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This study attempts to assess the perceptible or real impacts of the pledges made at the high level India-Africa Forum Summits towards building human capabilities, in recipient countries in Africa. Ensconced within the theoretical frameworks of South-South Cooperation and South-South Development Cooperation, this study affirms that international cooperation between India and Africa goes beyond aid. It includes inter alia, the sharing of development experiences for building human and physical infrastructural capabilities in Africa. Training programmes and the implementation of capacity building institutions are being set up, based on requests from partner countries. Evidently there has been a mixed response to these endeavours. This study analyses the causes for the time lapse between the commitments made at the first two editions of the forum summits and the delayed implementation of the capacity building initiatives on the ground. The tardy implementation of mutually agreed upon projects obfuscates the agenda of development cooperation between India and Africa. The ongoing stock taking and proactive efforts by India and recipient countries in Africa towards completing the long pending institutions and schemes will further enhance the efficacy and credibility of South-South Development Cooperation between India and Africa.

In: African and Asian Studies

People of Indian descent had long interacted with the Swahili of East Africa. This interrelationship became particularly momentous during British colonial rule that gave additional impetus to Indian migration to East Africa. In time East Africa, in general, and Mombasa, Kenya’s second largest city, in particular, became home to significant populations of Indian settler communities. Motivated by an immigrant psychology and relatively privileged status under colonial rule, Indian immigrants took full advantage of the opportunities to become remarkably successful socially and economically.

Local inhabitants were fully aware of the success of Indian immigrants of East Africa, and for some of them, the Indian record became a yard stick for their own successes and failures. Among these was Sheikh Al-Amin bin Ali Mazrui (1891-1947), famed for his reformist ideas about East African Islam. Using his Swahili periodical, Swahifa, he tried to galvanize members of Swahili-Muslim community towards the goal of community uplift by drawing on the experiences of East African Indians as a way of referring them back to some of the fundamentals of a progressive Islamic civilization in matters of the economy, education, and cultural preservation. In this sense, the East African Indian “mirror” became an important means of propagating Sheikh Al-Amin’s agenda of an alternative modernity rooted in Islamic civilization.

In: African and Asian Studies

Professor Ali Mazrui embodied an optimistic universalism and the capacity to find common ground for global dialogue amidst conflicts. When receiving a lifetime achievement award – Mazrui, in his acceptance speech, pointed to two specific poems of Rumi and Wordsworth as a source of inspiration for awakening the ‘love of beauty and the beauty of love.’ In the context of the shared humanity of these experiences, one realizes the ability of such experiences to create a common language across barriers, a language of social justice and human rights. Using integrative interdisciplinary approaches from the fields of comparative religion and comparative literature, this essay explores the similarities and differences of the messages of Mazrui, Rumi, and Wordsworth to achieve an awakening. Such an awakening involves the individual’s awareness of being a part of something greater, often achieved in nature, which may serve as a basis for the universal grammar of social justice and human rights. Hermeneutic and phenomenological approaches, including intersubjectivity, are employed in the exegesis of the poetic material and its context. Also explored are the historical similarities and differences, anthropological and psychobiographical factors in the life histories of Mazrui, Rumi and Wordsworth. Ultimately, the dialectic between the polarities of themes of the pain of separation and longing for union, often linked to losses and life changing experiences such as migration, can be understood as opportunities for personal growth – motivating individuals to reach toward connection, reparation and the ability to engage in cultural dialogue and move past difference toward social justice and human rights.

In: African and Asian Studies

In many religious (and other) communities, a dispute about ideology is often more accurately understood as a dispute about authority and power. Such a conflict may progress through three stages, each one more deeply challenging to the legitimacy of traditional authority structures. Whether the challenge ultimately succeeds or fails, its impact may reach far beyond the immediate issue ostensibly in contention: What might start as a narrowly-defined question of ideology or theology may evolve into a comprehensive rejection of the dominant authority’s moral foundation. This article examines such a dynamic through two case studies from the Daudi Bohra community, a denomination of Shi’a Islam spread across Asia, Africa, and four other continents. The first case involves a century-long contestation between the denomination’s apex cleric and a group of dissidents over the proper limits of clerical control. The second case, unfolding in 2014, involves a clerical dispute over succession to the hegemonic office of da’i-al mutlaq. In both cases, the Bohra experience in dealing with issues of ideology and authority provides an example illustrative of a dynamic found in many religious communities worldwide.

In: African and Asian Studies

As an introduction to the special issue, this essay covers a range of topics – from Mazrui’s historic essay on Gandhi and Nehru to Rumi and Wordsworth’s universal optimism and the role of education and technology in globalization. The historic and cultural relationship between Africa and India is examined, where several important themes are discussed: 1) the emphasis on human rights and social justice; 2) building sustainable development through literacy, education, tech-transfer, and cultural exchange; 3) journeys of loss and redemption between Africa, India and the West; and 4) the historic India-Africa summits.

In: African and Asian Studies

The virtual addiction of Muslim Hausa youth to Indian films has a long history, which stretched to the first Indian films screen in northern Nigerian cinemas in the 1960s. The cultural convergence between what the Hausa see as representations of Indian cultural behavior – in terms of social mores, dressing, social interaction – all served to create what they perceive as a convergence between Indian ‘culure’ and Muslim Hausa culture. This paper traces the evolutionary attachment of the Hausa to Indian films and culture. In particular, it traces the various ways through Hausa youth use various devices to adopt, or adapt Indian popoular culture to suit their own re-worked creative pursuits. As a study of transnational fandom, it provides vital insight into how cultural spaces are collapsed, despite spatial and religious spaces.

In: African and Asian Studies

This article surveys the demographic research of the past 35 years concerning the impact of women’s school attainment on mortality, fertility and health practices. The empirical findings are remarkably consistent across Asia, Africa and Latin America, and in the 20th and 21st centuries, with evident associations between female primary and secondary school attainment and child mortality in the Gakidou et al. (2010) study of 175 countries. Associations with fertility and health practices are also consistent. What are the processes that account for these associations? I propose, based on a study assessing maternal literacy in four diverse countries (Mexico, Nepal, Venezuela and Zambia), that literacy skills and teacher-pupil interaction in the classroom are central to the processes by which school experience changes maternal behavior in developing countries. Basu and Stephenson (2005) arrived at similar conclusions independently from their analysis of the 1992/93 Indian National Family Health Survey, but final conclusions concerning the causal processes involved are not possible without longitudinal research.

In: African and Asian Studies

Manipur, an erstwhile princely state of northeastern India, suffered in the hands of Burmese during 1819-25 and again in the hands of British in 1891. Since 1891, the state had been under the control of the British government of India. With the change in hands of the seat of administration, the economy of the state underwent drastic changes.

Following pure economic history approach, we analyse the salient features of the economy of Manipur during the feudal and colonial era. It was observed that the otherwise self-sufficient food economy of the feudal era was distorted during the colonial period. The colonial policy not only robbed the rice economy but also shunned the paths of industrialisation, thus preventing the natural transition of an economy. The policy of monetisation and commercialisation of agriculture led to export-led-retardation of the people and de-industrialisation of the economy with feeble trends towards tertiarisation of the economy.

In: African and Asian Studies

This article discusses the establishment of St. Mary School Yala, a school begun by the Mill Hill Missionaries as an incentive to attract potential African converts to Catholicism. The school was the outcome of fierce rivalry among missionary groups to spread their denominational faith. Provision of formal education became a popular method of enticing potential converts when colonialism took root as Africans then began flocking mission stations in search of this education to survive the colonial economy. Data for this study was collected from the Kenya National Archive, oral interviews, and from published works on missionary activity in their early years of settlement in Kenya. The study has applied Christian Apologetics theory in analysing the missionaries’ conflict which initiated the establishment of St. Mary’s School; and Dahrendorf’s Theory of Social Conflict in examining conflicts between missionaries, Africans and the colonial state which steered the later development of St. Mary’s School.

In: African and Asian Studies

The Project for the Establishment of a National Museum in the drc, currently being carried out as a form of grant aid, is Korea’s first cultural oda project. The purpose of the project is for a newly constructed drc National Museum which will protect the cultural heritage of various ethnic groups, and to present their history in order to inspire national pride and integrate the nation. Furthermore, it is hoped that the project will aid the Congo perople in understanding their history correctly, and contribute to the historical and cultural development of their country. This case study can be used as a starting point for a more general understanding of African societies. It shows how this Project for the Establishment of a National Museum in the drc is different in nature than other previous oda projects, and asserts the importance and strategical selection of cultural oda projects.

In: African and Asian Studies