Africa Insight - latest Issue
Volumes & issues
Volume 46, Issue 3, 2016
Source: Africa Insight 46, pp 1 –18 (2016)More Less
Increasing energy demand arises from increasing urbanisation and industrialisation. If this energy is from traditional energy sources, then this translates into increased greenhouse gas emissions which lead to accelerated global warming and climate change. Sustainable development could avert this. This paper discusses the link between urbanisation, economic development and climate change through a review of literature examining this nexus in a global and the Nigerian context. The findings lead to the reiteration of the old call for economic diversification in Nigeria and other similar countries to shift urbanisation from a rural push mode to an urban pull mode. More important is that the shift should be powered by the efficient use of both non-renewable and renewable energy sources.
Proposing policy mechanisms to reduce barriers to the implementation of renewable energy projects in NamibiaSource: Africa Insight 46, pp 19 –32 (2016)More Less
To achieve policy goals that address industrialisation and economic growth, modern states depend on the ready access to energy. This poses the question as to what developing countries such as Namibia can do to ensure energy supply, especially by focusing on readily available resources such as wind and the sun. The study firstly identifies the non-technical barriers to the implementation of renewable energy solutions by using a qualitative approach that focuses on in-depth interviews with industry stakeholders. Secondly, based on the identified barriers, mechanisms to enhance the role of renewable energy are suggested based on existing policies, the literature review and the interview responses. Most of the interviewees identified governance issues and policy gaps as the key barriers limiting the development of renewable energy projects in Namibia. This is aligned to international experience as described in literature, where policy gaps are often identified as a major barrier to the implementation of renewable energy. Literature further also showed that often more than one barrier was at play and that, similar to the findings for Namibia, a systems approach needs to be followed. The policy recommendations from the study include a revision of the outdated Energy White Paper and the speedy completion of a renewable energy policy. It is further recommended that policy documents clearly set out the roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders to enable a concerted effort to remove the barriers to renewable energy that are prevalent in Namibia.
Utilising a traditional approach to restorative justice in the reintegration of former child soldiers in the North Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of CongoAuthor Jean Chrysostome KiyalaSource: Africa Insight 46, pp 33 –50 (2016)More Less
This article explores the potential of Baraza, a traditional jurisprudence and conflict management structure, to assist the reintegration of child ex-combatants into society. It is based on fieldwork conducted between early June and mid-December 2014 in North Kivu Province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), using structured and semistructured interviews, focus groups, discussions and survey questionnaires. Altogether, 1 447 participants took part in different phases of the study, comprising former child soldiers, members of war-affected communities, traditional leaders, students, members of NGOs and Baraza officials. The findings support the viability of Baraza to facilitate accountability and thereby reintegration of former child soldiers based on its multiple restorative potentials.
Author Patience M. SoneSource: Africa Insight 46, pp 51 –66 (2016)More Less
The traditional methods of African conflict resolution have long existed and are deeply rooted in the customs and traditions of the peoples of Africa. These methods are geared towards maintaining harmonious and peaceful coexistence in the community. Colonialism introduced the modern justice system, which dominated and destabilised the efficacy of the traditional methods. Coupled with the growing population and complexity of conflicts in the present societies, the system faces challenges in resolving conflicts. This study investigated whether the traditional methods still have relevance in addressing land and marital conflicts which are prominent in African societies specifically amongst ethnic groups such as the Igbos and Yorubas in Nigeria, the Batswanas and Zulus in South Africa, the Pokots and Marakwets in Kenya, and the Wimbums of the North West Region in Cameroon and reveals that, despite the challenges, the methods are still widely used. The traditional methods are non-adversarial in nature, cost-effective and accessible to everyone in the community. It should also be noted that the modern system has failed to obliterate animosity between disputing parties, both during and after litigation. This paper argues that even though the two systems have limitations, both are valid. The systems should be modified and harmonised through training so that they complement each other to improve the justice system in Africa.
Author Nicasius Achu CheckSource: Africa Insight 46, pp 67 –82 (2016)More Less
The paper examines some theoretical assumptions to the recent and recurring wave of terror attacks across the African continent. The paper notes that poverty, inequality, citizenship, state formation, dependency, development theories, together with the fluidity of African geographical boundaries are major contributing factors to terrorism on the continent. However, the paper focuses on post-modernism, structural functionalism and colonialism as the perennial theoretical assumptions that have masterminded terrorism on the African continent. This is made complicated by the seeming inability of many African economies to function and compete effectively in the global arena, which in essence has led to pervasive poverty and unemployment, thereby facilitating the enrolment of young and energetic people into terror group cells around the continent. The African Union’s counterterrorism framework, more particularly the 1999 Organisation of African Unity (OAU) Convention on the Prevention and Combating of Terrorism, the African Union (AU) plan of action on the prevention and combating of terrorism and the Dakar declaration against terrorism are some key strategic approaches which the AU has undertaken to stem this phenomenon on the continent. Nonetheless, acts of terrorism have intensified over the years. The paper asks the question, why these recurring attacks? The paper makes a strong point on the reassessment of the AU counterterrorism approach with special regards to the east African region affected by Al-Shabaab and the west/central African region impacted by the activities of AZAWAD and Boko Haram. This should be done in collaboration with state and non-state actors in the security and social fields in order to come up with a concerted coalition to address this phenomenon. The paper concludes with some policy recommendations for the affected countries.
A comparative analysis of corruption in South Africa and China : evidence from the application of governance theorySource: Africa Insight 46, pp 83 –100 (2016)More Less
Concerns about corruption in South Africa and China have intensified in recent years. Improved public administration, greater efficiency, transparency, and integrity in public institutions, are recognised as some of the emerging challenges for South Africa’s post-1994 transformation process, and China’s economic and social reforms. This paper conducts a comparative analysis of governance and corruption in South Africa and China with the aim of exploring common areas for mutual learning and avenues for improving anticorruption practices and institutions. The governance theory is employed in this study focusing on three key areas, namely government effectiveness, rule of law and control of corruption. The findings how that China enjoys a higher level of government efficiency and effectiveness than South Africa due to higher levels of capacity at the local government level in China. While the rule of law is more robust in China leading to arrests, prosecution and imprisonment of state officials, South Africa has equally proven its capacity to abide by the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary in recent high level cases. With respect to corruption, South Africa enjoys a higher level of anticorruption advocacy than China; however, China is stronger at anticorruption enforcement, as depicted by the high level of arrests of public officials deemed to have engaged in corruption in China. The study concludes that public sector accountability in both countries can only succeed if institutions of state are strengthened and the law is used to bring about social change and development.
Author Mehari Yimulaw GebregeorgisSource: Africa Insight 46, pp 101 –117 (2016)More Less
This study reviews the dynamics of the socio-economic discourse of the San people at Platfontein, Northern Cape Province, South Africa. In order to examine the development of the socio-economic discourse since they settled in South Africa, the analysis was mainly based on the comprehensive status assessment of the people made when they lived at Schmidtsdrift and the data collected from nine focus group discussions (FGDs) and eight interviews on the community’s current conditions. Inductive thematic analysis (ITA) was employed to reveal the progress of the discourse on the socio-economic conditions of the people. The findings show that the people are still in the trauma-poverty-trauma vicious cycle. While the root cause of their social confusion is their background of dispossession, relocation, mass destruction and war, it is fuelled by the unemployment and poverty which they are currently experiencing. The uncertainty discourse on the fate of the community in relation to the political power shift from the apartheid government, of which the San community was an ally, to the African National Congress is now replaced by the people’s socio-economic dependency and complaint discourse.
Source: Africa Insight 46, pp 118 –130 (2016)More Less
While public endorsement of presidential candidates is a relatively new phenomenon in Zambian politics, political defections have existed for a longer period. However, both of these political manoeuvres have increasingly become ubiquitous since Zambia’s return to multiparty democracy in the 1990s. Often, defectors prey on the perceived popularity of a presidential candidate to secure lucrative government positions for themselves and their kin. Defections demonstrate that Zambian politicians, at all levels, have weak ties of loyalty or ideological commitment to political parties. These weak ties result in vertical mobility of defectors from a perceived weak party to one considered to have higher prospects of forming government and ‘eating’. Based on a critical case study of the January 2015 presidential by-election, this paper uses the well-tested concept of patronage to explain political endorsements and defections in Zambia’s Third Republic. The paper concludes that recurrent cross-party endorsements and defections undermine the consolidation of political parties and maybe even democracy itself.
Decision support for farmers in Africa : analysis of the roles and competencies of data scientists in the Grain IndustrySource: Africa Insight 46, pp 131 –152 (2016)More Less
The use of data science as a decision-making tool in agriculture is becoming more evident. Data science principles and tools allow producers to access more consumable, accurate and timely information for making informed choices. Yet, the importance of farm data in effective decision making appears underrated in sub-Saharan Africa. To capitalise on ‘big data’, the sub-Saharan African grain industry needs competent data scientists to manage large data sets. To assist grain industry managers in selecting suitable candidates, an understanding of the data scientist’s role and required competencies is essential. This research identifies the core competencies and explores the role of data science in the grain industry. The results reveal the different types of data scientists and indicate that their role should not be narrowly delineated.
Bandaging a Broken Arm : the effectiveness of the child support grant in alleviating poverty in poor Grahamstown communitiesAuthor Mzingaye Brilliant XabaSource: Africa Insight 46, pp 153 –171 (2016)More Less
This paper examines the effectiveness of the Child Support Grant (CSG) in alleviating (relative and absolute) poverty in South Africa. It used Grahamstown, a small town in the impoverished Eastern Cape Province, as a case study, and made use of in-depth qualitative methods in studying CSG-recipient households. The research found that the CSG was effective in reducing poverty, particularly amongst children, but unable to end poverty. The CSG reduced both relative and absolute poverty, helping children in terms of school enrolment, reducing hunger, and meeting the other needs of the children. The grant was also, in some cases, the only cash income in the households studied, and there were clear indications that the CSG benefits other household members, indicating that it also contributed directly to the larger reduction of poverty. These findings are at odds with popular perceptions that the CSG is ineffective. However, it is important to note that the grants did not end poverty, as they were very small, and the recipient households were largely trapped in unemployment, a major driver of impoverishment. Families tend to be large, wages low, and society and economy generally highly unequal. Bearing in mind that this study does not allow for easy generalisations, it is suggested that the findings are probably indicative of larger patterns: the CSG’s effects are largely positive, particularly amongst recipients in extreme poverty; it clearly reduces absolute poverty and lessens relative poverty; but the CSG is not a solution to poverty, as it is unable to end it.
An investigation of the sociocultural factors affecting the development of women entrepreneurship in ZimbabweSource: Africa Insight 46, pp 172 –183 (2016)More Less
This paper aims to investigate the sociocultural factors that affect the growth of women entrepreneurship among SMEs in a developing economy, which is experiencing a turbulent period of low economic growth. Specifically, the study investigates how certain social and cultural aspects, such as women immobility, family roles, a low level of education and husbands’ or partners’ attitudes towards women participation in business, act as facilitating or inhibiting factors for women entrepreneurship. The findings from survey questionnaires completed by 150 women entrepreneurs reveal that negative attitude, traditional family roles, lack of education and lack of support from husbands or partners inhibit the growth of women entrepreneurship. The results of the study provide some invaluable insights to policy makers about how women entrepreneurship could be promoted so that women entrepreneurs can realise their full potential.