The Africa in Focus series is an initiative of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) that creates a forum for African scholars to frame research questions and examine critical issues affecting the African continent in the 21st century. The series should inspire robust debate to help inform the orientation of public policy in Africa.
With increasing numbers of computers and diffusion of the internet around the world, localisation of the technology and the content it carries into the many languages people speak is becoming an ever more important area for discussion and action. Localisation, simply put, includes translation and cultural adaptation of user interfaces and software applications, as well as the creation and translation of internet content in diverse languages. It is essential in making information and communication technology more accessible to the populations of the poorer countries, increasing its relevance to their lives, needs, and aspirations, and ultimately in bridging the digital divide. Localisation is a new and growing field of inquiry. This book identifies issues, concerns, priorities, and lines of research and is intended as a baseline study in defining localisation in Africa and how it is important for development and education in the long term. Techies, geeks, P2P experts, etc. as well as researchers and development organizations, this book is for you.
Biko was not only considered a ‘brilliant political theorist’, but is also considered ‘a formidable and articulate philosopher’. Biko was not simply and merely a philosopher in the manner in which Immanuel Kant was a philosopher, but a philosopher of a special kind, an important Africana existential philosopher. From Biko’s writings, speeches and interviews, Mabogo More’s view is that, philosophy is not a disembodied system of ideas nor is it a mechanical reflection about the world; rather, it is a way of existing and acting. To be a philosopher, especially an Africana existential philosopher, is not just to hold certain views, it is a way of perceiving and a way of being in the world, what Biko himself describes as ‘a way of life’. This important perspective on Biko would be of value to many Africana philosophers of existence, African philosophers, political and social thinkers, social scientists, psychologists, cultural critics, political activists, students, critical race theorists and anyone interested in the ideas that Biko presents.
Capital cities today remain central to both nations and states. They host centres of political power, not only national, but in some cases regional and global as well, thus offering major avenues to success, wealth and privilege. For these reasons capitals simultaneously become centres of 'counter-power', locations of high-stakes struggles between the government and the opposition.
The nature of competitive rivalry, and the power and interests of large firms and their owners, is at the heart of how countries develop. Large firms shape the economy as these firms can make the investments required in productive capacity, provide the upstream inputs and services required by smaller businesses and, in many areas, are also the main routes to market. At the same time these firms tend to have market power if competition between them is weak. In crude terms, it is critical whether these firms are able to focus on extracting rents through market power, or whether the returns reward their effort, creativity and entrepreneurship. Competition authorities and economic regulators are critical institutions in restraining the market power of firms while at the same tie taking into account the need to incentivise investment.
The book maps out key issues in competition through four key industry studies across Southern and East Africa. It considers the nature and extent of market power, the development of large firms, their production, investment and the prices of products across countries. This takes into account the work of competition authorities in the different countries and the implications of industrial policies. The concluding chapter draws out critical implications for competition, regional integration and economic development. This fills a big gap as there are no similar publications relating to this important topic.
Contested Ecologies: Reimagining the Nature-culture Divide in the Global South offers an intervention in the conversations on ecology and on coloniality, and on the ways in which modern thinking, with its bifurcation of nature and culture, constitutes ‘ecology’ within a very particular politics of the cosmos.
Crisis! What Crisis! The Multiple Dimensions of the Zimbabwean Crisis argues that the Zimbabwean crisis is in fact a series of crises. From infrastructural problems and disease to a depreciating currency and an increasing muscular militarism, the citizens of Zimbabwe have faced an ongoing struggle to survive. The book explores the resilience of a people as they navigate the multiple challenges they face in the country of their birth. In an inter-disciplinary approach, the authors of Crisis! What Crisis! engage with issues as diverse as resource politics and livelihoods, migration and disembedment, language, and humour to demonstrate the ingenious ways in which citizens mediate the crisis. Topically, the book explores how social media offers a subversive space that flies in the face of increasing restrictions placed on conventional media within Zimbabwe and the governments aggressive efforts to suppress freedom of speech and spread their nationalist agenda. The book concludes with a sobering reflection on the past and what the future might hold.
- How do citizens in poor communities benefit from and perceive state interventions?
- How do citizens in poor communities interact with others in the community to promote the well-being of themselves and their families?
- What are the implications of the above for community based research, policy and practice?
Development, Social Policy and Community Action: Lessons from Below addresses these questions based on rigorous and multi-faceted research conducted in the poor, urban area of Doornkop, Soweto, using a range of different methodological approaches and theoretical perspectives that all broaden our understanding of citizen-community-state interactions in disadvantaged, urban communities in South Africa.
Solutions to poverty and inequality are often designed, implemented and evaluated in a top-down manner, thereby disregarding the views and agency of the poor citizens themselves. Addressing this gap, the authors explore how government assistance, through social grants and services, as well as community support mechanisms provide solutions to citizens in poor communities and the ways that the citizens perceive and make use of such interventions.
This research study points to the need for more nuanced policy strategies and interventions pertinent to local challenges which also resonate with the global search for solutions in similar contexts. With a fresh perspective that addresses the interconnections between state interventions, community and citizens in sustainable social development, this book provides a case for the importance of conducting community-based research that effectively encourages research findings to support communities to effect positive change.
The main focus of this publication is the link between South Africas grand pan-African ambitions, especially in the area of peace, security and governance, and its own capacity to pursue these objectives. Specifically, the paper examines Pretorias involvement in Africa, and internal capacity to support its mediation, peacekeeping and strengthening the abilities of African institutions for peacemaking. Further, it examines the challenges posed by tension between its pan-African and economic interests as well as power rivalry at the continental level, which have greatly limited its ability to take a more assertive role in regional political and economic developments. It briefly describes South Africas relations within SADC and the AU, as well as with Zimbabwe and examines the challenges posed by the agendas of China and Africas former colonial powers.
Governing Cities in Africa Politics and Policies, Governing Cities in Africa, Cities in Africa, Politics and Policies in African Cities, Service delivery, policy and practice issues, Simon Bekker, Laurent Fourchard, Claire Benit-Gbaffou, Alain Dubresson, Karine Ginisty, Sylvy Jaglin, Ayodeji Olukoju, Sam Owuor, Jeanne Vivet, Sverine Awenengo, Hlne Charton, Odile Goerg, Denise Brgand, Rasheed Olaniyi, Amandine Spire, Liela Groenewald, Marie Huchzermeyer, Kristen Kornienko, Marius Tredoux, Margot Rubin, Isabel Raposo, Jeremy Grest Axel Baudouin, Camilla Bjerkli, Hlne Qunot-Suarez, Jean-Fabien Steck, Sophie Didier, Mariane.