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Against the background of realities of underdevelopment and economic growth, environmental pressures and global governance challenges, this volume presents a broad picture of contemporary issues in African development. The multi-disciplinary collection presents a variety of important themes, covering land questions, housing, water, health, economic liberalization, climate, environment, and gender. The specific country studies illustrate the diversity of the African continent and demonstrate how unique contexts impact upon different levels of achievement. The volume seeks to present and promote novel analytical frameworks, new conceptual approaches, and empirical accounts of relevance to scholars studying Africa as well as practitioners in African development and policy makers.



Chapter 1. Expanding the Frontiers of African Development Studies

A growing number of scholars acknowledge the interconnectedness of the myriad of problems and prospects across Africa as a relevant part of global development discourse. Given the ever-increasing importance of knowledge for the scholarly agenda and practice of African Studies, we present a picture of contemporary issues in African development. Although, this volume is focused on development issues, it presents in one volume a multi-disciplinary deeply contextual text on the important themes in development studies covering land questions, housing, water, health, economic liberalization, climate, environment, and gender. Though Africa’s problems transcend these basic sector issues, they still remain at the core of development given the fact that many in Africa are food insecure, have poor access to health, water, housing, and are increasingly affected by global environmental change and global neoliberal economic policies. These themes are a microcosm in the general understanding and study of global development issues that confront humanity. This is hoped will lead to novel analytical frameworks, the emergence of new conceptual approaches, and empirical accounts of relevance to scholars studying Africa as well as practitioners in African development and policy makers.
Lucky Asuelime, Suzanne Francis, Joseph Yaro

Selected Development Issues in African States


Chapter 2. Climate, Causation and Society: Interdisciplinary Perspectives from the Past to the Future

Over the last two decades, the causal role of climate in African history has been the subject of renewed debate. In many cases, however, the limitations of extant methodological approaches have contributed to a tendency to view climate as a monocausal factor in past human events, leading to revived criticism of the concept of climatic causation. Similar claims have also surfaced regarding approaches to evaluating the potential impacts of future climate change, where it has been suggested that the predictive hegemony of modelling has left the future of humankind “reduced to climate”, thereby overlooking the human factors that determine the magnitude of its impacts. In the context of urgent present and future African environmental challenges, questions over the concept of causation underline the need for further interdisciplinary research at the climate-society interface. One approach that can contribute to this discourse is assembling well-founded historical perspectives on climate–society interactions through the analytical framework of climate history. Indeed, studying the past is the only way we can examine the effects of and responses to shifts in physical systems. The aim of this paper is to provide an up-to-date starting point for such analyses in an African context. Using selected southern African case studies, previous approaches relating to climate and societal dynamics are first evaluated. Climate history is subsequently posited as a paradigm which is well-placed to deepen knowledge on long-term climate-society interactions, fitting alongside and incorporating key established paradigms such as vulnerability and resilience. Three key areas are highlighted for this challenge: climate reconstruction; understanding past human–climate interaction and vulnerability, and examination of societal resilience to climate change impacts. New research areas are then presented where studying the past can inform consideration of important future challenges, and the paper concludes by calling for the development of African climate histories on various spatial and temporal scales.
Matthew Hannaford

Chapter 3. The Poor and Differential Access to Water in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Large numbers of people, especially in the poor urban areas of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, have experienced problems of access to reliable and adequate potable water. This paper focuses on issues of equity, particularly access to safe and clean water in the poor areas of Addis Ababa. This paper is based on the results of a survey conducted in Addis Ababa in 2010. The key objective of the study was to assess access to water of the poor. The study covered water use; consumption patterns; availability and reliability of water; gender; income; monthly water expenditure and time taken to fetch water from existing sources. The results indicated that more than 60 % of the sample households use more than 20 l per person per day. Most households pay a relatively high price for drinking water. In the main poor households rely on water vendors for their water. We argue that the poor in Addis Ababa have differential access to water which is inherently discriminatory.
Berhanu Woldemariam, Sagie Narsiah

Chapter 4. Land and Identity in Africa: A Case Study of the Banyamulenge of the Eastern Drc

The ongoing crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is known as one of the worst since World War II because of the number of deaths that have occurred and are still occurring. Since 1998, an estimated 5.4 million people have died (International-Rescue-Committee. Mortality in the democratic republic of the Congo: an ongoing crisis. http://​www.​rescue.​org/​sites/​default/​files/​resource-file/​2006-7_​congoMortalitySu​rvey.​pdf, http://​www.​rescue.​org/​sites/​default/​files/​resource-file/​2006-7_​congoMortalitySu​rvey.​pdf, 2007). As of April 2010, at least 1.8 million people were displaced, a displacement which constituted the fourth largest in the world. 1.4 million of these were displaced in the provinces of North and South Kivu in Eastern DRC, an area that borders Rwanda (HRW. Always on the run: the vicious cycle of displacement in Eastern Congo, September. http://​www.​hrw.​org/​reports/​2010/​09/​14/​always-run-0, http://​www.​hrw.​org/​reports/​2010/​09/​14/​always-run-0, 2010). The time has come to understand the factors underneath the chaos to enable us to address the root causes of conflict effectively. This paper seeks to investigate the deeper systemic issues that affect or sustain conflict by focusing on the collective identity and relationship to the land of one specific group, the Banyamulenge of South Kivu.
Priya Ylona Saibel

Chapter 5. The Dynamics of the Gendered Division of Labour in Agro Forestry: A Case Study of Njelele Ward III in Gokwe Zimbabwe

Agriculture is the major livelihood in most developing countries. In Asia, 43 % of the workforce is engaged in agriculture, in Africa it is 60 %. It is also in the rural areas that poverty is most entrenched. 75 % of the poor live in rural areas and are directly or indirectly engaged in small scale agriculture. Development of small scale agriculture therefore has an enormous potential to contribute directly as well as indirectly to poverty alleviation through increased food security, income and economic growth at household as well as at national level. In small scale agriculture, family members provide most of the labour required and it is well known that in particular women play a major role in agricultural production; carrying out most of the work, and in ensuring food security. This is the case in Njelele ward (iii) which is situated in Gokwe rural community in Zimbabwe. However, women rarely have the formal rights to the land they work, the decision making power over resources or production decisions, nor access to information (in Africa, only 13 % of all farmers have access to agricultural information—and most of them are men). In spite of the major contribution of women to agricultural production, agriculture continues to be perceived as a male dominated sector: men have the land rights and the decision making power and the agricultural institutions (extension, research and boards) continue to be dominated by men. The paper suggests some strategies to redress the gender asymmetries in the agro forestry industry in Njelele.
Esther Gandari, Shepard Mutsau

Selected Issues in Ghana


Chapter 6. Beyond Panaceas in Land Tenure Systems in Ghana: Insights from Resilience and Adaptive Governance of Social-Ecological Systems

Land tenure basically refers to the system of formal and informal institutions governing people’s relationship with one another and with the land and natural resources on which they depend. Historically, customary land tenure systems that rely on traditional institutions for managing access to communally owned lands have been the dominant medium for land allocation in Ghana and most of sub-Saharan Africa. For several decades, tenure reforms have focused on transforming the African land tenure system from the customary system through land nationalization and privatization. Among other issues, the goals have been to promote tenure security, economic efficiency, and sustainable resource management. Thus far, these tenure reforms have yielded mixed results. Current problems include bottlenecks in land administration, weakening of traditional institutions, and increasing marginalization and landlessness among vulnerable groups. Based on insights from the literature on resilience in social-ecological systems, this chapter highlights the need to move beyond the search for panaceas in land policy toward institutional frameworks that can mediate the complex and dynamic relationships between people and land. The chapter proposes adaptive governance as an institutional framework that can promote an integrated approach to managing land and other natural resources with the aim of building the resilience of communities and regions against the impacts of various drivers of change.
Kofi Akamani

Chapter 7. Neoliberalism and Housing Provision in Accra, Ghana: The Illogic of an Over-Liberalised Housing Market

The economic hardships experienced by African countries in the late 1970s forced many of them to fall on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank for financial relief. The two institutions’ reaction in almost all cases was to impose structural adjustment programmes (SAP) on those countries in an attempt to stabilize and grow their economies through market forces, with little intervention from the state. Ghana became an unwilling apostle from 1983 when it implemented various rounds of the programme because of the deplorable state of its economy. The country became so committed to structural adjustment that it was portrayed as an extraordinary example of the efficacy of neo-liberal policies in restructuring broken economies. Primary among the benefits to the country was economic liberalization and a corresponding increase in domestic and foreign private investments, especially in the housing industry. Since then, Accra, the national capital, has faced an overproduction of housing for high-income earners thus leading to a dramatic rise of gated communities. On the other hand however, there has been virtually no production of housing for low-income earners, thus exacerbating their continued dependence on the informal sector for housing provision in Accra. With this stark difference, the paper argues that the neoliberal policies of the 1980s have rendered government irrelevant in the housing market, especially in the provision of housing for low income earners, and for that reason accelerated the development of poor housing and slums in the city of Accra.
Yaw Ofosu-Kusi, Esther Yeboah Danso-Wiredu

Chapter 8. Environmental Change, Livelihood Diversification and Local Knowledge in North-Eastern Ghana

In Sub-Saharan Africa, one of the most daunting challenges of development is how to address the vulnerability of livelihoods to environmental change, including climate change and land degradation. Livelihood diversification is very often discussed as a strategy for reducing livelihood vulnerability to such change, but the dynamics and policy implications are seldom explored adequately. This chapter explores the patterns associated with livelihood diversification for reducing vulnerability to environmental change in the Atankwidi basin, north-eastern Ghana from a three generational and gender perspective. Empirical data from in-depth interviews, focus group discussions and a survey of 131 randomly sampled households show mixed and dynamic patterns in diversification. These include increasing diversification of household livelihood portfolios, a declining trend in the number of spouses engaged in subsistence agriculture and an increasing trend in the number of spouses engaged in trade. The author argues that the patterns and dynamics of livelihood diversification for addressing vulnerability are akin to an Endogenous Development (ED) approach. Livelihood diversification draws on local resources and proceeds with subsistence agriculture as the primary livelihood of the household and an embodiment of the local knowledge of the people. To this end, incorporating environmental change adaptation planning that address challenges of subsistence agriculture, trade and handcrafts through District Development Planning (DDP) is appropriate in Ghana.
Emmanuel Kanchebe Derbile

Chapter 9. Contextual Issues in Health Care Financing in Africa: Drawing on the Ghanaian Experience

The search for appropriate policy of financing healthcare in Africa in general is far from over. However, Ghana, unlike many of the emerging economies in sub-Sahara Africa, has made great strides in this area of policy formulation and development with the introduction of a National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). Ghana’s search for an acceptable policy on healthcare financing dates back to the colonial era and the immediate post-independence period through the ‘cash and carry’ system to the present health insurance regime, which is still seeking refinement to meet the hopes and aspirations of many Ghanaians. The main objective of the NHIS is to provide equitable and universal access to essential healthcare for all citizens. This paper examines the tortuous path of health care financing policies in Ghana by outlining its historical antecedents and current perspectives.
Ebenezer Owusu-Sekyere, Issaka Kanton Osumanu
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