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.
Will Africas recuperative powers have dispelled the shadows of historically imposed predicaments by the end of the century? This question is at the core of this first volume in the series, in which contributors wrestle with lived realities related to the unfolding process of democratic transformation across the African continent. The volume interrogates a range of issues: knowledge and its transformation; the need to manage natural resources; the economy viewed through the lens of actual livelihoods; other thorny challenges affecting social well-being in Africa and Africas relationship with the rest of the world.
In the early part of this 21st century, colonial legacies continue to circumscribe many of the hopes and aspirations pinned on democracy by people of the African continent. The challenges of the African state cannot always be explained through reference to the past, and the contributors put forward strong arguments for self-reliance among African people, ethical leadership, economic democracy, the indigenisation of knowledge and institutional reform.
This seminal collection will be of interest to political scholars, students and professionals in the field of African Studies, as well as to policy-makers and public officials across the continent.
Tables and figures
Introduction: Towards a new consciousness about Africa´s imperatives in the twenty-first century
Section 1: The African State in the twenty-first century
2 Measuring democracy and good governance in Africa: A critique of assumptions and methods
3 Public expenditures, governance and education system performances in sub-Saharan Africa
4 Challenging the Westphalian model: The chewa trans-border traditional political entity
Section 2: Knowledge and transformation
6 Elites and donors: Interrogating the African ICT agenda
7 Wrestling with intellectual hegemony: The dwarfed status of knowledge production in South Africa
8 Indigenous knowledges: Transforming and sustaining communal food production in Zimbabwe
Section 3: Environment and Natural Resources
10 Climate change and African agriculture: Review of impact and adaptation choices
11 Exploring environmental consciousness in South Africa
12 The challenges of implementing an African water resource management agenda
13 Reducing climate change risks by living with drought: Investigating local institutional design in Zimbabwe
Section 4: Economy and Livelihoods in Africa
15 Social insecurity, youth and development issues in Kenya
16 Informal cross-border traders and the creation of the SADC common market
17 Reintegrating former child soldiers into their communities in northern Uganda: A case study
Section 5: Public health and Well-being
19 Wither the MDGs? Stewardship for health in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa
20 Violence, masculinity and well-being in Africa
21 Social fabric of violence and transformation in a South African correctional facility
22 Populations´ health status in WAEMU countries: An analysis according to the theory of convergence
23 Recommendations for improving mental health systems in Africa: Lessons from Ghana, Uganda, South Africa and Zambia
Section 6: Africa and the World
25 The Berlin Conference in disguise: Revisiting the interface between globalisatioand imperialism in contemporary Africa
26 The United Nations: Between paternalism and partnership