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Women and Poverty Eradication Efforts in Uganda: Why ending Gendered Poverty is still Far-Fetched
Sarah Hasaba

This paper highlights the causes of gendered poverty in light of existing programs and mechanisms aimed at promoting literacy education and poverty eradication, especially among women, in Uganda. Majority of Uganda’s population live in rural communities and it is where high levels of illiteracy and poverty are prevalent. It is indeed observable that, women in Uganda remain poor despite numerous attempts, both nationally and internationally, directed towards addressing their plight. In this paper, the Functional Adult Literacy Programme, the Poverty Eradication Action Plan and Poverty Alleviation Fund as well as Poverty Reduction Strategy Plans inform the discussion. Ascertaining the extent to which the government has endeavored to address gendered poverty is crucial in this paper. The data used in this discussion is drawn from a qualitative case study research carried out in 2006. Also, findings from this study outline the apparent disconnection between the national literacy programs and the poverty eradication programs in addressing the question of poverty among women. This paper concludes by suggesting that, a multi-faceted approach involving families, local communities, public and private institutions, national governments and the international community is valuable to ending gendered poverty.


Enhancing Entrepreneurial Capacity and Sustainable Development Initiatives in Southwest Nigeria: A Pilot Study of Abeokuta (Ogun State) and Akure (Ondo State) in Nigeria
Bessie House-Soremekun and Oladele Omosegbon

This paper focuses attention on efforts that will need to take place to build entrepreneurial capacity and enhance sustainable development outcomes in two different locations in Nigeria, namely Abeokuta located in Ogun State and Akure located in Ondo State in Nigeria. Although Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and has enormous capacity to develop her economy in the future, at present, much of her development potential has not yet been realized. This paper focuses on a critical area which can lead to a reduction of poverty in the country which is working with existing and newly emerging entrepreneurs to build capacity in their business enterprises so that the businesses can move beyond the subsistence level of production and development to become larger entities which have a higher level of sophistication that are capable of becoming more profitable business entities. This paper is grounded in the theoretical literature which examines sustainable development and the complex interactions of the informal economy, which is large, dynamic, and still expanding across time and space in many parts of the global south. It will also present a new model of integrated development which looks at the ongoing dynamic and nexus between micro and macro level intervention policies which can be used effectively in Nigeria and other countries in Africa and will also present the findings of a pilot study research that we  performed in November 2011 in Abeokuta and Akure on entrepreneurship and sustainable development initiatives that are designed to alleviate poverty and promote economic independence and economic self-sufficiency for the Nigerian citizenry. 


“I know that if I Travel Abroad, My Life would be better”: Poverty Trap and Migration in Human Trafficking
May Ikeora

Despite significant analyses and advocacy on the dangers of human trafficking, people continue to fall prey to its entrapments. Human trafficking is defined here as the recruitment, transportation of persons by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of a position of vulnerability to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Current global actions for combating human trafficking tend to adopt a more law enforcement approach, which gears to criminalize than protect. This approach overlooks the root causes of unorthodox demands within the human trafficking discourse. Poverty as a root cause of trafficking is not a new discovery in the rhetoric of trafficking. It is the unyielding factors behind the poverty domain in the current states of affairs that entraps vulnerable people who eventually find themselves in this form of modern slavery. This paper explores this subject in three parts adopting an interdisciplinary approach. Part one explores existing global response in combating trafficking through preventative measures. This part focuses on attempts to address crucial issues that fuel poverty in West Africa specifically, in Nigeria within the discourse of human trafficking separate from the general global poverty eradication initiatives. Part two focuses on why the 'better-life' syndrome is still a boom in West Africa despite the highly publicized risk around the migration and trafficking nexus. This part examines the poverty trap within the latter context while pointing out the many factors that continues to raise concerns. Part three points out possible actions that needs to be addressed if there is indeed an ‘intent’ to adopt a more appropriate approach in taking progressive steps in addressing this new form of slavery.


Education and Underdevelopment in Nigeria: A Paradox
Eno Blankson Ikpe

Since independence, African governments have pursued development goals with the aim of eradicating poverty. Western education and training in different professions have continued to be methods used to eradicate poverty and as a panacea for development. Many Nigerians have received free education, scholarships and bursaries from the regional, state, local and federal governments. It was believed that this crop of Nigerians would spearhead the country’s development. Experience has shown that many educated Nigerians are the ones destroying the Nigerian nation through the culture of ‘parasiting’ on government resources, corruption and embezzlement of public funds and negligence of duty. This paper examines the paradox of education and the destruction of the Nigerian nation. The paper argues that education in modest living, honesty, commitment to the people and nation will stem the tide of corruption and wastage of public funds among the educated Nigerians thereby contributing immensely to the eradication of poverty.


Bread and Modernity in the Food Culture of Nigerian Cities
Eno Blankson Ikpe

Nigeria is at present a net importer of wheat from the United States of America from where the country imported 3.3 million tons in 2010. This large scale importation of wheat is needed for flour mills to feed the bread, biscuit, pasta and fast food industries which have developed in recent times. Though wheat flour is used in other food industries, the baking of bread consumes about 80% of the wheat imported into the country. Yet bread consumption was introduced in the 20th century by the colonial masters and was not a part of the food culture of the people. The growing Nigerians’ demand for bread and other pastry foods such as noodles and other fast foods are consequences of western modernity. This paper examines the processes of introduction, acceptance and the entrenchment of bread as modern and civilized food in Nigerian food culture from colonial to post colonial era. It argues that the desire to consume ‘modern’ foods especially bread is the cause of Nigeria’s continuous dependence on external markets for the purchase of wheat with political and economic consequences. It has also brought food out of the domestic economy to the realms of international economic relations.


Infrastructure and the Crisis of Development in Nigeria: Whither Vision 20:20:20?
David Lishilinimle Imbua

This paper concerns itself with Nigeria’s Vision 20:2020 and the challenge of infrastructural development. Vision 20:2020 was conceived by the administration of Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to break the shackles of underdevelopment in Nigeria. It represents an aspiration for Nigeria to have a large, strong, diversified, competitive and technologically enabled economy that effectively harnesses the talents of its people and responsibly exploits its natural endowments to guarantee a high quality of life for its citizens. It seeks to position Nigeria among the 20 largest economies in the world by the year 2020. However, opinion is divided on what will be the country’s state of development in comparison with other countries of the world in the year 2020. Nigeria’s present ranking based on the state of her infrastructure tends to suggest that she is merely day-dreaming. On the Global Competitive Index, Nigeria is currently ranked 119th out of 131 countries based on the state of her infrastructure. Our purpose in this discourse is to argue that one of the ways through which vision 20:2020 could be achieved is to create, expand and modernize infrastructure in all sectors of the nation’s existence. Vision 20:2020 will be mere pipe dreams unless the country is able to dramatically scale up its infrastructure services in all sectors of the economy. To avoid the charge of generalization, we have chosen to focus on education, power and transportation.


The Growing Concern of Attempted Suicide Cases among Females in O.A.U Ile-Ife, 2005-2010
Adedayo Irinoye

Many studies have identified a strong link between suicide and diagnosable mental illness, especially depression in the world. However, Africans are experiencing an increased risk and tendency towards depression due to poverty and lack of empowerment. Therefore, the study investigates the characteristics and correlates of female attempted suicide in a Nigerian University. Primary and secondary sources of data were used in the study. Admission medical records at the O.A.U, Health Centre from (2005 – 2010) were used. Nine of the patients (three males and six females) were subjected to oral interview at separate times in a relaxed atmosphere with confidentiality preserved. The study discovered that more females (30) than males (9) are attempting suicide, possibly to seek attention. The males appear more desperate in their bid to commit suicide than the females as they present more severe signs and symptoms than their female counterpart. The reasons given vary from poor academic performance, cheating in exams, sour love affairs, assault, poverty, and broken homes. Therefore, the study concluded that the traditional culture in Nigeria, which has been eroded by western culture and foreign policies has neglected in most circumstances the value of a person's life usually lived out in the full view of others in the same community. The social networking where we act as our “brother’s keeper” to prevent poverty and to externalize our deep psychological feelings are no longer available. Hence, the tendency is higher for female students towards attempted suicide than males.


Empowerment through Democracy despite Poverty: A comparison of 3 Great Lakes
Céline Jacquemin

This paper examines past connections and potential new ground for improved democratization and development in the Great Lakes countries of Kenya, Rwanda, and Tanzania. What are recent trends in democratization and development in the region? What can be learned from them? Can specific world partners provide access to open markets or can they contend to strengthen democracy? This research is intended to provide many questions to assess the research that must be done on the ground in each of these countries to investigate what have been successful paths for democratization and development in each country. What is the impact on democratization and development of the former French colonial language? Has France laid mutually beneficial foundations for development and trade with Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda as its new foreign policy direction suggests? Is Swahili spreading beyond its earlier spheres of influence? Is Swahili strengthening possibilities for trade and development? While French is still a favorite of the older elites in Rwanda and Tanzania, the younger educated generations in both countries and most educated Kenyans prefer to use English. However, in the circles of African experts, Swahili is becoming increasingly important as democratization and development strengthen ties with neighboring states. What do we need to investigate to better understand how language can either empower or constrain attempts at overcoming poverty or at developing democratic institutions further?


Vulture Funds
Elizabeth June-McLaughlin

This paper considers the legislative loopholes that allow Western companies, banks and financial institutions, to buy forgiven debt of a developing country with the intention of collecting later on when the country may have cash. These companies or Vulture funds establish themselves in tax havens for the single purpose of acquiring debt at a fraction of its value and then, as a creditor, seeking payment if and when the country is solvent and can pay. Debt collection by a creditor must be sanctioned by the courts, debt collection laws, and legislation regarding debt forgiveness. Is it possible that hedge ‘vulture funds’ are given a pass legally to conduct business this way at the expense of poverty stricken countries? This paper describes how vulture funds operate and considers the laws and domestic and international legal infrastructure that allows them to do so. This paper then considers various proposals to prevent vulture funds from various legal systems, such as India, Belgium and the United Kingdom. These nations anti-vulture fund legislation, among other things, proscribes access to courts by companies collecting on debts from High Indebted Poor Countries. As of yet, no similar legislation has been successful in the United States.


Are Remittances Beneficial to a Migration Source Country: Nigeria in Perspective
Michael Kehinde and Olumide Ekunade

Remittances have been touted as one of the positive sides of skilled emigration from countries of the South to the developed economies. The plank of this position hinges on the assumption that remittances aid national development. This assertion is however problematic as migration is regarded as social capital and a private endeavor, involving the migrant and to an extent, the migrant’s family and/or friends. Those who benefit from remittances are therefore those who invest in the migrant’s emigration. Research shows that remittances are used largely to meet the immediate personal needs of beneficiaries, rather than on investment. Hence, the impact of remittances on a country’s economy may not in fact be as significant as being touted. Relying on data from Nigeria, this paper seeks to analyze the impact of remittances on the economy of a migration source country.


The Political Economy of Poverty Alleviation Programmes in Africa
Orji Kingdom

Poverty has assumed the status of albatross in most 21st Century African countries. This assertion is borne out by the fact that more than 50% of Africa’s population, of more than 800 million, live below poverty line earning below $1 per. The scourge of poverty is prevalent arising from the near total neglect of the agricultural sector. This paper posits that there is a nexus between poverty and social upheavals such as ethno-religious crises, armed robbery, youth restiveness, militancy, electoral violence, terrorism cum political instability inter-alia. There is no food security. Borrowing from the Millennium Development Goals, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) has put poverty reduction policy on the front burner. The irony of Poverty Alleviation Programme in Africa is that there is so much food for thought but very little on the dining table for consumption. Most pseudo- democratic administrations in Africa barely pay lip service to their poverty alleviation programs. It is now common knowledge that official corruption militates against result-oriented endeavors in this regard as the leaders are self serving. This paper adopts the political economy approach with historical hindsight in analyzing the constraining variables in the onslaught against poverty in the continent and submits that the talk shop on poverty eradication should translate to a policy implementation strategy hinged on agricultural revolution and accountability.


Youth Movements in Kenya from Mau Mau to Mungiki
Mickie Mwanzia Koster

Through the increasing radicalization of initiation oaths, this study explores the entanglements between Kenyan youth resistance and social movements against poverty since the 1950s. It begins with an examination of the connection between the youth participation in the Mau Mau war during British rule from 1952-1960. Prior to the 1950’s the youth, as a group, were typically unable to engage in political oaths as only elderly men were tasked with such an important responsibility. However, during this war, not only did the youth take the Mau Mau oath, they administered the oath, forever changing the nature of political oathing. The result was a newly empowered group, the youth, and eventually an independent Kenya, now free from the economic and political injustices under colonial rule. This Mau Mau past is then connected to the Mungiki a new social movement in Kenya violently responding to urban poverty. Like the Mau Mau, the Mungiki youth engage in secret oaths to unite members providing a window into the goals of the movement. The work argues that the youth movements in Kenya are becoming more extreme in their use of violence to change their economic, political and social position. The argument is supported by survey and oral interview research from 2011 in Kenya as well as 2008-2009 oral interviews including testimonies from ex-Mau Mau participants, survey analysis, archival data, and Mau Mau court cases.


The National Assembly and the Challenge of Poverty in Nigeria
Stephen Akinyemi Lafenwa

In Nigeria, more than a decade after a political transition to democracy, citizens continue to face enormous challenges. More than 60% still wallow in poverty, corruption is endemic, HIV/AIDS is spreading like wildfire, unemployment is growing, about 70 million are uninformed and life expectancy year is decreasing. Of these challenges, poverty is the most endemic since other challenges are usually considered as its consequences. The legislature remains the engine of democratic governance as its lawmaking, oversight and representation roles are meant to establish order and promote social welfare of the citizens. Nevertheless most of the legislations and resolutions of this veritable hub of democracy at all levels of government are yet to tackle effectively the menace of poverty; consequently creating a serious dilemma at the grassroots level. The paper will investigate some of the powers and roles of the legislature in poverty reduction/eradication from 1999 to May 2011. The paper will argue using quantitative and qualitative data that majority of the legislations and policies adopted mostly focused on institutions for empowerment and not attitude of the poor to be empowered, which is the most critical. The paper will posit that poverty can be reduced if adequate and pro-active legislations and policies are promoted by the National Assembly. These legislations and policies should focus on the attitudinal factors of the poor to be empowered. The paper will also suggest that the capacity of legislatures at all levels be strengthened to address critical issues relating to corruption in Nigeria.


Where did Development go?
Magdalena Leichtova

This proposed paper will focus on the quantitative methods of measuring poverty and development. It argues, that quantitative methods largely used by big international donors, are not suitable base for creation of the effective tools, which could address real problems of real people in the developing world. It argues that the net of various indexes cannot replace the qualitative approach based on transfer of knowledge from developing societies to donor institutions. During my stay at the summer school provided via Central European University by UNDP, I made small research of how the activities of UNDP are presented to the public and which methods of gaining data regarding developing countries are presented as “reliable“ or “scientific“. This research led me to analysis of UNDP official documents, where I analyzed the very same features of various reports. My conclusion is, that the qualitative methods of gaining are presented as relevant insight into the situation in the particular state and region and serves as a justification for distribution of resources. I claim that this approach cannot lead to effective addressing of the real problems, rooted in the local, historical or more complex social context and I try to combine both (qualitative and quantitative) approaches, in order to ensure better understanding to the situation in the developing countries. The presented paper would of course undergo proof reading made by native speakers.


A Season of Riots:  Cotton Farmers’ Revolt in Burkina Faso and the State Response
Isidore Lobnibe

In April 2011, SOFITEX, the state company responsible for the production and marketing of cotton in Burkina Faso came out with farm input and producer prices of the cash crop. The announcement immediately triggered tension and anger among members of the cotton producers association (UNPCB) who accused the leadership of conspiring with SOFITEX to impose unjustified cost on individual farmers. Some village associations called for revision of the set prices and even threatened to boycott farming cotton for the 2011-12 seasons if their demands were not met.  By mid July, some regional associations had followed through with the threat, intensifying the conflict between the UNPCB and its members on the one hand, and farmers and SOFITEX/government on the other. The conflict came to a head especially over the price of fertilizer when violent riots broke out between opponents of the boycott and supporters as the latter started killing livestock and uprooting the crops of planters in the provinces of Bale and Dedougou. This paper draws on a month-long fieldwork to explore the bloody and violent riots that characterized the 2011 farming season,  arguing   that  the reactions of the farmers  stem from  the  unstable  national political economy,  the disconnect between the  poor  living conditions of farmers  and  the  international reputation the country has  gained  for having improved the lot of peasant households through cotton production.


Ghetto/Slum at the Heart of the Mega City Lagos: Music, Regeneration and Poverty in Ajegunle City
Olasunbo Omolara Loko and Olugbenga Olanrewaju Loko

This paper examines how koto, galala and suo music variants of the transnational Reggae music, which originated in Kinston Jamaica’s rural south, has been constructed as the heritage of Ajegunle, a ghetto/slum area of Lagos. The article draws upon the ethnographic research on Ajegunle’s music scene of the 1990s to consider some of the interests and circumstances involved in the construction of these variants as a heritage, and the influence of these variants and the locality on that process. In order to explain why koto, galala and suo music became constructed as Ajegunle’s heritage it is important to consider the conventions of reggae music in general as well as community, nostalgia and contradictions that characterized ghetto/slum areas. The discussion focuses on the tension between emphases on the ghetto/slum nostalgic outlook, the insular notion of government’s poverty alleviation program in the area and the conceptions of these genres as central rather than marginal in terms of ghetto/slum culture. The paper uses these tensions to situate local music within a broader discussion on music, regeneration and poverty alleviation in ghetto/slum areas, and highlights the economic, political and ideological potentials inherent in the music of these genres.


The Economics of Women and Gender Studies in Uganda
Adrianna Lozano

My paper uses feminist historical analysis to examine the role of economics in the history of women’s and gender studies as it has developed at Makerere University. This paper engages several discourses within the field of feminist studies in order to investigate the challenges of developing women’s and gender studies in an impoverished country. In this paper, I examine the congruence of events that came together in the late eighties and early 1990s that allotted space and funds for the creation of the Department of Women’s Studies in 1991, despite the nation’s need to recover from over twenty-years of political and economic instability. Additionally, this paper will explore the relationship between foreign donor organizations and the development of women’s and gender studies in Uganda. Has the source of development funds held influence over the agenda of the program? Moreover, has there been a shift of influence as the sources of funding have vacillated over the years? The significance of this analysis is that it will allow me to determine the extent to which a politically progressive academic program has been able to navigate a politically conservative and economically challenged environment. This paper is part of a larger research project that studies the development of the School of Women’s and Gender Studies at Makerere University from 1985 – 2011, while this paper focuses specifically on the economic aspects of that development.


 The Prospects and Challenges of the Ghana National Policy Fair as a Tool for Engaging the Citizenry in Governance Process
Ernest Boateng Manu

Past and present governments of Ghana from the period of its inception of constitutional democracy have over the years resorted to several ways of engaging the citizenry in the governance process especially as this has become a priority for donor agencies. The Ghana policy fair introduced by the present National Democratic Government (N.D.C) in April 2010 and the first of its kind aims to create dialogue and interaction between policy makers and the citizens. By exhibiting the policies and programs of government to the citizens, they can significantly affect the content of policies which affect them. The main coordinates for its introduction are: ensuring participation, promoting accountability and providing information about the activities of government. This paper has the objective of evaluating the policy fair as a policy in itself of the present government and to explore its prospects and challenges. As indicated earlier, it is a new initiative and my analysis in this paper will focus on the three policy fairs so far held .The paper begins with a review of the core issues involved with the policy fair of the N.D.C government. It will proceed to talk about the methodology employed in the study. An attempt is then made to assess the programme based on the indices mentioned above. In conclusion, it will provide the lessons that can be learnt about the assessment and implementation of this policy fair program which will ultimately serve as a practical guidance for future actions.


The Impact of Macro-Economic Policies on Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa: How
(UN) Successful have they been?
Jackie Mapulanga-Hulston

One of the many challenges that sub-Saharan Africa faces is the worsening conditions of poverty and the scarcity of food and food resources. While harsh climatic conditions, such as floods and the ongoing drought have ravaged most parts of the sub-Saharan region, African governments have also implemented policies which have had an adverse impact on food availability and food production. This paper contends that the policies which have been implemented in most parts of the continent have directly or indirectly exacerbated food insecurity in the region. Some of these policies are the result of macro-economic programs which institutions like the International Monetary Fund prescribe to African countries to turn their economies around. Due to the fact that these policies and programs require governments to remove food subsidies, institute higher consumer prices and make drastic changes in wage levels, there have been aspects of food security which have been, and continue to be, adversely affected.


Sustainable Pesticide Use and Working Conditions of Greenhouse Workers in the Flower Farms of Ethiopia: Environmental Governance Perspective.

Belay Tizazu Mengiste
Most African countries lack adequate pesticide management capacities and this situation has resulted in the generation of large stocks of obsolete pesticides, empty pesticide containers, contaminated equipment, materials and heavy contaminated soil sites and water bodies with daily impact on human health and the environment. One recent success story in African agriculture is the Ethiopian cut flower industry, which in many ways is representative for economic globalisation, effects on environment and the prospects for sustainable development. Ethiopia is in the process of intensifying and diversifying its agriculture to meet national demands for food,  but  also  to  increase  agricultural  exports  (e.g of coffee,  flowers  and  vegetables).  Both intensification  and  diversification  may  lead  to  increased  use  of  agrochemicals  such  as pesticides.  However,  pesticides,  when  used  inappropriately,  can  affect  agricultural  productivity, thus reducing the sustainability of agricultural intensification and diversification, and can result in adverse  effects  on  human  health  and  the  environment.  Therefore, sustainable  growth  of  the agriculture  sector  and  protection  of  human  health  and  the  environment  in  Ethiopia,  require effective regulation and management of pesticides.  The objective of this study is to assess the overall pesticide risk and governance system of pesticide in flower farms of Ethiopia. Relevant data related to pesticide risk and governance will be generated from Agricultural officials, greenhouse workers, pesticide importers, flower exporters, wholesalers, retailers, and other stakeholders through Interview, Survey questionnaire, Focused group discussion and observation. A combination of qualitative and quantitative methods will be employed for data analysis. Various statistical techniques such as percentages, cross tabulations, averages, standard deviations, t-test, and chi-square test will be used for quantitative data analysis. Finally, conclusion and policy implication will be drawn based on the overall discussion and key findings of the study.


Educational Objectives of the Millennium Development Goals in Nigeria
Rose Jummai Musa and Nathaniel Umukoro

Socio-economic inequality is a major situation that influences theattainment of the educational objectives of the MDGs in Nigeria.Specifically, the educational objectives of the Millennium Development Goals are contained inGoal 2. This paper examines how socio-economic inequality which breedschild labor affects the smooth implementation of the policy of free andcompulsory education in Nigeria. The study shows that some parentsengage their children in economic activities such as street trading, domestichelp, thus preventing them from acquiring primary education which is freeand compulsory. The paper recommends that efforts should be made bythe government to reduce poverty in Nigeria. Laws prohibiting child laborshould be effectively implemented


Economic Empowerment through Savings and Seed Funding for Disadvantaged Youth in Peri-Urban and Rural Uganda
Akhila Narla, Peter Waiswa, Preethi Kembaiyan

In the rural area of Iganga, Eastern Uganda, problems of extreme poverty eliminate access to basic needs and markets to secure income. With local adult unemployment rates at 57% and higher youth unemployment in Iganga, formative anthropology research indicates that income for young women serves as a preventive health intervention in lieu of the uniquely high rates of HIV/AIDS among adolescents in the town. Leaders of the local non-governmental organization Uganda Development and Health Associates (UDHA), Ugandan youth between the ages of 18 and 22 incorporated into a two year pilot program, and WUSTL students jointly created an income-generating activity surrounding jewelry made from recycled paper beads sold on an American market. American groups used the environmentally-friendly fundraising products made by those in Uganda to earn the young Ugandan artisans empowerment wages (three times the Fair Trade Standard). Monitoring of use of funds led to individual case study evaluations of how funds were used, indicating that a mixed group of six participating peri-urban and rural youth favors increased production and gains for male participants. International market and volunteers created average total earnings of $400 USD per Ugandan youth participant, with $100 USD also available per youth for business plan implementation to sustain access to income for health and development purposes. Given the intervention goals, findings suggest greater positive health impacts can be catalyzed through earned income from international sales that benefit young rural women’s collectives while peri-urban youth can be connected to local markets.


Using Poverty for Education Abroad in East Africa, 1950-1965
Timothy Nicholson

This paper will examine how East African students worked to make themselves appear as impoverished as possible in order to receive scholarships to study abroad during the 1950s and 1960s.  Aware of the perceptions possessed by district education officers and other outsiders, these students played up to what their audience wanted to hear by writing about their own poverty, exploitative colonialism and the need to develop their country.  This paper will be based on records from the Tanzanian National Archive, African-American Students Foundation and other grant-giving organizations as well as oral histories from East African students who studied abroad during this era.  The focus of this paper will be to examine the applications and records of students from the region and their attempts to receive opportunities for university level schooling.  Using these sources, the voices of the young East African poor can be heard and African students themselves can be highlighted.  Overall, this paper will show how poor students took advantage of imperial perceptions and international Cold War rivalries, ideas about colonial exploitation, race and development to achieve their own goals of studying abroad and furthering their educational goals.  Rather than being acted upon, East African students inserted themselves into domestic and world politics while using the idea of an impoverished Africa for their own advantage.


The Negative Implications of “Absentee” Chiefs on Ghana’s Development Effort
Gideon Marfo Nkrumah

This research study attempts to investigate the negative impact that a recent phenomenon in the chieftaincy institution referred to in here as “absentee” chiefs has on Ghana’s development agenda. Most chiefs in Ghana today do not live in their communities permanently but go there on irregular basis. The worst form of this situation is that some chiefs even live outside the country. The situation is analogous to a condition where for instance the president of a country would be living outside the country. One can imagine the negative implications it would have on that state. It must be stated here that this has been as a result of the fact that some chiefs now assume the statuses as lawyers, surveyors, lecturers amongst other professions who would have to combine these with their duties as chiefs. Whilst not condemning chiefs taking up these roles, this study argues that such a situation impedes progress. The chief is seen as an agent of development in the Ghanaian society. Though some of their powers have been curtailed following the emergence of the modern state, chiefs still control resources such as lands and minerals which can be channeled for productive purposes. Apart from this, they also enjoy benefits and other incentives just as one enjoys for example for being a manager of a company. Out of these two conditions arise the following questions respectively: What is the essence of entrusting the control of resources to someone who cannot be found in the community? Why should one take a reward for a work not done or merited? The paper grapples with these questions and proceeds to state that such arrangement does not allow for effective mobilization of resources for development. The chief may delegate authority and responsibilities but the impact would not be felt much compared to where the chief would be there himself. Findings from this research show that the situation can lead to chaos in the society.


Optimizing the entrepreneurial needs of school children for sustainable economic empowerment and poverty alleviation in Nigeria
Okechukwu Onyinyechukwu Nwaubani

Education (and qualitative one at that) is generally adjudged as one of the effective instruments for attaining societal transformation and development. In Nigeria, this position is not only aptly expressed by the national policy on education document but also, reflected on current education sector reforms which are aimed at making education much more responsive to local needs, problems and aspirations within the context of global challenges and technological demands. At the moment, Nigeria is rated by some international agencies as one of the poorest and the most corrupt nations of the world. This position no doubt, has serious implications for youth empowerment, employment, wealth creation opportunities and access to qualitative education which are required for sustainable national development. Of Course, Nigerians recognize the dignity of labour which needs to be caught and taught in schools, especially, at the foundation stages. The above premise necessitated the proposed introduction of entrepreneurial subjects at the upper basic and senior secondary school levels in Nigeria by the Nigerian Education Research and Development Council (NERDC). However, as laudable as this attempt will seem, it nonetheless failed to harnessed what strategic stakeholders could possibly considered as the most appropriate entrepreneurial skills needed by Nigerian school children given their socio-economic and cultural background. This indeed is a very serious lacuna which if not properly addressed (through reassessment) could invalidate current government effort at empowering the youth through entrepreneurial and vocational oriented education. Against this backdrop, this paper intends to articulate relevant entrepreneurial skills required by Nigerian school children to function effectively in a dynamic competitive environment influenced by global needs and challenges. To address the inherent issues in this paper, relevant conceptual and theoretical positions on entrepreneurship will be explored with to justifying their application to Nigeria’s socio-economic, cultural and technological needs, problems and aspirations. Thereafter, a proposal will be made on how these identified entrepreneurial skills could be integrated into the existing or new basic and secondary school curricula for proper academic and vocational orientations of Nigerian youth. Based on the above premise, appropriate implications and recommendations will be made for effective teaching of entrepreneurial subjects. It is hoped that these recommendations if effectively implemented will promote entrepreneurial education for sustainable job creation, youth empowerment and poverty alleviation in a contemporary Nigerian society.


Scaling Up Infrastructure Investment in Africa for Poverty Alleviation
Aori Nyambati

Beyond the benefit-cost analysis of having robust infrastructure in Africa for vigorous economic growth, infrastructure is the capital stock that provides goods and services anywhere in the world. Unfortunately, Africa is lacking innovative approaches toward designing investment transactions in low-carbon infrastructure; African railways, highways, streets, power stations and waste-disposal—which are essential in meeting the continent’s economic growth momentum needed to alleviate poverty—are in a bedlam. The existing infrastructure needs urgent repair, upgrading and replacement. In this paper, we argue that good infrastructure will provide equal benefits both to the rich and the poor in the continent due to the non-exclusionary nature of the consumption of public goods and services it provides. Our findings show that Public-Private partnership, collaboration with bilateral and multilateral institutions, alongside pragmatic African states’ policies will help Africa shape broader and deeper infrastructure investment innovation programs, build capacity and provide infrastructural services required to meet socioeconomic challenges facing the continent in the 21st century and beyond.  We conclude that to the extent that infrastructure improves the quality of life for the poor; the development of infrastructure is thus likely to alleviate poverty in the continent.

Reclaiming Our Spaces: Gender, Power and Politics in Yoruba Market Place
Oluremi Oluyemisi Obilade and Bola Simeon-Fayomi

The culture of patriarchy predominates among the Yoruba people of Southwest Nigeria. This indicates to a large extent the direction, form and nature of social interaction both in the private and public spheres of life. Historically and traditionally, the business of buying and selling in Yoruba market places was considered to be ‘women’s work’. Thus, market places in Yoruba land were regarded as ‘feminine spaces’. However/ paradoxically, in recent times, because of the high level of poverty, high rate of unemployment in profession considered masculine and the substantial returns on investment in the business of selling and buying within the market place, men have started encroaching into this hitherto ‘female preserve’. Unfortunately, not only have the men started encroaching, they have also taken over leadership and control in these spaces. Recognizing the importance of market place to women economic empowerment and survival, the researchers undertook a participatory action research in Ogun and Osun states of Nigeria, using various components of qualitative research to raise the consciousness of the market women and assist them to address and confront this patriarchal induced incursion into the self space of market women and consequently, the socio-economic well being of the women.

The Growth and Remedy of Poverty and Hunger in Post Colonial Africa
Mike Odey

M.J.Watts’ euphemism of “silent violence” for hunger and deprivation in Northern Nigeria is very apt and constitutes the best paradigm for the growth of poverty and hunger in Sub-Saharan Africa. Africa’s optimism in the immediate post Independence period in 1960 to resolve this problematic and achieve sustainable growth and development by 1970 has largely been frustrated and appears to have shifted to pessimism, gloom and anarchy. By the 1980s, out of the 42 low income groups of the world, over 30 of 52 African countries were wallowing under grinding poverty. The proportion of food shortages and problem of hunger in Africa is almost unimaginable and frightening than it has ever been before. Indeed, food dilemma and absolute poverty remain the most difficult maladies to mitigate and appear to be Africa’s most critical barriers to sustainable development as population growth and food outputs continue to move in opposite directions. From a historical perspective and with selected case studies, the essay is arranged in two parts: First to explain the growth, the trend and dimensions of hunger and poverty in Africa. The second major part deals with strategies and propositions by which the maladies can be effectively tamed to achieve economic growth and sustainable development in Africa. The main contribution of the paper is an emphasis on the need to shift from timeless theoretical idealizations and romanticism to current practical realities of making a new history of continental development and human progress for once.  


Analysis of Election Finances in Nigeria
Eyum Ode and Tunde Ojedokun

Financing the Nigerian electoral process is a herculean task. Specifically, the cost of financing elections since Nigeria joined the league of emerging democracies in 1999 has been on the increase. Government, which is the main provider of these funds, is also required to fund other sectors – education, health and infrastructure development. The costs of the elections conducted since 1999 are staggering relative to the GDP. In 1999, election costs was to the tune of N5,074,376,468.70 while preparations for and conduct of the 2011 General Elections  cost the nation over N100 billion. In this paper, the finances of the elections between 1999 and 2011 will be reviewed alongside governments other expenditures in some key sectors like education for those years. The overall objective is to observe what the trend and patterns of election finance have been - increase or decrease; and what has been the structure of allocation and whether these analysis impacted on public perceptions of election. Interviews with experts that give further insights will also be highlighted. Also analysis on the election costs in terms of what money is spent on repeatedly, what expenditures could have been avoided, and assess the sustainability of the rising cost while  discussing the increase dependence on external funding like the Joint Donor Basket Fund (JDBF) of a group of international development partners and foreign donor agencies will be done.  Lastly, an attempt to advocate on election costs reduction strategies will be made.  


Weaknesses and Failures of Poverty Policies and Programmes in Nigeria since 1960
Mike Odey

Poverty and hunger constitute the most serious challenges confronting individuals and government in Nigerian history, a nation that is undoubtedly the second largest economy in Sub-Saharan Africa and the 13th largest Oil producer in the world apart from avalanche of arable land and unlimited possibilities for greatness. Fifty years after independence, more than half of Nigerians are still living in absolute poverty, struggling to eke out a living on a daily basis and to say the least staggering economic growth. Successive governments in Nigeria have formulated several policies to reduce the level of penury but without tangible results. The objective of the paper is to analyze the failure of the economy and to demonstrate why there is so much poverty in the midst of huge resources in Nigeria over time. The central argument revolves around a critical examination of government policies on poverty reduction and to determine the level of successes and failures of the efforts. Furthermore, the essay interrogated the inability of government to surmount the problem of widespread poverty and its implications on national development for so long. The conclusion is an attempt to resolve such contradictions; particularly the incidence of poverty in the midst of wealth by suggesting the necessity for activating the natural, human and social capital more aggressively as new approaches to dealing with the unpardonable and unimaginable incidence of poverty towards the much needed economic growth in a nation that is so blessed, but still remains the habitation of the poorest people in sub-Saharan Africa fifty years after independence.


Africa’s Development Crisis and Resolution: Between Washington Consensus and Beijing Consensus?
Adelaja Odutola Odukoya
Africa has not been free from imperialism and exploitation. Its development trajectory has been conditioned and defined by the exigencies of imperialism, which finds expression in different strategies, namely: slavery, colonialism and neocolonialism. Under free trade imperialism, colonialism and unequal exchange were strategies engaged for the exploitation and underdevelopment of the continent. In the era of monopoly capitalism exemplified by “finance capital” in the 1880’s, MNCs’ capital was added with the colonial vehicle as instrument of imperialist underdevelopment of the continent. Following the end of World War II and America attainment of the status of hegemonic power, multilateral imperialism was unleashed as a strategy to de-monopolize the control of the European powers over Africa, reading opening the continent for indiscriminate and free-for-all economic, political and social subjugation. With multilateral imperialism America without colonial territories established her accumulation foothold in Africa. In the context of this new imperialist accumulation order, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), forming the Washington Consensus, were established and under the ideological ferment of neo-liberalism became not only the enforcers of capitalist discipline globally ensuring the adherence of African nations to the dictate of neo-liberalism despite its unwholesome implications for development.  Faithfulness to the preferred developmental paradigm of the Washington Consensus which attained its zenith with the introduction of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) in Africa has wrought serious disaster in Africa, thus engendering desperate search for alternative development. Africa’s search for alternative development path coincides with the remarkable development of the some Third World economies, namely, Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC), with China as the leading light of this development dubbed the Beijing Consensus. The need for raw materials to power these emerging economies have led to their increasing incursion in Africa. This paper examines the context of the interactions between these emerging economies and Africa. It compares and assesses African relationship with these emerging economies with the historical relationship with the advance capitalist nations which brought Africa to its present condition of underdevelopment as a way of determining whether or not this new relationship is beneficial. The paper counsels Africa on the danger of replacing occidental imperialism with oriental imperialism. The paper concludes that for Africa to develop, neither Washington Consensus nor Beijing Consensus, but African Consensus focusing on the realities of the African conditions is a categorical imperative.


National Health Insurance Scheme as a Health Sector Reform in Ghana: Myth or Reality?
Thomas Offeh

The introduction of reforms in the various sectors of the economy has become a standard feature of the drive to achieve better governance in most African countries. Ghana’s National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is one such major effort that the government embarked upon in the year 2006. The scheme has the primary aim of making health facilities accessible to the poor and the vulnerable in the society. Specifically, it seeks to address the problem of what is termed in local parlance as the “cash and carry” system. This system requires a person to pay for hospital bills before receiving medical treatment. Such a health policy is very laudable given the high rate of poverty in Ghana. However, an assessment of the scheme five years into its operation points to a dismal picture of achievements. Even, if there has been any achievement, it has been marginal as far as its main objective and intent is concerned. What it seeks to eliminate still exists even including new attitudes of hospital attendants. Against this background, this paper seeks to bring to light factors such as weak managerial leadership, delays in the payment of funds to hospitals, and to some extent politicization of the scheme as being responsible for its ineffectiveness. Such findings draw mainly from a survey of some administrators of the scheme and some selected beneficiaries’ perceptions about the scheme. The paper concludes by suggesting measures to making the scheme a reality. These include expediting actions on the payment of money to hospitals, employing qualified and competent personnel to be in charge of the scheme, and a political will and commitment from the higher levels of government.


Pentecostal Response to Poverty in Nigeria
Essien Offiong

Despite its rich resources, Nigeria is bedeviled by poverty and its attendant socio-economic problems. Many Nigerians still live in chronic poverty. They are unable to meet basic needs such as food, health-care, education, clothing, shelter and potable water. Poverty in Nigeria is caused by corruption and inefficient use of natural and national resources. The country enjoyed a period of oil boom between 1971 and 1977 which led to an increased in oil revenue and visible high profile life by style by some Nigerians. Underlying this boom was the problem of poverty which affected many Nigerians physically, materially, spiritually and psychologically. This trend has continued to date. Shortly after the oil boom era Nigeria suffered several social and economic problems. The problems include political instability, corruption, unemployment, insecurity, economic deprivation, inflation, deteriorating health and social facilities as well as spiritual and moral decadence. These phenomena arising from poverty became insurmountable during subsequent military and civilian administration of the country. The historic and the Aladura churches that held sway during this period were silent about the socio-economic situation of the country. The Pentecostal Charismatic churches which began to make impact in Nigeria in the early 1970s took over the religious landscape from the historic and Aladura churches. Many of the founders of the Pentecostal charismatic churches in the country claim to be ordained and mandated by God to act and speak on his behalf. The study seeks to show how they (Pentecostal charismatic) respond to poverty and its social problems.

Poverty Eradication in Africa: A Global Challenge
Segun Ogungbemi

African Nationalists had a very strong belief that one of their primary goals after independence was the eradication of poverty. In spite of the lofty goal to eradicate poverty in Africa by the nationalists, given the fact that the continent is one of the naturally endowed in the world, events after independence have proved otherwise. The conflicts and wars in most of African countries after independence have actually increased the level of poverty in the continent: What are some other causes of poverty in Africa? What must we do to eradicate poverty in Africa? Should the developed countries continue to give aid to African countries even when some African political leaders are stealing the aid or we should discourage aid donors from given aid to African countries that are in need of aid? Or should African countries that need foreign aid be left alone to face their destiny? Are there any moral or ethical reasons while the developed countries should give aid to the less privileged people in Africa? There are two schools of thoughts I want to examine in relation to given aid to Africa namely, Dead Aid that Dambisa Moyo forcefully argued for and Peter Singer’s position that the developed nations should act now to eradicate poverty in the world. The paper concludes that it is morally reasonable and ethically compelling that countries that are in need of foreign aid be given but there is need to prevent political leaders who divert it to their own individual projects. But given aid to African countries should be a temporary measure. For Africa to minimize the rate of poverty there must be peace, good governance among others in the continent. But a total eradication of poverty in Africa, it seems to me, is a global responsibility.


Poverty in Africa: The Criminalization of the Wrongs of Power
Olumide Ogundipe

On the one hand, the gamut of natural wealth in Africa should be enough to make economically buoyant nations out of the continent. Generally speaking, on the other hand, the physicality of poverty in Africa is so strong that the continent seems to be synonymous with wretchedness. In fact, the representation of Africa in the media almost always suggests that Africa is a hell on earth where the inhabitants die due to war, malnutrition, diseases, homelessness and so on. While it is possible to consider these factors the disturbing evidence of poverty in Africa, it is very important to investigate what circumstances fuel the widespread of poverty on the continent. In the past, scholars—especially of African descent—have indicted colonialism for the underdevelopment of Africa and economic weaknesses of its inhabitants. But is pointing fingers at the same direction today justifiable? Classism(s), social imbalances, corruption, unemployment and so on are obviously some of the causes of poverty in postcolonial Africa. In my paper, however, my aim is to draw attention to the poor power relation between citizens of African countries and their political leaders as the major reason why poverty persists on the continent. While I regard poverty as the bane of progress in Africa, I am convinced, and will argue, that poor leadership/mismanagement of power by Africa’s political/military leaders is the bane of poverty eradication in most of African countries.


Political Corruption and Development in Africa: A Case of South Africa
Olusola Ogunnubi

Corruption today has continued to be a major bane on development especially in Africa. Particularly in the case of South Africa since 1994, many have attributed the slow pace of development to the menace of corruption that is widespread at different levels of governance in the country. This paper explores the impact of corruption on Africa’s lack of development paying particular attention to the South African context. Drawing from both quantitative and qualitative insights, the paper takes advantage of responses made by respondents on key related questions as well as relevant resources from secondary materials. The first section discusses Africa’s inability to develop and move beyond its current poverty struck level as consequences of a corrupt ridden society. The second section contextualizes the dimensions of corruption in Africa and particularly in South Africa while also bringing to fore the causes and effects of corruption on Africa’s development. It goes on to examine the extent of corruption as a way of life in South Africa paying particular attention on political corruption. It argues that the primary reason for concern about corruption especially in South Africa is that it reduces public trust and confidence in the integrity and impartiality of elected representatives (political office bearers and public officials. The paper concludes with an outline of possible solutions and recommendations in fighting the scourge of corruption in South Africa. The measure that the South African government undertakes to combat corruption is also discussed.


Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow’: Fela’s Prophetic Lyrics in the Light of Twenty-First Century Realities
Albert Oikelome

 Fela Anikulapo Kuti remains undoubtedly one of the best musicians to evolve from the continent of Africa, well recognized for his creation of Afrobeat. Afrobeat is a popular musical genre that has received a distinctive recognition both in Africa and beyond. It is unique in its instrumental sound, textual context and social fusion. The song text of Fela’s Afrobeat reveals a confrontational approach that passes on messages to the rulers of his time. This paper therefore examines Fela’s lyrics in order to establish the veracity of his claims and the realities on ground in this dispensation.  Through an interpretive lens, the paper will identify specific themes, messages and revolutionary features of the lyrics, and explore how these lyrics relate to political and sociological trends in the 21sth century.


The Commercialization of Poverty in Africa: A Critical Analysis
Felix Omoh Okokhere

Poverty has become a song whose lyric is known in most African homes. The drumbeat of poverty is loud and the effect on the African peoples is devastating to say the least. Majority of African states are confused as to which way to get out of this endemic poverty. Governance has collapsed and state institutions are ineffective and crippled. Development is stalled as a result of lack of good governance and credible political leadership. The paper identifies the absence of political will and integrity in governance as the main causes of the endemic poverty which plagues Africa even in the 21th century. The paper recommends a totally home grown {African} solution {in the form of capacity building} to the social political and economic problems which promote and commercialize poverty in Africa. Should Africa look inward for solutions to its numerous continental problems, empowerment which has benefited a few, pauperized and excluded the majority can then be tackled.


In the Web of Neo-Liberalism and Deepening Contradictions: Assessing Poverty Reform Strategies in West Africa since the Mid 1980s

Okpeh Ochayi Okpeh
A critical question which the agency of the poor and the excluded in Africa is asking is why poverty is not abetting in the continent even in the light of the many reforms to mitigate it? What is it with the nature and character of poverty in Africa that makes it so resilient? Why has neo-liberal poverty reform strategies proved inadequate in the last three decades? What is the response of the postcolonial state and why is this insufficient? Against this background, this paper sets out to examine the intractability of poverty by relating the experience of the West African region with neo-liberal reform packages since the mid-1980s. The paper argues that the agenda of neoliberal reforms in the Global South do not cohere with the development aspirations of these countries and the socio-economic realities of the people. Drawing on the rapidly increasing data on the subject, the paper demonstrates how these reform packages have continued to implicate sustainable development in West Africa. The paper adopts the multidisciplinary method anchored on the empirical, descriptive and analytical framework.


Government Policies and the Feminization of Poverty in Africa: Some lessons from Nigeria Since 1999
Okpeh O. Okpeh

It has been observed that the socio-economic and political programs of the postcolonial African state with regard to women have not significantly ameliorated their marginal status in the development process. Such an observation, controversial as it may appear, is made based on available data on the incidence of poverty amongst women and the implications of this on their aspirations and self-actualization. Thus, although the leadership of the postcolonial African state has, through its relevant agencies, continued to eulogize its development policies particularly since the 1990s, this is not marched by deepening poverty amongst the women folk in the continent. The precarious condition of the feminine gender in the continent since the emergence of democratic transition in the 1990s, suggests that the face of poverty in contemporary Africa is the woman.  The major aim of this paper is to critically examine this contradiction by analyzing government policies and their implications for the feminization of poverty in Africa. Focusing on the Nigerian experience since 1999, the paper illustrates the insincerity of the postcolonial state and its ruling elites in addressing fundamental gender concerns in the socio-economic and political transformation of the country and argues that the dividends of democratic transition is far from impacting on the generality of Nigerian women, especially those in the rural areas for whom the governance shift is meaningless. While drawing on critical lessons African countries should learn from the Nigerian experience, the paper identifies why this is the case and suggests the way forward.


Westernization, Christianity and their Implications on Herbal Medicine in Nigeria: The Health Care Delivery System
Atinuke Olubukola Okunade

Herbal medicine is an important part of the traditional African heritage. In traditional African setting, herbal medicine can be classified into two: tonic (preventive purpose) and stimulating (curative purpose). Tonic helps cells, tissues and organs to maintain tone or balance throughout the body. Stimulating (curative purpose) have stronger actions and are used to treat particular ailments. The arrival of Christianity which culminated in Westernization of most African cultural heritage, especially the health care delivery system, brought about a lot of confusion and eventually distraction from what Africans know and believe to be life saving, cost effective and readily available for their consumption for both preventive and curative purposes. Despite the European introduction of westernization through Christianity, better education as they made us to believe, including technology, still cases of deadly diseases are increasing in Africa. More and more people are dying of cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney diseases and others. Instead of the government to look inward for possible solution through the use of God- given nature, they are busy importing drugs from Europe and America. This paper therefore goes back to the memory lane, tracking efforts made by Europeans to change African medical beliefs, and also, with empirical evidence, records of how presently good number of Nigerian Christians are going back to the roots by embracing the use of herbal medicine.


An Exploration of the Influence of Household Poverty Spells on the Incidences of Child Labor in Nigeria
Tolulope Monisola Ola

Household poverty is dynamic and characterized in terms of spells. Through the recurrence and persistence of spells, exposure to poverty accumulates. In Nigeria, there are evidences of increasing incidences of child labor with a link to household poverty, but studies on this have been very limited. This study examines various household factors pre-disposing children to different forms of labor in Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria. A total of 110 respondents comprising of children involved in various forms of labor and their households were selected for interview using a purposive random sampling technique. Participatory methodologies including interviews, focus-group discussions (FGD) and in-depth interviews (IDI) were used to gather relevant data and share information on child labor in the study site. Findings from the study suggest the usefulness of some theoretical considerations on the incidence of child labor. The Household Production Theory and Ideological Paradigm are useful theories in explaining the social, economic and cultural ramifications and household context of child labor in Nigeria. The findings indicate that household poverty and some community variables are significantly and positively related to child activity options. Specifically, the age of the child, gender, household composition, education of parents and parents’ income determine child activity options. It is recommended that the poverty alleviation programmes in the country meant to lift poor households out of poverty should be better implemented so that their financial burdens will be greatly reduced. Awareness campaigns on the cost of child labor should be given priority at the local, state & national levels.


Harnessing Intellectual-capital for Sustainable Development in West Africa: An Advocacy for Re-directed Poverty Alleviation Strategies 
James Ayodele Olabisi

The desirability of development, especially by the so-called Second and the Third World countries, is unmistaken.  For example, of the world's 30 least-developed countries, 18 are countries in West and Central African. Nigeria, the self-acclaimed giant of Africa, and other perceived power-brokers as Kenya, Côte d'Ivoire and Senegal are currently among the bottom-30 least-developed countries in the world.  This paper discusses the stifling roles poverty play in developmental strides in the West African sub-region, with particular emphasis on Nigeria and critically examines various poverty alleviating strategies.  It suggests that poverty alleviation strategy should promote private-sector participation and be ideas-driven rather than materials-driven. 


With Great Riches comes Great Responsibility: Human Rights Violations in Nigeria and Governmental Duty
Tosin Olamigoke

Nigeria is the most populous nation in Africa. It boasts a rich economy fuelled by its prominent oil industry. Nonetheless, the nation contains a fair amount of poverty, violence and entropy; human rights violations continue to be prevalent in and around the Niger Delta. Amongst the various entities considered human rights violations, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is one of the more complex issues due to its tribal connections, governmental attitudes towards its practice and prevention, and the difficulty in gathering data on such cases. The US State Department reports that 30% of the Nigerian region underwent female genital mutilation in 2009. In taking this issue into further analysis, this paper will tackle human rights violations in Nigeria comparing patterns of issues and resources between FGM and other types of violations such as kidnappings, cases of ethnically or religiously motivated crimes. To what extent can the governmental structure provide space for legal changes and personal protection? What have been the successes in providing more protection from human rights violations?


Historical Epochs of Local Government Administration in Nigeria and the Poor
Fatai Ayisa Olasupo and Ike Fayomi

Local government administration and development in Nigeria has, historically, been affected by different political system including the following: native authority or indirect rule system; local administration system; democratization; and the separation of traditional/ emirate council from democratic local government system. The last of these epochs is the most spectacular in the way it deepened democracy at local government level. To date, this last epoch has had not less than nine reforms: The 1976 guidelines for local government reform; The 1979 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; The 1984 Dasuki Report on the Nigerian local government system; The 1988 Civil Service Reforms of the Local Government system; The 1989 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; The 1992 Handbook on Local Government Administration; The 1989 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; The 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the 2003 Review of Local Government Councils in Nigeria. What this paper sets out to examine is the changing nature of Local government system in Nigeria right from the days of the native Authority system to the present democratic one and their impacts on the poor.


Combating Social Inequality in Nigeria through Qualitative Education
Afen Martin Olofu

Education is a basic social need. Its relevance to the development of the individual and the nation is clearly stated in the Nigerian National Policy on Education. In line with this, education in Nigeria is recognized as ‘an instrument par excellence for effecting national development’ (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004). Based on this premise, it is believed that education offered to learners will equip them to become functional members of the society. Nigeria in the course of achieving this goal has introduced series of educational systems, policies and programs based on both local and international conventions. The latest is the Universal Basic Education program (UBE), meant to give every Nigerian equal opportunity and access to education. This paper examines the Nigerian education with a view to establishing its impacts in terms of accessibility, quality, quantity and relevance. The paper argues that, the educational system has fallen short of equipping Nigerian citizens with the quality of education that makes them self reliant, functional or even employable in the labor market. What has been achieved so far is increase in school enrollment. The quality of school graduates is considered poor, unskilled and sometimes irrelevant, leading to high level of unemployment, poverty, social inequality and crime. The paper suggests higher level of government commitment through budgetary provision, individual and cooperate organization investment in education.


State and Political Participation: A Gender Analysis of Nigeria’s 2011 General Elections
‘Lai Olurode

Both at the global and national levels, concerted promptings about strategies to leverage women’s positions and elevate them from obscurity and marginalization are yet to produce desired goals. The impact of  consistent but diverse interventions are being manifested in the number of women who seek executive positions in political parties, in those aspiring for political appointments, and in the rising number of women seeking elective offices. The paper employs content analysis in its methodology as well as interviews of key informants in this comparative study of gender and political participation in Nigeria’s 2011 elections. Among its key findings is that policy decisions that seek alteration in women’s political fortunes are recording modest gains. Images and representations of gender in popular culture are formidable fetters in policies that seek to deconstruct social knowledge about patriarchy.


From the Street to Stardom: The Socio-Economic Empowerment of Nigerian Youths through Music
Stephen Olu-ibukun Olusoji
The economic recession that has taken the world by storm and had upturned most advanced economies is probably heavily felt in Nigeria due to its sole dependence on oil. The attendant problems from the recession in Nigeria include: mass unemployment, increase in crime rate (419 and cybercrimes) and other social vices. This paper examines how youths in Nigeria who are always at the receiving end of any social, economic crises have been able to empower themselves by harnessing their creative potentials and horning their skills through music. It gave a list of contemporary Nigerian youths who have carved a niche for themselves on the local and international scenes. The paper posits that for poverty to be eradicated in Nigeria and other African countries, vocational education should be encouraged and avenues should be created by governments for youth development. 


Popular Music as Economic tool for the Nigerian Youth
Babalola Sunday Oluwaseun

The issue of poverty is not restricted to any nation, rather the management ability of each nation only exhibits the level at which it is taken care of. Most African countries top the list of poor nations only because their entrepreneurial agenda for their citizens are not well spelt out both in their internal and foreign policies. Besides sporting activities, Nigeria has made name in popular music across the world. To empower the youths of the country, this paper therefore, looks at ways of empowering that economic age with musical skills that can bring improvement in the economic situation of the country.

Safeguarding the Rights of Oil Producing Communities in Nigeria: A Call for Review
Kevwe Omoragbon

Since the discovery of Crude oil in Nigeria in 1956, oil exploration and exploitation has led to the pollution of land and seas and the consequent environmental degradation making it impossible to farm and fish in the Niger Delta region. Despite accounting for about 80% of government revenue, the region lingers in abject poverty and deprivation. The paper discusses contemporary issues relating to the safeguarding of the rights of these oil rich communities in a bid to address the poverty issues presently plaguing the region. It will also attempt to answer the following questions: Is there a linkage between human rights and the environment? Going from the fact that ownership of natural resources vests in the Federal Government, do the oil communities have any rights at all?Are they legally recognized and enforceable? How adequate are statutory compensations? What other options are open to these communities to ensure the ‘adequacy’ of compensations? The paper concludes by proffering recommendations to ensure the protection and guarantee of the inalienable rights of the oil producing communities.


The Growth of Law Clinics as a Vehicle for Legal Empowerment in Nigeria
Kevwe Omoragbon

Despite over ten years of democratic rule in Nigeria, the gains of democracy are very slow in realization; this could be partly due to over thirty years of previous military regimes plagued by numerous human rights violations, abject poverty and disintegration of the judicial system. Poverty reduction and human rights have shared values and overlapping objectives some of which include non-discrimination, liberty and security of the person. Legal empowerment is a right-based approach which uses legal services to help the poor learn and take actions to alleviate poverty through information, education as well as organization and legal representation. The introduction of law clinics in Nigerian Universities has made impressive progress in training law students in the practice of law as well as providing free legal aid to less advantaged citizens. This has gone a long way to improve access to justice, protect citizens’ constitutional rights and has the effect of reducing poverty. This paper examines the growth of law clinics in Nigeria and achievements so far recorded arguing that without law reform, they cannot achieve their full potential. It will start by giving a brief background from an international perspective, their root in Africa, and the antecedents that led to the founding of law clinics in Nigeria. It will evaluate their accomplishments and provide recommendations to further strengthen access to justice and the improve law clinic sustainability.


Features of Colonial Socio-economic Developments and Poverty in the Niger Delta
Amugo Frank Onyema

The Niger Delta region from the third quarter of the nineteen century witnessed remarkable mutations in its socio-economic set up occasioned by the penetration of new imperialism which imposed alien socio-economic policies and structures on the polities of the subject people. In line with the objectives, operations and mechanisms of colonizing imperialism, the British introduced colonial policies in the Niger Delta that disarticulated the socio-economic processes earlier evolved in response to the dictates of the Atlantic commerce of old imperialism. The coastal states and communities of the Niger Delta had responded and adjusted to the Atlantic commerce dictates and realities upon which colonial polices brought further superimpositions, leading to peasantization of the region’s economy before the advent of petroleum oil. This paper examines the remarkable developments associated with the advent of the Atlantic commerce and colonialism with their changes which disarticulated the polities of the Niger Delta, vis-à-vis the implications for the region’s future. The paper concludes that the mutations of the region’s socio-economic and political processes and structures which were compounded by the discovery, exploration and exploitation of petroleum oil have negative impact on the economic development of the people, leading to poverty, disempowerment and abiding crises in the region. The study drew resource from existing works on aspects of Nigeria and Niger Delta socio-economic history from the nineteenth century.


Poverty and Sex Trade among Nigerian Women: An Empirical Analysis
Clementina Osezua

Sex trafficking among the Benin people of Southern Nigeria, has earned the nation an inglorious reputation in the global community. As a leading source of “raw material” in international sex industry, majority of the researches conducted in the region are sponsored by International agencies, Non-Governmental organizations which continued to present trafficked women as victims and who have been conscripted and deceived by traffickers. This stance obscures the agency of these women, ignoring their own sides of the story. This study sets out to bridge this gap by providing information about the socio cultural background of sex trafficking survivors by establishing basic commonalties in their social location and their actual experiences. The study relied on data generated from 15 life histories conducted with sex trafficking survivors using snowballing. Findings revealed that poverty is a common experience for many of the women involved in sex trafficking as they perceive sex trafficking as a viable option towards terminating generational poverty. Contrary to extant literature that many of these women were coerced into sex trade by traffickers, findings revealed that 12 women out 15 of the survivors admitted that they were aware of the nature of the job, while 10 of them actually approached traffickers themselves. Also, 12 out of these women agreed that given another opportunity, that they will go back to Europe to continue sex trade. The study concludes that sex trafficking is still viewed as a form of economic and social empowerment among poor women in contemporary Benin Society.


Reform, Economic Growth and the Poverty Question in Africa
Ehiyamen Mediayanose Osezua

In recent discussions on poverty in the developing world, particularly Africa, historically and politically, high economic growth rates have been acknowledged, both globally and notably in Africa. Yet, experientially, economic growth and reforms have not translated into reducing the scourge of poverty suffered by nations in the global South. At the international level, regular revision of poverty reduction programs with the intention of proffering imported solutions to African nations, without adequate acknowledgement of indigenous development paradigms and framework is rife. In view of the foregoing, this paper examines the paradox of crushing poverty in the midst of plenty and the vagary of importing solutions coupled with the intellectual aridity that has become endemic among present day academia, culminating in the absence of creative indigenous development thinking with pragmatic solutions in Africa .The paper argues that poverty in African countries require a change in strategies adopted by governments of nation in Africa which are usually response to international agenda on alleviate poverty. Making direct assistance available to the very vulnerable poor who are not usually accessible to such programs which are white elephant projects is important. The paper concludes that improving the access of the poor and vulnerable in terms of provision of basic social facilities and maximizing their human capital for productive use in the economy, based on indigenous frameworks which are region-specific, are imperatives to mitigating the scourge of poverty in many African countries.


Governance and Globalization: The Defining Edge in Poverty Alleviation in Africa
Kunirum Osia

While not advocating anthropological sense of equity in a world of unequal distribution of goods, why does poverty still persist, especially in Africa? What causes poverty? What has been done to alleviate, albeit, eliminate poverty in Africa? There are conceptual ambiguities, differences as to how data have been interpreted, and assumptions made in measurement about poverty (Ravillion, 2003a). There are
concerns about methods in some studies and lack of clarity about how poverty is aggregated in cross-country data sets for defining the level of poverty or other covariates. Whatever frameworks are posited in our attempts to understand and define poverty in Africa, we run into perspectives that range from the objective to the subjective, they differ from country to country, and over a period of time within the same space share one characteristic, albeit its contents remain the same. That characteristic is deprivation. People are, feel or are regarded by others to be poor because they are deprived of something which empowers them to fulfill potentials as human beings. This paper argues that since poverty is a human condition characterized by deprivation the call for fairness, equity and parity in the distributive relationship of nations has remained unheeded. Although there are many critical elements that cause poverty, namely, natural cause, man-made cause – this paper will focus on governance and globalization to expose the structural and institutional settings that neutralize efforts to create equity and parity.


The Changing Images and Representations of Adire Technology in Nigerian Politics
Omotayo Owoeye

This paper examines the use of the technology of indigo textile dyeing and its motifs popularly known as adire as a means of communicating of cultural values and empowerment in Nigeria’s democratizing politics. It further observes the adoption of foreign materials and changes in the adire technology’s symbolic images and representations as a metaphoric representation of Nigeria’s democratic values. And it explored the interaction between the technology and socio-political factors in Nigeria’s democracy among the Yoruba, Southwestern Nigeria as a means of empowerment and a portrait of poverty. The study relies on primary data gathered using anthropological techniques of observation; participant and non-participant and key-informant interviewing. The targets were the dyers drawn from Osogbo and Abeokuta, purposively selected and also through snowballing technique. It also exploited secondary sources. The data was analysed using content analysis and metaphoric analysis in semiotics. It was observed that the indigenous technology of indigo textile dyeing has been prominently used among Yoruba in Nigeria’s politics especially in Abeokuta and Osogbo. The changes experienced in the technology with the introduction of synthetic dyeing technique could be described as a metaphoric representation of the democratic and cultural values as well as a means of empowerment in Nigeria. Hence, there is a dynamic relationship between the socio-political environment and the adire technology and its motifs concerning cultural values and empowerment in a democratic society.


Cultural Interrogation of the Dying Nigerian Textile Industry: Lessons for Empowerment
Omotayo Owoeye

The symbolic production of textile has made man unique in the society. Textiles have been utilized for man’s need and wants: it is central to the production of power, stylistic change in politics and economy. However, borrowing the western-induced technologies without recourse for indigenous practices has had negative implications on the textile industries in Nigeria. Ironically, the indigenous dyeing textile industries remain vibrant, in spite of the stiff competition and unfriendly business environment. This paper seeks the cultural interrogation of the symbolic production of ‘adire’ and practices that sustained the indigenous technology among the Yoruba people. Using review of literatures, a comparative analysis of the two textile industries is done to understand for the empowerment lessons in the discourse. The findings provide the historical perspectives on the emergence of poverty in Nigeria. The adire technology among the Yoruba has proved sustainable, empowering and a means of preserving Nigerian tourism, despite Nigerian governments’ non-supportive attitude of this indigenous technology due to corruption. It concludes that African arts and technologies are symbolic material, spiritual heritage and a source of empowerment for the people. These arts are well integrated into the living patterns of the people and inseparable from their spiritual philosophies. Therefore, the introduction of other arts or technologies without recourse to the culture of the people could lead to the prevalence of poverty in the society.


Extra-Version and Development in Ethiopia: The Case of Cotton Farming in Setit Humera, 1955-1975
Luca Puddu

Access to external resources provided by the inclusion in the international system has historically been at the heart of the process of state-building in Ethiopia. This paper aims to analyze the strategy of extraversion through which Haile Selassie's empire consolidated its sovereignty over the contested district of Setit-Humera. The case study – the dialectics between Ethiopian authorities and western donors on the creation of an agro-industrial cotton apparatus in north-western Ethiopia – highlights the facets behind the formal representation of development aid. The imperial establishment employed paradigms of western modernization and mainstream development theory to re-elaborate the strategy of surplus extraction and consolidate control of the political space over the north-western frontier, where Abyssinian claims were contested both by Khartoum and the Eritrean Liberation Front. The intervention of the "Developmental State" in the economic and legal sphere was primarily tantamount to this goal, while posing a burden on public finances. It explains the difference between World Bank-funded Setit Humera project's official goals and its effective outcomes. The issue will be analyzed through primary and secondary sources. Archival documents have been collected in the archives of World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization, Great Britain and United State













Africa Conference 2012: Poverty and Empowerment in Africa

Convened by Dr. Toyin Falola and Coordinated by Sylvester Gundona and Tosin Funmi Abiodun for the Center for African and African American Studies

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