The questions of the possibility of and the need for an African theory of democracy have been controversial in African intellectual discourse. Many African political scholars, politicians and indeed contemporary African states seem to have resolved that aping alien theoretical models and practices of democracy is the most appealing option for Africa. Others have felt the need and made claims for the adoption of Africa's democratic heritage and values, which are rooted in her traditional past, in order to resolve Africa's own kind of peculiar problems. While such approaches may be well observed, this article argues that it is important to ask whether the persistent failure of democracy in African states is also related to African political culture. The paper indicts the former approach as the residues of mental colonization and political alienation, and insists on the existence of a missing link in the latter's assumption and discourse. This missing mark is identified to be conceptual failure in exploring what an African democratic theory entails. The paper argues that the absence of democratic theory in African political scholarship can be overcome by providing the underlying principles, meaning, canons and criteria of democracy in an African culture. It exposes the conceptual errors implicit in the conflation of democracy as a concept and as practiced in different political systems. As a consequence, it establishes that an eclectic appraisal of our indigenous democratic values and practices as well as democratic ideas from other cultural traditions can provide a viable African theory of democracy.
The paper interrogates the pro-poor growth concept as a new global development construction using Ghana as case study. The basic argument of the paper is that to attain pro-poor growth, not only sustainable growth, but human rights and social inclusion must be at the heart of all development policies. The eradication of poverty, and hence also sustainable growth, can only be achieved through the engagement of poor people in the development processes which affect their lives. This makes domestic policy ownership central and critical to pro-development.
The paper, which analyzes the Ghana government's policy interventions regarding poverty alleviation and livelihood empowerment strategies, is to help generate ideas about the contribution which institutional analysis can make to our understanding of the circumstances under which growth (and pro-poor growth in particular) occurs. The central hypothesis underpinning the paper is that pro-poor growth depends critically on the interactions of formal and informal political, social, and cultural institutions with economic institutions. Jointly, these interactions constitute an institutional matrix which may either augment or constrict pro-poor growth. Accordingly, the paper explores different aspects of economic, political and social institutions - and their interactions - so as to deepen our thinking on pro-poor development.
A major contribution of the paper to the pro-poor development literature is that pro-poor development cannot be accomplished in conditions of mass estrangement, of lack of accountability, participation, and transparency.
This paper deals with a small area of Bulsa prosody. End-rhymes, alliteration and tonal patterns are examined in Bulsa proverbs, songs and other genres of Bulsa oral literature, whose creators do not respect strict prosodic patterns, but make use of rhymes for embellishment and for contrast with everyday speech.
Although some rhymes may be chance products of the poetry process, they are nevertheless accepted as welcome embellishments. It has, however, been proved that some poets create rhymes and other poetic patterns consciously and on purpose, even if, as a form of poetical licence, the mode of expression offends the standard use of correct everyday speech.
Apart from rhymes proper, other types of poetic pattern are analysed in the paper, e.g. chiasmus, parallelism, symmetry and the use of consonants and vowels to produce euphony. Moreover, it has been regarded necessary to analyse the contents of some poems for a better understanding of the Buli oral literature discussed.
Skin color plays a significant role in the lives of Ghanaian women. Many Ghanaian women's feelings about beauty, attractiveness and the marriage market are associated with skin complexion. Using sixty Ghanaian students and thirty market trading women, this study investigated skin color (i.e. its lightness-darkness) as a function of social capital in the marriage market. A Skin Color Assessment Procedure was administered to all participants. This study showed that although participants were satisfied with their skin color, they believed that Ghanaian men found lighter- skinned women more attractive. This project expands existing scientific and scholarly literature concerning skin bleaching by presenting the implications of skin bleaching from a psychological perspective.