Category Archives: Publications

Sights and Moments from the 3rd Annual Peace Studies & International Development Conference

The Third Annual Peace Studies & International Development Conference for Africanist Doctoral Students and Early Post-Doctoral Career Scholars and Practitioners hosted by JEFCAS took place at the Bright Building University of Bradford on 11th May 2017.

The Theme for the conference was Resources, Conflict and Development in Africa.

The Conference provided a platform where Africanist researchers from various continents of the globe including Africa, Asia and Europe could exchange ideas and engage in critical intellectual debates across the spectrum of the conference theme.

Professor David Francis, Director of JEFCAS gave a thought provoking speech that provided an appropriate atmosphere for further intellectual discussions by the various panellists and presenters. The conference was closed with a well-articulated presentation by Professor Kenneth Omeje, Senior Research Fellow at JEFCAS that provided a well-rounded summation of the issues discussed at the Conference.

Below are some of the captured moments from the conference:

 

Yorkshire African Studies Network (YASN) Migration and Transition – Roots and Routes

Yorkshire African Studies Network conference

Migration and Transition – Roots and Routes

University of Hull, 18th and 19th May 2017

http://beta.www.hull.ac.uk/Choose-Hull/Study-at-Hull/Open-days/Visit-us.aspx

The main theme of the conference is Migration and Transition – Roots and Routes

This 2 day interdisciplinary conference aims to create an inclusive and supportive space for post-graduate scholars, academics and community members to come together in a supportive environment, to provide a platform of critical thinking, exchange of ideas and to promote inter-relationships between academics, researchers, the community and non-academics. .

The conference provides an opportunity for academics and professionals from various fields to share their theoretical knowledge, research findings and practices with colleagues, participants and community members in a relaxed and stimulating atmosphere. Participants’ input will be encouraged in order to add value and interaction, promote networking and foster partnerships throughout the duration of the conference. The conference will be interactive, providing an excellent opportunity for networking.

The main theme of the conference is Migration and Transition – Roots and Routes

There are four strands and poster presentations

Four strands:

  1. The socio-economic and demographic determinants of migration.
  2. Cultural practices, health and life transitions in refugee camps
  3. Sex slave trafficking/ sex workers
  4. Social media, political activism and restorative justice

The socio-economic and demographic determinants of migration: Socio-political, economic, ecological and violence are factors driving migration. Rising violence as a result of ethnic or religious intolerance has led to increased levels of migration. Migration can be humanitarian and/or economic.

Health and life transitions in refugee camps: Forced immigration is a challenge and the traumatic events may have an impact on the individual’s sense of self, identity, health and well-being.

Sex slave trafficking/ sex workers: The sex trade exploitation affects people from all walks of life; asylum seekers, migrant workers and sex workers.

Social media and political, cultural and religious activism: Media activism utilises social media and communication technologies for social, political, cultural and religious movements and activism. Users are able to create and share content for political, cultural and religious change.

Poster presentations: Poster presentations may be on any research topic related to Africa. All ideas will be considered.

Paper presentations will be 15 minutes. Poster presentations will be 15 minutes.

Abstracts of 250 words and poster presentations to be sent to: b.orton@hull.ac.uk  by the 30th March 2017

Foe more Information see: http://lucas.leeds.ac.uk/2017/02/23/yasn-conference-migration-and-transition-roots-and-routes/

Annual Peace Studies & International Development Conference: Resources, Conflict and Development in Africa

The annual Peace Studies & International Development conference for Africanist doctoral students and early post-doctoral career scholars and practitioners is scheduled to take place on the 11th May 2017 at the University of Bradford in United Kingdom.

The conference theme is: Resources, Conflict and Development in Africa.

Conference cluster themes include:

1) Natural Resources and Conflict

2) Transition from Resource Conflict to Peace and Peacebuilding

3) Natural Resources, Demographic Change and Development

4) Conflict, Security, Peace and Development Nexus

5) Regional Integration, Security and Development

6) Africa and the Rest of the World
The conference is open to doctoral students and early career scholars, researchers and practitioners. Potential participants and paper presenters are required to submit an Abstract of 200 – 300 words on or before 15th November 2016 to:              africanistpgrc2017-group@uni.bradford.ac.uk
All shortlisted participants will be required to submit the first draft of their papers at least two months before the conference. The conference is expected to result in a co-edited book (Lead Editor: Professor Kenneth Omeje, Senior Research Fellow, John & Elnora Ferguson Centre of African Studies, University of Bradford). Kindly note that all short-listed participants will be responsible for the full-cost of their participation, including visa, travels, accommodation and subsistence.

For full details on the conference: conference-call-oct-2016-revised-version-1

University of Bradford – Mount Kenya University Capacity – Building Partnership

Professor David Francis visited the Mount Kenya University in Nairobi, and the University main campus in Thika between 27- 28 June, 2016, where he held meetings with the University Vice Chancellor Professor Stanley Wando and other Senior administrators on the prospect for capacity –building partnership with the University of Bradford.

mku_mous2.png

The envisioned partnership will support the development of curricula in context-relevant areas of Peace and Security studies starting with the Master of Science in Peace and Social Enterprise, an international conference on Peace and Security in Africa, as well as an International Journal of Peace and Social Enterprise.

MKU offers a variety of programmes in peace and security studies through its Institute of Security Studies, Justice and Ethics. University of Bradford’s Department of Peace Studies, which Professor Francis heads, celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2014. The two institutions have agreed to work together on Staff capacity training/mentorship and exchange programmes. “Lack of information on available opportunities has been a hindrance to African academics,” said Professor Waudo. “But this relationship opens a treasure trove of information. Our staff, for instance, will now have information on Commonwealth scholarships available.” Professor David is a Commissioner for the UK Commonwealth Scholarship Commission.

 

Media coverage in Tanzania for work on Rights & HIV/AIDS

Our research and collaborative work with Village-to-Village (Tanzania) on the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS in Tanzania has received recent media coverage in the Tanzanian media.  Both articles are written by Ananilea Nkya, Chief Executive of the Tanzanian Media Women’s Association (TAMWA).  We are delighted that Ananilea will be joining us in Bradford shortly to start PhD studies.  The full working paper on this project can be found on our working papers page and more details on V2V-Tz can be found here.

 

Insurgencies in Northern Mali: A Tentative Assessment on the Current Conflict

In the JEFCAS Working Paper 5, Priscyll critically examines the emergence and rise of various insurgent groups in Northern Mali.

The paper explains the role of the different actors in perpetrating the violence in the Sahel region and the dilemma in operationalising external interventions in a bid to end the conflict.

You can access the full paper in a pdf format through clicking this link:  Insurgencies_in_Northern_Mali.

Institutionalised and decentralised ‘copycats’? Exploring the implication of entrenched political and bureaucratic corruption in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Why is political and bureaucratic corruption so entrenched in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)? Does corruption have a social functional value as its perpetrators, promoters and mediators may purport? Can ‘legalisation’ of corruption makes it distasteful and lose its social function and hence generate a meaningful debate on  how it can be abated?

In the JEFCAS Working Paper 3 which we announced in February, I argue that political and bureaucratic corruption in SSA are ‘copycats’ which have been institutionalized and decentralized with a social functional value.

Although corruption covers diverse practices, political and bureaucratic corruption in SSA are more visible and entrenched in state institutions. The vice constitutes an interplay of the forces of demand and supply – a situation that involves complicit actors from ‘outside’ the continent whose demand are met by the supply of stolen wealth by complicit African poliiticians and bureaucrats.

The paper argues that corruption may be significantly reduced by ‘legalising’ it. It is through legalization of corrupt practices when the vice may reach a ‘hurting stalemate’ state and will result in its loss of utility. Perhaps it only then that ‘everybody’ may condemn the vice and initiate conversations aimed at ending it once and for all.

Rights are more than words on paper

A couple of weeks ago we released a briefing paper summarising some on-going research in Northern Tanzania on a small project working with groups of People Living with HIV/AIDS to claim their rights as defined by the 2008 Tanzanian HIV/AIDS Act.  We are now pleased to present the full working paper which you can download on the publications page.

The paper shows how a small NGO project could act as a catalyst in starting processes of change without creating dependency on aid and through working directly with existing state institutions.  Using a rights-based approach requires long-term commitment and HIV/AIDS magnifies inequality in both poverty and gender.  Reflecting on this research I am left with the conclusion that further work on rights is required but those rights are not just for those living with HIV/AIDS but broader rights and entitlements which fundamentally challenge gender inequality and poverty in Tanzania.  This is a challenge for a country such as Tanzania in which inequality and the numbers of people living in poverty is growing despite record economic growth.  I will be returning to this topic in my next post but in the meantime you might be interested in the latest African Economic Outlook report on Tanzania.

‘Copycats’? Exploring the implication of political and bureaucratic corruption pestilences in Sub-Saharan Africa

In the JEFCAS_Working_Paper_3,  the author explores the implication of entrenched political and bureaucratic corruption pestilences in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The paper observes that corruption is not atypical of  SSA but it has reached an unprecedented level in the continent yet there is no solution in sight.

The central argument of this conversation is that political and bureaucratic corruption pestilences are ‘copycats’ which have been institutionalized and decentralized with a social functional value.

I derive four subsidiary controversial arguments to support the above claim, that:

  • although corruption in Africa covers diverse practices, political and bureaucratic corruption are more visible and entrenched in state institutions.
  • corruption is a balanced equation between demand and supply. Political and bureaucratic corruption in Africa is encouraged on the one hand by the complicity of actors from ‘outside’ the continent who demand the ‘loots’ from the continent and, on the other hand, by corrupt leaders who supply the market with the ‘highly demanded’ stolen wealth from the continent.
  • perpetrators of political and bureaucratic corruption view the practice as ‘legitimate’ and  not problematic.
  • at present, curbing political and bureaucratic corruption in SSA does not require any political solution; it calls for a new solution since the existing anti-corruption frameworks have failed to work. Perhaps the vice may be significantly reduced when it is ‘legalized’. I argue that legalizing corruption has the potential of making it reach a peak of ‘hurting stalemate’ thereby resulting in the loss of its utility. This, hopefully, will evoke all possible ‘genuine’ actions  and energy to reduce opportunities for economic rent on which corruption thrives.

 

Religious Entrepreneurs in Africa-do they help development?

Since I first went to the village of Uchira in Tanzania in 1996 I was struck by the building of an enormous Catholic church on the roadside.  On that first visit it was just a foundation but by 2007 was a cathedral decorated with stained glass.  By that time I was married into a family from Uchira and my daughter was baptised in that church.   However, my response to this building was annoyance- why was this structure being built here amidst visible hunger and when the government medical dispensary was in such bad shape?  How much has it cost and where did this money come from?  The answer to this was a mixture of funds some from the UK and much from local contributions.  So why did people prefer to contribute to this project rather than to the completion of the local government health facility?

Now I know this is a controversial topic but this question continues to puzzle me.  Perhaps people also wondered this in Europe as the powerful religious bureaucracies built their Cathedrals hundreds of years ago.  This led me to think about all the ways in which religious organisations and religion play a role in reducing poverty or exclusion- either through the delivery of public services or in shaping the identity, behaviour and beliefs of individuals. The public services provided by religious organisations in Uchira charge a fee to their customers and so seem to be behaving as social enterprises.  Starting your own church or becoming a pastor also appears to be a good way to improve your own livelihood- we can see an extreme examples of this in Nigeria.

The second JEFCAS working paper explores the connections between religion and development using Uchira as an exploratory case study.  It is a paper written to ask more questions than it answers.