Urban Farming in an East-African Town
Author: Dick Foeken
Urban agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa has gained momentum in recent years in terms of research and policy, as well as in practical terms. The paradox of accelerated urbanisation and the increase in urban agriculture in developing countries is widely recognised. More than ever before, urban residents all over the developing world are cultivating urban plots and/or keeping animals to sustain their livelihoods. This volume looks at urban farming in the Kenyan town of Nakuru and is based on surveys and in-depth studies carried out by various researchers, including Kenyan Masters students. It considers farming techniques, the socio-economic aspects of urban farming and the environmental issues involved, and there is also a chapter on school farming. Specific attention is paid to urban farming in relation to poverty, with the conclusion being that those who depend on urban agriculture the most are, in fact, benefiting the least from it.
In: Inside Poverty and Development in Africa
Exploring the Wealth of the African Neighbourhood
Editors: Dick Foeken and Piet Konings
At times of economic and political crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa, urban dwellers display a large degree of creativity in their survival strategies by developing social networks and constructing imaginative and original practices and ideas. This volume views the urban neighbourhood from two different perspectives and explores the importance of these creative processes. The first approach considers the neighbourhood as a geographical domain in which people are engaged in a variety of activities to advance their material and immaterial well-being, making use of their ‘wealth’ of opportunities, assets and diverse forms of natural, physical, financial, human and social ‘capital’. The second angle sees the neighbourhood as not necessarily geographically located or bounded but as having been created and defined by human beings. These neighbourhoods may take on the form of self-help organizations, associations or churches, or may be based on gender, generational, ethnic or occupational identities. As the contributions from all over Sub-Saharan Africa show, the two approaches do not necessarily exclude each other.
In: Transforming Innovations in Africa
In: Land, Law and Politics in Africa
Critical Reflections on Pro-poor Policies
When discussing development issues in Africa, it is not sufficient to simply stress the ubiquity of failure, malnutrition, disease, predatory states and war; one also has to recognize that important aspects in the lives of millions of ordinary people have been transformed over the last five decades. The contributions in this book are rooted in extensive empirical research at local, regional and/or national level in different African countries (Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, South Africa and Uganda), while some take a pan-African view. All, however, offer insight from different analytical perspectives into the heterogeneity of poverty and development processes in Sub-Saharan Africa and confront the ideas, concepts and assumptions that lie behind pro-poor policies. The volume also encourages policy makers to choose realistic policy prescriptions in an attempt to move people out of poverty.


In: Development and Equity
Changing Patterns of Movement in Africa and Beyond
This anthology deals with the complexity, variety and experience of all the forms of mobility we witness today in Sub-Saharan Africa. Three sets of issues are being discussed.
First, the concept of mobility itself is considered and how it is conceived of in distinction from sedentarity. Second, which forms of mobility can be distinguished, not only from the perspective of Western social sciences, but also from the perspective of people's own experiences, ideas, notions, etc? Social science in Africa has particularly focused on rural-urban migration, but it is clear that there are many other forms as well. Third, the concept of mobility concerns not only geographical space, but there are other 'spaces' to consider as well. In addition to 'forms of mobility' there is a 'mobility of forms' in which the perception of those other spaces plays a crucial role.
In short, the book intends to turn the whole notion of mobility as a supposedly rupturing phenomenon on its head, emphasizing that rather through travelling connections are established and continuity is experienced. We are challenged to delve into the traveller's mind, to think and follow their multi-spatial livelihoods and to explore what it means to people if they move in a variety of spaces.
An Interdisciplinary Exploration by Ten Scholars from Africa, Asia and Latin America
A quarter of a century ago His Royal Highness Prince Claus of the Netherlands (1926-2002) formulated his statements on ‘development and equity’. To honour him and his work, a professorial chair in ‘development and equity’ was established in 2003: the ‘Prince Claus Chair’. On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the Chair, a conference was held in The Hague in November 2012. Each of the ten chair holders presented a paper written from his/her own perspective. These papers have been brought together in this book and show the diversity and richness of the theme. The volume also includes three essays by the promising young scholars who were judged to be the top three in a competition for the best Master’s thesis in ‘development, equity and citizenship’.

This volume attempts to dig deeper into what is currently happening in Africa’s agricultural and rural sector and to convince policymakers and others that it is important to look at the current African rural dynamics in ways that connect metropolitan demands for food with value chain improvements and agro-food cluster innovations. It is essential to go beyond a ‘development bureaucracy’ and a state-based approach to rural transformation, such as the one that often dominates policy debate in African government circles, organizations like the African Union and the UN, and donor agencies.