis suggests, while these factors remain a matter of concern, when comparisons are drawn with countries such as Italy, Greece and Spain, they may not be as crucial in explaining why Senegal and other new democracies are not considered consolidated democracies as they may initially seem.

In: Afrika Focus
In: Afrika Focus
Author: Kennedy Bomfeh

Abstract

Smoked fish products are an important source of animal protein in Ghana. They are processed on traditional ovens (namely, the Chorkor smoker and the metal drum), which results in elevated product contamination with carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (pah s). The main regulatory marker for pah s is benzo(a)pyrene (BaP). An improved oven called the fao-Thiaroye Processing Technique (ftt) has been proposed as an intervention. This study evaluated the efficacy of that intervention and evaluated consumer response to its products. Sardinella sp. was smoked separately on the ftt and the traditional ovens and their BaP levels determined. Whereas the mean BaP in the ftt product was 0.2 µg/kg (ten times lower than the EU limit of 2 µg/kg), the levels in the Chorkor smoker and metal drum products were 60 µg/kg and 26 µg/kg, respectively (up to 30 times the EU limit). Consumer acceptance did not differ between ftt and traditional oven products. This suggests that ftt is an efficacious intervention whose products are acceptable to consumers.

In: Afrika Focus

Abstract

Through the ethnographic lens of so-called gangs and anti-gangs, this doctoral thesis investigates the politics of everyday policing in the conflict-affected city of Goma (Democratic Republic of Congo) and the distinct style of street authority it produces. The gangs and anti-gangs focused upon in this doctoral study are marginalised youths from Goma’s popular neighbourhoods, who see it as their mission to protect the cities’ inhabitants from the everyday “crime” and violence committed by maibobo (street children) and other gangs. To understand how gangs and anti-gangs carve out a political space for themselves within Goma’s broader policing environment, and impose themselves as street authorities, I draw from three main theoretical concepts: liminality, performance and the political imagination. The doctoral thesis is situated in bodies of literature around urban violence and (in)security, conflict studies, vigilantism and civilian policing groups, governance, and the exercise of public authority. Methodologically, besides the main method of ethnography, this PhD relies also on visual methodologies – in particular a collaborative filmmaking methodology that was developed during the course of the research.

In: Afrika Focus