KEYNOTE / Ian Taylor Memorial Lecture:
‘Global Africa’ in the Emerging Post-Pandemic World Order
Department of Political Science, University of Freiburg, Germany
The COVID-19 pandemic and, more recently, Putin’s attack on Ukraine have accelerated contemporary processes of global reordering. Africa has increasingly gravitated towards the centre of these processes. Indeed, the pandemic has thrown into stark relief longstanding inequitable and racialised hierarchies in global affairs, with the global distribution of vaccines only being the most obvious case in point. The social and economic costs of the pandemic for African populations have been immense, as most African states have lacked adequate means to cushion the economic effects of the pandemic for ordinary citizens in the ways their Northern and Chinese counterparts could. Skyrocketing global food prices and absent wheat imports from Ukraine now further exacerbate social crises across the continent. The pandemic has also further driven up sovereign debt levels in Africa and caused debt distress in countries, such as Kenya and Zambia, which have turned to the International Monetary Fund for help, after amassing billions in external debt in the 2010s.
Notwithstanding these sobering developments, the strategic importance of Africa in the global arena has actually grown during the pandemic. Both COVID-19 and Russia’s war on Ukraine have shown plainly how (inter)dependent the world (including the Western world) has become on China. The, at times alarmist, political reaction in Brussels, Washington and other Western capitals has been marked by the conviction that the West needs to take back control over certain value chains and contain China’s influence in the Global South. Africa has thereby become the centre of attention. The continent is home to strategic resources that are indispensable for the transformation towards carbon neutrality. At the same time, Western governments seem no longer willing to leave growing African consumer and infrastructure markets to China. The European Union and the US government have announced their own connectivity initiatives – Global Gateway and Built Back Better World – to counter China’s rapid global expansion under the umbrella of the Belt and Road Initiative. Simultaneously, we are witnessing the rapid dismantling of Africa’s post-Cold War security order which has until recently been dominated by European and American interests in fighting terrorism and shielding Europe-bound migration, with new external state and non-state actors entering into security cooperation with African governments. In the highly volatile current conjuncture, it seems apt to direct analytical attention towards the role of ‘Global Africa’ within the emerging post-pandemic global order.
Frameworks for the Protection and its effect on Socio-Economy of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Ethiopia: The Case of the Afar Region
AHMED ABDULETIF ABDULKADR
MEKONNEN SHAREW TEBEJE
Samara University, Ethiopia
Internal instability has harmed Ethiopia’s economy, particularly after February 2019. Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes, and established institutions worth billions of birrs have been destroyed. The Afar people, who dwell in northern Ethiopia neighbourhood to Tigray, have been left without any of their herds, on which they completely rely. Thus, they have fled their homes and have become aid reliant. The predicament of persons who are compelled to abandon their dwellings and stay within their home state has taken an unfortunate back seat in the Ethiopian policy debates. Although efforts to safeguard internally displaced persons (IDPs) have been undertaken, their concerns have not been entirely addressed. Due to this, hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced across Ethiopia and affected both socially and economically. The study doctrinally examines the adequacy of domestic legal and institutional frameworks for the protection of IDPs in the light of international and regional instruments and their socio-economic effect on the IDPs. Basically, primary and secondary sources were used to analyse the socioeconomic effects of available legal documents frameworks that are relevant for the protection of IDPs in Ethiopia. The finding of this study shows that Ethiopia has not adopted adequate legal and institutional frameworks for the protection of displaced persons and that impedes the country’s progress toward sustainable development. Furthermore, the absence of enforcement of the present legal framework is more concerning than the instruments’ actual flaws. Consequently, hundreds of thousands of internally displaced Afar inhabitants have been impoverished economically and socially. Inevitably, it is acknowledged that Ethiopia’s crisis of internal displacement is obviously due to the poor commitments of politicians which aggravate the internal displacements that took places in the last three years in the country. Thus, an urgent political solution is required.
The Impacts Caused by Covid-19 in the Movement of People and their Property in the Liptako-Gourma Area, from 2020-2022
AMADOU LIMAN BOUKARI
Abdou Moumouni University of Niamey, Niger
This article analyses the impacts generated by the crisis of Covid-19 in the Liptako-Gourma area in terms of the displacement of people and their goods at the borders of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. Indeed, for several years, the Liptako-Gourma area, which represents a common border between these three countries, has been facing enormous security challenges due, among other factors, to the action of jihadist groups which have established themselves in the immense territories of this area by combating any form of state representation. Thus, the advent of this Covid crisis has further complicated the current situation in the area, particularly in the comings and goings of people traveling by land.
Timur and His Squad: The Wagner Group in Africa
Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary
In 1940, the Russian writer Arkady Gaidar addresses the hero of his novel saying that “you live for other people”. Just like Timur, the members of the Wagner Group secretly help others. They started their “charitable activity” during the first Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2014 and excelled themselves later in the civil war in Syria. In recent years president Putin has done strenuous efforts to rebuild Russia’s presence and influence in Africa. This new collaboration with African countries has mainly been centred around Russian weapons sales as Moscow signed 19 military collaboration agreements with governments across the continent, between 2015 and 2019. Even though Russia has outlawed mercenaryism, the expansion of its influence in Africa has pivoted on the use of private security companies to deliver counterinsurgency and counterterrorism training and advising to local governments struggling to counter militancy. Officially, Moscow knows nothing about this activity, but in the fall of 2021, a monument was unveiled to Russian advisers in the capital of the Central African Republic. Beside the CAR, the Wagner Group is believed to be active in Mali, Algeria, Libya, Sudan, South Sudan, Mozambique, Madagascar and possibly even in Burkina Faso. Due to the semi-legal activity, it is very difficult to get reliable information about the group’s activities, but it has significantly transformed Africa’s security policy architecture. The question to be posed in this paper is to what extent will the ongoing second invasion of Ukraine reverse this process?
Arab Spring 2.0 in North Africa. The Impact of the Pandemic on the Political Transformation Process
Department of International Relations, Corvinus University, Hungary
The broader Middle East has recently witnessed a second wave of protests in 2019, which emerged mainly in the so-called ‘rentier republics’. In the African continent, we can observe two major political transformations, one in Algeria, where President Bouteflika ousted from his position, and the other is in Sudan, where the protests made an end to the three decades existence of the Bashir-regime. In Tunisia, the year 2021 has brought a political crisis, and the successful democratization process has reversed. North African countries have divergent political and economic trajectories during the second wave of political unrest; however, some common features could be emphasized as follows: the question of rentierism in the political transformation, the role of the military, the role of foreign penetration/influence as well as the process of ‘adaptive authoritarianism’. The pandemic forced the protests to move in the social media, which is heavily controlled by the regime. The paper seeks to explore the differences and similarities of the recent transformation of the North African political systems.
Food Security in the Middle East in the Shadow of the War in Ukraine
Contemporary Arab World Center, Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary
The paper analyses the impacts of the Russian-Ukrainian War on agricultural export and food security. It is already clear that a group of the most affected countries are in the Middle East, as they are highly dependent on agricultural imports, especially those coming from Ukraine and Russia. Egypt, the world’s largest importer of grain, 60% of its needs are from abroad, imports 80% of its wheat from the two belligerents and is therefore, particularly exposed to the negative repercussions of the War. Beyond grain, the Russian-Ukrainian War may also lead to a drop in the exports of fertilizers and sunflower oil, which will result in a significant price increase in the market. This situation places an enormous strain on governments and societies in the Middle East. The already significant increase in food prices and the expected food shortages that are predicted soon could lead to serious political tensions similar to the Arab Spring, ultimately enhancing the willingness to emigrate from the region. In this study, the focus will be on Egypt in a bid to show the early signs of the crisis and the measures Cairo takes at the governmental level to prevent unmanageable difficulties.
Factors Fuelling the Somali Conflict and the Nature of International Intervention 1919–2021
Kenyatta University, Kenya
The conflict that has dominated the imagination and energies of the people of Somalia and the engagement of the international community is one of the longest in human history. The crisis began with the overthrow of Somali strongman President Siad Barre in 1991 and has persisted up-to-date. It has mutated for over three decades, taking new twists and generating new challenges. The factors that have been at the core of the crisis are identified as: the collapse of the Somali state and the subsequent vacuum in governance, leading to the lawlessness of the 1990s; the periodic humanitarian crisis characterized by droughts that have led to famines of catastrophic proportions; the emergence of the al-Shabaab violent islamist insurgency from mid-2000s; the factious and divisive political leadership which has continuously impeded initiatives to establish suitable frameworks within which to undertake democratic governance in Somalia; and the absence of a trained and capable security force able to protect the citizens and sovereignty of the Somali people. The paper takes a historical angle in interpreting and analyzing the crisis. It examines both the internal and external players on the Somali stage, describing their contribution to the solution of the crisis, or impediment of the same, while attempting to decipher the actual motivation of their actions.
Cultural Adaptation of International Sportsmanship Studies in Kenya
Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pécs, Hungary
In the course of our work, we have repeatedly emphasized and drawn attention to the loss of morality and values in societies, which unequivocally affects sports in all areas of life. Today we are far from the original values of sports and the ideals of Baron Coubertin such as fair play. The biggest sports scandals include fraud and doping. There are some attitude tests, which are internationally validated, to measure sportsmanship fraud and fair play.
Our current work is intended to present the first quantitative results of a comprehensive, larger-scale research. In our study, the results of the Multidimensional Sportsperson ship Orientation Scale (MSOS-25) (Vallerand, et.al, 1997) and the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) (Davis, 1983) are tackled. Both questionnaires were completed by 1208 people. In fact, 59% of the respondents studied in higher education and 41% in public education in primary or secondary schools. In terms of gender ratio, 46% were boys and 54% were girls. Only Kenyan state-funded institutions participated in the sample. Based on the results, it can be noted that the adaptation of the questionnaires was successful for MSOS-25, Cronbach alpha had a value of 0.742 and for the IRI test was 0.886. Age is not a differentiator factor for either questionnaire, however, gender and school type present significant differences.
Terrorism on the Rise: What WCA Countries Do to Combat Difficulties with International Trade?
ÁGNES ZSUZSA HRABOVSKI & GYÖRGY IVÁN NESZMÉLYI
Budapest Business School, Hungary
In several countries in the WCO (World Customs Organisation) West and Central Africa (WCA) region, the intensity of terrorism has increased significantly over the last 5 years, both in terms of the number of incidents and deaths. Research has shown that terrorist events reduce countries’ international trade, even in neighbouring relationships. The administrative costs of cross-border trade in goods are high in the region, especially in coastal countries with a high terrorist index such as Congo, Cameroon and Nigeria. This significantly hampers the involvement of these countries in international trade. The introduction of the AEO (Authorised Economic Operator) program could help to significantly reduce the costs of border crossing and speed up the transportation of shipments. Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs), according to surveys, increase trade between contracting countries. By 2020, there were 97 countries with operational AEO programs around the world, out of which 15 were in Africa. Worldwide 91 MRAs were signed, and a further 78 were under negotiation. However, there is only one operational AEO program in the WCA region: Ivory Coast, launched in 2020. The pandemic and the Russo-Ukrainian war are likely to lead to a reassessment of the processes of globalization and a realignment of supply chains. Urgent action is needed to ensure that the countries of the region do not become casualties in this process.
Inclusivity of Persons with Disabilities in Kenya Socio-Economic Processes: Legal Framework and Its Implementation Status
Norman Kiogora & Fridah Kiambati
Kenya Institute of Special Education, Kenya
Kenya may be considered an inclusive society where the minority groups including persons with disabilities receive significant support. This is evident through the strength of the legal framework supporting their inclusion in various aspects of the society. The purpose of this paper is to dig deeper into inclusion of persons with disabilities in Kenya, in reference to the existing legal framework and their implementation. The specific objectives are to explore the legal framework guiding inclusion of persons with disabilities in Kenya; to find out the implementation status of the framework on inclusion of persons with disabilities; to identify the implementation gaps and to propose possible recommendations on the implementation of existing legal framework guiding inclusion of persons with disabilities. The scope of the paper falls within their inclusion in the education sector, health, social economic empowerment, and civic engagement. The study adopted a document analysis method targeting the Sector policies, acts of parliament, The constitution of Kenya, Sessional papers, Status reports, reports of various Commissions and Treaties from the time the country became Independent in 1964 to the year 2022. The study findings revealed that there are over 20 legal documents supporting inclusion of persons with disabilities across various sectors that were studied. The study also established that the implementation wavelength did not match that of the guiding framework. The study recommends review of the long existing but relevant legal documents to match the 21st Century needs of persons with disabilities. In addition, appointment of a multi-sectoral Taskforce was recommended to spell out and oversee the implementation of existing legal framework on inclusion of persons with disabilities across various sectors in Kenya.
From South-Asia to Africa: The Conceptual Framework of the Deployment of the Hungarian Defence Forces in the Sahel
National University of Public Service, Budapest, Hungary
Migration Research Institute, Budapest
In the last decades, Hungary had limited interest towards the Sahel. Although the Hungarian Defence Forces (HDF) participated in many African peacekeeping operations, the Sahel has remained mainly an unknown area for Budapest politically, economically and militarily. It only slightly changed when the HDF joined EUTM Mali in 2013, though the Hungarian participation was limited and out of the main interest of the leadership of the army.
Nevertheless, the Southern Opening Policy of the Government of Hungary, the European migration and refugee crisis and the withdrawal from Afghanistan – which had been on the horizon for years – has changed the landscape. Mali and the Sahel have become more and more prominent for both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defence and the Office of the Prime Minister for different reasons, which, however, pointed into the same direction.
This study will examine the strategic, political, narrative and security-related considerations of the Hungarian decision makers which led to the HDF joining Task Force Takuba and other activities – including development assistance and humanitarian aid – in the Sahel. It argues that in spite of the impression that it was an ad hoc decision, in political, narrative, operational and tactical dimensions the choice was rational and well-reasoned. In addition, the paper will emphasize the fact that, despite the current developments in Mali and Ukraine and the cancellation of the deployment we can still expect the Hungarian interests in the region to be maintained.
During my research, I made interviews under the Chatham House Rule with governmental officials, officers in different levels of the HDF, experts and analysts. I also made a field trip to Mali, conducting meetings with experts, politicians, and soldiers. I also relied on my 8-year expertise in the topic and the extended literature on the region as well as on the Hungarian foreign policy after the regime change of 1989.
The Reception of Hungarian and Eastern European Economic Theory in Cold War Era Nigeria
International Relations Department, Széchenyi István University, Hungary
Normative state socialist economic theory appeared in the mid-1920s with Soviet economist Preobrazhensky. In Nigeria, many economic thinkers were influenced by Soviet and other Eastern European economic theory during the Cold War years. Bala Usman and Segun Osoba focused on the destruction of feudal land law and on delinking from the capitalist world economy; Bade Onimode and Ola Oni on emulating state socialist Eastern European economic theory and practice in an attempt to overcome structural underdevelopment. In his Marxist phase, Claude Ake utilized the Hungarian economist Tamás Szentes’s heterodox socialist development theory that the latter developed while the two were colleagues at the University of Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania. Nigeria’s oil incomes were to be used in all these plans to kick-start heavy industry in the country. As the USSR’s alternative globalization path disappeared and then the Nigerian compradores’ share of profits grew by the early 21st century, interest in these radical classics reappeared in Nigeria.
The “Management” of Outmigration and the Dynamics of Extra-Regional Involvement in the Horn of Africa
SOLOMON M. GOFIE
Department of Political Science and International Relations, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
The paper explores the dynamics surrounding the involvement of extra-regional actors in the Horn of Africa in recent times with a focus on the “management of outmigration” from countries in the Horn of Africa region. To begin with, during the cold war period, political ideologies pursued by the global powers (superpowers) and their involvement in the Horn of Africa region was meant to boost their bloc’s position to outmanoeuvre each other. By the end of the 1980s, it became apparent that such involvements, of the then global powers, in the affairs of the countries in the region could not continue. However, old and newly formed, big or small states and non-state actors have continued to involve in the affairs of the countries of the region even more intensely in recent times. The actors currently engaged in the region are more diverse including states, IGOs and NGOs. The paper puts forward the argument that while the involvement of foreign powers including the European actors in this region of Africa is not new, the policies and the practices of associated actors’ emanating from the EU and other regions have come to take new dimensions with far reaching implications for the population of countries in the Horn of Africa. By examining available information about emigration from countries in the region with focus on Ethiopia and Eritrea, the proposed paper aims to ‘problematize’ the “management” of emigration from the Horn of Africa and the dynamics of transnational involvement focusing on actors from the EU and beyond and associated IGOs and NGOs, and their practices concerning emigrants from the region.
International Volunteering’s Role and Responsibility in Humanitarian Development in Africa
Budapest Business School, Hungary
Language and Communication Doctoral Programme, University of Pécs, Hungary
International volunteering has traditionally played an important role in global development by being the intermediary body between donor and host countries and communities. It provides the human framework to support humanitarian and/or development aid programmes on site. Usually working on behalf of international development NGOs and transnational bodies such as the UN and the EU, volunteers help turn humanitarian programmes into local development achievements, by coordination activity, knowledge transfer, education, and physical contribution alike. On the other hand, its critical literature is raising questions about the effectiveness of volunteering activities by stating that humanitarian interventions can add to cultural inequalities, power imbalances and economic dependence between recipient and donor countries unless development programmes address these threats by joint planning and preparation, field partnerships, mutual cultural understanding, and cooperation. It requires interculturally trained and engaged volunteers who understand the role and responsibility of that task. This empirical research has collected the intercultural experiences of 21 returned Hungarian volunteers, 15 of them were deployed in African countries, and examined if Hungarian international volunteering is up to these new challenges.
Determination of Causes of Home-Based Deliveries Among Expectant Women in Taita Taveta County, Kenya
ALICE WAKIO MWANGEKA
Kenyatta University, Kenya
The prevalence of home births plays a large role in the country’s high maternal morbidity and
mortality as well as infant mortality which have been rising in recent years. The fifth Millennium Development Goal (MDG) aimed to reduce the maternal mortality ratio by 75% between 1990 and 2015. The Sustainable Development Goals came to take over after MDGs period came to an end. As such, SDGs’ goal 3 aims to promote health and well-being for all of all ages. In Kenya, maternal mortality remains high at 360 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. The main objective of the study was to determine the causes of home-based deliveries among expectant women in Taita Taveta County, Kenya. The specific objectives of the study were to determine how distance to health centres, socio-demographic factors and attitudes of expectant women influence home-based deliveries among expectant women in Taita Taveta County. The study was also to establish the consequences of home-based deliveries among expectant women in Taita Taveta County. The paper used correlational design to establish the relationship between the independent and the dependent variables. The target population was medical staffs, traditional birth attendants and women in the county. The sample was determined using convenience sampling method. The instruments of data collection were questionnaires and focus group discussions guide for the women and interview schedules for the medical staff and the traditional midwives. Data was analysed through descriptive statistics and content analysis and hypotheses were tested using Chi square. The findings of the study showed that distance to health centres contributed to home births and TBAs were more available than health centres and accessibility to these centres was a major concern. Socio-demographic factors namely culture, educational level, age and marital status of the expectant women were found to influence home based births. Attitude of expectant women towards place of delivery affected choice of place of delivery to a moderate extent. However, they had a negative attitude towards strangers in hospital attendance who harassed expectant women and the fact that they were not given enough time for normal delivery before they were taken for caesarean section and few attendants in hospitals. The consequences of home deliveries which included complications, excessive bleeding, maternal and infant deaths, babies getting late in being immunized increasing their chances of death and neonatal infections due to unhygienic conditions. Based on the findings of the study, the following were recommended; the government should follow the WHO recommendation of 5km and less between health centres; the government and the NGOs should raise the awareness of women of all ages, educational levels, and marital status about the dangers of home births. The hospital deliveries should be improved through employing more health providers, the health centres should be well-equipped and the essential supplies should be availed. Due to the risks involved in home deliveries, women should be advised to make the right choice of the place of delivery, mainly hospital delivery. Given the detrimental consequences of home deliveries, a similar study should be conducted in other counties in the country.
Hungary Helps in Africa
Institute of Global, Regional and International Studies, Corvinus University, Hungary
Hungary’s current humanitarian aid policy has been framed in the context of perceived Christian persecution. Missing any historical precedence or comparative analogy, the government initiated the Hungary Helps Programme (HHP) in 2016, enacted a law regulating its humanitarian assistance with the overt, but not exclusive purpose of supporting persecuted Christians in the Global South and established the Hungary Helps Agency (HHA) in 2019. From 2016 until May 2021 the government financed more than 160 projects globally with a total value of 53 million euro, mostly in the Arab world and Sub-Saharan Africa. While the amount is not particularly high in international comparison, the volume is impressive in light of the Hungarian official development assistance (ODA) trends.
The purpose of this paper is to explore and examine the inner logic and substance of HHP in terms of its stated objectives by focusing on the projects implemented in Africa. Legal sources, official communications and the Budapest-report series were analysed and complemented by primary data (interviews and data on the projects). The most important finding concerns the pool of beneficiaries, as mostly religious organizations (LFCs, FBOs, church-affiliated universities) benefit from HH-funds. Distinction can be drawn much less along the humanitarian vs. development axis, rather between the religious vs. secular lines. Being complementary to Hungarian development assistance and labelled as a humanitarian initiative, the HHP prioritizes local Christian communities and FBOs over non-Christian and secular beneficiaries. As implied, the HHP is by no means a typical ‘apolitical’ humanitarian initiative, rather a means that strengthens Hungary’s role as an autonomous actor within the EU.
Somaliland in Searching for New Partners
KATERINA ZENKOVA RUDINCOVA
Department of Human Geography and Regional Development, University of Ostrava,
Somaliland, as a de facto state, has just limited possibilities on how to approach the international community in its search for new trajectories of development and political gains. Contrary to the other, mainly post-Soviet de facto states, it is not backed by any patron state. Therefore, it must balance relations with the other states in the region and global powers. It is aware that it needs to diversify its partners in order to achieve economic development and political aims. The presentation will offer an insight into the strategies Somaliland is using to attract new partners such as Arab countries and Taiwan. At the same time, it needs to keep partnerships with the old allies such as Ethiopia or the USA. The paper builds on the theory of international relations of de facto states and embarks on the analysis of strategic documents and speeches of political representation of the studied countries.
State Power Abuse, and Governance Deficit during COVID-19? Prospects for Post-COVID-19 Development Practise
International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands
COVID-19 has exposed two entrenched downsides of state power abuse as it has allowed governing political parties to campaign during elections and mobilize their supporters while restricting the oppositions’ activities to enjoy similar rights. Even more, some African countries have used state power to stifle national integrity activists from exposing the state operators’ mismanagement of COVID-19. The abuse of state power and governance deficit during the pandemic would limit the possibility of positive developmental practices or restrictions on the abuse of state power. The paper analyses how GOVID-19 was projected in government and opposition political parties’ programmes during the 10 African elections held in 2021 and whether COVID-19 mismanagement was one of the factors leading the government. The study brings an important question to prominence as to what extent could the change of government herald better development management practices.
Aiding Freedom Fighters? The Organization of African Unity’s Refugee Convention of 1969 in the Making
University of Potsdam, Germany
Today, two legally binding regional refugee protection regimes exist globally, one of them in Africa, the other in Europe. Africa’s came into existence first: The OAU’s regional regime began developing in 1964, the EU began formulating a common asylum system only in 1999. At the end of 2016, member states of the African Union, the successor organization to the OAU, hosted more than 32% of the worlds’ refugees, compared to just 11% in the EU. While the European context has been covered extensively, too little is known about the African context. This paper examines the drafting of the Organization of African Unity’s refugee convention between 1964 and 1969 through the archives of the UNHCR in Geneva. The UNHCR was involved in drafting the final convention drawing on its expertise in the European refugee crisis after the second world war and the international refugee convention of 1951. The paper argues that it is through studying this archive that we can trace tensions between an African notion of refugeehood referring largely to the idea of refugees as freedom fighters, and the notion of refugees with which the UNHCR operated, which was based on the protection afforded through the 1951 legal framework.
Comprehensive Research Study in Nairobi’s Largest Slum
Political Science Doctoral Programme, University of Pécs, Hungary
Geopolitical Doctoral Programme, University of Pécs, Hungary
The Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta has been present in East Africa since 2010 primarily through sanitation development projects. The organization has set out to research the impact of its WASH activities within the slums of Kibera, which is regarded as the most extensive slum settlement in Kenya’s capital, encompassing 2,5 kms with nearly 1 million inhabitants. The complex study focuses on the sanitation centre built by the Charity Service in 2012 in the Kambi Muru district. In order to be able to precisely perceive the establishment’s impact on local population, the organization began preparations for a comprehensive analysis which will take place this summer with the participation of the Charity Service’s local partners and staff members. Complex interviews and questionnaires will be conducted in the catchment area of the sanitation centre including the key actors on the subject of drinking water. During the study the physical conditions of the centre will be evaluated and the extent of its use will be assessed as well, through a visitor census. The results obtained via this complex study will serve as the basis of the organization’s subsequent development projects using the comprehensive picture obtained about the present conditions and the needs of the local inhabitants. In addition, the complex study will also be a methodological learning curve for the organisation: by implementing the various assessment tools in the field, its staff will gain valuable experience that can later be applied in other development sites, thus enabling the Charity Service to implement more methodologically sound interventions that respond to genuine needs with greater efficiency.
Decoloniality in Danger or Boosted? A Critical Perspective on ECOWAS Actions in the Post-Covid Perspective
DIANA SFETLANA STOICA
West University of Timisoara, Romania
This paper intends to unpack the concept of ‘decoloniality’, based on some positions, decisions and actions of ECOWAS, departing from the accusation of serving the interests of European countries, such as the case of France from the perspectives of Mali activists to the recent suspension of Burkina Fasso. The positions and actions are valued in a non-chronological order, but rather according to their relevance for the colonial/decolonial philosophy of politics. The paper invites scholars to imagine many observers, each representing a citizen of any of the ECOWAS member states, who might express a position on the fact of power, as well as the colonial/decolonial elements of the researched object. This formed position is based on media or scientific opinions susceptible of free circulation and easy to assimilate, at least partially, in a West African collective mentality.
Such a qualitative methodology is accompanied by a quantitative expression of some important results which are regarded as factors of considering the stage of decoloniality as a movement, an ideology but more as a process. This paper examines whether decoloniality could be considered in danger, or, on the contrary, boosted, taking into account both the pragmatic view on the ECOWAS role in the representation of the development narrative, with its proposition of sustainability, but also focusing on the globalisation futures in new contexts, and the post-structuralist view on power and some relevant voices of African analysts on the concept of decoloniality. Some conclusions, besides highlighting the necessity to reflect upon the deconstruction of decoloniality itself, try to construct a perspective on how regional feelings, belonging, collective mentality, endorsed by collective memory and the will to free development, might appear more than fundamental for the definition of decoloniality’s trajectory.
Practicing What They Preach? Development NGOs and the EU’s Emergency Trust Fund for Africa
Aston Centre for Europe, Aston University, United Kingdom
Department of World Economy, Corvinus University, Hungary
The article examines how non-governmental development organizations (NGDOs) balance their moral, organizational and financial incentives in case of the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF). The EUTF was created in 2015 to support the EU’s migration policy by addressing the “root causes” of migration in Africa. The article analyses how NGDOs have reacted to the EUTF using qualitative text analysis of publications and press releases and finds that NGDOs have been highly critical of the EUTF’s underlying narrative, goals and implementation. Their positions align closely with the stated moral vision of supporting and empowering the global poor. Despite this critical position, many NGDOs have benefited financially from the EUTF as project implementers. Regression analysis on the determinants of NGDO participation in EUTF projects reveals that NGDOs have largely avoided the more controversial migration management projects of the EUTF and have focused mostly on projects which build resilience in local communities and support improving the lives and the rights of the poor in Africa. The case of the EUTF shows that NGDOs mostly practice what they preach, and while they did not abstain from the EUTF, they did not allow their financial incentives to fully dictate their actions either.
Tanzanian Political Communication During and After the Pandemic
Department of Political Science and International Studies, University of Pécs, Hungary
Africa Research Centre, University of Pécs
The paper aims to uncover first and foremost president-led government communication, its changing nature and content, from Magufuli to Magufuli, then, to Samia, as well as societal reactions in connection with the global pandemic. During the research, between the period of mid-March 2020 and mid-October 2021 (over 1.5 years) over 100 published online articles were read, their content analysed. 40% Swahili-, 60% English-language pieces were looked at in the online media Mwananchi, Mpekuzi, DailyNews, The Citizen, and IPP Media. The paper reveals the very recent political communication as it investigates press releases and news coverage in the post-COVID context, too.
What Does Climate Change Mean for Sub-Saharan Africa?
National University of Public Service, Budapest, Hungary
Africa has contributed among the least to greenhouse gas emissions, yet it is already experiencing some of the world’s most dramatic changes in terms of biodiversity loss, water shortages, heat waves, floodings, droughts, reduced food production and increased human mortality. Exposure and vulnerability to climate change in sub-Saharan Africa are multi-dimensional with socioeconomic, political and environmental factors intersecting. The visible links between climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic have urged policymakers to take immediate actions on both fronts. Economic development has brought considerable progress in recent decades, but resilience and coping mechanisms across sub-Saharan Africa remain limited. Many African countries are at high risk of debt crisis, especially due to the pandemic, and will need to decrease their debt levels to have the fiscal opportunity to invest in climate resilient actions. The future of sub-Saharan Africa will be greatly influenced by the fact that whether governments can find climate resilient development methods and adequate adaptation strategies or not, in order to create more cost-effective mitigation policies. Because of international trade links, globalization and interconnectedness, the negative economic effects of COVID-19 will be probably shocking in the region in terms of the decline in sectors like tourism, remittances, and FDI. However, conscious and structural planning can be an answer to these challenges.
Post-COVID Africa: A Tale of Challenges and Opportunities
Department of Political Science and International Studies, University of Pécs
Africa Research Centre, University of Pécs
Though the pandemic has not ended yet, it has loosened its hold in various countries to become a manageable threat rather than a persistent global calamity. Interestingly, this very pandemic has laid bare the multifaceted problems, Africa has been facing, and exposed its miscellaneous disparities and far-reaching vulnerabilities. The paper examines the multidimensional challenges faced by Africa since the outbreak of COVID-19. The creaking African healthcare systems together with their vulnerable economies and the inequity of the global vaccine distribution have exacerbated these challenges. Despite the efforts of some international players, global vaccine inequity has hit Africa hardest and a sharp economic downturn has, therefore, impacted key sectors in African economies such as agriculture, tourism and manufacturing. However, the pandemic can still be perceived as an exclusive opportunity for change and African and international cooperation in terms of economic recovery and future foreign partnerships.
Challenges of Sustainable Economy in Northern Ghana Focusing on the Impacts of Seed Trade on the Decline of Indigenous Crops
ÁRON VASKÓ & GYÖRGY IVÁN NESZMÉLYI
Budapest Business School, Hungary
The global seed trade seems to reach and conquer Northern Ghana squeezing out local suppliers. Witnessing the ongoing population boom, the rapidly urbanizing communities, the changing diet, and the vast quantities of imported food products; the endeavours of those enterprises should be appreciated as they try to reduce the local food production deficit. Rice, maize, and soybean are three types of grain, that are dominant in the global seed trade. Furthermore, the natural conditions of the sub-tropical region are close to the optimum for their vegetation. While rice and maize have been cultivated for such a long time, soybean is newly introduced to this semi-arid climate zone called Guinea-Savannah.
The motivation behind such an endeavour is to push the improved soybean seeds into the traditional farming system of Northern Ghana under the name of the second Sustainable Development Goal “Zero Hunger”, while widening the market for the Western seed producers. In Ghanaian context, the whole concept of microfinance is built on the schema of “how to make people dependent on our service”. On one hand, it is a tool to extend farm sizes through mechanization, boost yields using fertilizers, and modern cultivating technologies, but on the other, it could cause financial difficulties within the society and farmer associations. Furthermore, it has bad effects on the unsupported and unfinanced activities such as the cultivation of indigenous crops.
Agricultural service models including microfinance, credit lending and mechanization services provide a theoretically and/or technologically skilled labour force, which can be found in Northern Ghana. While a few non-profit and profit interested organizations compete in this service market, trying to cover communities, districts, or even whole regions, we also observe bankrupted and/or abandoned organizations many times higher than the number of the operating ones. Microcredit organizations are the last mile step of the value chain of products and services. Through observing the operation of these enterprises, we become an eyewitness to global seed-, fertilizer-, vaccine- and other agricultural connected products trade.
To come up with a better understanding of the meaning and the quality of these last-mile services, we have carried out a farmer survey in two different regions of Ghana, which are the Upper East Region and the Northeast Region, between 9th August and 12th August 2021. It was a good instrument to measure yields, willingness to loan-taking and financial needs of farmers as well as to observe the personal relationship between the creditor and its customers. While the suspected financial difficulties and challenges within the society and farmer associations have not yet occurred, decreasing cultivated areas of indigenous crops seems like another fallen bastion of independence. Our choice of interest among indigenous West African crops was Bambara groundnut, a drought and poor soil-resistant legume, which could be in competition with the newly marketized soybean. Biodiversity, African heritage, and local seed producers are just a few of the winners of the Bambara nut cultivation. To keep this legume alive, and maybe gain a solvent market for it, we suggest the intensifying cooperation between the public and private sectors in a bid to create a regulated and controlled environment for soybean cultivation.
China’s Participation in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan
Department of Political Science and International Studies, University of Pécs, Hungary
The presentation describes the Chinese involvement within the UN Mission in South Sudan, including the reasons and difficulties of this involvement. UNMISS, is Beijing’s most significant UN mission in terms of the personnel contribution, and the increased UN-related activity of China is specifically criticised because of their presence in South Sudan. We will review the background of the mission, the Chinese interests and the resolutions that established and extended its mandate, in order to get a more complex picture of the Chinese steps.