Africa Development is the quarterly bilingual journal of CODESRIA. It is a social science journal whose major focus is on issues which are central to the development of society. Its principal objective is to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas among African scholars from a variety of intellectual persuasions and various disciplines. The journal also encourages other contributors working on Africa or those undertaking comparative analysis of developing world issues.


The Globethics library contains vol. 24(1999)-43(2018) no.3

Recent Submissions

  • Towards a Bottom-up Approach for Localising SDGs in African Cities: Findings from Cairo and Dar es Salaam

    Nagati, Omar; Gad, Hanaa; El-Didi, Amin Ali; Kihila, Jacob M.; Mbuya, Elinorata; Njavike, Emmanuel (CODESRIA, 2023-04-01)
    This article attempts to apply a localisation methodology previously developed by the authors to analyse the current status of the implementation and monitoring apparatuses for SDGs 6 (water and sanitation) and 11.2 (mobility) in the case study cities – Cairo and Dar es Salaam. It uses comparative, top-down and grounded bottom-up analyses to identify gaps in the existing SDG framework and ultimately proposes a set of evaluation criteria to replace the global indicators with new localised and quantifiable indicators in the two cities. In doing so, it responds to prevalent critiques of SDGs specific to their application in the global South, including difficulties in measuring and monitoring urban conditions, misrepresentation due to the reduction of complex local conditions to abstracted data, and the inadequate capacity of the agenda to consider and assess informal activity. The proposed revisions to targets and indicators for SDG 6.1, 6.2 and 6.b, and SDG 11.2, were later discussed with community organisers and residents to bolster their validity, and represent a stepping stone towards negotiating better sustainable-development paradigms with Egyptian and Tanzanian policy-makers. More generally, these revisions invite further inquiries into other African cities or other geographies with a prominent urban informality in order to update the general SDG framework across its seventeen goals and develop locally embedded standards for different kinds of service provision and outcomes. 
  • Les dynamiques transfrontalières et la sécurité alimentaire au Sénégal : la filière anacarde dans le Fogny-Kombo (Commune de Kataba 1)

    Mané, Abdou Kadry; Diombaty, Ibrahima; Cissé, Ndèye Sokhna; Ba, Ibrahima; Ba, El Hadji Rawane; Diallo, Mouhamadou Mountaga (CODESRIA, 2023-04-01)
    Cross-border mobility has always been a resource used by people to improve their living conditions. The exploitation of the cashew nut culture in Fogny-Kombo is, beyond a strategy of adaptation to climate hazards and reconstruction of a balkanised territory, an illustration of the mobility/food security relationship. The combination of natural factors (scarcity of rains, salinisation of lands) and socio-anthropic factors (high schooling rate and rural exodus) have made it impossible to develop cereal and groundnut crops. In this context, thanks to the cashew nut industry, the population of Fogny-Kombo has achieved food security. In fact, cross-border mobility is an essential factor in the growth of this tree crop, which guarantees a balanced diet. To analyse the relationship between food security and cross-border mobility in Fogny-Kombo, a mixed qualitative and quantitative methodology has been adopted. Thus, in addition to the literature, 50 producers were mobilised to respond to the semi-directive interview guide. The result of this exercise shows a real relationship between cross-border mobility and the development of the cashew nut sector, a source of food security in Fogny-Kombo.
  • “Cabo Verde à beira da revolução”: a emergência do pan-africanismo cabo-verdiano e os protestos em África

    Lima, Redy Wilson; Vicente, Stephanie Duarte (CODESRIA, 2023-04-01)
    The history of Cape Verde is a history of anti-colonial resistance and revolts. Therefore, it has not escaped the social protests that have arisen in all African cities since the 2000s, which had, on 30 March 2015 and on 5 July 2017, its largest street demonstrations and rap as its main speaker and political messenger. This article based on qualitative research conducted in the cities of Praia and Mindelo – the stage of these demonstrations – aims to analyse the following points: the socio-political context of the emergence of the protests in Cape Verde; their nature and connection with African protests and pan-African ideology; and the role played by rap in this process.
  • Staple Crops Processing Zones, Food Security and Restoration of Local Food Systems in Zimbabwe

    Vhumbunu, Clayton Hazvinei (CODESRIA, 2023-04-01)
    With the adoption of Staple Crops Processing Zones (SCPZs) and Agro-Processing Zones (APZs) by Western countries and Asia, it is time for Zimbabwe to follow suit in order to address food insecurity challenges that the country has been facing since the year 2000. This article examines the possibility, rationality, utility, practicality and mechanics of designing and implementing SCPZs in Zimbabwe’s identified agro-processing nodes in order to boost and integrate food productivity, processing and marketing whilst restoring local food systems. Methodologically, the study utilises secondary data sources, drawing comparisons and valuable lessons from cases of successful SCPZs implementation in Europe, China and Asia. The agricultural development theory provides the theoretical framework that anchors the study, whilst the SCPZs as well as the food security rural-urban migration nexus constitute the conceptual frames of analysis. The research findings suggest that although there are multiple threats to food security in Zimbabwe, the adoption and implementation of SCPZs equally present significant opportunities for boosting food security and restoring local food systems through value chain developments. The study findings are key in informing the format, structure, design and operational modalities of SCPZs as a strategy for boosting food security and restoring local food systems in Zimbabwe. 
  • Rethinking the Pan-African Agenda: Africa, the African Diaspora and the Agenda for Liberation

    Khisa, Moses (CODESRIA, 2023-04-01)
    The original Pan-African ideal had, as its programmatic agenda, the strugglei to free Africans in the diaspora from slave bondage and to liberate the African continent from the despicable occupation by European imperial powers. This article revisits this agenda for liberation, placing it in the current crisis of globalisation and examining the continued marginal place of Africa in the global capitalist political economy. The article sketches out the genealogy and contours of the liberation agenda that looped the African diaspora to developments on the African continent, dating back to the antislavery struggles at the end of the eighteenth century through to the era of independent Africa. I argue that the highest point of the liberation agenda, the final defeat of apartheid in South Africa, ironically coincided with the deepening of Africa’s place on the lowest rungs of the global capitalist system. Today, globalisation has fastened rather than loosened Africa’s position on the ladder of the global political economy. To push back against Africa’s continued marginal position perforce requires returning to the original motivation of the Pan-African agenda and ideal: the unity of purpose and collective action of Africans on the continent and in the diaspora for radical liberation. 
  • Social Capital and Food Security Amongst Women in Smallholder Farming in the Face of Climate Change in Bikita, Zimbabwe

    Mafongoya, Owen (CODESRIA, 2023-04-01)
    Food insecurity is a devastating setback for vulnerable women in smallholder farming in Zimbabwe. Women’s low or limited adaptive capacity is caused by diverse factors, including , which include poverty, an unstable economy, political crisis and climate change. Adaptive strategies that differ from the conventional national and civic interventions to circumvent these factors have yielded subtle food security outcomes. As a result, there are growing calls for the adoption of social capital as an alternative grassroots-based adaptive strategy. This study examined the potential for and challenges faced by women who use social capital in adapting to food insecurity. Using in-depth interviews, focus group discussions and key informant interviews it revealed that women in smallholder farming were utilising bonding, bridging and linking capital as a means of adaptation. These three types of capital were operationalised in four projects: Food For Assets (FFA), community gardening, the Boer goat project and Fushai. It emerged that three of the projects performed better in some wards but did not do well in others. Despite its potential, the Boer goat project was riddled with challenges, which emanated from the absence of bonding capital. I therefore conclude and recommend that social capital is critical for women in food insecurity adaptation. However, it needs to be buttressed by a harmonious relationship between the three forms of social capital and all stakeholders for sustainability to be realised.
  • Enjeux de la pédagogie contrastée de l’histoire dans les sous-systèmes anglophone et francophone pour les politiques mémorielles au Cameroun

    Nlend, Nadeige Ngo; Lado, Ludovic; Oukouomi, Gishleine; Etah, Ewane; Acha, Eric (CODESRIA, 2023-04-01)
    Based on the collection of empirical data in addition to documentary research, this article compares the teaching of the history of Cameroon in the French-speaking and English-speaking subsystems from the analysis of various educational and didactic materials. It questions Cameroon’s place in the historical discipline at the secondary level as well as the way in which certain aspects of its past are treated therein. While the first cycle history programs shared by the two subsystems do mention Cameroon at certain levels of education, the number of hours as well as the breadth of subjects covered are far higher in the English-speaking subsystem. Moreover, while history textbooks, assigned to the first cycle, in the Francophone subsystem overlook the themes relating to the construction of the State of Cameroon, all the Anglo-Saxon textbooks allocated to the first and second cycles devote large extracts to it. The article further probes the stakes of these disparities in the writing and teaching of the history of Cameroon in schools for the politics of memories at the national level. The article suggests for further investigation a close link between the pedagogy of history and identity politics in Cameroon.
  • The Food Security, Employment and Migration Nexus in Zimbabwe Post-Land Reform: A Gender Perspective

    Tekwa, Newman (CODESRIA, 2023-04-01)
    Serious inequalities in asset distribution in many developing countries consistently remain a key driver of household food insecurity, high unemployment, poverty and, ultimately, rural outmigration. Yet, the employment-retaining capacity of agriculture and its counter to rural-urban, including international, migration has been proven in many contexts. The 2000 land reform programme in Zimbabwe saw between 12 and18 per cent of women gaining access to land in their own right. Using a transformative social policy approach, the article explores the extent to which land reform as a social policy instrument enhanced household food security and rural incomes and opened new employment opportunities for beneficiaries relative to non-land reform beneficiary households. Highlighting the migration-socialpolicy nexus, I argue for land reform as a restraint to not only rural-urban but also international migration. Data gathered through a mixed methods ethnographic approach, combining in-depth interviews and surveys, and analysed using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, indicates that access to agricultural land and water can not only reduce but reverse rural to urban, including economically driven, international, migration. This suggests that continuous agrarianisation, in the Zimbabwean context, remains one plausible pathway to tackle the triple challenges of household food insecurity, unemployment and rural outmigration.
  • Effective Knowledge Transmission and Learning in Agriculture: Evidence from a Randomised Training Experiment in Ethiopia

    Mesfin, Hiwot; Tessema, Yohannis M.; Tirivayi, Nyasha; Nillesen, Eleonora (CODESRIA, 2023-04-01)
    In this article, we discuss a study to identify an effective agricultural knowledge transfer channel for smallholder farmers in Ethiopia, using a randomised training experiment together with focus group discussions, key informant interviews and a survey. We also examine the factors that determine learning among smallholder farmers. Our results revealed that involving extension agents and model farmers leads to above-average knowledge transfer. However, learning from extension agents is significantly more effective than learning from model farmers. Additionally, we found that trust, effort, and locus of control are important determinants of learning. On the other hand, we found no evidence that farmers exert more effort when they are trained by extension agents, hence this rules out effort as a mechanism for higher learning from the extension agents. Based on these results, we conclude that, on average, the extension agent system is more effective at conveying agricultural knowledge than model farmers are and that policy-makers can use the two channels as complements rather than substitutes.
  • « L’histoire de l’eau » et la dynamique politique, sociale et culturelle du nord du Cameroun

    Armel, Sambo (CODESRIA, 2023-04-01)
    This article presents the role and place of water in the history of societies in northern Cameroon. It aims to show the importance of water as an object of study to understand the organisation, the dynamics and the evolution of these societies. This article is based on interviews, life stories, observation of the relationships that societies have with water and the use of written data (archives, reports, scientific works, etc.). The compilation of all these sources allowed to outline a 'history of water' in the northern part of Cameroon. Thus, water is at the origin of migrations and the choice of settlement sites for populations. It occupies an essential place in social organisation, cultural practices and symbolises political power. Initially a common good for societies, it has become a source of conflict between individuals and communities.
  • Dynamiques migratoires et sécurité alimentaire à Tuabou

    Cissokho, Dramane (CODESRIA, 2023-04-01)
    Tuabou is a Soninké locality in the department of Bakel strongly affected by migration linked to the harsh ecological conditions from the 1930s. This article addresses food security through the lens of the impact of migration dynamics on the agricultural production system in Tuabou. It is based on documentary research, a survey of the concessions, interviews and observations. According to the information gathered, in the decade before independence, food needs were based on millet and wild fonio, which compensated for the lack of cereals. The period from the 1960s to the end of the 1990s corresponds to the dependence on remittances. As the migratory networks ran out of steam, flood recession and irrigated agriculture emerged as alternatives, but with some innovation. While flood recession agriculture had the family as the unit of intervention, individual and family plots increasingly coexist. More than 85 percent of the concessions combine income from out-migration with the sale of the products of this agriculture to cover food needs. The income generated by individual plots satisfies the individual needs of their owners.
  • De-territorialisation in Egypt’s Desert Cities: The Case of Sixth of October City

    Khalil, Deena (CODESRIA, 2023-04-01)
    This article examines the application of ideas around the ‘de-territorialisation’ of cities in the global South to new desert cities surrounding Cairo, Egypt. It also responds to the call for ‘engaged theory-making’ by working with a local community development organisation on a case study of Sixth of October City (SOC), a new city in Cairo’s desert hinterland. Drawing on interview data, the article argues that a certain form of Western-inspired suburbanism has come to characterise Egyptian cities, stemming from the need to recirculate capital outside the existing cities. I propose three ways in which these desert suburbs are being de-territorialised. First, I argue that governance in the new cities is more focused on territorial transformation than on management of populations, and that this has resulted in what I describe as planned informality. Second, I show that housing in the new cities has become so financialised that even social (purportedly subsidised) housing has been integrated into circuits of capital. Finally, I demonstrate that there is a persistent form of inequality in basic services and infrastructure, and that the way the state governs the system of service provision has made it impossible for residents to develop alternative modes of access, resulting in an end to people’s ability to act as infrastructure. 
  • Towards Understanding the Cameroon-Nigeria and the Eswatini-South Africa Border Dispute through the Prism of the Principle of Uti Possidetis Juris Customary International Law

    Dlamini, Hlengiwe Portia; Awasom-Fru, Manka’ah Mafor; Dlamini, Lenhle Precious; Awasom-Fru, Sirri (CODESRIA, 2023-04-01)
    This article examines the Cameroon-Nigeria and Eswatini-South Africa border disputes from a comparative perspective within the framework of the doctrine of uti possidetis juris in customary international law. Extant scholarly works on these two border disputes have not been sufficiently cogent to enable an evaluation of the relevance and shortcomings of uti possidetis juris. The study methodology is qualitative and includes archival and newspaper sources, in-depth interviews and focus group discussions. This study reveals that the strict application of the uti possidetis juris doctrine to the Cameroon-Nigeria dispute over Bakassi was inappropriate and did not generate the anticipated peace and security. The Eswatini-South Africa bilateral talks, aimed at adjusting colonially inherited borders, were an attempt to comply with uti possidetis juris, but flopped. Following the Cameroon example, the Eswatini monarchy then contemplated taking South Africa to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). But the two scenarios were different, and the invocation of uti possidetis juris was not an appropriate instrument for resolving the Eswatini-South Africa border dispute. Eswatini irredentism has persisted because of the country’s commitment to Sobhuza’s testament, which sanctioned the unity of the Eswatini people.
  • Communal Governance and Transnationalism: A Case Study of the Nigerien Forex Trading Community in Benin City

    Sambe, Martha; Olakpe, Oreva; Aliyu, Rafeeat (CODESRIA, 2023-04-01)
    Migrant community associations are well-structured and often engage in political transnationalism with their countries of origin. Nigerien migrants in Benin City, Edo State, occupy a dominant position in the unofficial foreign exchange market. Their communal governance structures reveal interesting parallels in the way the migrants govern themselves in relation to their status and the local nationals they work with. The politics within the migrant association suggest that, even in the absence of status, migrants are able to govern and protect their interests while contributing to the societies they find themselves in. This article looks at examples of Nigerien transnationalism in Nigeria at the micro level to reveal a complex network of communal governance. By studying the organisational lives of the Nigerien migrant community, we aim to understand how this group contributes to the maintenance of ties with Niger and enables their integration into their host community.
  • The Impact of Agricultural Extension Service on the Uptake of Various Agricultural Technologies in Ethiopia

    Mesfin, Hiwot; Tessema, Yohannis M.; Tirivayi, Nyasha; Nillesen, Eleonora (CODESRIA, 2023-04-01)
    Many governments provide a free agricultural extension service that aims to link farmers to scientific knowledge and yield-enhancing technologies. However, the impact of this service in achieving its aim has been unclear. This study focuses on Ethiopia to explore the impact of the agricultural extension service on farmers’ utilisation of various agricultural technologies. Using a large and representative data set, the study applies an instrumental variable method, along with other robustness checks, and finds that the impact of the extension service is heterogeneous to the type of farm technologies. The study finds that the agricultural extension service has a positive impact on chemical fertiliser and crop rotation use, but a negative impact on organic fertiliser use, and no impact on pesticide, herbicide and fungicide use. Based on these results, policy-makers interested in promoting the utilisation of organic fertiliser need to retrain the extension agents and redirect their efforts towards recommending organic fertilisers as much as they do chemical fertilisers and crop rotation.
  • La RSE stratégique dans le secteur minier au Sénégal : incubateur d’inclusion de genre et de développement communautaire?

    Doucouré, Bakary (CODESRIA, 2023-04-01)
    So-called strategic corporate social/societal responsibility (CSR) is an increasingly popular approach in some socio-professional networks in Senegal, including in the mining and extractive sector. This article raises the question of whether this type of CSR promotes, particularly at the local/community level, gender inclusion on the one hand and development on the other. The analysis, based on empirical cases, shows a mixed contribution of strategic CSR initiatives to the achievement of gender equality/equity and development at the community level. Among the main causes of this observation, there are the limits in the dialogue and consultation/inclusion process, the limited duration of most initiatives and of their capacity to produce lasting effects and impacts, prejudices and stereotypes in the distribution of sex and gender roles, etc.
  • The Curse or Fertility of Land Clearing: How Migrant Labour Modified Gender-based Division of Labour in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania

    Mnenuka, Angelus; Ngullu, Nives Kinunda; Mhajida, Samwel S. (CODESRIA, 2023-04-01)
    Gender-based division of labour is a system practised throughout the world; in precolonial times the Southern Highlands of Tanzania was no exception. Given that gender-based division of labour was established by tradition, it was feared that breaching cultural norms by transgressing labour boundaries would bring on a curse. Even so, women assumed the extra burden of tasks left by their migrant husbands. This included clearing the land, which was chiefly a man’s duty, and so meant violating cultural norms. Since women traditionally had not been obliged to clear the land, they employed various tactical strategies to facilitate this, such as paying available men to perform the task. We argue in this article that this decision, despite its complexity, promoted women’s decision-making and enabled them to enjoy a degree of autonomy and manage all stages of crop cultivation. In analysing the data, we use the Gender Analysis Framework, which captures the central issues of gender. The results show that, apart from other mechanisms, the phenomenon of male migrant labour boosted the status of women, as well as their decisionmaking and autonomy. Consequently, women gained more – the situation for them was one of ‘fertility’ rather than a curse. 
  • Why Nigerian Agbada Fabric is (often) Imported, While Indian Sari Fabric is Local: A Comparative History of Textile Manufacturing

    Kamara, Yarri B. (CODESRIA, 2023-04-01)
    In the 1980s, both India and Nigeria had textile sectors that satisfied their large domestic demand. Today, however, Nigeria imports most of its textiles, including identity-imbued fabrics, while India is a major textiles producer. This article proposes three explanatory factors for this divergence based on a review of secondary sources. From independence, Indian policy placed greater emphasis on supporting craft and small-scale textile production, whereas the craft sector in Nigeria was neglected. Nigeria’s indigenisation of industry strategies failed to achieve endogenous processes in the textile industry, whereas the Indian textile sector was characterised by high Indian ownership and endogenous skills and technologies that rendered the sector resilient to shocks. Lastly, while both countries adopted import-substituting industrialisation strategies, the Nigerian textile sector benefited from little trade protection as smuggling greatly undermined the protection in place.
  • The Reformed Agrarian Structure and Changing Dynamics of Rural Labour Migration in Zimbabwe

    Chambati, Walter (CODESRIA, 2023-04-01)
    This article examines the changing dynamics of rural labour migration in Zimbabwe following the radical land redistribution since 2000 through the Fast Track Land Reform Programme (FTLRP). Since the colonial period, dispossessed peasants with inadequate land access were forced to offer cheap migrant wage labour for large-scale capitalist farms (LSCFs) and beyond. Despite the wide acknowledgement of the redistributive nature of the FTLRP, there is sparse understanding of how the new land access patterns impacted on rural labour migration. Empirical evidence from Goromonzi and Kwekwe districts demonstrates that while there were many peasant beneficiaries, land shortages were not completely eradicated and the new farm labour markets depended on the super-exploitation of landless migrants. Altogether, the data contradicts the conventional wisdom that views migration as a deliberate diversification strategy of household labour to enhance a livelihood. Rather, resistance to proletarianisation undergirds the struggles of farm labourers as they largely seek autonomous land-based social reproduction outside the wage economy. 
  • Localising the SDGs in African Cities: A Grounded Methodology

    Nagati, Omar; Gad, Hanaa; El-Didi, Amin Ali; Kihila, Jacob M.; Mbuya, Elinorata; Njavike, Emmanuel (CODESRIA, 2023-04-01)
    This article’s starting point is the recognition that urban Africa faces a set of economic, social, political and infrastructural challenges sufficiently specific to its context to warrant its own (hitherto modest) repertoire of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) localisation roadmaps. Drawing on field-based comparative research across Cairo and Dar es Salaam, and focusing on SDG 6 (water and sanitation) and SDG 11.2 (mobility), the article develops a research methodology that helps to detect fissures between the general SDG framework and microscopic realities on the ground in African cities. Although each of the two cities has a specific set of urban realities and development paradigms, the paper develops a localisation process that is applicable across both geographies (and beyond) based on the similar prevalence of urban informality in African cities, which the current SDG framework insufficiently, or at times inaccurately, factors in. The methodology comprises three key components: 1) a top-down policy analysis of SDG responses at national and city levels; 2) grounded field research of local practices at a neighbourhood level; and 3) revising the SDG targets and indicators through a proposed ‘Toolkit for Localising’.

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