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“Secret societies”, “traditional hunters”, “charms” and “mystical weapons” are recurrent terms when analyzing some of the present armed conflicts in the Sub-Saharan region. However, though spiritual beliefs shape armed groups’ behaviour, and such beliefs are integrated into the modus operandi of some armed groups, the role of these beliefs in warfare is largely overlooked. Far from being something anecdotal or incidental, the invisible world plays a role in shaping armed groups’ behaviour and framing warfare dynamics. Spiritual beliefs might influence the respect afforded to international humanitarian law and international human rights law. Such beliefs may also serve various strategic functions, including for legitimation of the group, mobilization of support, control, cohesion, discipline, motivation and protection. Digging further into the matter and understanding how such beliefs impact the internal dynamics of armed groups and their external relations, including with the State, other armed groups and communities, is an essential part of understanding armed conflicts and their aftermath.
The case of an African soldier who served with distinction in the Roman army and who retired to his highland home town prompts a consideration of the problems of identity and behavior as they were shaped by an empire with its own fiscal, administrative, and military categories and demands. The question considers the negotiated aspects of identity in which local attachments of language, kinship, and place were made to merge with the categories of name, military rank, language, and armed service imposed by an imperial regime. Rather than one element effacing the other, it is shown how they could coexist in a split sense of identity through many generations over the height of the empire. Perhaps more than is often imagined, it seems that the structure of the empire was itself bifurcated and capable of sustaining such split identities all the way down to the most localized levels of the imperial social order.
This chapter explains the notion of the rule of law which Victorian jurists associated with the English constitution. It examines the role of habeas corpus in securing personal liberty, and explains the debates over martial law which followed the Jamaica revolt of 1865, in which common lawyers sought to subject emergency rule to the rule of law. Despite this strong commitment to the rule of law at home, British rulers in the empire regularly introduced emergency regimes or detained political prisoners through ad hominem legislation, as was done in 1877 in the case of Abdullah, Sultan of Perak. Whereas in India, general legislation was passed to allow the detention of political prisoners and the introduction of martial law, in most of Africa, the colonial authorities used either specially enacted ad hominem ordinances or uncodified martial law powers. This was done even in East Africa, when Mwanga of Buganda and Kabagera of Bunyoro were detained and deported, even though legislation following Indian forms had been passed there. This chapter considers questions raised by the use of such emergency legislation for British perceptions of and fidelity to the rule of law.
This chapter argues for an alternative view of 'African youth languages' based on ethnographic and ecological approaches that link structural and discursive analyses of spontaneous communicative interactions with immediate situational and local social dynamics and then the broader sociocultural context of the speech community in which these practices occur. Using video recordings of naturally occurring conversations from twenty-two years of observation among male youth in a township in Johannesburg, South Africa, I demonstrate that so-called Tsotsitaal or tsotsitaals are interactive performative practices that constitute a performative register made up of a set of discursive strategies that draw on different linguistic resources in the quest for originality as part of male sociality during a particular life stage. I show that variation in choice of words and other semiotic features of this practice are best explained from a persona-constructionist perspective as part of male sociality where linguistic choices index attitudes, stances and identities in the service of social distinction. Innovations spread based on linguistic skill and status within male social networks. Multivalency accounts for the presence of some of the male youth lexicon in urban vernaculars. Implications for current approaches to the study of youth language in Africa are discussed.
The Global IR research agenda lays emphasis on the marginalised, non-Western forms of power and knowledge that underpin today's international system. Focusing on Africa, this article questions two fundamental assumptions of this approach, arguing that they err by excess of realism – in two different ways. First, the claim that Africa is marginal to international relations (IR) thinking holds true only as long as one makes the whole of IR discipline coincide with the Realist school. Second, the Global IR commitment to better appreciate ‘non-Western’ contributions is ontologically realist, because it fails to recognise that the West and the non-West are dialectically constitutive of one another. To demonstrate this, the article first shows that Africa has moved from the periphery to the core of IR scholarship: in the post-paradigmatic phase, Africa is no longer a mere provider of deviant cases, but a laboratory for theory-building of general validity. In the second part, the Sahel provides a case for unsettling reified conceptions of Africa's conceptual and geographical boundaries through the dialectical articulation of the inside/outside dichotomy. Questioning the ‘place’ of Africa in IR – both as identity and function – thus paves the way to a ‘less realist’ approach to Global IR.
African attitudes to income inequality have hardly been studied. As a result, we may have been missing a crucial part of the answer to the question why Africa is so unequal. This paper presents evidence that, across all self-identified class categories, African respondents in 16 African states, representative of all the regions of the continent, are on average considerably more tolerant of inequality than respondents from 43 comparable developing and transition countries. The aim of the paper is to try and explain these differences. It concludes that (a) a modified version of Albert Hirschman's notion of the ‘tunnel effect’ and (b) religious devotedness in the African context provide explanations for the observed variation between African respondents and their counterparts elsewhere. Experienced inequality, in contrast to overall income distribution, influences the tunnel effect more widely than economic growth. Religious belief shapes inequality tolerance in Africa more than the observance of religious practices.
What is the impact of access to political party finance – money that parties use to fund their campaign activities – on politics in Africa? While multiparty elections have become more regular in the developing world, many opposition parties are still failing to win elections. This paper argues that poor access to political finance weakens democratic consolidation and negatively impacts the participation of less-resourced candidates who are unable to self-fund. As a result, opposition parties are forced to rely on weak promises of aid from international donors and unreliable state funding. This in-depth analysis of political finance, based on extensive interviews with politicians and government officials in Zimbabwe, political documents, news reports and a review of court cases, reveals that uneven financing has weakened opposition parties and serves as an extra advantage for incumbents.
We determined the prevalence and identified predictors of food insecurity in four African countries.
Cross-sectional analyses at study enrolment.
From January 2013 to March 2020, people living with HIV (PLWH) and without HIV were enrolled at twelve clinics in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Nigeria.
Participants reporting not having enough food to eat over the past 12 months or receiving <3 meals/d were defined as food insecure. Robust Poisson regression models were used to estimate unadjusted and adjusted prevalence ratios (aPR) and 95 % CI for predictors of food insecurity among all participants and separately among PLWH.
1694/3496 participants (48·5 %) reported food insecurity at enrolment, with no difference by HIV status. Food insecurity was more common among older participants (50+ v. 18–24 years aPR 1·35, 95 % CI 1·15, 1·59). Having 2–5 (aPR 1·14, 95 % CI 1·01, 1·30) or >5 dependents (aPR 1·17, 95 % CI 1·02, 1·35), and residing in Kisumu West, Kenya (aPR 1·63, 95 % CI 1·42, 1·87) or Nigeria (aPR 1·20, 95 % CI 1·01, 1·41) was associated with food insecurity. Residing in Tanzania (aPR 0·65, 95 % CI 0·53, 0·80) and increasing education (secondary/above education v. none/some primary education aPR 0·73, 95 % CI 0·66, 0·81) was protective against food insecurity. Antiretroviral therapy (ART)-experienced PLWH were more likely to be food secure irrespective of viral load.
Food insecurity was highly prevalent in our cohort though not significantly associated with HIV. Policies aimed at promoting education, elderly care, ART access in PLWH and financial independence could potentially improve food security in Africa.
Caregiver support groups provide an avenue for interactions among the caregivers of the mentally ill, where they share their fears, hopes and uncertainties about their ill relatives. They are a means to be “heard” by care providers, a platform for psychoeducation as well as an avenue for participation in clinical decision making and formulation of patients’ care plans. In most parts of Africa, such support groups do not exist and where they do, they are poorly structured and poorly funded.
This review was aimed at examining the concept of caregiver support groups for the mentally ill globally as revealed in the currently avaliable body of knowledge, as well as raise awareness for the need for such groups in Africa
A review of related literature was done using appropriate key words and search engines.
This review revealed the presence of well- structured support groups for the caregivers of the mentally ill in many parts of the world. The advantages of such groups and their contributions to the holistic care of these patients in those regions were also discussed, while suggesting a possible structure for their creation, sustainability and focus in Africa.
The support of caregivers for the mentally ill must be given keen attention by both care providers and policy makers, with prime importance given to the creation and funding of more caregiver support groups in the continent in order to achieve quality and holisitic care for the mentally ill.
While the Indian Ocean slave trade is at least 4,000 years old, there are three historical periods when this trade expanded significantly: at the turn of the common era (ca. 1st c. CE), the tenth to thirteenth centuries, and the nineteenth century. This chapter analyzes the ebb and flow of the slave trade in the western Indian Ocean and Red Sea region during the medieval millenium, beginning with an evaluation of how the expansion of Muslim societies impacted slavery. The regions discussed include the west coast of India, East Africa, Yemen and Arabia, Ethiopia, Nubia, and Egypt. The roles of urban markets and island entrepôt in the slave trade are discussed as well as the roles played by smaller polities along imperial frontiers. Large-scale wholesale slave trading was uncommon in the medieval Indian Ocean world. Instead, merchants generally trafficked in small numbers of enslaved people as part of larger mixed cargoes of luxury goods and other commodities. Finally, the chapter assesses recent genetics research that is relevant to tracing the movements of people through the regions of the medieval Indian Ocean.
The book concludes with an analysis of its key themes and arguments. It provides a comparative explanation of the region’s historical development, emphasising the role of elite and popular knowledge production in its social history. It considers the ways in which this approach may be applied to social history more generally.
Living for the City is a social history of the Central African Copperbelt, considered as a single region encompassing the neighbouring mining regions of Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Haut Katanga and Zambian Copperbelt mine towns have been understood as the vanguard of urban 'modernity' in Africa. Observers found in these towns new African communities that were experiencing what they wrongly understood as a transition from rural 'traditional' society – stable, superstitious and agricultural – to an urban existence characterised by industrial work discipline, the money economy and conspicuous consumption, Christianity, and nuclear families headed by male breadwinners supported by domesticated housewives. Miles Larmer challenges this representation of Copperbelt society, presenting an original analysis which integrates the region's social history with the production of knowledge about it, shaped by both changing political and intellectual contexts and by Copperbelt communities themselves.
The Critically Endangered Chapman's pygmy chameleon Rhampholeon chapmanorum is endemic to the low elevation rainforest of the Malawi Hills in southern Malawi. Much of this forest has been converted to agriculture and it was uncertain whether chameleon populations have persisted. We used current and historical satellite imagery to identify remaining forest patches and assess deforestation. We then surveyed forest patches for the presence of this chameleon, and assessed its genetic diversity and structure. We estimated that 80% of the forest has been destroyed since 1984, although we found extant populations of the chameleon in each of the patches surveyed. Differentiation of genetic structure was strong between populations, suggesting that gene flow has been impaired. Genetic diversity was not low, but this could be the result of a temporal lag as well as lack of sensitivity in the mitochondrial marker used. Overall, the impact of forest loss is assumed to have led to a large demographic decline, with forest fragmentation preventing gene flow.
The introduction provides a broad theoretical overview of the definition of a masjid as both an ambiguous space and a space distinct from the structural genre of the mosque. To this end, the masjid is defined as a space created through spiritual performance, and this definition is fleshed out over the course of this chapter through a series of targeted discussions. The first discussion addresses Islam’s long and diverse history on the continent and the histories, identities, and realities that have emerged over the course of its 1500-year existence on the continent. In this context, the idea of multiple “Islams” comes to the fore, focusing on the diverse identities Islam has come to occupy for different individuals and communities over time and space. This has resulted in multiple, diverse iterations of masjid space that are embedded in the specifics of their diverse contexts.
The Common External Tariff (CET) of the East African Community (EAC) customs union has long been considered the cornerstone of the most successful example of regional integration in Sub-Saharan Africa. In this paper, we assess the implementation of the EAC-CET using a novel dataset of country- and firm-level deviations from the common tariff regime constructed by digitizing information in gazettes published by the Secretariat of the EAC between 2009 and 2019. Employing these data, we present five patterns on EAC tariff policy: (i) increased usage of country-level deviations from the common tariff regime render the EAC-CET less and less ‘common’; (ii) Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda predominantly use unilateral deviations to increase external protection while Rwanda mostly decreases tariffs; (iii) Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda increase tariffs for the same classes of products, but target different industries; (iv) unilateral tariff reductions at the country level are mostly used to facilitate access to inputs; (v) data on firm-level exemptions suggest that private sector development in the EAC would benefit from lower tariffs on intermediate inputs. Our findings demonstrate an incipient but clear trend in the EAC away from a communal tariff regime and towards national and more protectionist trade policies.
The feasibility of non-pharmacological public health interventions (NPIs) such as physical distancing or isolation at home to prevent severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission in low-resource countries is unknown. Household survey data from 54 African countries were used to investigate the feasibility of SARS-CoV-2 NPIs in low-resource settings. Across the 54 countries, approximately 718 million people lived in households with ⩾6 individuals at home (median percentage of at-risk households 56% (95% confidence interval (CI), 51% to 60%)). Approximately 283 million people lived in households where ⩾3 people slept in a single room (median percentage of at-risk households 15% (95% CI, 13% to 19%)). An estimated 890 million Africans lack on-site water (71% (95% CI, 62% to 80%)), while 700 million people lacked in-home soap/washing facilities (56% (95% CI, 42% to 73%)). The median percentage of people without a refrigerator in the home was 79% (95% CI, 67% to 88%), while 45% (95% CI, 39% to 52%) shared toilet facilities with other households. Individuals in low-resource settings have substantial obstacles to implementing NPIs for mitigating SARS-CoV-2 transmission. These populations urgently need to be prioritised for coronavirus disease 2019 vaccination to prevent disease and to contain the global pandemic.
Standard languages have high symbolic significance but little actual use in highly multilingual national contexts. This chapter explores the tension between the reification of fluid language use into codified languages and fluid and variable communicative practices in speech and writing in a number of African sociolinguistic settings. Starting with the observation that the notion of standard languages and of the ethnolinguistic groups using them goes back to the colonial period, I proceed to investigate different visions of language as they emerge from the writing conventions and language visions of colonial/anticolonial actors from this time, focusing on a case study on the West Afrian Manding cluster. I continue to explore attitudes to purity and standardization in contemporary scripts and language policies and in written and spoken language use, also including so-called mixed registers such as Urban Wolof and Sheng. I end the chapter by presenting innovative approaches to bypassing the standard (yet maintaining compatibility with it), focusing on the LILIEMA programme for inclusive education in a highly multilingual region of Senegal.
This study presents preliminary results of recent explorations at Iroungou (Gabon), a pre-colonial burial cave containing scattered skeletal remains of at least 28 men, women and children. The individuals, whose crania show cultural tooth ablation, were buried with abundant metallic objects, a combination with no known equivalent in West Central Africa.
Africa is expected to be more vulnerable to global environmental change due a complexity of factors. In some countries, weak governance institutions contribute to conflict, thereby increasing vulnerability to climate change, and limiting capacity to adapt and potentially benefit from external interventions. Through content analysis of publicly available documents, external interventions on climate change, particularly REDD+ initiatives, and how they interacted with governance processes were investigated in two conflict-affected countries of Central Africa. Results revealed that discussion of how conflict might impact REDD+ outcomes was limited. Concrete approaches to address the reality of civil conflict were not evident. Cross-cutting governance emphases are playing an important role in addressing some sources of conflict. With the complex interaction between climate change and conflict expected to increase, further research is needed to see how international institutions can better integrate climate change as a cross-cutting issue in all environment, development, and peacebuilding interventions.