Politics in Africa: A New Introduction

Politics in Africa: A New Introduction

Language: English

Pages: 160

ISBN: 1842779826

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Democracy, prosperity and self-rule, this was the vision of African independence. Across the continent, however, the 'optimism' that characterized the immediate post-independence period has largely faded. Meanwhile, ordinary Africans lurch between undemocratic, unaccountable and unresponsive governments and a decaying traditional African past.

How did things go so wrong? Why has the continent lagged behind others in economic development despite its potential natural resources? Why are so many African states prone to conflict? And why has democracy been slow to take root in a majority of the countries? Covering everything from African economies to the role of the state, rural livelihoods to issues of gender, 'Politics in Africa' offers a fresh perspective in answering these questions, making the continent's problems more understandable, less wretched and even intensely hopeful. 

Up-to-date, concise and provocative, this is indispensable reading for anyone interested in African politics.

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‘freedom struggle’ that are inappropriate to large sections of the population who did not participate in, or understand, such dynamics, although they were all impacted by them. In such situations, people, particularly in the rural areas, receive or are ‘subjected’ to citizenship that they have not chosen and of whose value they are not convinced, simply because they, or their community, happen to live where a new state was born. As R. M. Smith (2002: 109) asserts, ‘Even today […] most people

Programme 2007). The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change prediction is that in many water-scarce regions, water availability will be reduced through increased evaporation and changes to run-off and rainfall patterns. Vulnerable livelihoods that are dependent on rain-fed agriculture can be devastated by a lack of resilience in coping with seasonal access to water. Resilience as defined by the Resilience Alliance is 72  |  Three the ability of integrated systems of people and nature to

would tend to express material inequalities in the lower income rungs. In most cases, transactional sex appears to slot into the survival and aspirational strategies of women, particularly im­poverished women. The United Nations Secretary-General’s Task Force on Women, Girls and HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa has concluded that transactional sex and age mixing have become the norm in many countries in the subregion (United Nations Secretary-General’s Task Force on Women, Girls and HIV/AIDS in

vaccination safety and resistance against vaccination’, Health Policy, LV(3): 159–72. Tamale, S. (2000) ‘“Point of order, Mr Speaker”: African women claiming their space in parliament’, Gender and Development, VIII(3): 8–15. Tinker, I. (1990) ‘The making of a field: advocates, practitioners and scholars’, in I. Tinker (ed.), Persistent Inequalities: Women and World Development, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Toner, A. (2008) ‘Who shapes development? An ethnography of participation in collective

college in French Africa except in Senegal, Mauritania, Togo, massive weighting to the metropolitan votes; there were African representatives, but they did not have responsible participation in administration; little progress in African education. All of this sup­ ported by vast disparities in income and opportunity within a colonial extractive economy. Practice In contrast to the French approach, characterized by piecemeal pragmatism: the British approach colonial rule with paternalism

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