Front Matter
 Table of Contents

Title: African studies quarterly
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00091747/00037
 Material Information
Title: African studies quarterly
Series Title: Gale Group
Uniform Title: African studies quarterly (Online)
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: University of Florida -- Center for African Studies
Publisher: University of Florida, Center for African Studies,
University of Florida, Center for African Studies
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla
Publication Date: Fall 2010
Frequency: quarterly
Subjects / Keywords: Electronic journals
Study and teaching -- Periodicals -- Africa   ( lcsh )
Gainesville (Fla.)
African studies -- Periodicals
Genre: Electronic journals   ( lcsh )
Electronic journals.
periodical   ( marcgt )
Abstract: Presents "African Studies Quarterly," an electronic journal published quarterly by the Center for African Studies at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Posts contact information for the editorial office via street address, telephone number, and e-mail. Lists advisory board and staff members. Offers access to the current issue, as well as to previous issues. Contains articles and related book reviews. Provides information on submissions and links to "African Anthropology."
Restriction: Licensed for access by authorized UF users (current UF students, faculty and staff -- and others within a UF Library.) Some e-journal service providers may offer only selected articles.
System Details: Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Dates or Sequential Designation: Vol. 1, issue 1 (May 1997)-
General Note: Title from title screen (viewed Aug. 6, 1999).
General Note: An online journal of African studies.
General Note: Latest issue consulted: Vol. 7, issue 4 (spring 2004) (viewed at publisher's Web site, Aug. 19, 2004).
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Bibliographic ID: UF00091747
Volume ID: VID00037
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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Resource Identifier: alephbibnum - 003331589
oclc - 40217685
issn - 2152-2448
lccn - 99030079
lccn - sn 99030079
Classification: lcc - DT19.8
ddc - 960.0705

Table of Contents
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    Front Matter
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        Page iii
    Table of Contents
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Full Text

African Studies Quarterly

Volume 12, Issues 1
Fall 2010

Published by the Center for African Studies, University of Florida

ISSN: 2152-2448

African Studies Quarterly

Executive Staff

Hunt R. Davis, Jr. Editor-in-Chief
Todd H. Leedy Associate Editor
Shylock Muyengwa Managing Editor
Corinna Greene Production Editor

Editorial Committee

Solomon Agyemang
Maia Bass
Jennifer Boylan
Robin Brooks
Leif J. Bullock
Erin Bunting
Nicole C. D'Errico
Cerian Gibbes
Emily Hauser
John J. Hames
Alison M. Ketter
Ashley Leinweber
Aaron Majuta
Meredith Marten
Micah McCrary

Chesney McOmber
Bothepha Mosetlhi
Jessica Morey
Patricia Chilufya Mupeta
Anna K. Mwaba
Nic Knowlton
Levy Odera
Levi C. Ofoe
Gregory Parent
McKenzie Moon Ryan
Noah I. Sims
Caroline Staub
Erik Timmons
Amanda Weibel
Carrie Vath
Advisory Board

Adelekh Ad66ko
Ohio State University
Timothy Ajani
Fayetteville State University
Abubakar Alhassan
University of Idaho
John W. Arthur
University of South Florida, St.
Nanette Barkey
University of Iowa
Susan Cooksey
University of Florida
Mark Davidheiser
Nova Southeastern University
Kristin Davis
International Food Policy Research
Parakh Hoon
Virginia Tech

Andrew Lepp
Kent State University
Richard Marcus
California State TUni,. i -sii Long Beach
Kelli Moore
James Madison University
James T. Murphy
Clark University
Lilian Temu Osaki
University of Dar es Salaam
Dianne White Oyler
Fayetteville State University
Alex R6dlach
Creighton University
Jan Shetler
Goshen College
Roos Willems
Catholic University of Leuven
Peter VonDoepp
University of Vermont

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 12, Issue 1 I Fall 2010

University of Florida Board of Trustees, a public corporation of the State of Florida; permission is hereby granted for
individuals to download articles for their own personal use. Published by the Center for African Studies, University of Florida.

Table of Contents

Poor Urban Communities and Municipal Interface in Ghana: A Case Study of Accra and Sekondi-
Takoradi Metropolis
George Owusu & Robert Lawrence Afutu-Kotey (1-16)

Combating Corruption in Nigeria: The Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission
Emmanuel Obuah (17-44)

The Role of Labor Migration to Neighboring Small Towns in Rural Livelihoods: A Case Study in
Southern Province, Zambia
Chihiro Ito (45- 72)

Book Reviews

Peter Alexander (ed). Alan Paton, Selected Letters. Cape Town: Van Riebeeck Society for the
Publication of Southern African Historical Documents, 2009. Second Series, No. 40. 496 pp.
Review by Kenneth Wilburn (73-74)

William Ascher. Bringing in the future. Strategies for farsightedness and sustainability in
developing countries. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2009: 328 pp.
Review by Carlos Nunes Silva (74-76)

Deborah Brautigam. The Dragon's Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa. New York: Oxford
University Press, 2008. xv, 320pp.
Review by Emmanuel Botlhale (76-78)

J. Millard Burr and Robert O. Collins. Sudan in Turmoil: Hasan al-Turabi and the Islamist State.
Princeton: Markus Wiener Publishers, 2010. 340 pp.
Review by Sonny Lee (78-79)

Wayne Dooling. Slavery, Emancipation and Colonial Rule in South Africa, Athens, Ohio: Ohio
University Press 2007: pb. xi, 249 pp. (Ohio University Research in International Studies, No.
87: first published by University of Kwazulu-Natal Press, Scottsville)
Review by Tony Voss (79-81)

Kesha Fikes. Managing African Portugal: The Citizen-Migrant Distinction. Durham, NC: Duke
University Press, 2009. xxii, 195 pp.
Review by Brandon D. Lundy and Jessica Lopes (81-82)

Lansana Gberie.(ed). Rescuing a Fragile State: Sierra Leone 2002-2008. Waterloo, Ontario:
LCMSDS Press of Wilfrid Laurier University. 134 pp.
Review by Rosetta Codling (82-83)

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 12, Issue 1 I Fall 2010

William D. Grant. Zambia, Then and Now: Colonial Rulers and their African Successors. Oxford:
Routledge, 2009. xv, 311 pp.
Review by Okechukwu Edward Okeke (83-85)

Messay Kebede. Radicalism and cultural dislocation in Ethiopia, 1960-1974. Rochester, Rochester
University Press, 2008. xi, 235 pp.
Review by Elsa Gonzalez Aim6 (85-87)

Chima J. Korieh. The Land Has Changed: History, Society and Gender in Colonial Eastern Nigeria.
University of Calgary Press, 2010. xix, 370 pp.
Review by Uchendu Eugene Chigbu (87-89)

Henning Melber and John Y. Jones (eds). Revisiting the Heart of Darkness-Explorations into
Genocide and Other Forms of Mass Violence. Development Dialogue 50 (December 2008). 302
Review by Guy Lancaster (89-90)

David Newbury. The Land beyond the Mists. Essays on Identity and Authority in Precolonial
Congo and Rwanda. Athens,:Ohio University Press, 2009, 444 pp.
Review by Bogumil Jewsiewicki (91-92)

Kwaben Dei Ofori-Atah. Going to School in the Middle East and North Africa. Westport, CT:
Greenwood Press, 2008, 133 pp.
Review by Sonja Darlington (93-94)

Akinwumi Ogundiran and Toyin Falola. (eds). AlL''iLl,1..i of Atlantic Africa and the African
Diaspora. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010. xvii, 509 pp.
Review by Natalie Swanepoel (94-96)

Charles F. Peterson. DuBois, Fanon, Cabral. The Margins of Elite Anti-Colonial Leadership.
Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2007. ix, 160 pp.
Review by E. Ofori Bekoe (97-99)

Chandra Lekha Sriram and Suren Pillay (eds). Peace versus Justice? The Dilemma of Transitional
Justice in Africa. Oxford: James Currey, 2009. 387 pp.
Review by Tracy Fehr (99-101)

Peter Uvin. Life After Violence: A People's Story of Burundi. London: Zed Books, 2009. 210 pp.
Review by Sean Fairchild (101-103)

Harry G. West. Ethnographic Sorcery. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007, 132 pp.
Review by Detlev Krige (104)

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 12, Issue 1 I Fall 2010

James Zug. The Guardian: The History of South Africa's Extraordinary Anti-Apartheid Newspaper,
EastLansing: Michigan State University Press/Pretoria: UNISA Press, 2007: xv, 371 pp.
Review by Tony Voss (105-107)

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 12, Issue 1 I Fall 2010

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 12, Issue 1 I Fall 2010

Poor Urban Communities and Municipal Interface in Ghana:

A Case Study of Accra and Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis


Abstract: Like many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Ghana, is undergoing a rapid
pace of urbanization associated with socio-economic, environmental, and institutional
challenges for urban residents and local government authorities. Under Ghana's laws,
Metropolitan Assemblies (large city local governments) have overall responsibility for
the development of their respective cities. This article explores the poor urban
communities-municipal interface based on a study carried out in the largest (Accra)
and third largest (Sekondi-Takoradi) cities. The study concludes that mechanisms for
engaging poor urban communities are limited largely due to the absence of functional
decentralized sub-district structures in these communities. In addition, the indirect
attempt by the Metropolitan Assemblies to address infrastructure and service needs of
poor urban communities through a public-private partnership centered on
privatization (franchising and contracting) and community-based participation in the
provision of social services has distanced the Assemblies from poor communities. This
situation has reinforced the view that the Assemblies are unresponsive to community
needs. The implications of limited community-municipal interface for poor urban
communities and urban development in Ghana in general are also explored.


Rapid urbanization characterized by urban sprawl and the emergence of slums and other
informal settlements is a common feature of developing countries. It has been argued that
developing country cities are harboring an increasing proportion of the poor and destitute.'
Again, evidence indicates that the "bright lights" of cities and towns describe the lure of
urban life and the promise that urban centers hold for individuals and groups who are
hungry, jobless, ill, just curious, and so forth fueling movements to urban centers.2 While
rural-urban migration is an important factor in the rapid pace of urbanization, the single most
influential factor is natural population growth in cities and towns.3 This situation is partly

George Owusu holds a PhD in Geography (with focus on urban and regional development) from the Norwegian
University of Science and Technology. Currently, Dr. Owusu is a Senior Research Fellow in the Institute of
Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), University of Ghana, Legon. He is also the Coordinator of
Graduate Programmes at ISSER. Dr. Owusu's main areas of research include urbanization and regional
development, land tenure, decentralization and participatory approaches to development.
Robert Lawrence Afutu-Kotey is a PhD candidate in Development Studies at ISSER and holds an MSc degree in
Regional and Urban Planning from the London School of Economics. He has previously worked as a Principal
Research Assistant (PRA) at ISSER. His main areas of research include urban youth employment, regional and
urban planning, and decentralization and local government reforms.
The authors would like to thank the residents of the poor urban communities of Accra and Sekondi-Takoradi in
this study for their willingness to share information, CHF-Ghana (an NGO) for financial support, and all others
who made the fieldwork possible.
University of Florida Board of Trustees, a public corporation of the State of Florida; permission is hereby granted for
individuals to download articles for their own personal use. Published by the Center for African Studies, University of Florida.
ISSN: 2152-2448

2 I Owusu & Afutu Kotey

due to the fact that the urban migrants are predominantly young people, and this inevitably
contributes to high rates of natural increase in urban centers. Youth populations in cities are
coterminous with high levels of unemployment, a major contributory factor to urban poverty.
Moreover, urban poverty is equally associated with poor living conditions.4
In much of the developing world, especially Sub-Saharan Africa, economic growth and
development have not kept pace with rates of urbanization. For instance, while Sub-Saharan
African countries can match the urbanization rates of China and India (considered industrial
powers of the future), they cannot boast of anything near the respective rates of economic
growth of these two countries.5 The resultant effects of this situation are increasing urban
poverty and the emergence of slums and other informal settlements. The growth of urban
poverty and emergence of informal settlements in cities of the developing world are largely
occurring within the context of decentralization.6 Decentralization advocates argue that
because decentralization brings government closer to the governed both spatially and
institutionally, government will be more knowledgeable about and responsive to the needs of
urban people. Therefore, decentralization has brought to the fore issues of the structure and
processes of city governance, which have important ramifications for how urban poverty is
defined and addressed. This has implications for those living in poverty and how political
processes may include or exclude the urban poor.
As with many Sub-Saharan African countries, Ghana is undergoing a rapid pace of
urbanization with its attendant challenges. Already evident in urban Ghana are the effects of
rapid urbanization manifest in socio-economic, environmental, and institutional challenges
for urban residents and local authorities. Millions of urbanite Ghanaians currently live in
densely populated and overcrowded unsanitary conditions often lacking access to basic
services such as water, sanitation, and health care.7 According to Ghana's development policy
blue-print, the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy, 2006-2009 (GPRS II), in 2001, the
number of people living in urban slums was about five million (representing about 58 percent
of the total urban population), and growing at the rate of 1.8 percent per annum.8 The slum
areas are very pronounced in the largest cities, and there is a growing incidence in the
secondary cities as well. Increasing urban poverty and slums are occurring within the context
of a decentralization program described as one of the boldest local government reforms to be
found in the developing world.9
This article explores slums and municipal interface in Ghana based on a study carried
out in selected poor communities in two metropolitan areas of Ghana, namely Accra and
Sekondi-Takoradi.10 It explores the effectiveness of Metropolitan Assemblies (city local
governments) in Accra and Sekondi-Takoradi in engaging poor communities as well as
addressing the needs of these communities.
After the introduction, the paper will examine theoretically the links between
decentralization and urban governance, followed by a description of the research
methodology. The paper will then look at decentralization and urban governance in Ghana.
This is followed by a brief discussion of the selected communities and their development
challenges. The paper then turns its attention to poor communities and municipal interface in
Sekondi-Takoradi and Accra. It ends with a concluding discussion on the implications of the
study for slums and urban development in Ghana.

Urban Governance, Decentralization and Urban Poverty: A Theoretical Perspective

The rapid urbanization and the increasing proportion of the world's poor who live in urban
areas in many parts of the developing world have led to the recognition that poverty can no
longer be regarded as primarily a rural phenomenon." There is also a wide recognition of the

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 12, Issue 11 I Fall 2010

Poor Urban Communities and Municipal Interface in Ghana Page I 3

links or connections between poverty and governance at all levels.12 In the case of urban
governance, it is argued that technical issues of planning, infrastructure development, and
service delivery are unlikely to have a significant impact on the poor unless important issues
about the impact of the structure of metropolitan governance are addressed. This is because
the structure of metropolitan governance has serious and far-reaching implications for those
living in poverty and for how political processes may include or exclude the urban poor.13
According to the United Nations Development Program, a missing link between anti-
poverty efforts and poverty reduction as well as other economic development strategies is
governance.14 The basic argument here is that even with well-structured and well-intended
development plans and programs, the presence of unresponsive, unaccountable, and corrupt
governance institutions result in failure of plans and programs. In such an environment,
reform of governance institutions should be moved front and center to provide the minimum
conditions for getting poverty reduction programs and other people-centered initiatives off
the ground.
It has been argued that accountable and responsive governance institutions provide a
platform for harnessing the energies of collective action in cities exemplified by urban social
movements and organizations. According to Beall, urban social movements that are the result
of urban poverty and the absence of effective channels for social change have shown that
people in urban communities engage in a range of mutual support and self-help activities.15
These initiatives provide evidence that communities are imbued with "social assets" that can
be identified and helpfully engaged within policy terms. Castells has noted that these urban
social movements must be built on cooperative activities at community or neighborhood
level. They can only be described as successful if they achieve structural change, most notably
a shift in the balance of power among urban social classes in favor of the urban poor.16 This
provides the opportunity for galvanizing middle-class and civil society pressures for
governmental actions for sanitary reforms and serious efforts to address other urban
challenges. This situation, however, is currently rarely the case in cities in the developing
world a condition which Chaplin has described as the "absence of threat from below."17
Hence, the lack of government action.
The urban governance arguments have found expression in governments delegating the
task of mobilizing and allocating society's resources for public purposes decentralization of
power and authority as well as resources to lower units of governments. A key constraint of
decentralization is how best to translate it into practice and, more importantly the practical
framework for engaging poor communities, especially in urban areas where sanitation and
waste disposal facilities are in critical condition.
Promoting citizen participation in decision-making processes and the failure of urban
services to keep pace with rapid urban growth have prompted urban local governments to
shift from direct public services provision to public-private partnerships involving local
communities, citizens, and the private sector in the provision and management of services.'8
However, it is not all that clear that governments unable to provide direct basic services to
the poor will fair any better with the responsibilities of regulating the provision and
management of these services by other non-state actors. These processes of engaging with
poor urban communities by urban local governments have to a large extent not reduced the
hostility and mistrust between them and poor urban communities.19 This is because sanitation
and waste management have witnessed little improvement. Ayee and Crook attribute this
situation to the politics of patronage at the urban level, the relationship between city

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4 I Owusu & Afutu Kotey

government and community level groups, and the failure of regulation- three factors that
reinforced each other and result in failure or limited improvement in services provision. 20
It has also been noted that policy-makers have been over-optimistic about the willingness
and capacity of poor communities to provide basic services in the face of the absence of
public provision. Underlying this assumption is the romanticized notion of the social
solidarity of the slum, which translates into a strong spirit of collective action on local
issues.21 However, it is argued that social and economic deprivation can be as much a force
for social fragmentation as it is a point for collective action.22

Research Methodology

This study is part of a large study on situational analysis of five selected poor communities in
Accra (Sabon Zongo, Avenor and Ga Mashie) and Sekondi-Takoradi (Kwesimintsm and
New Takoradi). The analysis is based on data generated from four methods, namely
secondary sources, focus group discussions (FGDs), interviews (key informants/local
government representatives and experts), and transect walks. The use of multiple methods
ensured triangulation of data by allowing for the cross-checking of information with the basic
aim of validating answers and conclusions reached in the study.
The secondary data sources generated information on the general Ghanaian urban
environment: governance structure of Ghanaian cities; key stakeholders and their influence
on urban development; and city-level poverty levels. The primary data generated from
interviews, focus group discussions, and transect walks included oral histories of settlements,
community infrastructure/services and opportunities, social structures, and local government
activities in the communities. Table 1 shows the total number of interviews (key informant,
expert, and Assembly member) and transect walks conducted in the selected communities in
Accra and Sekondi-Takoradi.

Table 1: Interviews and Transect Walks Conducted in Accra and Sekondi-Takoradi

City Selected No. of No. of Key No. of Expert Assembly Transect
Community FGDs Informant Interviews Member Walk
Interviews Interviews
Accra 12 -
Ga Mashie 4 9 2 1
Avenor 4 9 1 1
Sabon Zongo 4 9 1 1
Sekondi- 10
Takoradi New Takoradi 4 9 1 1
Kwesimintsim 4 9 3 1
Total -20 45 22 8 5

Source: Fieldwork, June-July, 2008.
Four FGDs were conducted in each community involving adult males, adults females,
the youth (between the ages of 18 and 38 years, and single), and members of NGOs/CBOs
operating in the community; and nine key informant interviews (mainly traditional and
opinion leaders of the community). In addition, interviews were held with elected local
government representatives in each of the communities, as well as twenty-two expert
interviews (mainly senior administrative/planning officers of the metropolitan local
government authority, academics, and senior officers of NGOs). Aided by a local guide, a

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 12, Issue 11 Fall 2010
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Poor Urban Communities and Municipal Interface in Ghana Page I 5

transect walk was conducted in each community, which provided an opportunity to observe
directly the community basic infrastructure and services, housing conditions, economic
activities, level of income/wealth, and so forth.

Selected Poor Communities and Development Challenges

Poor urban communities of Accra (Sabon Zongo, Avenor, and Ga Mashie) and Sekondi-
Takoradi (New Takoradi and Kwesimintsim) were selected on the basis of several criteria,
including their migrant or indigenous status, location, age of settlement, and demographic
composition. Sabon Zongo and Avenor are largely migrant communities, while Ga Mashie
(comprising two communities, Ussher Fort and James Town) and Kwesimintsim can be
described as indigenous communities. On the other hand, Avenor and New Takoradi are
mixed, harboring multiple ethnic groups including both migrants and indigenes. In terms of
location, New Takoradi and Ga Mashie are located on seafronts, hence the importance of
artisanal fishing. The rest are located close to city center and are thus very accessible from all
parts of their respective cities.
While the selected communities share differences and similarities in terms of their
location, migrant/indigene status, and demographic composition, a clear delineation that
distinguishes the five communities from other neighborhoods in their respective cities is the
neglect of their basic infrastructure and services, particularly the very limited supply of
sanitation, waste disposal, and drainage. As a result, an overwhelming proportion of
residents rely on limited public facilities such as public toilets and bathrooms. In-house toilet,
house-to-house solid waste collection, and in-house pipe-borne water supply are limited to
only a few households (see Table 2).

Table 2: Adequate Sanitation and Water Facilities Used by Households in Selected Poor
Neighborhoods in Accra and Sekondi-Takoradi (%), 2000*
Selected Adequate Sanitation and Water Supply Indicator
Residential Water closet Collected Sewerage Pipe-borne
City Neighborhood (WC) Toilet Solid Waste Liquid Waste Water
(%) Disposal Disposal Inside
System (%) System (%) House (%)
Avenor 24.2 30.2 2.4 28.1
Accra Sabon Zongo 6.5 15.1 8.4 41.8
James Town** 11.1 11.0 6.8 35.4
Accra (city average) 23.2 20.8 13.0 43.6
Sekondi- New Takoradi 6.5 5.5 1.6 10.3
Takoradi Kwesimintsim 9.7 5.0 5.1 14.2
City average 39.3 5.6 15.0 46.8

*Adequate sanitation and toilet facilities such as in-house pipe-borne water, in-house water
toilet, and regular house-to-house waste collection are limited. The table excludes public
toilet facilities and waste disposal methods such as burning, opening/public dumping, and
burial. ** James Town is part of the larger neighborhood of Ga-Mashie. Source: Ghana
Statistical Service

Table 2 shows the proportion of households in the five poor communities as of 2000 with
"adequate" access to sanitation and water facilities. While the city averages are not good, they

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6 I Owusu & Afutu Kotey

are even far lower in the five selected neighborhoods, except for Avenor.23 These averages
from the communities can be contrasted with figures from the middle and high-class areas in
the two cities. For instance, in high-class residential areas of Accra such as Airport and
Cantonments over 80 percent and 70 percent respectively of households had in-house toilet
and door-to-door solid waste collection system as of 2000.
A key development challenge is the inadequacy of urban infrastructure and services vis-
'-vis a fast growing population. Rapid urban population growth is evident in a high
population concentration per hectare. For instance, in 2000, while the average population
density of Accra was 140 persons/ha, it was about 650 persons/ha in Sabon Zongo. This high
population on a small piece of land and the inability of local and central governments to
provide adequate sanitation and water facilities means residents must queue to use public
toilets, while many also use plastic bags and then dump them at open refuse dumps and
other open spaces within the communities. More importantly, constructed and natural
drainage systems get choked with human and solid waste. The massive increase in the use of
plastic bags has further exacerbated the situation. This is generating a public health crisis
with potential serious consequences.24

Decentralization and Urban Governance in Ghana

Ghana embarked upon a decentralization program in 1988 as a key element in the process of
democratization and the search for a more participatory approach to development.25 The
decentralization program is regarded as enhancing an effective response to local
development challenges and as facilitating the involvement of local people in decision-
making and the development process in general. The decentralization program is enshrined
in Ghana's Constitution and spelled out in the Local Government Act of 1993 (Act 462).
A local government in Ghana could be a Metropolitan Assembly (a city/large town with
a population of over 250,000), Municipal Assembly (one town local government area with a
population of over 95,000), and District Assembly (a local government area comprising a
district capital and other small centers, and rural areas with a population of over 75,000). In
all, there are 169 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), made of six
Metropolitan Assemblies, thirty-nine Municipal Assemblies and 124 District Assemblies. The
six Metropolitan Assemblies include the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and the
Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA). Table 3 shows the Metropolitan,
Municipal, and District Assemblies and their sub-district structures.

Table 3: MMDAs and Sub-District Structures*

4-Tier Metropolitan Assembly 3-Tier Municipal 3-Tier District Assembly
(Population 250,000 and Over) Assembly (Population Over 75,000)
(Population Over 95,000)
1. Metropolitan Assemblies 1. Municipal Assemblies 1. District Assemblies
2. Sub-Metropolitan Assemblies 2. Zonal Councils 2. Urban/Town/Area
3. Town/Area Councils 3. Unit Committees Councils
4. Unit Committees 3. Unit Committees

*Unit committees are formed for populations of 500-1000 and 1500 in rural and urban areas
respectively. Urban, Area, and Zonal councils are formed for settlements with populations
above 15000, 5000-15000, and 3000 respectively.

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Poor Urban Communities and Municipal Interface in Ghana Page I 7

Under the national Constitution and the Local Government Act of 1993 (Act 462),
MMDAs have overall responsibility for the development of their areas of jurisdiction. In
order to reach all the citizens of a local government area, the structures of the Assembly, that
is the sub-district structures, go as far as the neighborhood and community levels. The sub-
district structures comprising a four tier structure for Metropolitan Assemblies and three tier
structure for Municipal and District Assemblies (see Table 3). These sub-district structures
form the basic backbone of decentralized institutional framework. The basic aim of these
structures is to take decentralization to the grassroots level by involving local people in all
decision-making processes.26
Like all other Assemblies, Metropolitan Assemblies consist of two-thirds elected
members and one third appointed by the central government in consultation with key
stakeholders in the districts. The central government also appoints the Metropolitan Chief
Executive (MCE), who is the head of the Metropolitan Assembly, with approval from the
members of the Assembly. The elected and appointed officials of the Assembly are assisted
by a team of civil servants, such as the District Coordinating Director, Planning Officer,
Budget Officer, and Finance Officer, who provide managerial and technical support for the
In all, about 87 functions ranging from environmental sanitation to infrastructure
provision have been delegated to the Assemblies.27 Figure 1 provides a broad list of MMDA
functions. In metropolitan areas, however, environmental sanitation constitutes the single
biggest function of Metropolitan Assemblies. This function has tended to overshadow other
equally important functions such as physical planning, development control, and
investments promotion.

Figure 1: Functions of the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs)

The functions of the District Assemblies are spelled out in detail in the Section 10(1) of the Local Government
Act, 1993 (Act 462) and Section 2 of the National Development Planning Act, 1994 (Act 480). The functions of
the Assembly are defined as deliberative, legislative, and executive. Section 10(1) of Act 462 provides details of the
functions of the District Assemblies as follows:

Responsible for the overall development of the district and shall ensure the preparation and submission
through the Regional Coordinating Council;
i. development plans of the district to the National Development Planning Commission for approval
ii. budget of the district related to the approved plans to the Minister for Finance for approval.
Formulate and execute plans, programs and strategies for the effective mobilization of the resources
necessary for the overall development of the district;
Promote and support productive activity and social development in the district and remove any obstacles
to initiative and development;
Initiate programs for the development of basic infrastructure and provide municipal works and services
in the district;
Responsible for the development, improvement and management of human settlements and the
environment in the district;
Cooperate with appropriate national and local security agencies responsible for the maintenance of
security and public safety in the district;
Initiate, sponsor or carry out such studies as may be necessary for the discharge of any of the functions
conferred by the Act or any other enactment and;
Perform such other functions as may be provided under any other enactment

In addition, Section 10(4) of Act 462 urges the District Assembly to take such steps and measures as are necessary
to the execution of approved development plans of the district.

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8 I Owusu & Afutu Kotey

Slums and Municipal Interface: Sekondi-Takoradi and Accra
As already noted, to better manage the complex challenge of urban growth, the sub-
structures of Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan
Assembly (STMA) have been established: AMA has thirteen Sub-metropolitan Assemblies
and STMA three. It is the Sub-metropolitan Assemblies and their other substructures which
are tasked with the responsibility of dealing with waste management, infrastructure
development, and other needs of communities within their areas of jurisdiction. The sub-
structures are very important as they form the basis for problem identification and for the
initiation and implementation of self-help projects at the local level.28 Field observation in the
two metropolises, however, revealed that in many communities the sub-structures (Area
Councils and Unit Committees) are absent or non-functional. This is well captured in this
quote by a member of the Avenor Unit Committee:
We have problems with the Avenor Unit Committee.... We were elected as
members of the Unit Committee, but the Committee has not been inaugurated. So it
means we have not been given any mandate to work. So either these Unit Committees
are abolished or they [authorities] find some ways and means to help them work.
Attempts at addressing the infrastructure and services needs by the AMA and
STMA respectively have been conceived in terms of public-private partnerships.
According to Ayee and Crook, since the creation of the Metropolitan Assemblies
provision of services in the metropolitan areas has entailed two similar approaches.29
These are privatization of waste collection and public sanitation (through franchising
and contracting out) and encouraging more community-based participation in the
provision of local cleansing and sanitation services (mainly through engaging micro-
enterprises for local waste collection and franchising management of public toilets to
approved local businesses and community groups).
The indirect attempt by the Metropolitan Assemblies to provide poor urban communities
with services like toilets and solid waste collection has run into difficulties. First, with weak
or non-existent Unit Committees, Assemblies have delegated their role as the development
agent to private enterprises and other individuals. This approach has further distanced the
Assemblies from the people-a view which has reinforced the perception that the Assembly
is unresponsive to community needs. Hence, the widely held view among residents of the
study communities that "the Assembly has done nothing in this community." Second, the
franchising and sub-contracting of public services to micro-enterprises and individuals by the
Metropolitan Assemblies have enhanced and facilitated city government political patronage
networks. It must be stressed that these networks go further up to the level of the national or
central government. Recent events involving the compulsory seizure of public toilets in many
parts of Accra and Tema by supporters of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC)
following the party's victory in national elections in December 2008 and subsequent change
of government in January 2009 give credence to this view.30
Though contracts for operating public toilet and other services are supposed to be given
to entities with demonstrated capacity, in reality most frequent beneficiaries are Assembly
Members and others associated with the Sub-Metropolitan Assemblies and their parent
organizations (AMA and STMA)31 as well as political party leaders and their affiliates. In
Sabon Zongo, focus group discussions and key informant interviewees noted that a change in
the position of an Assembly member or an official of the Sub-Metropolitan Assembly implied
a change in the business entity or individual managing the public toilets in the community.
As such the regulatory role of the Sub-Metropolitan Assemblies has been severely weakened
due largely to conflict of interest resulting in poor services delivery services which the poor

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Poor Urban Communities and Municipal Interface in Ghana Page I 9

have to pay for either formally or informally. Thus, though public toilets have been
privatized and users pay for the service, quality has remained very poor. For example, a
participant in the women's focus group discussion, Sabon Zongo, stated: "The toilets have
not improved. They have become worse. We have to queue to use the toilets even as early as
5 a.m. and because of the stench you need to change your clothes after visiting the place."
As the overall development authorities for Accra and Sekondi-Takoradi, the AMA and
STMA are required to spearhead the development of their respective cities. However, a key
weakness of the AMA and STMA is their weak development planning focus. Like much of
Ghana, planning and development control have largely chased development. In large cities
and towns such as Accra and Sekondi-Takoradi, however, this situation is exacerbated by the
rapid pace of urban sprawl and population growth. Both AMA and STMA have a Medium-
Term Development Plan (MTDP), which is linked up or tied with the three pillars of Ghana's
development policy framework, as outlined in the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy
(GPRS II). Content analysis of both cities' MTDP indicates programs of action emphasizing
among others slum upgrading, improving sanitation and waste management, provision of
basic services and infrastructure, sealing of roads, and construction of drains in flood prone
areas. If carried out, these development programs would have both a direct and indirect
impact on slum communities in Accra and Sekondi-Takoradi.
As with many development plans formulated at the national and local levels, a key
constraining factor is the lack of political will and inadequate funds to implement plans.
Indeed, the logframe of the MTDP of AMA on slum upgrading listed political will, and
adequate financial and logistical commitments as key assumptions/risks for plan
implementation. The lack of political will results partly from the absence of a comprehensive
national policy framework on urban and regional development as well as the half-hearted
approach to fiscal decentralization. This weak financial situation of local governments is
further compounded by the lack of transparency and accountability in the disbursement and
mobilization of funds by the Assemblies. In fact, annual reports of the state's Auditor-General
and the Accountant General have consistently revealed a number of lapses centered on
corruption and poor financial performance of the MMDAs (see Figure 2).32

Figure 2: Commonly Reported Lapses or Internal weaknesses in the Financial Management
Performance of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies by the Auditor-General and the

* Non-submission of accounts
* Misapplication of funds
* Non-deduction of 5 percent withholding tax on contract payments
* Questionable payments for uncompleted projects
* Overdue loan payments
* Goods paid for but not delivered
* Suppression of value books
* Failure to retire imprest
* Unsatisfactory performance of Revenue Collectors
* Weak internally-generating revenue mechanisms.

Source: Azeem, V. A. et al. Financing Decentralised Development: How Well Does the DACF Works? Accra:
ISODEC,2003; PAB Consult. V '" Infrastructure Project: Project Assessment Report, Tema: PAB, 1998.

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10 I Owusu & Afutu Kotey

In the context of limited fiscal decentralization by the state and lapses or internal weaknesses
in the financial management of Assemblies, implementation of development plans and
programs has been seriously affected. The non-implementation of development plans and
programs account for the disillusionment with the performance of the AMA and STMA and
their Sub-Metropolitan Councils, and hence comments such as the following from a key
informant of Ga Mashie, Accra:
What they [AMA] need all the time is making money for themselves. You
know AMA goes round all over Accra collecting property rates. What are they
using that money for? Recently the "borla" people [garbage collectors]
complained that they have not been paid. The "borla" [garbage] was all over
the place. What are they using the money for? Every morning they go to the
market women to collect taxes, what are they using the money for?
As illustrated in the above quotation, questions have been raised regarding the efficient use
of resources by the MMDAs. Thus, while funding may not be enough or inadequate in the
light of numerous demands by various communities, questions have been raised about the
way contracts have been awarded, projects funded, their total cost, and the quality of work
on projects executed by the MMDAs.33 It is also difficult to assess the various targets set out in
the two cities' Medium-Term Development Plan (MTDP). The MTDP covering the period
2006-2009 has now expired. Comments from top officials of the Accra and Sekondi-Takoradi
Metropolitan Assemblies suggest quite clearly that actual developments in the two cities have
to a large extent not been guided by their respective plans. This supports Donkor's assertion
that development plans in Ghana are mere "paper tigers" drawn with ambitious rhetoric and
agenda that in most cases failed to see the light of day.34
Even though several institutions, including traditional authorities, NGOs, and CBOs
interface with the poor and slum communities, none of these institutions are better placed
than the Metropolitan Assemblies. Owing to weak structures, which to a large extent are due
to unclearly defined mandate and inadequate finance, CBOs tend to have a very limited
impact on the overall well-being of communities. NGOs tend to be project-focused and
engage urban communities during project duration and therefore have a relatively short-term
impact on these communities. In addition, NGOs have been criticized for duplication of
efforts. As an expert respondent in Sekondi-Takoradi noted that NGOs "waste time only to
go to the communities to duplicate each others effort such that they provide similar
community services every now and then."
All communities (including urban) in Ghana have traditional authorities represented by
the chieftaincy institution. The powers and authority of chiefs are anchored in traditions and
customs of the locality in question. However, chieftaincy disputes, centered on who were the
first settlers and hence owners of the land, and by extension overlord (chief) of the
community, are present in all the study communities. Therefore, the use of traditional
leadership as a community unifying institution is problematic. The key informant interviews
and focus group discussions conducted in Accra and Sekondi-Takoradi revealed a high level
of displeasure with these disputes among residents. Respondents noted that these chieftaincy
disputes have slowed community development and created disharmony among community
members, as noted by a 20-year female trader and resident of New Takoradi, Sekondi-
Takoradi: "there have been some general improvements in this community [New Takoradi]
but not so much as expected because of chieftaincy disputes.... This problem has persisted for
quite a long time now. In fact, we need unity and peace in New Takoradi."

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Poor Urban Communities and Municipal Interface in Ghana Page I 11

Conclusion: Implications for Urban Development

Decentralization has been widely trumpeted as a key antidote to the challenges of
metropolitan areas. This belief has been pushed on the basis of the argument that
decentralization brings government closer to the governed both spatially and institutionally.
More specifically, the argument has been made that decentralization enhances governance
and therefore allows municipal governments to be more knowledgeable about and
responsive to the needs of the urban people, most especially the urban poor. While we largely
share this belief, the critical question is how to translate this belief into practice.
Ghana, like most countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, is undergoing rapid urbanization,
with massive growth of its metropolitan areas. The urbanization process and its attendant
challenges of increasing poverty and slums development, poor infrastructure, and poor
sanitation and waste management, especially in large metropolitan areas such as Accra and
Sekondi-Takoradi, are occurring within the context of a decentralization program introduced
since 1988. A widely shared view is that poor city infrastructure and neighborhoods are the
result of poor city governance. In this direction, decentralization has been strongly advocated
as a solution to the emergence of urban slums and other challenges of rapid urban growth in
many parts of the developing world.35 However, the Ghanaian case as explored in this study
indicates that decentralization is unlikely to have meaningful impact on poor urban
communities if it is based on mere rhetoric.
Poor urban communities in Accra and Sekondi-Takoradi are confronted by weak
infrastructure and services provision. Most critical to these poor urban communities is the
poor state of waste and sanitation facilities. To address this situation, AMA and STMA have
conceived two approaches, namely, privatization and community-based participation in
waste collection and management of public toilets. These approaches have, however, run into
difficulties due to weak local institutional structures (especially local government sub-
structures) to monitor the activities of private operators as well as public agitation against
payment for poor services. In addition, the franchising of waste collection and sanitation has
enhanced the city government's political patronage, for contract awards have become a
means of rewarding political loyalists. This has further weakened the Metropolitan
Assemblies' capacity to regulate private operators and ensure improved service delivery.
As highlighted in other studies, the Assemblies have not been adequately resource in
relation to the numerous functions delegated to them under the law by the central
government.36 This situation has been compounded by the Assemblies' lack of accountability
in the disbursement of funds and a perception of widespread corruption. Also, the sub-
district structures of the Metropolitan Assemblies, which would have given the Assemblies'
visibility in poor communities as well as act as liaison structures between poor communities
and top-level city and national structures, have remained absent and non-functional.
Therefore the Metropolitan Assemblies have not made any significant impact on the
provision of services, infrastructure, and the performance of the basic municipal functions.37
As such, the contribution of Metropolitan Assemblies in the two cities of Accra and Sekondi-
Takoradi to urban development and urban poverty reduction could be described as marginal
at best.
In the absence of effective sub-district structures to actively engaged poor urban
communities, the Accra and Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assemblies have attempted to
address the poor municipal-community interface through the use of local FM radio stations
and mobile public address systems mounted on vehicles (information vans). These are,
however, ineffective. This is because in many cases the timing of these radio programs or of

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12 I Owusu & Afutu Kotey

announcements using the mobile public address systems; the cost of calling in to a local FM
radio program; and the language or medium of communication. All of these hinder the poor
from participating in such programs.
Despite the challenges hampering the smooth operations of the Metropolitan Assemblies
and their sub-structures, they remained the most credible urban institution in terms of
interfacing with slum communities in particular, the poor in general. Besides credibility, the
Assemblies have the potential to promote pro-poor governance agendas as they are directly
linked to higher decision and policy making levels. Unlike other actors such as traditional
authorities, NGOs, and CBOs, Assemblies are uniquely placed in terms of influencing policy.
Therefore, they have the potential to promote a pro-poor development agenda and a broad-
based development process that will benefit the majority of the Ghanaian population.
For Metropolitan Assemblies to remain an effective urban development authority and a
credible interface agent with poor urban communities, they must have all their sub-district
structures as articulated under the Local Government Act of 1993 (Act 462) functional and
operational. This will facilitate the process of community involvement and even ownership of
local services. It will also improve accountability of service providers in cases where services
such as toilets and solid waste collection are contracted out to private entities by re-directing
services provision towards citizens' concerns and priorities, and provide voice to those
concerns and priorities.38 This envisaged strategy for the development of poor urban
communities is dependant on the central government's commitment to a genuine
decentralization program. This is because the extent to which decentralization results in
improvements in human development outputs and poverty reduction is largely a function of
the resources and systems for allocating funding, primarily by the central government.


1 Davis, 2004; UNFPA, 2007a, 2007b.
2 BBC, 2007.
3 Satterthwaite, 1996; Potter and Lloyd-Evans, 1998; Songsore, 2003; UNOWA, 2007.
4 Beall,2000a.
5 BBC, 2007, p. 16.
6 Beall, 2000a.
7 ISSER, 2007.
8 NDPC, 2005, p. 53.
9 Naustdalslid, 1992; Mohan 1996; Crook and Manor 1998.
10 This study was funded by Cooperative Housing Foundation (CHF) Ghana with support
from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The field exercise was carried out between
June-August 2008.
11 Devas, 2005.
12 UNDP, 2000.
13 Devas, 2005.
14 UNDP, 2000.
15 Beall, 2000b.
16 Castells, 1983.
17 Chaplin, 1999.
18 Ayee and Crook, 2003; Crook and Ayee, 2006.

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Poor Urban Communities and Municipal Interface in Ghana Page I 13

19 King et al., 2001.
20 Ayee and Crook, 2003.
21 Ayee and Crook, 2003; see also Owusu et al., 2008.
22 Chaplin, 1999.
23 The official data on Avenor (Accra) as of 2000 from the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) in
terms of households used of toilet, door-to-door solid waste collection, and in-house
pipe-borne water must be accepted here with caution. This is because our field
investigations (including transect walk) in Avenor in June-August 2008 indicated that
only one household had an in-house toilet, with the rest of the households dependant on
the only public toilet in the community. Heller (1999) has called for caution in the use of
official statistics on sanitation and waste due to distortions that result from considering
the population served by collective systems as being the same as the population who
benefit from these services.
24 Ayee and Crook, 2003; see also Davis, 2004.
25 Ayee, 2000.
26 Owusu, 2005.
27 Ayee and Crook, 2003; Owusu, 2005.
28 Laryea-Adjei, 1998.
29 Ayee and Crook 2003, p. 14.
30 See www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage (Ashaiman NDC akes over public toilets,
Tuesday, 13 January 2009; NDC MP apologizesfor party members' misconduct at Assembly,
Friday, 13 February 2009).
31 Ayee and Crook, 2003; Crook and Ayee, 2006.
32 There have been several newspaper articles on the level of corruption at AMA and
STMA: AMA Blames Corrupt Staff (www.newtimesonline.com, January 27, 2006); Ministry
Smells Corruption at AMA (www.modernghana.com, July 20, 2005); STMA Pull Down
GH25,000 School Complex ... Five Years After Construction (www.ghanaian-chronicle.com,
December 4, 2007).
33 Owusu, 2008.
34 Donkor, 1997.
35 UNFPA, 2007a.
36 See Mohan, 1996; Crook and Manor, 1998; Razin and Obirih-Opareh, 2000; Thomi et al.,
2000; Ayee, 1997, 2000; Owusu, 2005, 2008.
37 Yankson, 2000.
38 Ayee and Crook, 2003.


Azeem, Vitus A., et al. Financing Decentralised Development: How Well Does the DACF Work?
Accra: ISODEC, 2003.

Ayee, Joseph R.A. "Sub-district Structures and Popular Participation: A Preliminary
Assessment". In A Decade of Decentralization in Ghana: Retrospect and Prospects, eds. Walter
Thomi, Paul W. K Yankson ,and S. Y. Zanu (Accra: EPAD/MLG&RD, 2000): 127-56.

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Ayee, Joseph, and Richard Crook. "Toilet Wars": Urban Sanitation Services and the Politics of
Public-Private Partnerships in Ghana. IDS Working Paper, 213 (2003). Sussex: IDS.

BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation). "Dazzled by the City." BBC Focus on Africa Magazine
(July-September, 2007): 16-19.

Beall, Jo. "From the Culture of Poverty to Inclusive Cities: Re-framing Urban Policy and
Politics." Journal of International Development 12 (2000a): 843-56.

"Life in the Cities." In Poverty and Development into the 21st Century, eds. Tim Allen and
Alan Thomas (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000b): 425-42.

Castells, M. The City and Grassroots: A Cross-cultural Theory of Urban Social Movements. London:
Arnold, 1983.

Chaplin, S. E. "Cities, Sewers and Poverty: India's Politics of Sanitation." Environment and
Urbanization 11(1999): 145-58.

Crook, C. Richard. "Decentralization and Poverty Reduction in Africa: The Politics of Local-
central Relations." Public Administration and Development 23 (2003): 77-88.

Sand Joseph Ayee. "Urban Service Partnerships, 'Street level Bureaucrats' and
Environmental Sanitation in Kumasi and Accra, Ghana: Coping with Organisational Change
in the Public Bureaucracy." Development Policy Review 24 (2006): 51-73.

Sand James Manor. Democracy and Decentralisation in South Asia and West Africa:
Participation, Accountability and Performance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

Davis, Mike. "Planet of Slums: Urban Involution and the Informal Proletariat." New Left
Review 26 (2004): 5-34.

Devas, Nick. "Metropolitan governance and Urban Poverty." Public Administration and
Development 25 (2005): 351-61.

Donkor, Kwabena. Structural Adjustment and Mass Poverty. Aldershot: Ashgate, 1997.

Heller, L. "Who Really Benefits from Environmental Sanitation Services in the Cities: An
Intra-urban Analysis in Betim, Brazil." Environment and Urbanization 11 (1999): 133-44.

ISSER (Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research). The State of the Ghanaian
Economy in 2006. Accra: ISSER, 2007.

King, R., Inkoom, Daniel and K. Mensah Abrampah. Urban Governance in Kumasi: Poverty and
Exclusion. Urban Governance, Partnership and Poverty Working Paper. IDD: University of
Birmingham, May 2001

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Laryea-Adjei, S. George. "Civil Society Participation in District Level Planning in Ghana."
Plannews (1998): 1, 3-10.

Mohan, Giles. "Neoliberalism and Decentralized Development Planning in Ghana." Third
World Planning Review 18 (1996): 433-54.

Naustdalslid, Jon. Decentralisation Policies in Ghana. Oslo: NIBR, 1992.

NDPC (National Development Planning Commission). Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy
(GPRS II), 2004-2009. Accra: NDPC, 2005.

Owusu, George. "Mobilising Revenue for District Development: The Dilemma of Local
Governments, District Assemblies, in Ghana." Afriche e Orienti (Special Issue II 2008): 22-37.

Samuel Agyei-Mensah, and Ragnhild Lund. "'Slums of Hope and Slums of Despair'":
Mobility and Livelihoods in Nima, Accra. Norsk Geografisk Tidsskrift Norwegian Journal of
Gu u'iipi 62 (2008): 180-90.

"The Role of District Capitals in Regional Development: Linking Small Towns, Rural-
urban Linkages and Decentralisation in Ghana." International Development Planning Review 27
(2005): 59-89.

PAB Consult. Village Infrastructure Project: Project Assessment Report. Tema: PAB, 1998.

Potter, Robert B. and Sally Lloyd-Evans. The City in the Developing World. London: Longman,

Razin, Eran and Nelson Obirih-Opareh. "Spatial Variations in the Fiscal Capacity of Local
Government in Ghana, Before and After Decentralization." Third World Planning Review 22
(2000): 411-432.

Satterthwaite, David. The Scale and Nature of Urban Change in the South. London: IIED, 1996.

Songsore, Jacob. Towards, a Better Understanding of Urban Change: Urbanisation, National
Development and Inequality in Ghana. Accra: Ghana Universities Press, 2003.

Thomi, Walter, Paul William K. ankson, and S. Y. Zanu (eds.) A Decade of Decentralization in
Ghana: Retrospect and Prospects. Accra: EPAD/MLG&RD, 2000.

UNDP (United Nations Development Program). Poverty Report 2000: Overcoming Human
Poverty. New York: UNDP, 2000.

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UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund). UNFPA State of World Population 2007: Unleashing
the Potential of Urban Growth. New York: UNFPA, 2007a.

UNFPA State of World Population 2007: Growing Up Urban-Youth Supplement. New York:
UNFPA, 2007b.

UNOWA (United Nations Office for West Africa). Urbanization and Insecurity in West Africa:
Population Movements, Mega Cities and Regional Stability. Dakar: UNOWA, 2007.

Yankson, Paul William K. "Community-based Organizations (CBOs) and Urban Management
and Governance in an Era of Change in Ghana: The Case of the Greater Accra Metropolitan
Area (GAMA)." Ghana Social Science Journal (New Series) 1 (2000): 97-139.

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African Studies Quarterly I Volume 12, Issue 1 I Fall 2010

Combatting Corruption in Nigeria: The

Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes



Abstract: Corruption is a persistent cancerous phenomenon which bedevils
Nigeria. Misappropriation, bribery, embezzlement, nepotism, and money
laundering by public officials have permeated the fabric of the society. The
office seekers of major political parties top the list of unfit or corrupt officials.
Elected officials in high echelons of power and public officers use their
positions to engage in corrupt activities. It is estimated that corruption
accounts for 20 percent of the GDP of Nigeria. For several years, Nigeria has
been at the bottom of Transparency International's (TI) Corrupt Perception
Index (CPI) ranking. In 2002, the Nigerian government created the Economic
and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate and prosecute cases
of corruption and financial crimes. This paper reviews the scope of
corruption and the efforts by the Nigerian government to combat it by
examining the various perspectives for understanding the causes of
corruption. The study while recognizing the importance of the various
perspectives, notes that both the rent-seeking and institutional theories offer
deeper insights into the systemic nature of Nigerian corruption. Finally, the
article examines the activities of the EFCC and notes that it faces serious
challenges as the configurations of the Nigerian political landscape are


Corruption is a persistent cancerous phenomenon which bedevils Nigeria. It has
been acknowledged in many quarters that corruption is Nigeria's worst problem and
is largely responsible for its woes, such as the instability in the Niger Delta, the debt
overhang, barriers to democratic elections, and impediment to flow of foreign direct
investment (FDI).1 Nigeria is not significantly dissimilar to many developing
countries: corruption has been a multifaceted phenomenon characterizing the global
economy. Although most studies of corruption focus on developing countries, there
are few studies on corruptive practices, the role of the anti-corruption agency, and
the debilitating impact of corruption on Nigeria.2

Emmanuel E. Obuah is an Assistant Professor of International Relations at Alabama A&M
University. He holds a LLM in International Criminal Law and a D.Phil. in International
Relations from the University of Sussex. He was both Sir Adam Thomson (1987-88) and
Commonwealth Scholar (1992-95) at the University of Sussex. He is the Proceedings Editor
(2010 2013) of the International Academy of African Business and Development (IAABD)
conferences. He has published in several referred journals.
University of Florida Board of Trustees, a public corporation of the State of Florida; permission
is hereby granted for individuals to download articles for their own personal use. Published by
the Center for African Studies, University of Florida.
ISSN: 2152-2448

18 I Obuah

There are a number of reasons for focusing on the scope and impact of
corruption in Nigeria and the difficulties in dealing with it. Nigeria occupies a
central place in Africa as the most populous country, with an estimated population
of over 149 million. It is one of the continent's richest countries and is blessed with a
huge diversity of natural and human resources. It is also characterized by a
multiplicity of different ethnic groups. Like many mono-cultural economies in
Africa, its economy is heavily dependent on crude oil. Paradoxically, it is this
important natural resource that sustains corruption in Nigeria. As in many African
states, corruption is a malaise that infects the society. Corruption drains from African
countries over $140 billion per year.3 Corruption deters investment because it is a
disincentive to potential investors; it distorts public expenditure, increases the
overheads for running businesses, and diverts resources from poor to rich countries.
According to Transparency International (TI), corruption accounts for about 20
percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).4 Nigeria is also identified as among the
top nations in the over $1 trillion annually paid globally in bribes.5 Corruption was
partly responsible for the collapse of the first (1960-66) and second (1979-83)
republics. These interesting facts make the choice and significance of Nigeria apt,
especially as it is one of the few countries in Africa that has taken a bold step to set
up an anticorruption agency to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of corruption
Corruption in the form of misappropriation, bribery, embezzlement, nepotism,
and money laundering permeate Nigerian society. Over the years, various
administrations have articulated polices and measures designed to combat
corruption. Examples include General Murtala Muhammed's (1975-76) crusade to
confiscate assets illegally acquired by Nigerians; Shehu Shagari's (October 1979-
December 1983) ethical revolution to combat corruption through the introduction of
code of conduct for public servants; General Muhammadu Buhari's (December 1983-
August 1985) war against indiscipline; and General Ibrahim Babaginda's (August
1985-August 1993) ethical and social mobilization crusade. These efforts have been
largely cosmetic attempts to address a systemic problem that is deeply rooted in the
country's fabric. In addition to these ethical schemes, there have been a number
legislative acts and functional mechanisms to combat corruption. Prominent among
them include the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (1991), the Financial
Malpractices in Banks Act (1994), the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences
Act (1995), the Nigerian Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act (2000),
and so forth. In its effort to fight corruption and create credibility to attract
international investments, the Obasanjo administration (May 1999-May 2007) among
other things, established the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in
2002. The EFCC is charged with wide ranging responsibilities within the context of
preventing, detecting, investigating, and prosecuting cases of economic and financial
crimes in Nigeria.
The central argument here is that in spite of the creation of the EFCC, major
political parties' office seekers, elected officials, and public officers use their positions
of authority and access to power to engage in corrupt activities. To this end, the
paper examines the salience of Nigeria, the scope and severity of corruption in

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The Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission I 19

Nigeria, and the government's attempt to combat corruption through the creation of
the EFCC. The article argues that although corruption appears in many forms in
Nigeria, both the institutional and rent-seeking theories offer better understanding of
the underlying causes of corruption. Finally, there is a discussion of the structure,
role, and activities of the EFCC and its continued relevance in Nigeria's political

The Causes of Corruption in Nigeria
Corruption has been defined differently by various scholars and organizations. One
widely cited definition is that proffered by Nye: "corruption is a behavior which
deviates from the formal duties of a public role because of private-regarding
(personal, close family, private clique) pecuniary or status-gain; or violates rules
against the exercise of certain types of private-regarding behavior."6 According to the
World Bank, corruption is the abuse of public office for private gains. It estimates the
cost at about $80 billion worldwide. This includes public officials accepting,
soliciting, or extorting bribes, and private actors offering bribes to subvert or
circumvent public policies for competitive advantage and profit.7 Similarly, the
United Nations Development Program (UNDP) defined corruption as the "misuse of
public power, office or authority for private benefit through bribery, extortion,
influence peddling, nepotism, fraud, speed money or embezzlement."8 TI defines
corruption as an inappropriate or illegal behavior of the public sector official
(politician or public officer) by misusing the entrusted power for private gain of the
person or related people.9
There is a substantial body of literature on corruption.10 There is also a corpus of
country-based and sector-based studies on corruption in developing countries that
show not only the ramifications but the lively market that corruption creates,
especially in parts of the bureaucracy that can generate huge bribes." The literature
generally suggests five strands of hypotheses as explanations for the causes of
corruption: rent-seeking, cultural relativity, low salary, imitation, and
institutional/political centralization.
Some scholars have argued that corruption could make positive contributions to
the economic and political development of an economy. For examples, Myrdal and
Leff point out the significance of corruption as a deliberate tool of administrative
delay that attracts more bribes and acts as a lubricant to an otherwise sluggish
economy.12 For both Merton and Abueva, corruption in the form of nepotism, spoils,
and graft perform a requisite function to aspects of political development such as
unification and stability, popular participation in public affairs, development of
viable political parties, and bureaucratic responsibility.13 Abueva further noted that
in capital hungry economies of developing countries, large-scale graft that funnels
capital to struggling entrepreneurs aids them in creating industries.14 On the
contrary, others, including various studies by the World Bank and UNDP, show
negative impacts of corruption on investment, growth of the economy, and the
political process.15

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20 I Obuah

The other strand of literature on corruption deals with the various attempts
through legislation and the establishment of functional mechanisms to deal with
corruption and other financial crimes.16 The study by Chukwuemerie and Malgwi,
which focused on corruption and the measures introduced by various Nigerian
governments to combat it, is very instructive. While recognizing the contributions of
these studies in understanding corruption in Nigeria, their work complements and
expands the scope of existing studies by assessing the role of EFCC in fighting
According to the World Bank, corruption occurs when "the actions of
individualss, groups, or firms in both the public and private sectors influence the
formation of laws, regulation, decrees, and other government policies to their own
advantage by means of illicit and non-transparent provision of private benefits to
public officials."17 It could also occur when changing and altering the implementation
of existing laws, rules, and regulations to provide advantages to either state or non-
state actors as a result of illicit and non-transparent provision of private gain to
public officials. While there are a number of explanations on the causes of
corruption, the following explanations would suffice: cultural relativity, low salary
syndrome, imitation, institutional, and rent-seeking."8
According to the cultural relativity argument, the covetousness of corruption in
developing countries occurs when gift giving becomes a bribe resulting from new
consciousness developed among students, military officials, and others created by
rapid industrialization whereby they are exposed to the modern world. The cultural
relativity school contends that confusion between bribes and gifts, the process of
modernization, the burden of the extended family system, and the lack or absence of
public domain are responsible for corruption in developing countries.19 As de Dardan
pointed out, the absence of public property in traditional African societies is
responsible for the inability of African leaders to distinguish their public functions
and property from their private ones.20 Although this may account for some
corruption in Africa, the notion that traditional African societies lacked public
domain is a non sequitur because there are traditional structures in African societies,
such as village farmland, lineage farmland, village squares, village huts, and
communal roads that are communally owned and maintained. Secondly, as Kallon
noted, even if the public domain argument was credible, it is still misleading, for
those involved in corruption are well-educated people, many of whom were trained
in the western tradition, which supposedly has long tradition of public domain.21
Corruption in Nigeria and other developing countries has also been explained in
terms of low-salary and strong kinship ties. This perspective opines that public
officials in developing countries are corrupt because their salaries are so low that
they cannot make ends meet by depending solely on their meager salaries.
Furthermore, strong kinship ties characteristic of these societies place nepotistic
pressure on public officials. Accordingly, they resort to corrupt activities to make
ends meet and help the relatives.22 Although this might be plausible for the medium
and low levels public officials, it does not explain why highly paid public partake in
corrupt activities. Although low salaries may not be a justification for graft, this

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The Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission I 21

perspective offers insight into the wide spread corruption, cronyism, and nepotistic
activities in Nigeria.
Another explanation is derived from the theory of imitation arising from the
proclivity of human being to copy or imitate the lifestyles of other individuals
believed to have accomplished important things in the society. Using Maslow's
concepts of hierarchy of needs and Bandura's observational learning theory, Gire
suggested that corruption is prevalent and reproduced in Nigeria because of the
imitation of the lifestyle and behavior of other members of the Nigerian society who
are, or have been, in positions of authority.23
Furthermore, the UNDP's institutional theory offers an interesting perspective
on corruption. According to this perspective, corruption arises when public officials
have wide ranging authority, little accountability, and perverse incentives, or when
their accountability responds to informal rather than formal forms or regulation. For
institutional theorists, the causes of corruption result from a failure of state
institutions and a lack of the capacity to manage society by means of a framework of
social, judicial, political, and economic checks and balances, or where there is
monopoly control of public officials wielding discretionary powers in the absence of
accountability systems.24 The institutional explanation is pertinent to understanding
the breadth and depth of corruption among governors and chairpersons of states and
local government areas (LGAs) in Nigeria since 2000. Institutional theory can be
explained in terms of political centralization in which the governors and
chairpersons claim that the 1999 Nigerian constitution bestowed immunity from
prosecution while in office. This has resulted in an abuse of power, extravagance,
and a gross abuse of the budgeting process. For example, the governor of Rivers
State in 2006 budgeted $33.2 million for unspecified "grants, contributions and
donations"; $77 million for unspecified "special projects"; $65,000 per day for
transport and travel for his office; and $11.5 million for purchasing new government
vehicles.25 The situation in Rivers State is similar to that in other states.
Finally, rent-seeking has been used to explain the incidence of corruption in
Nigeria. According to this perspective, corruption results from too much government
intervention in the economy, which creates rent-seeking opportunities. Rent-seeking
is a redistributive activity that takes up resources. Corruption therefore results from
rent-seeking when someone has a monopoly over goods or services and has
discretion to decide who receives, when it is received, and how much is received.26
Rent-seeking through corruption by public officials can hurt innovative activities,
and since innovation drives economic growth, public rent-seeking can distort and
hamper growth even more severely than production.27 Public rent-seeking includes,
but is not limited to, the following: taking bribes for issuance of business licenses or
permits; taxes on documents; taking bribes to obtain import licenses; and taking
bribes to influence bids for privatization of state owned enterprises (SOEs) or for
government contracts. Shleifer and Vishny noted that these forms of rent-seeking are
more likely to hurt innovation because innovators need these government-produced
services and goods. These services are inelastic to business. They therefore become
primary targets of corruption. If, therefore, innovators do not have money to pay

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22 I Obuah

bribes to get licenses and permits, for example, they would not be able to enter the
market and innovate.28 The rent-seeking theory, for the most part, appears to explain
the incidence of corruption amongst public officials in strategic positions in Nigeria.
The following are some of the underlying causes of corruption in Nigeria that may
emanate from rent seeking activities:

1. The lack of transparent financial institutions in an economy can make a larger part of the
population depdndent on corruption. In the 1980s, the discredited Bank of Credit
and Commerce International (BCCI) aided Nigerian officials to launder money
derived from corrupt activities in overseas banks.29 In recent times, Nigeria has
seen a spike in bank failures and takeovers due to corruption and money

2. Where the government is involved in buying and selling of goods and services and
distribution of subsidies. Under such situation a private firm may want to bribe a
government official if the department is involved in awarding contracts so that
the official may structure the bidding specification in order that the firm is the
only qualified supplier, or is selected as the winning contractor. For example,
the British Serious Fraud Office investigated an allegation that a British-based
company in Nigeria set up a slush fund of $170 million to bribe Nigerian
officials to win building contracts.30 The danger is that once selected, the firm
may charge inflated prices or skimp on quality because it had already bribed
government officials. Various administrations over the years introduced rent-
seeking activities. For example, General Ibrahim Babaginda's programs in the
1980s and 1990s, such as the construction of the new capital territory in Abuja,
the revitalization of the troubled steel and aluminum industries, and the
Liberian mission created rent seeking opportunities.31 Bribes for government
contracts are paid upfront, and once paid, contractors can pretty much do as
they please. The government's involvement in the provision of subsidies and
benefits can also cause corruption, especially where the services are too low or
limited to satisfy all who qualify, or when government officials use their
discretion in allocating services.

3. Corruption may also arise where firms and individuals want to avoid the cost of delay.
For example, businesses are likely to pay "speed money" in order to facilitate
faster processing of application or documents. Individuals frisked at police
check points in Nigeria are likely to pay bribe in order to avoid wasting their
precious time. Similarly, individuals who apply for passports or driver's licenses
in Nigeria are likely to pay bribe to speed up the issuing process.
Although the foregoing perspectives are very important in understanding the scope
and severity of corruption in Nigeria, the rent-seeking and institutional theories offer
more insights to the severity and scale of corruption that characterize the public
sector in Nigeria.

The Scope of Corruption in Nigeria
Nigeria has been variously classified as a "failed," "failing," or "fragile" state in
which governments consistently fail to honor the social contract entered with the
people and in which kleptocratic and "lootocratic" practices have been identified as

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The Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission I 23

significant debilitating indicators to its development.32 A failed state is one in which
the institutions of the state and society are weak and lack the necessary capacity to
manage society through various checks and balances. Nigeria operates a fiscal
federalism with a strong central government that controls and distributes the main
resources to the federating units--the states and LGAs. Nigeria has 36 states and 774
LGAs. Under this arrangement, both states and LGAs receive monthly
appropriations from the federal government. According to Human Rights Watch
(HRW) report, this system has led to the "decentralization of corruption"- a situation
in which corruption has become rampant and an organized crime.33 Some LGAs (in
Abia, Bauchi, Kaduna, Ondo, Rivers, and Nasarawa states) have been accused of
reckless spending and misappropriation of funds to the tune of N1.6 trillion
($1=N150) between 1999 and 2007.34
The scope of corruption has expanded significantly since the administrations of
Generals Ibrhahim Babaginda and Sani Abachi. For some scholars, Nigerian
corruption has moved from prebendalism to predation in which office holders and
public officials try to repay their supporters, family members, cronies, and ethnic
group members with sums of money, contracts or jobs.35 Corruption was blamed for
the collapse of the first (1960-66) and second (1979-83) republics. Part of the reason
for the burgeoning of corruption is the economy's reliance on crude oil, which
encourages rent-seeking and corruption. The US Senate Kerry Report noted a link
between oil and corruption in Nigeria. Among other things, it noted that under- or
over-invoicing of imports and exports were common practices, especially in the
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). There were also reports that
about 212bn in oil money had been looted from the country's treasury by past and
present leaders, and that the EFCC was helping to combat an estimated 12 billion
which was annually stolen from state coffers.36
It is common practice for government contracts to be inflated because public
officials factor in kick-backs, which are usually paid upfront before the completion of
the contracts. Graft continues to prevent the judiciary from functioning adequately.
There is a widespread perception that judges are easily bribed or "settled." For
example, there were long delays and frequent requests from judicial officials for
small bribes to expedite cases.37 The court Chief Registrar of the Federal Capital
Territory, Abuja was charged N37 million for fraud and money laundering in 2005.38
There were numerous allegations that legislators both at the national and state levels
accepted bribes and favors from the executive branch to facilitate the passage of bills
favorable to the executive branch. It was reported that some "powerful" Nigerians
caused bank failures to the tune of N53 billion as a result of insider credit abuses.39
Nigeria has been vulnerable to official venality. Elected officials, public servants,
and military officials in position of authority use their positions to engage in corrupt
activities. It has been projected by the EFCC that between 1960 and 1999 about 220
billion or $380 billion has been plundered and squandered by public officials in
Nigeria.40 This is more than six times the amount the US provided for the
reconstruction of post-World War II Europe under the Marshall Plan. During the
early months of General Sani Abacha's administration, an official report indicated

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that an estimated $12.2 billion had been side-tracked to off-budget accounts from
1988 through 1993, when General Ibrahim Babaginda was the Head of State.41 TI's
2004 Global Corruption Report listed General Sani Abacha (1993-98) among the top
ten presidents who had allegedly embezzled between two and five billion dollars.42
The 2006 row between President Obasanjo and the vice president over corruption
was indicative of how high corruption had permeated the Nigeria society. In fact, it
has been estimated that during the eight years of the Obasanjo administration,
Nigeria lost a minimum average of $4 billion to $8 billion per year to corruption
(equaling between 4.25 percent and 9.5 percent of its total GDP in 2006).43
Nigeria has been consistently ranked very low by TI. For examples, in 2006,
Nigeria ranked 146 out of 163 with 2.2 corruption perception index (CPI) score; and
in 2007, it was ranked 148 with 2.2 score.44 According to TI, low CPI scores indicate
that the public institutions are heavily compromised. Furthermore, TI noted that in
Nigeria, more than 50 percent of bribes were directly asked for, while 60 percent
were offered to avoid problems with authorities; and more that 40 percent offered
bribes to obtain access to a service they were entitled to.45 According to the
Independent Advocacy Project (IAP) corruption index, the most corrupt sectors in
Nigeria were the Nigerian Police Force, the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, the
Ministry of Education, and the Customs and Excise Department.46
The most worrisome aspect is that corruption is deepening and taking new
dimensions, especially among the Nigerian states. The September 2006 EFCC report
indicated that corruption among states had reached a tragic stage where some state
governors were stealing, looting state treasuries and fronting relatives with state
money to establish their own private businesses. For example, the governor of Abia
State, Orji Kalu, was alleged to have siphoned government funds to the tune of N35
billion using his wife, mother, daughter, and brothers as fronts to establish a business
empire which included Slok Airline, Slok Pharmaceuticals, and a newspaper house.47
It is against this backdrop that this article examines the activities of the EFCC since
its creation.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
Given scope of corruption and the tarnished image of Nigerian in international
circles, the Nigerian Government in 2002 created an anti-corruption agency with the
mission "to curb the menace of corruption that constitutes the cog in the wheel of
progress; protect national and foreign investment in the country, imbue the spirit of
hard work in the citizenry and discourage ill gotten wealth; identify illegally
acquired wealth and confiscate it; build an upright workforce in both public and
private sectors of the economy and; contribute to the global war against financial
crimes."48 The creation of the EFCC marked a significant shift from rhetoric about
fighting corruption to actually fighting corruption. Efforts by previous governments
to provide the legal frameworks for combating corruption included, but were not
limited to, the Miscellaneous Offences Act 1985; the creation of the National Drug
Law Enforcement Agency in 1989; the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act
1991; the Money Laundering Act of 1995; the Advanced Fee Fraud and Related

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The Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission I 25

Offences Act 1995; and the Foreign Exchange Miscellaneous Offences Act 1995.
Noble and desirable these efforts were, either they were strangled due to inadequate
enabling laws and regulations or neglected for anapparent lack of commitment on
the part of stakeholders to fight corruption in high places.49
At the global level, by the late 1980s and early 1990s, there was increased
pressure on developing countries by governments of industrialized countries and
international organizations to combat and reduce corruption, which had become
widespread and was a bane to economic development. For example, the Group 7
countries at its 1989 summit established the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on
money laundering. By 2001, the FATF had placed Nigeria on the list of non-
cooperative countries.50 It was against this backdrop of failed efforts and
international pressure that President Olusegun Obasanjo adopted a multi-pronged
approach to fight corruption in order to redeem Nigeria's image by creating or
enacting the following: the Anti-Corruption Commission; the Due Process Office in
the Presidency; the Corrupt Practices and Related Offences Act of 2000; and the
EFCC Act of 2002.

The Purpose, Powers and Structure of the EFCC
The Establishment Act of 2002 (as amended in the EFCC Establishment, Etc. Act,
2003), bestows on the EFCC the broadest and most current laws against financial and
economic crimes and terrorism in Nigeria. As a financial intelligence unit the EFCC
is mandated to coordinate the various institutions involved in the fight against
money laundering and enforcement of all laws dealing with economic and financial
crimes, and terrorism.5" Under its broad economic and financial crime and terrorism
mandate, the EFCC is charged with preventing, investigating, prosecuting, and
penalizing financial and economic crimes such as illegal oil bunkering, terrorism,
capital market fraud, cyber crime, advance fee fraud (419 or obtaining through
different fraudulent schemes), banking fraud and economic governance fraud
transparencee and accountability). The EFCC has extensive special and police powers
including the power to: investigate persons and/or properties of persons suspected of
breaching the provision of the Establishment Act of 2002 and any other law or
regulation relating to economic and financial crimes in Nigeria.52
The EFCC has enabling powers under the Establishment Etc. Act 2003 and 2004
to deal with terrorism and terrorist offences including: willful provision or collection
of money from anyone, directly or indirectly, to perpetrate an act of terrorism;
committing or attempting to commit, participate, or facilitate the commission of a
terrorist act; and making funds, financial assets, or economic resources available for
use by any person or persons to commit or attempt to commit, facilitate, or
participate in the commission of a terrorist act.53

The Structure
The EFCC is an independent agency headed by an executive chairman under the
direction of a board. The chairman, supported by the directors of the five operations

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26 I Obuah

units-financial crimes and intelligence; advance-fee fraud and other economic
crimes, enforcement, and general operations; prosecution and legal counsel;
organization and support; and training school-is the chief executive and accounting
officer. The Commission receives support from the presidency, the legislature, and
the judiciary. The agency also cooperates with like organizations from other
countries to uncover corruption and money laundering activities involving
Nigerians. In terms of its structure and organization, the Commission is committed
to containing economic and financial crimes, generating and disseminating effective
economic and financial crimes intelligence to assist law enforcement, and inculcating
prudent and sincere dealing amongst Nigerians via a transparent value system and
preventive measures.54 The organizational structure reflects the major broad activity
areas of the commission, namely, economic and financial crimes intelligence,
investigation and enforcement, prosecution, crime prevention through mass
communication and advocacy, and proactive and reactive execution of anti-terrorism
operations. The head office is in Abjua, with regional offices in Lagos, Enugu, and
Port Harcourt.

Activities of EFCC since its Creation
Following its establishment, the Commission swung into action by launching
"Operation Redemption," which was intended "to get all economic and financial
criminals out of business and behind bars."55 The Commission challenged Nigerians
to send any information on any government officials to it so that it could commence
investigation. Nigerians responded, and those efforts paid dividends. The
Commission has been involved in a number of investigations, arrests, and detentions
resulting in indictments, return and recovery of stolen money, and imprisonment.
The agency has been responsible for a number of high profile investigations such as
that involving the former inspector general of Nigeria Police, Tafa Balogun who was
accused of stealing more than $121 million and was jailed for six months, fined
$30,000, and had property worth $150 million seized.56 The Commission was also
responsible for the arrest of Hon. Morris Ibekwe (Imo State) for allegedly obtaining
under false pretences the sum of $300,000 from a German national and head of the
Munich System Organization Company.57 Other notable cases include the former
governor of Lagos State, Major General Mohammed Buba Marwa; the former
Chairman of the Nigeria Ports Authority, Bode George; the bribery scandal and
fraud involving members of the National Assembly Committee and the Minister for
Education over budget matters; the former governor of Bayelsa Sstate, Chief Depreye
Alamieyeseigha; the investigation of all state governors and local government
officials as of December 2006; the thirty-year imprisonment of civil servant
fraudsters in 2008; the trial of the Chairman of the National Electricity Regulatory
Commission; and the trial of Mallam Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai, the Minister of the
Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, in 2009.58 The 2006 indictment of the serving Vice
President, Atiku Abubakar for abuse of office, fraud, and embezzlement by both the
EFCC and the Administrative Panel of Inquiry is indicative of how deep and

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The Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission I 27

pervasive corruption has permeated the Nigerian society.59 The list is almost
In addition to its investigative power, the EFCC has the power to bring charges
of corruption so that accused persons can be brought to court for criminal trial. In
2006, the EFCC had received 4,200 petitions on illegal corruption, investigated 1,200
cases, and taken 406 cases to the court.60 After months of investigation of the petitions
and allegations of corruption against thirty-one out of thirty-six states in Nigeria, the
EFCC decided to indict fifteen governors and gave a clean bill to only six state
governors.61 The appendix provides a summary of the list of governors that were
indicted or under investigation or cleared of corruption in 2006. The EFCC's
indictments, arrests, and reports on corruption involving high profile public officials
were indicative of the distance high level public officials in Nigeria were willing to
go to exploit, loot, steal, misappropriate and launder public money for personal
aggrandizement instead of improving the well-being of the people.
Before the 2007 general election, the EFCC published an advisory list of corrupt
and unfit candidates to hold public offices. The list was submitted to all registered
political parties and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). An
analysis of the list of unfit politicians with respect to the spread among the major
political parties showed that the Peoples Democratic Party had the highest number
of unfit political office seekers (53), followed by the All Nigeria Peoples Party (39),
the Action Congress (28), the Peoples Progressive Alliance (10), the Democratic
Peoples Party (5), and the Alliance for Democracy (1). The spread among the states
was: Zamfara (18), Adamawa (16), Taraba (15), Abia (12), and Bauchi (10).62
Furthermore, of the forty-three high profile cases amounting to over N1 trillion
published by EFCC in October 2009, eleven involved former governors; five involved
former federal ministers; two involved two serving senators and three serving
members of the House of Representative; and several other cases involved high
profile public civil servants63

The EFCC has also made progress in the following areas:

Recovered money and assets derived from crime worth over $700 million,
and 3 million from the British government between May 2003 and June

Recovered N100 billion assets from ex-governors and N55 million bribes in
2005 from committee members of the National Assembly given as public
relations to lobby for increase in education budget.65

Recovered N200 billion from fraudulent bank officials and $700 million from
corrupt public officers who allegedly looted public funds.66

Confiscated over forty oil tankers engaged in crude oil bunkering.

Recovered $750 million from 419 gangs and N50 billion worth of assets from
the impeached governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Alamieyeseigha.

Recovered over N85 billion by the Due Process Office.67

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Put over five hundred suspects in custody and prosecuted one of the world's
biggest fraud cases involving the perpetrators Amaka Anajemba, Emmanuel
Nwude, and Nzeribe Okoli who duped a Brazilian banker, Nelson Sakaguchi,
of about $242 million.
Indicted fifteen state governors in 2006.

Made restitution to victims of 419 frauds recovered from scam investigations.
For example, in October 2005, the EFCC refunded the sum of $4.48 million to
an 86 year old Hong Kong woman, Juliana Ching.68
Increased the revenue profile of Nigeria by about 20 percent due to its
activities in the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Seaports.
Recovered revenue of over N20 billion from government, and billions more
naira for the government in terms of failed contracts.
Reduced crude oil bunkering activities in the Niger Delta region through
prosecution of persons involved and confiscation of ships.69
Succeeded in securing the return of N50 million from the British Metropolitan
Police Proceeds of Corruption Unit following the successful confiscation
hearing of a mistress of a former governor of Plateau State, Chief Joshua
Assisting banks to recover bad debts that resulted from credit abuse by
directors of failed banks. For example, it confiscated documents and property
worth N3.5 billion of the Chief executive Officer of Tanzila Petroleum
Company, Ltd. for defaulting on a bank loan.71
It has forty three ongoing high profile cases in different courts at various
stages involving politicians, office holders, lawmakers, businesses, and non-

Although the above examples are the tip of the iceberg, it is a significant and
symbolic start. In cooperation and collaboration with other states and global actors
such as the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, the UK's Office of Fair Trading and
Metropolitan Police, and international actors such as the World Bank, the IMF,
Egmont, and Microsoft, the EFCC is not only significantly contributing to the fight
against corruption but is also helping salvage the hitherto negative image of Nigeria
in the international arena. Nigeria's image has for too long been synonymous with
corruption, and the EFCC is working hard to change this image. For example, in May
2007, Nigeria became a member of the internationally acclaimed Egmont Group of
Financial Intelligence Units.73

Challenges Facing the EFCC
The EFCC faces some major challenges in the fight against corruption. One is the
claim of immunity from arrest and prosecution by the president, vice president, and

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The Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission I 29

governors and their deputies. Many state governors and their legal defense lawyers
have interpreted the provisions in subsections 308(1) and 308(2) of the immunity
clause of the 1999 Constitution as giving absolute immunity from criminal
prosecution while in office. As a result of this institutional and legalistic argument, it
has been difficult to prosecute these governors and also the vice president and the
president while in office. This claim of immunity is absurd because it was not the
intention of the framers of the constitution to allow elected officials to steal and
plunder the nation's wealth. However, although claiming immunity under
subsection 308(1), governors can be prosecuted under civil law as provided by
subsection 308(2).
The significant delays, frustrations, and waste of resources in the current
prosecution regime constitute another challenge facing the EFCC. It has become an
art for defense attorneys to ensure that financial crime cases do not continue, and
substantive cases are never tried on their merits. Defense attorneys can delay and
prolong cases by a tactic of applying for stays on proceeding. Where such application
is not granted, the defense attorneys accuse the judges of bias and therefore grounds
for application to transfer their cases to other judges.74 Similar to the above challenge
is the problem of congestion and the slow pace of court proceedings caused by an
insufficient number of courts and judges and antiquated manual recording system.
Delays and congestion in judicial proceedings can be reduced by establishing a
special financial crime court for the adjudication of corruption and money
laundering cases.
Of equally importance is the cyber nature of financial crimes. This has created a
jurisdictional challenge and increased the costs of investigation and prosecution. The
digital revolution has collapsed traditional physical boundaries and therefore altered
the territorial jurisdiction for the prosecution of cyber crimes. Associated with this
jurisdictional problem is the challenge posed by the increasing costs of prosecuting
these cases, which run into millions of naira.75 Furthermore, the EFCC faces the
challenge of the inadequacy of the existing procedural laws in Nigeria that question
the evidential status and admissibility of computer and electronically generated
documentation.76 In fact, the Nigerian legal procedural system has not kept pace with
evidential value of information generated by the cyber revolution. Finally, the EFCC
faces the challenge posed by instability and continuity in leadership. By the end of
2007, Alhaji Ribadu was ordered to proceed on study leave and replaced by Ibrahim
Lamorde in an interim capacity; and on May 2008, Farida Waziri was appointed as
the Chairman of EFCC.77 Changes in leadership driven by partisanship without
sufficient cause might jeopardize the efficacy of the Commission.

It has been the task of this article to examine the causes of corruption and the role of
the EFCC in fighting it. Corruption in all its ramifications is severe and has
permeated Nigerian society. The prevalence and preponderance of corruption
activities dates back to the early independence period, but since the 1980s it has
burgeoned to unprecedented proportion. Corruption occurs primarily when there is

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 12, Issue 11 Fall 2010

30 I Obuah

a failure of established institutions and the lack of capacity by these institutions to
manage frameworks of social, judicial, political, and economic checks and balances.
In trying to understand the ramifications and severity of corruption in Nigeria, we
have noted that although a clinical understanding of the causes of corruption and its
widespread nature requires an application of all the perspectives for the explanation
of the causes of corruption, both the rent-seeking and institutional theories offer
deeper insights into the systemic nature of corruption.
It has been further noted that the rent-seeking activities causing corruption
range from relationship between bureaucrats and their superiors, which provoke
contests for positions, to the lack of transparency in financial institutions and the
significant involvement of the government in the economy in the provision of goods
and services. The web of relations established by rent-seeking activities coupled with
decentralization of power among the various federal units in part explains
corruption among the top echelon of government departments and the public sector.
The major political parties continue to top the list of unfit or corrupt office seekers
while elected officials, political appointees, police, customs and other public servants
use their offices and positions to participate in corrupt activities.
The EFCC was created against the backdrop of previous failed schemes to
combat corruption and the need to repair Nigeria's image to attract foreign
investment. The EFCC as an investigative and prosecutor agency has made some
inroads in the fight against corruption among public officers. By investigating and
prosecuting corrupt public officials accused of corruption and publishing an
advisory list of corrupt and unfit candidates, the EFCC hopes to deter Nigerians
from engaging in corrupt activities. The article further noted the serious challenges
faced by the nascent anti-corruption agency. Although the EFCC has continued to
investigate allegations of financial and economic crimes against former state
governors and other public officials of the Obasanjo era, the next few years could be
a litmus test for the war against corruption. The challenges will be: whether the
EFCC continues to enjoy the support of a new presidency and national legislature in
the campaign against corruption; whether the EFCC succumbs to the allegation (by a
minority) that it picks only a few persons, especially those with serious political
ambition, as scapegoats and abandons its strategies; and whether the EFCC can to
expand its adversarial investigative strategies to include the private sector and, more
importantly, those who served in the previous military administrations of General
Ibrahim Babaginda and General Sani Abacha, a period that witnessed the massive
looting of the country's wealth by its leaders. These and others are the challenges
that face the EFCC, and its future will depend on the political configurations that


1 Ribadu, 2007a.
2 The studies by Chukwuemerie (2003) and Malgwi (2004) expanded on the
nature and scope of corruption and various mechanisms by various

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The Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission I 31

Nigerian governments to deal with the problem. Although the role of the
EFCC was discussed especially in Malgwi, the agency was at its early
years of existence.

3 Ribadu, 2007b.

4 TI Report, 2005.

5 Malgwi, 2004, p. 149.

6 Nye, 1978, p. 564.

7 World Bank, 1997; Bhargava, 2005, p. 4.

8 UNDP, 2004, p. 2.

9 Transparency International, 2002.

10 Lui, 1985; Etzioni, 1988; Klitgaard, 1988, 1991; Rose-Ackerman, 1975, 1996,
1999; Alatas, 1990; Shleifer and Vishny, 1993, 1998; Bardhan, 1997; Elliot,
1997; Jain, 1998, 2001a, and 2001b; Aidt, 2003.

11 Wade, 1985; Kpundeh, 1995; de Dois and Ferrer, 2000; Mendoza, n.d.;
Virtucio and Lalunio, n.d.; Kallon, 2003.

12 Myrdal, 1968 and Leff, 1970.

13 Merton, 1958 and Abueva, 1978, pp. 534-39.

14 Abueve, 1978, pp. 534-39.

15 Klitgaard. 1988; Mauro. 1995, Knack and Keefer, 1996; Rose-Ackerman,
1999; Kallon, 2003; including studies by the World Bank, 1997, 2000;
UNDP, 2004

16 See for instance Croall, 2003; Malgwi, 2004; Chukwuemerie, 2004;
Gottschalk, 2010.

17 World Bank, 2000. pp. 1-2.

18 Kallon, 2003; Gire, 1999; UNDP, 2004.

19 Mydral, 1968; Huntington, 1968, 1979.

20 De Darden 1999.

21 Kallon, 2003.

22 Kpundeh 1995; Akerlof and Yellen, 1990; Lee, 1986.

23 Gire, 1999 applied Maslow's 1943 and 1970 concepts of hierarchy of
needs and Bandura's 1986 and 1988 observational learning theory in his
study of corruption in Nigeria.

24 UNDP, 2004, p. 2.

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 12, Issue 11 Fall 2010

32 I Obuah

25 HRW, 2007a.

26 Klitgaard, 1988 and 1991.

27 Shleifer and Vishny, 1998.

28 Ibid.

29 Report to the US Senate (Senator Kerry Report), 1993.

30 Financial Times, August 2006.

31 Lewis, 1996.

32 Obuah and Enyinda, 2004; Foreign Policy, 2006; World Bank IEP, 2006.

33 HRW, 2007a.

34 Ribadu, 2007c.

35 Lewis, 1996.

36 Independent, 14 August 2006:21.

37 US Department of State 2005.

38 EFCC 2005.

39 Jamiu and Uwah, 2010.

40 African Abroad, 1999; Ribadu, 2007a; HRW 2007.

41 Lewis, 1996.

42 TI, 2004.

43 HRW, 2007b, pp.31-2.

44 TI, 2007.

45 TI 2005.

46 IAP, 2007.

47 The Nigerian Guardian, 28 September 2006; Vanguard, 28 September 2006;
THISDAY, 28 September 2006.

48 EFCC, 2004.

49 Ribadu, 2004a.

50 Although Nigeria was listed as non-cooperative in 2001, by June 2003 the
TAFT had determined that it had ,made some significant progress in the
fight against corruptionand removed it from the list of non-cooperative
countries. See Malgwi, 2004, p. 146.

51 EFCC, 2004.

52 Ibid.

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The Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission I 33

53 Ibid.

54 Ibid.

55 Ribadu, 2003.

56 BBC News, 2005.

57 EFCC, 2003.

58 EFCC, 2008, 2009a and b.

59 Atiku Abubakar was indicted for alleged corruption in the disbursement
of the Petroleum Development Fund, which was placed in the Trans
International Bank and the Equatorial Trust Bank. Following the
indicted, the INEC denied him the right to compete in the presidential
election. A Lagos High Court voided the documents that contained the
allegations, and the Supreme Court later ruled that Atiku should
compete for the election (Ajani et al., 2006; BBC News, 2007).

60 Vanguard, 28 September 2006.

61 THISDAY, September 28, 2006; Vanguard, September 28, 2006; The
Guardian, September 28, 2006.

62 Analysis was based on information culled from these sources:
3&Itemid=2; Nigerian Muse, 2007.

63 EFCC 2009c. The former governors were from the following states: Ekiti,
Plateau x2, Jigagwa, Abia, Delta, Edo, Tarawa, Enugu, Adamawa, and
Oyo. The estimated N1 trillion was the amount the author calculated
based on the separate amounts published by EFCC.

64 www.efccnigeria.org.

65 THISDAY, 12 June 2007.

66 EFCC, 2007a.

67 Vanguard, 28 September2006; www.efccnigeria.org.

68 Ribadu, 2005.

69 Ribadu, 2004a.

70 EFCC, 2007b.

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 12, Issue 11 Fall 2010

34 I Obuah

71 Aminu, 2009; Ojeifo 2009.

72 EFCC, 2009c.

73 The Egmont Group, which has over 106 members with headquarters in
Toronto, Canada, is an international network of FIUs that was formed in
1995 to promote the exchange of financial intelligence information and
enhance global cooperation in the fight against money laundering and
terrorist financing (Nwajah, 2007).

74 Ribadu, 2004b.

75 Ibid.

76 Ibid.

77 THISDAY, 2008 May 16.


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Appendix EFCC Investigation of State Governors in 2006

Indicted State Governors State
Governors under

Chimaroke Enugu Adamu Mu'azu Bauchi

Oriji Kalu Abia Peter Odili Rivers

Boni Haruna Adamawa Ahmed Kaduna

Ayo Fayose Ekiti Lucky Edo

Adamu Nasarawa James Ibori Delta

Jolly Nyame Taraba Bola Tinubu Lagos

Joshua Dariye Plateau Gbenga Daniel Ogun

Sani Ahmed Zamfara Attahiru Sokoto

Saminu Turaki Jigawa

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 12, Issue 11 Fall 2010

44 I Obuah

Indicted ex- State Governors State
state governors cleared of

Chris Agige Anambra Donald Duke Cross River

Muhammed Kwara Danjuma Goje Gombe

Abubakar Kogi Bukola Saraki Kwara

Abba Ibrahim Yobe

Adamu Aliero Kebbi

Peter Obi Anambra

Sources: Compiled from THISDAY newspaper, September 28, 2006,
www.thisdayonline.com/nview.php?id=59397&printerfriendly=l; Vanguard
newspaper, September 28, 2006,
www.odili.net/news/source/2006/sep/28/399.html; The Guardian newspaper,
September 28, 2006, www.odili.net/news/source/2006/sep/28/48.html; Nigerian
Muse, 2007.

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 12, Issue 11 Fall 2010
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African Studies Quarterly I Volume 12, Issue 1 I Fall 2010

The Role of Labor Migration to Neighboring Small Towns in

Rural Livelihoods: A Case Study in Southern Province,



Abstract: Securing a livelihood in rural Africa is a distinctly complex process
involving interactions between the agricultural and non-agricultural sectors and
between urban and rural activities. In addition to subsistence agriculture, farmers
are often engaged in non-agricultural activities that provide important income
sources in both rural and urban contexts. Although migratory labor is recognized as
an important source of non-agricultural income, it has not been adequately
considered in terms of livelihood diversity and access to various types of activities
in the areas from which workers migrate. This article analyses the role of labor
migration, especially to neighboring small towns, in relation to the complexity of
livelihood strategies within the village. Field research in Southern Province,
Zambia, revealed a great deal of variability among households in terms of strategies
to maintain and improve their livelihoods. The article proposes that labor migration
to neighboring small towns is crucial for livelihoods in rural areas for two main
reasons. First, labor migration functions as a coping strategy when drought occurs.
Second, migration is a livelihood choice based on an interrelation between access to
other livelihood strategies and other social factors within the village.

In contemporary Africa, securing a livelihood in rural areas has become progressively more
complex over the last several decades.1 As a result, it is increasingly difficult to describe and
analyze accurately the state of affairs in its entirety in terms of interactions among social and
economic sectors and geographical territories.2 In most rural areas, agriculture has been the
primary source of livelihood for most people. However, agricultural production is often
supplemented and sometimes sustained by other social and economic activities to adapt and
Chihiro Ito is a PhD Candidate at the Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies, Kyoto University. His
major is Human Geography and African Area Studies with research interests focusing on the relationship
between migration and livelihood situations in rural areas, especially in Africa. His current research topic is on
the difference in access to livelihood activities among households and what influences that access. This article is
an outcome of the Japan Society for Promotion of Science "Global COE Program: In Search of Sustainable
Humanosphere in Asia and Africa" administered by Kyoto University. The field research received financial
support from "Vulnerability and Resilience of Social-Ecological Systems" Project administered by the Research
Institute for Humanity and Nature, Japan. The author is grateful to the project's advisors and especially to Prof.
Shuhei Shimada of the Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies. Lastly, he wishes to thank all the
Lusitu villagers for their kindness and assistance.

University of Florida Board of Trustees, a public corporation of the State of Florida; permission is hereby granted for
individuals to download articles for their own personal use. Published by the Center for African Studies, University of Florida.
ISSN: 2152-2448

46 I Ito

cope with variable environmental conditions and social and economic changes. Increasing
pressures and opportunities resulting from recent economic liberalization and globalization
have led to diversification in securing a livelihood becoming the norm.3 Some researchers
have noted that non-agricultural activities typically are increasing in importance for rural
livelihoods and that rural populations are becoming less agrarian with each passing year.4
While non-agricultural activity has markedly increased in importance as a necessary
component of rural livelihoods in recent times, labor migration has a long history in Africa,
and has had a major influence on rural societies and economies since the colonial era.5 In
many African countries, labor migration first arose with the recruitment of rural farmers into
the mining sector and plantations.6 In this sense, labor migration was introduced to farmers
in a structural policy-related context. Although much of this recruitment was involuntary at
that time, it had a major effect on rural societies and economies and impacted livelihoods in
both positive and negative ways. A large research effort has been directed toward analyzing
the impact of labor migration on the home villages that migrants leave to find work. These
impacts include remittances, which are considered a critical financial benefit of labor
migration, and the effects of labor shortages on social organization.7
At the same time, the primary concern of most migration studies has been on the
reasons inducing people to move. The well-known framework for understanding the causes
of migration has been the "push-pull" perspective, examining factors such as increasing
population pressure, scarcity of land, and income disparity between urban and rural areas.8
The theories based on this perspective consider the migrating actor as an economically
rational individual. In the late 1980s and 1990s, an academic movement known as "New
Economics of Labor Migration (NELM)" criticized earlier migration studies for overly
emphasizing the structural and historical factors involved in migration, and producing an
individualistic view. Oded Stark stressed that most households have kept their social and
economic ties with areas in which labor is performed and remittances are sent from.
Consequently, he argues that the unit of analysis should be the family or household rather
than individual, which previous thinking had recognized as a single rational actor and
decision maker in the act of migration.9 More recent studies influenced by NELM have
analyzed labor migration as a household strategy in a more holistic framework. However,
these studies typically attempt to understand the causes of migration within the framework
of the 'push-pull' perspective, and their primary focus tends to be restricted to income
differences between urban and rural areas, a shortage of land, agricultural failure, and the
absence of employment opportunities in rural areas.
These previous migration studies have paid little attention to the conditions of
livelihood diversity and complexity in the areas from which migration occurs. As mentioned

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The Role of Labor Migration to Neighboring Small Towns in Rural Livelihoods I 47

above, the sources of livelihood in rural areas are extremely diverse. Since the early 1990s, a
number of studies concerned with livelihood diversification in rural Africa have emerged, in
a framework known as the "Livelihood Approach."10 One scholar defined livelihood
diversification as "the process by which rural families construct a diverse portfolio of
activities and social support capabilities in their struggle for survival and to improve their
standards of living."" He emphasized the importance of diversification not only in regard to
income sources, but also for access to income. A focus on access to strategies and assets
related to securing income are thus important factors in examining rural livelihoods. Some
case studies have indicated that income differentiation can be both a cause and a result of
livelihood diversification and increasing non-agricultural income opportunities.12
In situations where farmers are able to choose several ways of making a living in a given
rural area, labor migration may not necessarily be the last resort. The decision-making
process underlying labor migration may be more complex than previously believed. It is
essential to reconsider the choice to migrate for labor under conditions where other options
for sustaining their livelihoods are available, what the relationship is between other
livelihood activities and labor migration, and how labor migration is integrated into rural
This article aims to clarify the role of labor migration in relation to livelihood diversity
in rural areas. It will present a wider framework for understanding the causes and impacts
of labor migration for rural societies and economies. Additionally, this article has a
particular focus on the role of labor migration to neighboring small towns. Studies of
migration and rural-urban interaction have traditionally focused on large cities. Small and
intermediate sized towns, however, have been considered as having a critical role both for
rural and urban development3 Through analyzing the interactions between small towns
and rural areas, this paper will elucidate their role as the destinations of labor migration.
Moreover, it will provide a framework for understanding present-day rural Africa as an
open system involving extensive interactions with small urban areas.

Methodology and Data

This study sought to produce a comprehensive understanding of social and economic
systems in rural Africa, based on field work carried out in two villages in Lusitu Ward in
Siavonga District, Southern Province, Zambia over two study periods, totaling sixteen
months: August 2006 to March 2007 and August 2008 to March 2009.
The research methodology employed in this study included both interviews and
participatory observation. I lived with local residents in the study villages and conducted
interviews with heads of households (n=45), focusing on demographic change, social and

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economic activities, and the agricultural situation.14 Thirty-seven people who had
experienced labor migration, but resided in the village at the time of research, were
identified for participation in interviews, regardless of age, sex, and social status. These
thirty-seven people typically had experienced migration a number of times, resulting in a
total of eighty-eight collected cases. Interviews were in-depth, one by one discussions about
the migrants' destinations, durations, motives, and work experiences. For the purposes of
analyzing interactions among small towns, fieldwork was also carried out in a neighboring
town, Siavonga. In addition to informants in the village, people who migrated from the
study area and stayed or resided in the town were interviewed about their lives.
Most migration studies define labor migration as short-term, typically under a year. In
this study, however, labor migration was not defined based on the length of time migrants
spent away from their villages, because even migrants who spend several years away may
be expected to return home. Even if migrant laborers no longer send remittances to their
relatives at home, they may still be asked for assistance in case of hardship. Therefore, this
article defines labor migration as migration undertaken with the aim of getting employment
(earning an income) in the destination towns and cities. This attempt to include long-term
migration allows for an examination of how migrants' sentiments towards their hometown
can be changed by the length of stay in their new residence.
The data analyzed here, as mentioned above, comes from people who had returned to
their home village after their migration experience. However, in the field study conducted in
Siavonga, some workers in the process of migration were interviewed. Some migrants were
still in their destination cities and had the option to return to their home village. Thus, both
positive and negative sides of migrants' experiences could be investigated.
The following two sections provide a brief background of the study area and describe
the livelihood activities undertaken by local people in detail. Next comes a section on the
characteristics of labor migration in the study area and the conditions that made labor
migration to small towns possible are presented and analyzed. The section that follows
discusses the different roles and importance of labor migration among households with
relation to rural livelihood diversity and access to it. Lastly, this study argues for an
integrated perspective on labor migration from the point of the access to livelihood
strategies and the social situation of each individual and household. It concludes that more
attention should be paid to the daily interaction between the neighboring small towns and
rural areas.

Brief Background of Study Area

The study area, Lusitu, is in the Siavonga District of Southern Province (Map 1),

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The Role of Labor Migration to Neighboring Small Towns in Rural Livelihoods I 49

approximately 150 km south of Lusaka along a paved road.





Main Road --------Railway


0 75 150 30
0 75 150 30(

Map 1: Location of study area.

The Tonga constitute the primary ethnic group in the district and are dominant in the
Southern Province. The study area in this paper was selected for two major reasons. First,
Zambia has a long history of labor migration, which has occurred on a large scale beginning
with the colonial era. However, the migration trend has changed in last twenty years. Since
the 1920s, when copper mining began in Northern Rhodesia (present Zambia), the
Copperbelt has been the major area for population influx. 15 After independence in 1964, the
capital city of Lusaka developed and began to constitute a major migration destination. The
urban population rate in Zambia has increased from 21 percent in 1963 to 29 percent in 1969,
and then to 40 percent in 1980.16 Most of the urban population was concentrated in the
Copperbelt cities and Lusaka. However, this migration trend has changed since the late
1970s, when Zambia experienced a severe economic crisis due to the decline of copper prices
and the sudden rise in oil prices, and also because of a national economic structure unaltered
since the colonial era in its dependence on copper. In 1983, the Zambian government agreed
to implement Structural Adjustment Programs, including raising the price of maize meal.
These policies hit the living conditions of the urban population, especially those with low

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incomes, and depressed the migration flow to major cities. In the past twenty years, net
in-migration to urban areas as a whole has declined, particularly in the 1990s.17 In this
situation, alternative migration trends have emerged. Some studies indicated that
population movement from urban to rural areas predominate rather than from rural to
urban areas, partly because of return migration, and that some small and intermediate
regional cities have experienced a new influx of migrants.'8 Therefore, in this changing trend
of migration history in Zambia, it is important to see how small and intermediate towns
work as the destinations of migration for rural people instead of the large cities.
A second reason is the relevance of the changing migration patterns to the study of
livelihoods at the micro level. In the study area, people had originally resided along the
Zambezi River before 1958. As the Kariba Dam, which was the largest artificial dam in the
world at that time, was constructed by the colonial governments of then Northern and
Southern Rhodesia, the local population was forced to leave and move to Lusitu.19 Because
ecological conditions in the region were ill-suited for agricultural production, the local
population has developed ways of compensating for the resulting food deficit. 20 The
Southern Province can be divided into five general topographical and ecological regions: the
plateau, the valley, the escarpment, the Kafue flats and the Barotse plains.21 Lusitu is in the
valley region. Annual precipitation in the valley ranges from approximately 600 to 800 mm.
Figure 1 illustrates inter-annual variability of precipitation in the study area from 1974/75 to








Z\, fvx Z\,Cl a^cl psc) o" CPO ,P q y"R'C 'A

Figure 1: Annual precipitation around survey area by year (1974/75-2007/08)
Note: Rainy season in Zambia is Nov.-Mar.

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The Role of Labor Migration to Neighboring Small Towns in Rural Livelihoods I 51

Some characteristics of Tonga society related to the issues in this article are that the
Tonga did not have strongly centralized organizations and the "villages are not necessarily
enduring units with stable populations tied to particular localities."23 In the study area, this
Tonga trait is observed pronouncedly because the resettlement caused by the Kariba Dam
construction and its impact on society, such as national support and foreign aid from donors,
NGOs, and churches after resettlement. In the study area, the number of "villages" has
increased from five when they were resettled in Lusitu to twenty in 2008. Because the unit
for receiving food aid is the "village," people sought to receive more aid through segmenting
the villages to smaller scale. Therefore, the village does not have a strong meaning as a social
unit, and social relationships are spread widely in the region. In terms of inheritance, the
Tonga practice matrilineal descent, but some other features, such as residence and
bride-price, echo a patrilineal system.24 Even in terms of inheritance, however, half of the
land held by households were inherited by the father. Additionally, the land tenure system
in the study area is that each individual or household that wants to cultivate new land needs
to ask the headman and the chief for an allotment but instead only need to report after
cultivating the land. The Tonga, especially in study area, therefore live within a loose and
moderate matrilineal society.

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Livelihood Situations in Study Area

Agriculture and Food Security

Even with inadequate conditions for productive agriculture, such as fluctuating rainfall and
poor soil fertility, all households studied were engaged in farming for subsistence food
production. Though some households had other sources of income, they had not abandoned
agriculture. Maize is the primary staple food in most parts of Zambia. It is widely produced
throughout Southern Province, both commercially and for subsistence. However, the sparse
and fluctuating precipitation in Lusitu makes the region problematic for maize production.
Instead, people primarily cultivate sorghum and pearl millet, which are more drought
tolerant than maize. Mixed planting of different types of sorghum, pearl millet and maize
can disperse the risks of production failure. Farmers commonly plant various kinds of
cereals including five varieties of sorghum, pearl millet, and maize. These crops vary in
maturation period, required amount of water, and taste. Each household studied had chosen
a different combination of crops. Because of low rainfall, some households changed their
plans from sowing maize to sorghum in the beginning of the rainy season in 2006/07.
Figure 2 shows the months that each household could keep the food from their storage
in 2006/07 and 2007/08.

06/07 season U 07/08 season

Figure 2: Accumulated number of households in shortage of food, N=38(06/07), 41(07/08).
Note: Amount of rainfall was 480 mm in 2006/07 and 730 mm in 2007/08.

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The Role of Labor Migration to Neighboring Small Towns in Rural Livelihoods I 53

It is apparent that most households were unable to supply sufficient amounts of food
throughout the year in 2006/07 (480 mm rainfall). Only thirteen were able to feed themselves
successfully throughout the entire year. In the following 2007/08 season (780 mm rainfall),
however, stored food in most households lasted for eleven or twelve months. In both years,
however, there were some households that could keep their food more than a year. On the
other hand, some households reported that they typically experienced hardship even when
rainfall was relatively high.25 Therefore, they felt the need to obtain additional food or to
earn cash to maintain their livelihood.
In the study area, farmers combined multiple kinds of food crops, and this flexibility is
one method of risk divergence and management in this challenging agricultural
environment. From the point of food security, it was indicated that food production and
self-sufficiency in the study area were greatly influenced by rainfall, but there was some
critical variation among households.

Various Ways to Earn Cash and Coping Strategies for Drought
Cotton is a major cash crop in the study area.26 Planting cotton has a low initial cost,
because cotton companies lend seed and agrochemicals to set up the crop. They then deduct
the costs from farmers' earnings at harvest. Households that planted cotton receive their
income in May or June. In 2007/08, the average income from cotton was 928,764 Zambian
Kwacha (ZMK), which was equivalent to 265 US dollars.27 However, income varied
substantially among planting households, ranging from 23,000 to 5,049,000 ZMK (7 to 1,442
US dollars). Income from cotton also tended to vary year to year because of rainfall
fluctuation. In addition, cotton requires more labor than other crops in terms of weeding and
spraying. Therefore, some households fail to harvest enough cotton to cover their costs.
Villagers reported that they commonly began planting cotton in one season, but stopped in
the following season if they did not earn enough profit.
Remunerative employment was the most stable and secure income source reported in
the study area. There were three general types of employment in the area: formal, casual,
and self-employment. Teachers and millers are examples of formal and casual employment.
Millers, for example, could receive about 100,000 ZMK (29 US dollars) monthly. Examples of
self-employed workers include carpenters, shop owners, and traditional beer sellers.
Wage labor, termed "piecework," was the most common way for villagers to earn cash.
Piecework is a system in which comparatively wealthy households (e.g., those with a regular
or seasonal salary, or growing a large area of cotton) employ others when they require
workers for agricultural or non-agricultural work. For example, weeding, picking cotton,
collecting poles and brick-making for building, and construction of houses and shops were

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all considered piecework. In addition, some respondents suggested that if someone
experienced financial trouble or a shortage of food, they were likely to visit wealthier
households and request work in exchange for either money or food.
Piecework was considered open to every person with a desire to work. However, there
were some differences in the amounts paid for different types of piecework. For example,
weeding was accessible to anyone, including children and old women, but it was considered
the lowest-paid and most labor-intensive work. Some villagers felt that frequent weeding
piecework caused competition for labor between subsistence farming in preparation for the
following year and working for cash or food to meet short-term needs. On the other hand,
some higher-paid piecework jobs required technical skills and knowledge, such as
construction and painting buildings and welding. Because these jobs are specialized, only
some households could engage in higher-paid piecework.
In addition to the requirement of specialized skills and knowledge for certain jobs,
social relationships and negotiation were reported as key factors in gaining access to
piecework. When wealthier households were also facing financial difficulty and were unable
to employ as many workers as usual, piecework was difficult to obtain. Social networks in
the study area extend beyond the village boundaries. People frequently visit relatives and
friends living in other villages. This expanded network of relationships served as a means of
providing and gaining piecework over the wider area. Therefore, people with wealthy
relatives, in-laws, and close friends enjoyed an advantage in obtaining piecework.

The pursuit of a livelihood, particularly in times of drought, included selling livestock,
requesting food from relatives or neighbors, hunting and gathering, and obtaining food aid.
The Zambian government, international organizations and nongovernmental organization
(NGOs) provide various types of aid in the study area. Governmental aid to rural areas,
especially to small-scale farmers, increased following the establishment of the Poverty
Reduction Programme in 2001.28 Moreover, many programs have focused on Lusitu, both
because it is drought-prone, and because it is easily accessed from the capital. Food aid has
been directed to this area in the past during times of drought. However, only two to three
households in each village were able to receive food aid of a sufficient quantity to maintain

Differences among Households
Various ways to earn cash and cope with drought were found in the study area.
Households combined these strategies. At the same time, there were indications that some
strategies were restricted by certain factors. Households using multiple strategies were
analyzed by dividing them into four categories, according to whether they had a reliable

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The Role of Labor Migration to Neighboring Small Towns in Rural Livelihoods I 55

income source and cash crops. Table 1 shows how the four groups were classified in this
study. Table 2 lists characteristics of each group.

Table 1: Classification of household group.

No reliable non-

Reliable non-
agricultural income

Onlyfor family

Cash crop

Table 2: Characteristics of each household group.

Number of
Numer of Ave. age of Ave. of Mean size
households Number of
( head of household of land e
(Female cattle holders
Female households members holdings

A 28(14) 44.1 4.6 2.0 3
B 7(0) 51.9 7.1 4.6 3
C 5(2) 36.0 5.4 2.6 1
D 5(1) 38.4 9.0 7.0 4
Total 45(17) 42.6 5.6 3.1 11

Group A, households engaging only in subsistence agriculture, accounted for
approximately 60 percent of the studied households. Households in this group had the
lowest number of household members and the smallest area of land. Some households did
not produce enough food to be self-sufficient. It was thus necessary for these households to

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supplement their food supply by earning cash. They also required cash to purchase
everyday commodities such as soap, salt and cooking oil. Thus, these households were
typically engaged in frequent piecework and other coping strategies to obtain food and cash.
Households in group C also did not plant cotton. However, they stabilized their livelihoods
through a reliable income source. None of the households in this group were engaged in
piecework in 2007 to 2008. Some group C members even became employers of pieceworkers.
Groups B and D possessed larger areas of land and largest size household. This enabled
these households to plant cotton as a cash crop. However, because income from cotton was
still influenced by rainfall and the input of labor, if households in group B failed to harvest
enough to make profit, they were required to engage in piecework, livestock selling and
other strategies. In contrast, households in group D were the most stable households among
the groups. These households typically combined cotton cultivation and a reliable income
source with subsistence agriculture in large fields. They were distinctly differentiated from
other households in terms of income, which enabled them to provide other households with
employment opportunities.
In summary, it is evident that not all households were able to access reliable
non-agricultural income sources, which is considered the most secure way of guaranteeing
livelihood. There were substantial differences in livelihood stability between groups A and B,
and C and D. For example, group A can be considered as the most vulnerable group in terms
of assets and access to ways of earning cash because there was no guarantee that they would
be able to earn enough from piecework alone. On the other hand, access to non-agricultural
reliable income sources enabled group C and D households to maintain stable livelihoods.
However, it was clear that these differences in livelihood activities and income could
provide the opportunities to earn cash in the village.29

Characteristics of Labor Migration from the Study Area

General Characteristics
Of all the cases (N=88) described by informants who had experienced labor migration, 77
percent were male and 23 percent were female. The average age at their first departure was
twenty-two. Figure 3 shows the destinations of migrants by year.

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The Role of Labor Migration to Neighboring Small Towns in Rural Livelihoods 1 57


35 -

30 -
E Others
25 -
Others in Southern
20 Prov.
E Lusaka
15 --

E Chirundu

E Siavonga

Figure 3: Destinations of labour migration by years (n=88)

In the 1960s and 1970s, most migrants travelled to large cities in the Southern Province, such
as Mazabuka, Choma, and Kafue (cf. Map 1). During this time, the data shows that
employment in the formal sector and public works accounted for approximately 60 percent
of employment.
Since the 1980s, the number of migrants to Siavonga has increased. After 2000, migrant
destinations were almost completely confined to three major cities: Siavonga, Lusaka, and
Chirundu. Transportation from Lusitu to Lusaka is relatively convenient, taking three hours
by bus. Despite the convenience of transportation to the capital, however, Lusaka has never
been the most common destination. Siavonga and Chirundu have attracted increasing
numbers of migrants in recent years.
Of those who had migrated to Siavonga in the 1980s, 50 percent were engaged in fishing,
but after the 1990s, housekeeping and gardening became an increasingly common source of
employment for migrants. Of the cases that had migrated to Chirundu, 64 percent were
engaged in daily employment, such as drawing water and carrying commodities to market.
Figure 4 shows the length of stay in three major destinations, Siavonga, Lusaka, and
Chirundu since the 1980s.

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less than month
1990s year


1* 3years

0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%

Figure 4: Length of stay in major cities (Siavonga, Lusaka and Chirundu) after 1980s. (n=70) t can
It can

be seen that cases where migrants stayed less than one year constituted nearly or over 50
percent in 1990s and since 2000. On the other hand, half of the migrants in this study stayed
more than one year at their destinations.

Small Towns as Destinations: Siavonga and Chirundu
Labor migration to Siavonga from our study area started to increase since the 1980s and
to Chirundu especially since 2000. What attracts people to these small towns?
Siavonga is the district capital and functions as the center for administration and post
and banking services. In 2000, the population of Siavonga was 9,690.30 Buses running from
Lusaka to Siavonga meant that Siavonga was easily accessible from Lusitu. Migrants
frequently travelled by bus, which cost only 15,000 ZMK (four US dollars), which is less than
half of the fare to Lusaka, at the time of research.
Fishing was the largest industry in Siavonga, primarily located along Lake Kariba. Small
sardines (Limnothrissa miodon) known as "kapenta" in Zambia and Zimbabwe, were
imported to Lake Kariba from Lake Tanganyika in 1968. Kapenta fishing has become a
lucrative industry since the 1980s, and there are also some white entrepreneurs. At the time
of fieldwork there were approximately thirty kapenta fishing companies registered with the
Ministry of Fisheries.31 The major kapenta companies provided substantial employment in
Siavonga. In addition to the Tonga people, some people from the Lozi and Bemba groups
(from the Western and Eastern Provinces) who were previously engaged in fishing along the
Zambezi River also migrated to Siavonga.

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The Role of Labor Migration to Neighboring Small Towns in Rural Livelihoods 1 59

In 1992, Siavonga was separated from Gwembe district and become its own district.32
With the transfer of the administrative function, the number of formal workers living in
Siavonga increased. With the increase of relatively wealthy Zambians working at the district
council, the bank, and the electricity company, the demand for housework and gardening
labor also grew. Such employment opportunities became abundant. Migrants could
regularly obtain this type of work by going door to door. In addition, the tourism industry
has recently expanded, which in turn led to increasing of work opportunities in the service
and construction sectors.
The proportion of migrants to Chirundu increased from the late 1990s. Chirundu is
located on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. Its population was 9,540 in 2000 census.33 It
is at a distance similar to that from Lusitu to Siavonga. Chirundu is a major border town in
Zambia where trucks carrying materials from South Africa and other countries stop.34
Development in Chirundu as a town began after 1991, when the new government
introduced market liberalization.35 It has banks, a post office, and a large market. Many
employment opportunities exist in Chirundu -workers can earn small amounts of money
by drawing water and carrying commodities to market. For this reason, the proportion of
female migrants is higher in Chirundu when compared with other urban areas. Even
widows and young girls with limited education are often able to obtain employment
without difficulty.
Informants commonly referred to two major differences between Siavonga and
Chirundu. The first relates to transportation. Some migrants mentioned that if they did not
have money for transportation, they could go to Chirundu on foot or by bicycle using a local
unpaved road. The second concerns the environment. Some migrants reported a preference
for Siavonga because Chirundu is noisy due to traffic. Moreover, HIV/AIDS is prevalent in
Chirundu because of prostitution associated with truck drivers.36 On the other hand,
Siavonga is adjacent to Lake Kariba and is seen as having a calmer atmosphere. Siavonga
currently attracts an increasing number of foreign and national tourists who come to enjoy
sightseeing and holidays beside the lake.
In addition, Siavonga has a number of advantages with regard to housing and
employment. People in the study area generally have relatives and friends living in Siavonga,
who can sometimes help newcomers with food and housing while they find employment.
Furthermore, the presence of numerous relatives and other migrants from the same area
already in the town means that migrants may obtain employment and information more
easily through social networks. This is particularly true in the case of housekeepers and
gardeners, where employers typically ask workers leaving their jobs to find a replacement.
Thus, employment opportunities are commonly accessed through social networks.

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Furthermore, people in study area have often visited Siavonga and Chirundu before they
first migrate. School-aged boys and girls visit their relatives in towns during from school
holidays. In addition, many single women visit towns when they are released from
agricultural work. From this daily mobility, migrants often know neighboring towns well
before they depart. People are commonly familiar with the future destination of their labor
migration, and they have often developed social relations in neighboring small towns
through previous visits. Respondents reported that this reduces anxiety about where to
sleep and how to navigate these small towns when they arrive.

The Variability of Duration: What Made Migrants Stay Longer?
The research pointed out that both short-term and long-term labor migration are regular
occurrences within the study area. Short-term labor migration reflects an increase in
migration to neighboring towns. Migrants to these towns can easily quit their jobs and
return to their homes for farming if they wish. Some migrants reported the concern that if
they travelled to cities far from home it would be difficult to find transport money to return
home if they lost their jobs. Another factor affecting the length of stay is the increase in
housekeeper and gardener employment. If workers decide to quit their jobs, or obtained
information about friends of employers searching new workers, they could introduce other
migrants and newcomers to jobs. Migrants may be able to find employment through this
type of social network, meaning that employers do not need to search actively for new
workers, since former employees find replacements, and newcomers come to them
requesting employment. Thus, employers typically do not prevent workers from leaving
their employment, and the arrival of substantial numbers of migrant workers contributed to
the loosening of employment restrictions. This in turn generates a labor market in which
migrants can circulate between village and town, or change their jobs at short-term intervals.
What then made their duration of stay fluctuate? One reason appears to be related to
the economic situation migrants experienced in towns. All informants interviewed in
Siavonga (N=9) had resided in the town for at least five years. The average worker had been
engaged in 2.4 jobs since migrating. Respondents had typically changed their jobs to seek
more favorable conditions. Of these types of employment, housekeeper and gardener
accounted for 45 percent, and jobs at hotels and guesthouses for 27 percent.
Salaries were found to vary according to occupational category and the number of years
of continuous work. For example, for housekeeping and gardening positions, the number of
years of continuous employment correlated with increases in salary. Thus, employers tended
to set lower initial salaries, and, after identifying workers as reliable, they improved the
conditions of employment. In hotels and guesthouses, on the other hand, employees are

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The Role of Labor Migration to Neighboring Small Towns in Rural Livelihoods I 61

required to have additional skills and knowledge. In this sector, English language
proficiency and experience in service industries impact on salaries to a greater extent than
the length of continuous employment.
Life in towns, as distinct from the village, brings a greater requirement for money, since
the food eaten each day must be purchased. In the case of household No. 3 in Siavonga, the
respondent reported household earnings of 154,000 ZMK (forty-four US dollars) a month,
with expenses calculated as 120,000 ZMK (thirty-four US dollars) in the same period, not
including school fees required seasonally. To sustain a comfortable life in town, it is
perceived to be crucial to extend opportunities by collecting information about vacancies
and new employment possibilities. The length of stay in these destinations strongly
depended on whether migrants were able to find appropriate employment sufficient to
sustain their livelihoods. If not, decisions were often made to return home where food can be
provided from their land. If sufficient employment was obtained, however, stays were
commonly longer than expected at departure. In addition to this practical reason, changing
attitudes and feelings of identity regarding home villages also impact on the duration of stay
in migrant destinations. Cliggett's anthropological work in the Southern Province indicated
that the duration of migrant stays is indefinite and variable. She argues that as stays in the
destination become longer, responsibilities to assist home become lower. This is further
reinforced in the event of spouses and children also shifting to the destination town.
Informants reported that they first migrated alone and then brought their wives and
children to town once they could earn a reliable income.37

Relationship between Livelihood Possibilities in the Village and Labor Migration

This section presents a further analysis of the results of the previous two sections with a
focus on access to earning a livelihood.

Labor Migration as a Coping Strategy with Drought
Figure 5 shows the proportion of types of migration associated with each category of
household which was indicated in Table 1.

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Figure 5: Proportion of migration cases practiced by each household group (n = 70)

Figure: Proportion of migration cases practiced by each household group (n = 70)
Note: Data is limited to cases practiced by head of household at present.

Households with reliable income sources, groups C and D, generally did not experience

labor migration. Most migrants were from groups A and B, who engaged in subsistence

agriculture, cash crop production, and other irregular income sources. Figure 6 shows the

number of cases sorted by year of departure, along with rainfall data in study area.

A B C D --+ rainfall
8 1600

7 1400

6 A _ 1200

5 1000

4 800

3 600

2 -o

Figure 6: Number of labour migrations since 1960s and annual precipitation by year since 1973/74 to 2005/06. (n=70)
Note: For example, migration cases left in 1995 were considered with the 94/95 rainy season.

It can be seen that the number of migration cases increased both in 1994/95 and 2001/02.38

In circumstances where a population's livelihood largely depends on natural resources,

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The Role of Labor Migration to Neighboring Small Towns in Rural Livelihoods I 63

ecological risks and shocks such as drought or soil erosion have a great impact on
socioeconomic systems. Such a situation can generate a large incentive for migration.39
Especially in arid and semiarid areas, increases in the number of migrants are evident from
both short-term and long-term consequences of drought.40 In the present study area,
precipitation was 330 mm in 1994/95. Farmers still recall how poor the harvest in this season
was. Similarly, in 2001/02 the rainfall was only 324 mm. Respondents who migrated in these
years typically gave reasons related to drought and lack of food as motivations for leaving in
search of work. Drought and crop failure clearly seem to be the key motives for migration.
Of my study groups, it was primarily households in group A that migrated to cope with
harsh situations.
However, there are other livelihoods for coping with these aversive events, as explained
above. Piecework, livestock selling, hunting and gathering, mutual assistance, and food aid
were all reported as coping strategies in this study. In fact, even when drought occurred,
some households in group A were not distressed enough to induce migration. Selling
livestock is one important coping strategy commonly seen in times of drought. Household
No. 10 reported the sale of five goats and thirteen pigeons in 2007 for this reason. Because of
these sales, they were then able to purchase enough cereal to avoid food shortage.
Household No.3 was given food aid from November to March, meaning they did not need
to leave the village. Thus, differences in the necessity and importance of labor migration as a
coping strategy arise with variation in the level of access to other coping strategies
conducted inside the village.
Of those coping strategies, labor migration appears to be seen as the easiest and least
restrictive option. Figure 7 shows the reported motives for migration to three major
destinations: Siavonga, Lusaka, and Chirundu.

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0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40

Drought and lack of food 0 Need for cash
Asked by relatives and friends U Shift from other cities

Figure: Motives for labour migration to three major destinations.(n=71)

It is clear that when migration was associated with drought-related motivation, migrants
tended not to choose the capital, but preferred neighboring small towns. As mentioned
above, the choice of neighboring small towns was seen to enable people to migrate at the
lowest cost both economically and mentally, due to the geographical closeness, social
networks, consequent benefits in terms of employment opportunities, and familiarity
through daily mobility. Therefore, labor migration, especially to neighboring small towns,
was revealed to play a critical role for coping with drought, especially for those who were
lacking access to other coping strategies in the study area.

Decision Making Process for Labor Migration
It remains evident that a number of cases of migration to neighboring small towns in
this study cannot be solely explained by ecological causes or harsh economic circumstances.
Some households migrated away from the village even when the harvest was good. Apart
from drought-induced migration, other motives presented in Figure 7 were "need for cash"
and "asked by relatives and friends." The motive "need for cash" includes cases where
respondents were seeking money for bride-price, or for buying clothes and other
commodities.41 From these interviews, those cases were typically related to an unexpected
and unusual social event, such as a marriage or the sudden death of family member, and
lack of support from parents.42 Some decisions to migrate resulted from a sudden need for

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The Role of Labor Migration to Neighboring Small Towns in Rural Livelihoods I 65

cash caused by these types of social affairs and accidental events.
The motivation "asked by relatives and friends" includes cases where a person was
asked by relatives or friends to move to destinations to work, or where employment was
arranged in advance in another town. Some informants responded that they did not plan to
leave, but they decided to do so after being asked by relatives or friends. This can be
considered as a problem of opportunity and a result of access to urban employment through
their social relationships.
The above two types of labor migration conducted in unusual situations, however,
should be considered in relationship to other methods of obtaining cash in the village. For
example, in the case of household No.19, the eldest son was able to get non-agricultural
wage labor in both the dry and rainy seasons. He has barely found it necessary to ask
wealthier households for jobs but rather has been offered work by them. He responded that
he does not need to go to town, because he can get piecework in the village. In addition, the
respondent in household No.11 reported an earlier labor migration, but he now had
connections with a piecework provider locally and so no longer needs to go to town to work.
These stories indicate that working in towns does not necessarily have a special place in the
lives of all villagers. Rather, labor migration can be a selective process through the
interaction of specific problems, accidental events, or requests by relatives or friends.
Migration to nearby towns carries advantages in terms of sending remittances and
maintaining relationships at home. When working in a nearby town, migrant workers can
send money through acquaintances returning to their home village. Additionally, family
members from the village can visit and request money relatively easily from migrants. In the
current study, there were a limited number of households receiving remittances regularly.
Keeping children in town can still function as a safety net, however, which may help at
home in times of hardship. People engaged in short-term and low-wage jobs sometimes
cannot send remittances to their homes. In these cases, migration still has an indirect effect
of reducing consumption at home. Smoothing household consumption can be a consequence
of labor migration, and an increase of short-term migration in times of drought is partly
because of such a household strategy.43
Lastly, it should be noted that recent changes in lifestyles are affecting the changing
status of labor migration to small towns. In the study area as well as in other rural areas in
Zambia, the number of cellular phones has increased dramatically in recent years. In 2006,
when I first visited the study area, few people owned cellular phones. In 2009, however, this
proportion had risen to 13 percent of the population, and this prevalence continues to
increase. The growing number of cellular phones enables people to communicate more
easily and frequently with relatives and friends in towns. Consequently, information

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regarding employment can rapidly reach people in the village, and people are able to move
with greater assurance.

Agriculture is not the only source of livelihood in Africa's rural areas. As such, increasing
research attention has been paid to non-agricultural income sources and their relationship to
urban areas. Despite the importance of rural labor migration, however, it has been examined
as separate from the rural context. This paper examined labor migration in relation to
conditions of livelihood in rural areas, an issue that has not been adequately addressed in
former migration studies. In this study, special attention was paid to the role of neighboring
small towns.
In such a variable situation, local people have developed many strategies for earning
money and coping with food shortages. Labor migration is one of these essential strategies.
In particular, migration to neighboring small towns such as Siavonga and Chirundu was
found to be important for vulnerable households that could not use other strategies inside
the village because of a lack of assets or access to local employment.
Another role of labor migration is one of influencing livelihood choices. Even in group
A, the main participants in labor migration, some households did not experience migration.
This was possible because of the existence of other income sources even in rural areas. In the
study area there was an income gap between households perpetuated by the reliable
non-agricultural income sources available to some households. Wealthier households did,
however, provide others with cash earning opportunities. Households that were able to
secure high-paid piecework through social interaction with wealthier households had less
need to leave the village for work. Thus, in usual conditions, labor migration was not the
only way to earn cash but rather is selected in relation to other strategies and circumstances,
for example, marriage, lack of support from parents, and contingencies such as the sudden
death of family members or relatives who they had relied on. This type of labor migration
did not essentially correspond with household strategies but rather was an individual choice
for making conditions better. Therefore, considering livelihood diversities in rural areas,
labor migration is an important coping strategy in terms of drought for vulnerable
households. At the same time, however, it was selected in relation with access to other
livelihood activities and circumstances people faced at that time.
The factors that appeared to make labor migration accessible were also examined in this
paper. First, the development of regional towns offered rural people opportunities for
employment. Zambia's national development policies, such as market liberalization and
decentralization, affected the development of Siavonga and Chirundu since the 1990s.

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The Role of Labor Migration to Neighboring Small Towns in Rural Livelihoods I 67

Second, the wide social networks of local people and daily mobility between rural areas and
small towns lessened the stress migrating to these towns and remaining in them. Lastly, the
geographical location of the study area is critically important. These three factors were
perceived as enabling workers to migrate at the lowest cost, both mentally and economically,
and made the option of labor migration easily accessible to rural people.
It is clear that labor migration, especially to neighboring small towns, has been deeply
connected with rural society. It is essential to analyze all of these factors together with
livelihood conditions and to assess access to each strategy in rural areas. Doing so indicates
that it is necessary to consider a wide range of influential factors to gain any adequate
understanding of labor migration. Additionally, the central focus of Zambia's internal
migration studies has been on labor migration to the large cities of Lusaka and the
Copperbelt. This study, however, suggests that these new types of urban-rural interaction
and the presence of a regional labor market should be recognized and reflected in a regional
development policy.
Lastly, there are some issues that need further research and analysis. For example, this
study has not analyzed how access piecework and labor migration are regulated by Tonga
social organization such as the matrilineal uncle-nephew relationship. Moreover, the
inheritance of assets such as land and cattle in the study area tended to be more along
patrilineal lines. Ongoing research will be conducted to understand better such social

1 Bryceson, 2002; Bryceson and Jamal, 1997; Ellis, 1998.
2 De Haan, 1999.
3 Barrett et al., 2001.
4 Bryceson and Jamal, 1997, p. 3.
5 Adepoju, 1995.
6 Ibid.
7 For remittances, see Lucas and Stark (1985), Hoddinott (1994), and Cliggett (2005), and
for the response to labor drain from rural areas, see Richards (1939), Mabogunje (1989),
and Hampshire (2006).
8 Boserup, 1965; Todaro, 1969.
9 Stark, 1991.
10 Chambers and Conway, 1992; Scoones, 1998; de Haan and Zoomers, 2005.
11 Ellis, 1998, p. 4.
12 Dercon and Krishnan, 1996; Reardon, 1997.

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13 Baker and Claeson, 1990.
14 This paper defines "household" as a unit of consumption of food from the storage,
therefore, households would refer both to the nuclear family and the extended family,
depending on each sample case.
15 Copperbelt is now the name of the province where copper and other metals are found.
Before the copper mines opened, Northern Rhodesia (present-day Zambia) had been
considered a labor supplying region to Southern Rhodesia (present-day Zimbabwe) and
South Africa.
16 Potts, 2005. According to Potts (p. 588), from the 1960s to 1980s, Zambia had maintained
the highest urbanization level among other southern and eastern African countries
except for South Africa.
17 Ibid. Actually, the Zambian government set aside the Structural Adjustment Program in
1987, but after the change of government in 1991, the new government has implemented
SAPs, and their impact has become pronounced.
18 Nchito, 2010; Ogura, 2009; Potts, 2005.
19 The total resettled population was approximately 70,000. For information about the
effect of resettlement on Tonga society, see Colson (1960).
20 For information about the livelihood and environment of people in Lusitu before
construction of the dam, see Scudder (1962) and Colson (1960).
21 FAO, 1993.
22 Ibid. In the study area, I found the same characteristics in food security as this report.
23 Colson, 1951, p. 41.
24 Cliggett, 2000, p. 127.
25 Of course, it is clear that many factors are considered to influence agricultural
production, including the size of land holdings, the stability of labor inputs, and related
social events.
26 Some households sell an improved type of sorghum to the seed companies, but a
number of households cannot sell their harvest because they need to keep sorghum for
consumption and also generally have an insufficient surplus.
27 All Zambian currencies were converted at the exchange rate in August 2008; one US
dollar equaled ZMK. The price of cotton was 1220 ZMK/kg in 2007/08.
28 IMF, 2007.
29 Note that these results are based only on observations in the 2006/07 period. Further
research and quantitative analysis are needed to show transitions in social and
economic status over time.

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The Role of Labor Migration to Neighboring Small Towns in Rural Livelihoods I 69

30 CSO, 2003. According to CSO, the annual population growth rate of Siavonga District
over the period 1990-2000 was 4.6 percent, which was the highest growth rate among
the Southern Province districts.
31 Some major companies owning many boats were founded by whites (generally from
South Africa and the United Kingdom). After 2007, the number of small fishing
companies founded by Zambians increased, but employment opportunities provided by
these new companies remained limited.
32 The separation from Gwembe District was related to the amendment of the Local
Government Act No. 22 in 1991 by the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD),
which won the election in 1990.
33 CSO, 2003.
34 According to Raballand et al. (2008), most of the trucks operating on the international
routes via Chirundu are owned by South African and Zimbabwean companies.
35 There were two reasons why Chirundu as a border post had not developed by 1991: the
border was closed because of the war in Zimbabwe until its independence in 1981; and,
after 1980s, Zambia had descended into economic crisis.
36 Family Health International(2000) reported that the largest sources of informal income
in Chirundu was sex work, which supports about 500 people (including visiting sex
37 Cliggett, 2000.
38 In this study, cases left in 1995 were considered as the result of the effects of the 1994/95
rainy season.
39 Henry et al., 2004.
40 Findley, 1994; Hampshire and Randall, 2000.
41 The Tonga have a common practice of bride-price whereby the groom's family gives
cattle to the bride's family, especially to the father. Nowadays, it is paid even in cash.
42 Cligget (2000) also indicated that conflict with parents, especially fathers, could affect
sons' departure from the village.
43 Findley, 1994.

Adepoju, Aderanti. "Migration in Africa: An Overview." In The Migration Experience in Africa,
ed. J. Baker and T. Akin (Sweden: Nordiska Afrikainstituet, 1995): 87-108.

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Baker, Jonathan and Claeson Claes-Fredrik. "Introduction." In Small Town Africa: Studies in
Rural-Urban Interaction, ed. Jonathan Baker (Uppsala: Scandinavian Institute of African
Studies, 1990): 7-34.

Barrett, Christopher. B., Thomas Reardon, and Patrick Webb. "Nonfarm Income
Diversification and Household Livelihood Strategies in Rural Africa: Concepts, Dynamics,
and Policy Implications." Food Policy 26, no.4 (2001): 315-31.

Boserup, Ester. Conditions of Agricultural Change. Chicago: Aldine, 1965.

Bryceson, Deborah. F. "African Rural Labor, Income Diversification and Livelihood
Approaches: A Long-term Development Perspective." Review of African Political Economy 26,
no. 80 (1999): 171-89.

"Multiplex Livelihoods in Rural Africa: Recasting the Terms and Conditions of
Gainful Employment." The Journal of Modern African Studies 40, no.1 (2002): 1-28.

and Vali Jamal. eds. Farewell to Farms: De-agrarianisation and Employment in Africa.
Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing Ltd., 1997.

Central Statistical Office (CSO). 2000 Census of Population and Housing. Lusaka, November

Chambers, Robert and Gordon.R Conway. "Sustainable Rural Livelihoods: Practical
Concepts for the 21st Century." Discussion Paper 296, Brighton: IDS, 1992.

Cliggett, Lisa. "Social Components of Migration: Experiences from Southern Province,
Zambia." Human Organization 59, no.1 (2000): 124-35.

"Remitting the Gift: Zambian Mobility and Anthropological Insights for Migration
Studies." Population Space and Place 11, no.1 (2005): 35-48.

Colson, Elizabeth. "Residence and Village Stability among the Plateau Tonga."
Rhodes-Livingstone Journal 12 (1951): 41-67.

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The Role of Labor Migration to Neighboring Small Towns in Rural Livelihoods I 71

."The Effects of the Resettlement." In Social Organization of the Gwembe Tonga, ed.
Elizabeth Colson (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1960): 196-210.

de Haan, Arjan. "Livelihoods and Poverty: The Role of Migration A Critical Review of the
Migration Literature." Journal of Development Studies 36, no.2 (1999): 1-47.

and Annelies Zoomers. "Exploring the Frontier of Livelihoods Research." Development
and Change 36, no.1 (2005): 27-47.

Dercon, Stephan and Pramila Krishnan. "Income Portfolios in Rural Ethiopia and Tanzania:
Choices and Constraints." Journal of Development Studies 32, no.6 (1996): 850-75.

Ellis, Frank. "Household Strategies and Rural Livelihood Diversification." Journal of
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Family Health International. Corridors of Hope in Southern Africa: HIV Prevention Needs and
Opportunities in Four Border Towns. Arlington, VA: 2005.

Findley, Sally.E. "Does Drought Increase Migration? A Study of Migration from Rural Mali
during the 1983-1985 Drought." International Migration Review 28, no.3 (1994): 539-53.

Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). Zambia Southern Province Food Security Project
Report No.137/93, September, 1993.

Hampshire, Kate. "Flexibility in Domestic Organization and Seasonal Migration among the
Fulani of Northern Burkina Faso," Africa 6, no.3 (2006): 402-26.

and Sara Randall. "Seasonal Labor Migration Strategies in the Sahel: Coping with
Poverty or Optimising Security?" International Journal of Population Geography 5 (2000):

Henry, Sabine, Bruno Schoumaker, and Cris Beauchemin. "The Impact of Rainfall on the
First Out-Migration: A Multi-level Event-History Analysis in Burkina Faso." Population and
Environment 25, no.5 (2004): 423-60.

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Hoddinott, John. "A Model of Migration and Remittance Applied to Western Kenya." Oxford
Economic Papers 46 (1994): 459-76.

International Monetary Fund (IMF). Zambia: Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper Joint Staff
Advisory Note, IMF Country Report No.7/277, 2007.

Lucas, Robert.E.B. and Oded Stark. "Motivations to Remit: Evidence from Botswana." The
Journal of Political Economy 93, no.5 (1985): 901-18.

Mabogunje, Akin. L. "Agrarian Responses to Outmigration in Sub-Saharan Africa."
Population and Development Review 15 (1989): 324-42.

Nchito, Wilma S. "Migratory Patterns in Small Towns: The Cases of Mazabuka and Kalomo
in Zambia." Environment and Urbanization 22, no. 1, (2010): 91-105.

Ogura, Mitsuo. Labor Migration and Social Change in Zambia. Tokyo: Yushindo, 1995. (in

Ogura, Mitsuo. One Hundred Years ofNsenga Society in Zambia: Colonial Rule, Cold War, and
Market Economy: University of Tokyo Press, 2009 (in Japanese).

Potts, Deborah. "Counter-urbanisation on the Zambian Copperbelt? Interpretations and
Implications." Urban Studies 42, no. 4, (2005): 583-609.

Reardon, Thomas. "Using Evidence of Household Income Diversification to Inform Study of
the Rural Nonfarm Labor Market in Africa." World Development 25, no.5 (1997): 735-47.

Richards, Audrey. A. Land, Labor and Diet in Northern Rhodesia: An Economic Study of the
Bemba Tribe. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1939.

Raballand, Gael, Charles Kunaka, and Bo Giersing. "The Impact of Regional Liberalization
and Harmonization in Road Transport Services: A Focus on Zambia and Lessons for
Landlocked Countries." Policy Research Working Paper 4482, The World Bank Africa,
January, 2008.

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Scoones, Ian. "Sustainable Rural Livelihoods: A Framework for Analysis." IDS Working
Paper 72, Brighton: IDS, 1998.

Scoones, Ian. "Livelihoods Perspectives and Rural Development." Journal of Peasant Studies
36, no.1 (2009): 171-96.

Scudder, Thayer. The Ecology of the Gwembe Tonga. Manchester: Manchester University Press,

Stark, Oded. The Migration of Labor. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1991.

Todaro, Michael. P. "A Model of Labor Migration and Urban Unemployment in Less
Developed Countries." The American Economic Review 59, no.1 (1969): 138-48.

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African Studies Quarterly I Volume 12, Issue 1 I Fall 2010


Peter Alexander (editor). Alan Paton: Selected Letters. Cape Town: Van Riebeeck Society for
the Publication of Southern African Historical Documents, 2009. Second Series, No. 40. 496

In 1963, some fifteen years after the first edition of Alan Paton's internationally acclaimed Cry
the Beloved Country, historian Phyllis Lewsen and the Van Riebeeck Society (VRS) teamed up to
publish four volumes of selected letters of South Africa's most eloquent late nineteenth-century
liberal, John X. Merriman. In 1972, shortly after Paton received honorary degrees from Harvard
and Edinburgh, historian Harrison Wright and the VRS brought out selected letters of James
Rose Innes, who like Merriman was in Cecil Rhodes' "Ministry of All the Talents." The
publication of the Merriman and Innes letters during the entrenchment of grand apartheid
quietly underpinned Paton's literary and political writings in defense of the liberal tradition in
South Africa. Peter Alexander and the VRS have now teamed up to give Paton an epistolic
voice equal to his liberal predecessors.
Alexander, who published a biography of Paton in 1994, selected about 330 letters from
some 2,500 extant for this volume. Alexander provides a helpful chronology of Paton's life and
then divides Paton's correspondence into five periods: early life (1922-35), era of the Second
World War (1935-45), Cry the Beloved Country and the rise of grand apartheid (1946-52),
liberalism in South Africa (1953-68), and Paton's last years (1969-88). Alexander contributes
brief, helpful introductions to the sections and provides explanatory footnotes to many letters.
The book concludes with short biographies on Paton's major correspondents, a bibliography of
works by and about Paton, and an index.
Alan Paton was ten when the African National Congress was created, twenty-three when
Merriman died, and forty when Innes passed away in 1942. More like Innes than Merriman,
Paton found politics "repugnant." Paton also followed Innes into law. From 1935 to 1948, Paton
served as a progressive warden at Diepkloof Reformatory. Prior to his years at Diepkloof,
Paton taught at a school in Ixopo where he flogged pupils for their misbehavior. Given liberal
opposition during the Rhodes era to proposed legislation to cane transgressors in lieu of serving
jail time-the so-called Strop Bill, I wanted to read more about Paton's views on corporal
punishment at Diepkloof. Neither Paton's letters nor Alexander discuss the caning that did take
place during Paton's wardenship.
Paton's international notoriety, gained from the popularity of Cry the Beloved Country, first
published just months before the National Party (NP) was elected in 1948, provided him with a
public voice to oppose the NP's policy of grand apartheid. Paton used his fame to help found
the opposition Liberal Party during 1952-53. Given this, readers would expect Alexander to
discuss liberalism in South Africa at some length, but he does not. Opponents of apartheid

c University of Florida Board of Trustees, a public corporation of the State of Florida; permission is hereby granted for individuals
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have often criticized liberalism in South Africa, and Alexander could have strengthened his
work by placing Paton within this debate. Still, readers can see Paton's evolving liberalism and
opposition to apartheid through a careful reading of his letters and familiarity with his life's
Alexander develops Paton's friendship with Jan Hendrik Hofmeyr, the verligte Cape
Afrikaner Paton met in 1927, and whose patronage Paton sought. The editor also conveys the
growth of Paton's liberalism through his letters to and conversations with Nobel laureate Albert
John Luthuli, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, Mary Benson, Peter Brown, John Collins, Trevor
Huddleston, and Uys Krige. Paton's first wife, Doris Olive Lusted, shared Paton's opposition to
grand apartheid. In 1955, she helped found the courageous group of heroines, the Black Sash.
In his fifties and sixties, Paton became even more committed to the rights of Africans. Paton's
20 November 1964 letter to G. Selwyn Moberley in 1964 illustrates this. He wrote:
The true liberal, by which name I would call my closest associates, desires the
emancipation of all South African people from the humiliations and sufferings
caused by white supremacy laws.
...All I can say is that I was born into a privileged society, and that my privilege
was based on the colour of my skin, and that I no longer wish to retain it. That
this may be dangerous, I understand, but I would rather face those dangers than
make one of the chief purposes of my life the perpetuation of a society which I
believe to be unjust in its very foundations. (p. 311)
That same year Paton appealed to the judge in the Rivonia trial to spare the lives of Nelson
Mandela and his co-conspirators and predicted that the NP would eventually have to negotiate
with Mandela. By publishing Paton's letters, Alexander and the VRS have restored one of South
Africa's great treasures and returned a much-needed tolerant, liberal voice to our homocentric

Kenneth Wilburn, Department of History East Carolina University

William Ascher. Bringing in the Future: Strategies for Farsightedness and
Sustainability in Developing Countries. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2009. 328

In fifteen chapters, organized into five parts, William Ascher explores how to improve our
ability to forecast and plan for the future, particularly in developing countries, since most
people and organizations tend to be, in practice, shortsighted and reluctant to make short-term
sacrifices in order to get long-term benefits. The approach draws on a number of different
disciplines (e.g., behavioral economy, psychology, political science, and sociology),
incorporating values and institutional designs, among other dimensions, in an attempt to
identify and discuss the best strategies to promote farsightedness. However, as the author
emphasizes, the book is not intended to be a "how to pursue farsighted action" manual.
Part one, "The challenges and hopes of farsighted action," provides ample evidence of
shortsightedness in development policy alongside an enormous potential for farsightedness,

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and identifies numerous strategies and policy instruments to overcome such shortsighted
thinking and practice. Ascher identifies the challenges and the obstacles to farsighted action,
arguing that each barrier requires specific strategies and instruments, with some of these being
able to address more than one obstacle. The author identifies challenges that these strategies
have to face (e.g., family economic security, conservation and environmental protection, health
and security ris,s, community self-help, productivity, and physical infrastructure) and explores
the reasons why people are shortsighted (e.g., impatience, selfishness, analytic limits,
uncertainty, and vulnerability). This part ends with an exploration of those conditions that
allow some form of optimism (e.g., our capacities and motivations to think and act in the long
term are, he argues, stronger now than in previous periods).
The second part, "Structuring rewards and risks," explores how to highlight the tangible
consequences of pursuing shortsighted strategies (e.g., wealth, physical well-being, skill, and
enlightenment) and discusses how to apply strategies to create tangible benefits. The main
constraint that strategies involving welfare values have to face is the fact that benefits to be
created are in general more expensive than those created by other strategies and have more
political costs. In other words, the creation of a tangible benefit, as an incentive for a farsighted
effort, means someone has to pay for it now and anticipating the costs has frequently negative
political consequences (e.g., non electoral support by those affected negatively by the decision).
This is followed by the exploration of non-material benefits and costs, suggesting that rewards
can come from the quality of social relations (e.g., respect, affection, righteousness toward
society, and power) and psychological satisfaction as well, and not only from welfare benefits.
Several strategies for the creation of social and psychological rewards are discussed, including:
the promotion of family economic security; the conservation and environmental protection; the
prevention of health and security risks; the improvement of physical infrastructure; the
promotion of productivity; community self-help; and charitable contributions. In short, Ascher,
suggests that social and psychological rewards coming up from group participation tend to
reinforce farsighted commitments, a point that planners and policy makers in all fields and in
both developed and developing countries should consider seriously.
In the following chapters, the author discusses evaluation procedures, strategies for
performance evaluation, indicators to assess the performance of decision makers, and other
policy instruments. For Ascher, performance evaluation provides special opportunities to
consider both tangible and intangible benefits and costs, a moment in which long-term
consequences should be given greater importance than the short-term ones. In other words, if
performance evaluation rewards farsighted performance (e.g., welfare and social and
psychological rewards) it may act as a powerful incentive for choosing farsighted over
shortsighted options.
"Improving Analytic Frameworks," the third part, argues that the assumption according to
which the major barrier in making rational decisions is the uncertainty that brings into doubt
whether specific consequences will materialize can be contested by empirical studies,
theoretical insights, or intuitive judgments. He shows why and how analytic exercises about the
future can be useful for policy makers and citizens in general, since these exercises can shed
light on the need for short-term sacrifices, and how they can be transformed into long-term
benefits. In other words, if citizens are engaged in planning exercises, their time horizons will

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enlarge and they will probably be more responsive to long term consequences of present
actions, a point that planners in all policy fields, in both developed and in developing countries,
should take into consideration.
The last two parts explore the design dimensions for the communication of farsighted
perspectives and options and examine the institutional arrangements that affect whether
farsighted decision makers and farsighted proposals will be able to resist the egoism of
numerous stakeholders active in each policy arena.
In sum, as William Ascher suggests, the most obvious conclusion to be drawn from the
evidence available is that there is a large number of strategies and policy instruments available,
for planners and policy makers, and for the promotion of farsightedness within development
policy and spatial planning. Some of these strategies are likely to be more difficult to sustain in
developing and in less developed countries, since supporters of farsighted policies in these
countries have less support to maintain their proposals than their counterparts in more
developed countries. Many of these strategies require changes in the subjectivity of those whose
cooperation with farsighted projects are being asked for, and since this subjectivity is seen as
context specific, which requires continuous adaptation of the planning or policy process to the
local conditions, William Ascher's approach seems to have been influenced and inspired by
post-rational planning theories. For all these reasons, Bringing in the Future is a timely and
valuable contribution for researchers, students, and decision-makers working in the field of
sustainable development policy and spatial planning in developing countries.

Carlos Nunes Silva, University of Lisbon, Portugal

Deborah Brautigam. The Dragon's Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa. New York: Oxford
University Press, 2008. xv, 320 pp.

The eleven-chapter book discusses one of the world's topical issues, namely Sino-African
relationships. As amply instanced by the abundance of literature, for example, Robert
Rothberg's China into Africa (2008), Chris Alden's China in Africa (2007), and numerous
conferences, China's breath-taking rise and its consequent role as a global player is a subject of
intense debate, speculation, and intrigue. Hence, this book is a welcome addition to the
burgeoning pool of literature on China's ascendancy and answers the question "is China a
predator or malignant development partner?" Overall, Brautigam answers in the negative and
argues that there is need to refract China's engagement through a prism that does not
summarily condemn it as a predator.
The book is organized as follows: the prologue delineates the universe of the discourse by,
chiefly, discussing the changing face of Chinese engagement in Africa by walking the reader
through the 2006 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and foreign aid as
seen from the eyes of China (it reportedly prefers the term, mutual aid). Very importantly,
Brautigam provides justification for embarking on the project by asserting that "this book
responds to the lack of systematic analysis of China's aid and state-sponsored economic

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cooperation activities in Africa" (p.19). Following the prologue, the following issues are
prominent in Chapter 1: that Chinese foreign aid strategy is grounded in Zhou Enlai's Five
Principles of Peaceful Coexistence; particularly, equality and manual benefit, the zenith of
China's aid to Africa, particularly, at the height of the Cultural Revolution, and flagship projects
such as the 1967 Tazara railway project that the West demurred from financing.
The following ten chapters that discuss varied subjects such as Deng Xiaping's
experiments with aid, the "going global" crusade (export of Chinese capital abroad, particularly
to Africa), the Asian tsunami (the effects of Chinese imports on Africa's nascent manufacturing
sector), Chinese investments in agriculture, and, importantly and perhaps controversially,
China's role as a rogue donor in the sense that it is seen to be propping up "rogue" states such
as Angola, Sudan, and Zimbabwe. Notably, Brautigam marshals arguments to rebut the
argument that China's aid is meant for rogue states; she holds that the same is given to non-
rogue states. Damningly, she argues that there are other players in the rogue states; for
example, Russia once supplied Sudan with military aircraft and both Japan and India bought oil
from Sudan.
The conclusion, an extension of the "Rogue Donor" chapter [eleven], begins by answering
the question "is China a rogue donor?" Brautigam's answer is unambiguous: "I do not believe
so" (p.307). Thus, she argues that while China's ascendancy in Africa should be a matter of
grave concern, this should not be used as a carte blanche to paint China's engagement in Africa
as inveterately bad. At the same time, while acknowledging the deleterious effects of China's
engagement, for example, on the manufacturing sector, she asserts that African governments
can through appropriate policy choices harness the engagement "...in ways that will benefit
their people" (p. 311).
Overall, the major strengths are: jargon-free language, extensive sources and endnotes, and
objectivity and candor in dissecting the body of the Sino-African relationship. To this end, the
objectivity dimension deserves further mention in the sense that Brautigam labors under no
illusion that it is all wines and roses when it comes to China's engagement in Africa. Thus, she
concedes that there are vexing problems; for example, the displacement of people to make way
for agro projects, the despoliation of the environment, cases of disregard of local labor laws, the
displacement of the local manufacturing sector, and, very worryingly, the secrecy that
surrounds aid and export credits. Thus, while she holds that these problems cannot be
exclusively ascribed to China (the same can be placed on the doorstep of non-Chinese players),
she asserts that with proper policy choices, the Chinese engagement can be beneficially
harnessed. Thus, to employ a common cliche, she is saying, "do not throw away the baby with
the bathwater." Very importantly, the data collection methods are in accord with the gold
standard in research methodology: methodological triangulation. Thus, she employs case
studies, field work, and secondary data (reports) to found her conclusions regarding debunking
some myths pertaining to Chinese aid and economic cooperation. Lastly, is she qualified to
speak to this subject? Yes. Given her vast work experience with the World Bank, the UN, and
other development agencies and residence in China and West and Southern Africa, she is
favorably circumstanced to write on the subject. This is one of the major strengths of the book.
Arising from the foregoing strengths, the book should serve as a reference source for those

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 12, Issue 1 I Fall 2010


interested in Sino-African relations and should appeal to those within the academia and
without (it is largely jargon-free).
The foregoing strengths notwithstanding, the book could do with the following
improvements. The Prologue should be shortened and rather than conflate it with the
Introduction, the latter should be a stand-alone item. In chapter eleven, the author liberally uses
value-laden terms such as "rogue states" and "dictators." While the use of such descriptors is
unavoidable in some instances, there is a danger one that may grope for the slippery slope
when one overdraws the account; hence, circumspection is key. In one instance, the author talks
about "going to Africa" and besides creating ambiguity, these kinds of statements may
unintentionally reinforce the impression in the minds of the not-so-geographically suave that
Africa is one giant country. Hence, specificity is key.
To conclude, Brautigam convincingly sells the other side of China's aid and economic
cooperation to the reader. This side being that China is not an emerging threat that purposes to
exploit Africa's resources to the neglect of environmental and human rights concerns and
governance issues. Nonetheless, she holds that China is no angel investor; it has flaws.

Emmanuel Botlhale, University of Botswana.

J. Millard Burr and Robert O. Collins. Sudan in Turmoil: Hasan al-Turabi and the Islamist
State. Princeton: Markus Wiener Publishers, 2010. 340 pp.

The book under review examines the role played by Sudanese politician and Islamist scholar
Hasan al-Turabi in Africa's first Islamist government and its emergence from the margins of the
Arab world to lead and protect the international Islamist movement in the 1990s. Burr and
Collins exhaustively track Turabi's activities from the 30 June 1989 coup d'6tat by a small cadre
of his military and civilians followers, his falling out with the government of President Omar
Hasan Ahmad al-Bashir and dramatic dismal as the speaker of the Sudanese parliament, and
his subsequent periodic detention from 2003 to 2009. This book is not intended as a biography
of Turabi, nor is it a comprehensive account of recent Sudanese history. Nonetheless, it is
recommended for those readers interested in the central figure in the contemporary Sudan's
Islamist movement.
Turabi is deserving of more analysis than has been completed to date. Any understanding
of Sudanese politics is impossible without reference to Turabi's political activities and his
influence over a generation of Sudanese political, military, and bureaucratic leaders. Similarly,
Turabi wielded significant influence over Islamist revolutionaries from around the world
during the 1990s and helped provide sanctuary and support for fugitives such as Osama bin-
The book under review was originally published in 2003 as Revolutionary Sudan: Hasan al-
Turabi and the Islamic State, but has now been re-issued by a new publisher and updated to bring
the narrative up to 2009. The authors are well qualified. Burr is a former US Agency for
International Development officer who served in Sudan, and Professor Collins, who died in

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2008, was a noted authority on African history. Together, the authors have written several
books on Sudan, and their Alms for Jihad (2006), was controversially withdrawn from circulation
by its publisher, Cambridge University Press, after a Saudi citizen they had accused of funding
al-Qaeda threatened to sue for libel.
The authors' mastery of their subject is well demonstrated in this book. Sudan's political
machinations in the aftermath of the 1989 coup, and Turabi's often clandestine dealings with
infamous terrorists, mujahideen, financiers, and spies are notoriously convoluted and
ambiguous. In such an environment, rumor often substitutes for fact, and deniable plausibility
is the modus operandi for all actors. Yet, Burr and Collins have judiciously shifted through
secondary sources, media reporting, and what appears to be a vast network of unattributed but
well-placed sources to write a remarkably clear and concise narrative, although a trifle
sensationalist in places.
Burr and Collins argue that Turabi is a flawed revolutionary, and that his Islamist project
has failed. The authors begin their book by briefly narrating Turabi's emergence as a scholar in
the 1970s, using his unrivalled learning, charisma and oratory, to enthuse a generation of
educated elites to build his vision of an Islamist Sudan, governed by Shari'a and at the center of
a revived Islamist community, the umma. The opportunity for Turabi's vision to become a
reality came in 1989 when his followers led by then Brigadier Bashir deposed a democratically
elected but floundering government. Yet, when Turabi's supporters in the new government
looked to him for guidance on how to implement his vision, "he had no practical answers
except his rhetoric, the example of the Sudan as the new Islamic model, and his association with
a network of unsavoury terrorists." Burr and Collin's damning evaluation of Turabi's career
concludes that for all of his brilliance, Turabi lacked empathy for the majority's Sufi heritage
and was callously indifferent to the suffering of minorities in Sudan's periphery, thereby
costing him any chance to grow his power base beyond a small group of urban followers.
Unfortunately, the limited scope of this book does not extend to analyzing how Turabi's
political opponents, notably President Bashir (whom the authors have little regard for), out-
maneuvered their former murshid (political guide) and retained control over the military and
bureaucracy. If Turabi's vision for Sudan is discredited, what is Bashir's alternative? With
Sudan approaching a referendum in 2011 on southern independence, it is more critical than
ever that Bashir develops a new national narrative that unlike Turabi's Islamist vision
encompasses all Sudanese as equals.

Sonny Lee, Independent Scholar

Wayne Dooling. Slavery, Emancipation and Colonial Rule in South Africa. Athens, Ohio:
Ohio University Press 2007 (Ohio University Research in International Studies, No. 87: first
published by University of Kwazulu-Natal Press, Scottsville). xi, 249 pp.

Wayne Dooling begins with an evocation of the wine country of the Western Cape: Boschendal,
Spier, and Meerlust. We are sometimes tempted to believe that these farms and their founding
families have always been there Meerlust has been in the Myburg family since 1757--but this

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"landed ruling class ... was not timeless it was made" (and re-made), and this book's first
subject is an account of its making and its exercise of a power which rested primarily on
imported slave labor. The indigenous people, "as so many European settlers discovered in other
parts of the world...were notoriously difficult to enslave" and had to be "killed conquered or
domesticated," although eventually imported slaves and indigenous survivors were
proletarianised together. Slavery enabled people without noble pedigree to accumulate wealth
quickly, but eventually they had to face challenges--demographic, social, technological--similar
to those faced by the great landowners of Europe. The longevity of this South African class of
landowners cannot be taken for granted, and its historical explanation is the second subject of
this book. The third subject is the making of the settler colonial state, which both modified and
nurtured the wine-growers of the Western Cape.
Chapter One takes the story up to the British annexation of the Cape during the Napoleonic
wars. For founding members of the Cape gentry the first step had been to leave the service of
the Dutch East India Company to be granted the status of landholder and free burger. To
maintain the integrity of their estates and families, in the face of Company pressure, the laws of
partible inheritance, fluctuating weather, unstable markets, and mortality itself, these
slaveholders developed a moral economy in which personal honor and reputation were more
powerful than bankruptcy, and marriage or re-marriage could ensure the continuity of name
and property. The British brought with them the ideology of free trade and humanitarian zeal
that sought "'equal justice' and 'equal protection'" for all, a combination which proved "bitter-
sweet" for the wine farmers. The British set about bringing order to the frontier and the
trekboer economy, and opening the Cape trade to world markets, but the legal amelioration of
the conditions of the Khoi, the abolition of the slave trade, emancipation and apprenticeship
which followed, raised labor problems for the Cape gentry. Nonetheless the Dutch elite forged a
partnership with the British colonial state, as they had with the Dutch. Eventually their post-
emancipation settlement was born of negotiation, rather than emigration.
Chapter Four, "Problems of Free Labour," gives an account of the fortunes of the gentry in
the nineteenth century: the continuing high cost of labor, drought, recession, the expansion of
South Africa. Although many more farmers suffered insolvency, many survived and prospered
by turning to trade as "capitalists." Dooling is particularly interesting on the mechanization of
agriculture and on the question of the backwardness or otherwise of South African farming in
the nineteenth century. Before the British occupation the gentry had managed to maintain credit
as "a moral dimension outside the market," but the commoditization of money set slave-owners
against merchants: the primary borrowers against the primary lenders. The cumulative effect by
the late nineteenth century, as recounted in Chapter Five, was "The unmakingg' of the Cape
gentry": "The rules of commercial capitalism had triumphed over those of moral community."
Yet Wayne Dooling goes on to show that partly through "formal political activity" the Cape
gentry were remade, in, for example, boereverenigings, the Genootskap van Regte Afrikaners and
the Afrikaner Bond, which, with Rhodes's support, "sought to restore to the Cape countryside
the kind of reactionary personal rule that the master class had known under slavery." The
mind-set survives in pockets.

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The Epilogue takes us through initial industrialization and the war of 1899-1902 into the
twentieth century. The war was never "a white man's war," neither white nor a man's, yet from
its ashes emerged the Union of South Africa "a unified white racist state," to be "ruled
exclusively in the interests of a reconstituted white ruling class."
Slavery, Emancipation and Colonial Rule in South Africa maintains a clear balance between the
crises and the continuities of South African history. Its use of archival resources, particularly
farm records, is exemplary, and its exploitation of illustrative anecdote keeps a lively sense of
individuality and personality (of both master and servant) before us, enabling us to see that
emancipation is an ongoing process, rather than an achieved status.

Tony Voss, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University & University of KwaZulu-Natal

Kesha Fikes. Managing African Portugal: The Citizen-Migrant Distinction. Durham, NC:
Duke University Press, 2009. xxii, 195 pp.

Managing African Portugal is a well-developed ethnographic account of migrant experiences in
Portugal. Kesha Fikes' political economic perspective brings to light the performative
interactions involved in the fashioning and refashioning of citizens and migrants alike. Fikes
opens with her initial encounter of the study's small population of immigrant peixeiras
(fishmongers), Cape Verdean women who, without a license, negotiate the purchase of fish
from wholesale vendors and then sell these fish on the streets of Lisbon. This scene at the Santa
Apol6nia train station occurs just two years after Portugal entered the European Economic
Community (EEC) in 1986. From the outset, Fikes begins to weave a tale of changing
positionality and shifting cultural identity for her select sample, four Cape Verdean immigrant
fish mongers who she names Bia, Djina, Patricia, and Manuela. The bulk of her research among
these women was conducted from 1994 to 1998 and then again in 2002 and 2003.
The opening chapter focuses on "Portugal's shift from an emigrant to an immigrant nation"
(p. 8) as the state entered the burgeoning European Union (EU). By 1996, Portugal's economy
was fully integrated into the EU, and by 1998, Portugal had adopted the Euro. Accompanying
these political economic shifts were changes to the more mundane social milieu. It is this
transition or point of rupture that Fikes documents from the inside, noting how the racial
imaginaries or colonial lusotropical ideology of racial miscegenation is replaced in Lisbon by a
sentimentality that treats the migrant populations as signifiers of a modern civil society. In
other words, Fikes describes the sociality of what she calls the "citizen-migrant connection." She
writes, "The inhabitance of citizenship as a social category occurs because of, not in spite of,
Otherness such as migrant status" (p. 164).
In her discussion of methodology, Fikes acknowledges the difficulties in documenting
"potentialities" and cultural change since it is something that must be viewed through the long
lens of time. Her creative solution is to focus on three different locales in a single day (a
wholesale market, street vending, and domestic work as a participant observer) and by
temporally extending her research over almost a decade. In this way, the reader is left with both

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a comprehensive or thick story of everyday nuance, something she often video-recorded, as
well as an unfolding and localized history from the perspective of her key informants.
The chapters are organized according to her methodology. Chapter two is set at the fish
wholesale market of Docapesca in the port area of the Tagus River. This chapter shows the ever
changing relationships between the male Portuguese wholesalers and the Cape Verdean
peixeiras. Chapter three is all about the interactions between the Cape Verdean fish sellers and
both the state apparatus (through the police) and their clients. Chapter four picks up with the
same four women several years later when the state in collusion with host-country nationals has
renegotiated the Cape Verdean migrants' status; the women are no longer able to make a living
as independent fish sellers on the streets of Lisbon. Wage domestic work becomes the only
appropriate niche for African migrants as part of the new civil society dichotomy between
"black migrants" and "white citizens" (p. 29). The women of this study, as meticulously
demonstrated by Fikes, become dependent on their white Portuguese female employers for
both job security and residency papers.
One significant contribution of Managing African Portugal is that it documents both the
migrants and the host-country nationals lived experiences of citizenship in relation to one
another, something that is often lacking in most migrant studies. In this way, Fikes provides a
new approach to the study of citizenship. In her attempts to "theorize citizenship" (p. 15), she
demonstrates how marginality can inform the processual realities of belonging. In addition,
Fikes demonstrates how ground level economics influence the experiences of EU modernity, a
model that should be transportable to other EU nations dealing with similar ideological shifts.
At the same time, parallels can be drawn with the immigrant Hispanic populations in the U.S.
Fikes nuanced discussion of gender, race, transnational migration, and citizenship helps
demonstrate the value of ethnography. What I appreciate most about this book is its
accessibility as an English cultural description of a Portuguese-speaking part of the world. This
is also my primary criticism; the most logical audience for a work such as this, Portuguese-
citizens and African-migrants, are excluded from participating in this important conversation
around nation- and person-hood. At the same time, as a localized account of transmigrants
negotiated positionality, this case study is useful for an audience well beyond the Lusophone
world. In fact, we have already recommended Managing African Portugal to several colleagues
and students interested in immigration issues.

Brandon D. Lundy and Jessica Lopes, Kennesaw State University

Lansana Gberie (ed). Rescuing a Fragile State: Sierra Leone 2002-2008. Waterloo, Ontario:
LCMSDS Press of Wilfrid Laurier University. 2009. 134 pp.

Rescuing a Fragile State is the product of a conference held at Wilfrid Laurier University in 2007.
The conference was able to assemble Sierra Leoneans from various factions (academics, military
officers, diplomats, and so forth) to review the past, present, and future. As a result, the
perspective of this volume is diverse and reflects a broad spectrum of facts and experiences.

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The volume commences from the present state of affairs (apres the war) and thrusts us back
into the events which acted as a catalyst to the war and the war itself. As a political journal of
actual events, the transcript is neither ghoulish nor sentimental. It is nonetheless tragic and
appalling. Many factors contributed to the depreciation of Sierra Leone. Ian Smillie's
contribution entitled "Orphan of the Storm: Sierra Leone and 30 Years of Foreign Aid" provides
the stark reality of the conditions) of foreign aid. Sierra Leone is seen as just another casualty of
postcolonial affairs. Sierra Leone was once a hallowed haven for former slaves. The descent of
this hallowed state is chronicled well in this text. Ozonnia Ojielo attempts to explain the
unexplainable in "Beyond TRC (*Truth Reconciliation Committee): Governance in Sierra
Leone." He attempts to explore the "how" and "why" Sierra Leone waged war against itself.
How did civil rights fall victim to corruption in this nation? Ojielo is brave to raise the issue of
how the youths of Sierra Leone became "sacrificial lambs" in the cause of greed and personal
gain. The answers/rationale for these events is not so simple. In fact, Ojielo resolves that
international forces can be held accountable for witnessing the horrors and acting as mere
"accidental tourists" in the face of the destruction of a people. Lastly, Mark White's segment
"Security and Development in Sierra Leone: DFID's Approach" speaks of the theory and reality
of the UK's (and other nations) commitment to conflict resolution in Sierra Leone. The issue, he
states, is one that involves the inability of the facilitators of order -to orchestrate administrative
order. This post-war truth is one that existed in pre-war Sierra Leone as well.
In short, Rescuing a Fragile State is an earnest depiction of the state of Sierra Leonean and
African affairs. One wonders if the true tragedy was never really the war alone. The real
tragedy is knowing that the war did not have to occur. The international community needed
only to care.
Rosetta Codling, Independent Scholar, Atlanta Georgia

William D. Grant. Zambia Then and Now: Colonial Rulers and their African Successors.
Oxford: Routledge, 2009. xv, 311 pp.

William D. Grant was an administrative officer in Northern Rhodesia in 1958-61. He left the
colonial service three years before this British colony became independent with the new name
of Zambia. This book is partly a memoir of his service in the country and partly an analytical
report on post-independence Zambia. The book is based mainly on the author's field experience
in 1958-61 and on a one-month tour in the summer of 2006. Books and reports by international
organizations and non-governmental organizations were also used as sources.
The book is divided into fifteen chapters. Chapters One through Eleven are memoirs of the
author's years in the colonial service; Chapter Twelve is an outline account of Zambian politics
from pre-independence years till 2006; Chapters Thirteen is the diary of his 2006 visit; Chapter
Fourteen is a brief view of Zambia's economy; Chapter Fifteen contains his concluding remarks.
Grant wrote in detail about how colonial officers were recruited and trained. He stated that
the officers, believing that independence would be "many years away," hoped that they would
spend all their working lives in the colonies. He also described Mwinilunga and Kasempa, the
two (rural) stations where he served. He stated that the former was a "by-word for
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unsophisticated remoteness." He described the administrative setting in Zambia and talked
briefly about the work and behavior of other Europeans there (missionaries, traders, and
mineral prospectors). Among other things, he asserted that, contrary to much speculation, he
did not know of homosexual relations among unmarried white men. He added that he knew
only of their "frustrated heterosexuality." We might add a comment the author failed to make:
that there was "frustrated heterosexuality" because Europeans, especially officials of the
colonial government, had been brought up to believe that they would lose the respect of
"natives" if they took African wives or mistresses.
Much of the book dealt with the work of the administrative officer and, by extension, of the
colonial government in Zambia. According to Grant, the main business of colonial
administration was the maintenance of law and order. He added that this was necessary
because, in his view, "progress in African standards of living depended above all on stability."
He also wrote about other useful activities: uniting several ethnic groups, developing
infrastructure, introducing western education, improving healthcare, and developing the
economy. Grant noted that the colonial rulers were very small in number vis-a-vis those they
ruled. He argued that "bluff" was largely responsible for their ability to maintain their rule in
spite of the lopsidedness in numbers. He asserted that the powers of the administrative officer
were considerable. He defended indirect rule, insisting that it was much more than
"paternalism." Grant wrote extensively about the Africans he met in his days as an
administrative officer. Among other things, he expressed admiration for their system of justice,
which, in his view, emphasized compensation rather than punishment and did not enable
criminals to use legal technicalities to escape punishment.
Grant wrote briefly on the race question in colonial Zambia. He asserted that there was
equality before the law. He added, however, that there was an "informal color bar." He further
stated that the white settlers in Zambia wanted to establish white minority rule in the country,
as their compatriots had done in Southern Rhodesia. However, he continued, the whites were,
relatively, too few to succeed. Grant noted that colonial officers were opposed to the nationalist
movement. He described the leaders of the movement as "so-called nationalists." He added
that he and his colleagues believed that independence was coming too early, and feared that
"unscrupulous" politicians, rather than those groomed by the British, would take over and ruin
the place. But, he noted with a tinge of regret, the tide of nationalism was too strong to be
stopped. Summing up on British colonial rule, Grant held that it was based on "trusteeship"
rather than "ownership," and that it did much to modernize Zambia and improve the lives of
its citizens. He is convinced that while foreign rule is bad in principle it helped Zambia to a
much greater extent than its people could have done during the twentieth century. He hinted
that, under an indigenous empire, progress would have been much slower and oppression
probably much greater.
Grant made several remarks about post-independence Zambia. Among other things, he
observed that, under its first president Kenneth Kaunda, Zambia paid a heavy price for
supporting liberation struggles in neighboring countries. Sadly, rather than commend Kaunda
for living up to his worthy convictions, Grant held that he was not "pragmatic." The former
colonial officer is however more persuasive in his assessment of the domestic policies of

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 12, Issue 1 I Fall 2010


Kaunda. His account left no doubt that Kaunda's dictatorship (as president of a one-party state,
from 1973) and left-inclined economic policies were wrong-headed. But Grant conceded that
Zambia, both under Kaunda and his "pragmatic" successors, has not been among the very
badly governed states of post-independence Africa.
Among Grant's several comments about the situation in Zambia today is the view that
Zambia is under another kind of imperialism: that of foreign donors (who fund about 52% of its
annual budget). According to him, foreign "experts" take decisions Zambians should be taking
themselves. Besides, he added, the "experts" (unlike the officials of the colonial government)
are not well informed about the country.
Zambia, Then and Now is written in felicitous prose. It is easy to read, yet it is serious.
Besides interesting stories of the author's days in "the bush" as an administrative officer and of
his one-month tour forty-five years later, the book engages in the important intellectual debate
about colonial rule, neocolonialism, and development in Africa. The documentary sources he
cited are rather scanty but adequate for his purpose. Both the academic and the general reader
would find it interesting and intellectually stimulating.

Okechukwu Edward Okeke, Abia State University

Messay Kebede. Radicalism and Cultural Dislocation in Ethiopia, 1960-1974. Rochester, NY:
Rochester University Press, 2008. xi, 235 pp.

Radicalism and Cultural Dislocation in Ethiopia is the result of Messay Kebede's quest to
understand the modernization process promoted by Haile Selassie since the sixties, and more
specifically its failure which, apparently, led to its overthrow and to the 1974 Revolution.
Multiple factors help to explain the Ethiopian radicalization process in the decade and a
half prior to the revolution, the shift of the regime being its culmination. Usually, the structural
ones have been underscored, pointing to a question of degree rather than of form to make clear
why, suddenly, Haile Selassie's reign broke up in the middle of the seventies. Following this
point of view, the events appear as something natural or even logical in the Ethiopian historical
process: having reached a decisive point, the economic and political problems became
unbearable for the society; reform was not an option, the autocratic regime had to come to an
Nevertheless, in contrast with this explanation, Messay Kebede comes back or rescues the
fundamental question from which the historical analyses may start afresh, namely: why?
Transmitting, in a certain way but not explicitly, a kind of braudelian notion of history (maybe
the fruit of his personal experience in Ethiopia and of his knowledge of the French Academy),
Kebede offers a critical account of the 1960-1974 period. Analyzing the modernization process
promoted by Haile Selassie in the education system and its social consequences, the author
looks for new answers to an old issue.
Even if the revolution in the seventies is not something new, it can be understood from a
renewed point of view. From this perspective, the question is not any more how the 1974 break-
up was possible, as why the radicalization which allowed it, proscribing the reformist option,

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has been possible. Messay Kebede points to the cultural dislocation undergone in Ethiopia at
the educational level as the fundamental explanation for this shift towards extremist options,
and specially its impact on students and intellectuals. His hypothesis is that when culture stops
working as a cohesive element for the society and there is a strong rejection of traditions and
past values, radicalization and receptivity towards foreign cultural and ideological models are
more probable; structural factors may be important to explain the Ethiopian revolution, but
they make little sense without taking into account the role of culture and ideology.
Messay Kebede confronts the complexity of the cultural-ideological process that he
describes, and the conjunction with the material and political and political factors that have
been usually underlined, in nine chapters dealing with the appearance of student radicalism, as
a consequence of the modernization of the education in Eurocentric terms that was a product of
Haile Selassie's political project, engendering uprootedness and extroversion. The impact of
those policies in a concrete social sector, the new educated elite, and the way this one tried to
focus its new western lenses on the Ethiopian situation, caused a profound dislocation
reaffirming their opinion about the necessity of a radical social change in the country.
In short, social and cultural dislocation produced by the sudden shift from the traditional
education to the Western one, created a void which came to be filled by a radical ideology -
Marxism-Leninism-embraced by a small sector of the society. This educative process
originated a generational conflict. The new elite should have been following Haile Selassie's
objective, the key to consolidate its autocratic rule. Instead, the introduction of Western
analytical tools and concepts, and specially its evolutionary lecture of the history, denigrating as
backward other cultures that do not seem to have reached the "same stage of development"
than the one marked by Western countries, generated a rejection of the customary values, and a
questioning of the government and parental authority.
The traditional came to be seen as the cause of the underdevelopment, validating in this
way the Western values as the norm to follow, to imitate, instead of creating a model adapted to
local realities. The moderate position, which existed in the sixties, more favorable to liberalism
and advocating for a political reform, lost its appeal in favor of the marxist-leninist radicals who
found in this ideology a way to fill the lacuna caused by the rejection of their cultural values
and principles. As Messay wonderfully explains, the substitution was possible because
Marxism-Leninism had common points with their former mental map.
The rejection of their traditions, strongly marked by the Christian beliefs, was appeased by
the adoption of a credo that had similarities in its objectives and promises with the traditional
messianic role of the Ethiopian state, appeasing their sense of guilt because of the betrayal
committed against their elders. Moreover, even if Marxism-Leninism was a product of the West,
it was also critical of liberal and capitalistic values and, apparently, it offered an explanation
and a solution to the identity, cultural, and generational crisis.
The Ethiopian paradox stems from the fact that, despite resisting European colonialism, the
Western dominance finally came in through the back door, opened by Haile Selassie himself.
Cultural dependency arrived in Ethiopia; and this happened precisely when physical
colonization was being questioned in the entire African continent. This cultural dislocation
permitted an ideological process favorable to radicalization, which constitutes for Messay

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 12, Issue 1 I Fall 2010


Kebede the cornerstone that allowed the interpretation of the structural conditions (economic,
ethnical, political, and international) in revolutionary terms; the structure did not led to a
radical ideology, a radical ideology led to questioning the entire structure, although we can
wonder if it is necessary to emphasize the preponderance of one factor over the others.
Anyhow, Messay shows how the attitude and decisions of a well positioned social minority can
be powerful enough to have an impact on the entire society, even if it is true that the author
keeps us in suspense, leaving for another occasion the analysis of how the Derg managed to
control the Revolution, relegating the new educated elite.
A good point of Radicalism and Cultural Dislocation is the manner in which Messay Kebede
illustrates punctually his reasoning with examples of the way other countries faced similar
situations. Avoiding the big pretensions of huge comparisons, the Japanese, Hindu, Russian, or
Chinese examples consolidate his study with an international perspective about the impact of
Marxism-Leninism in this period and of the westernization and modernization processes in
other countries. If Japan is a good example of how past and present could be harmonized, the
Russian case, as the Ethiopian one, show the opposite.
In continuity with his earlier Survival and Modernization-Ethiopia's Enigmatic Present (1999)
the author in Radicalism and Cultural Dislocation furthers the understanding of the country's
present situation from an historical and cultural point of view. It is worth saying that for those
who did not read the former, this book will motivate one to do so, and for those who are
interested in the immediate history, this book will be a good proof of the necessity of the
historical perspective in order to make sense of the current time, specially if we consider that
the consequences of the process analyzed by Messay Kebede are still felt today.

Elsa Gonzalez Aime, African Studies Group (GEA) of the Autonomous University of Madrid.

Chima J. Korieh. The Land Has Changed: History, Society and Gender in Colonial Eastern
Nigeria. Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2010. xix, 370 pp.

Any research on the Igbo of Eastern Nigeria should be viewed with great caution because of the
difficult task involved in dealing with the Igbo subject. The origin of people is a research subject
most historians have become fed up with. Chigbu (2009: p. 4) described it as a historical
"headache yet to respond to any known analgesic." Echeruo (1979) noted that the Igbo are a
people best described with two words, "headstrong" and "ambitious"-because this "quality in
Igbo character... has been its primary source of strength and of disaster." Afigbo (1981)
therefore called for a "commonsense approach" in dealing with any of the Igbo questions for
lack of a more functional approach. In enlightening his readers on the History, Society and Gender
in Colonial Eastern Nigeria, Korieh has adopted this approach in The Land Has Changed.
The book is based on the author's study of gender relations among the Igbo. With an
introduction and conclusion, it is divided into seven chapters. Each chapter chronologically
deals with a specific ethno-historical issue. Chapters one and two constitute an expose of their
late pre-colonial political, cultural, and economic set-up. The third chapter deconstructs their
societal transformations from its virgin agrarian nature to a "western gendered ideology of

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male farmer" (p. 25). Chapter four provides insight into their colonial rural revolts. Chapters
five and six discuss their reaction to major structural changes and colonial policies. Chapter
seven elaborates on the post-colonial agricultural policies of the region.
In terms of methodology, the author relied on primary and secondary sources. The book
provides information on socio-economic and political issues pertaining to the Igbo. Its analysis
is based on data collected through face-to-face interviews. The volume is rich with a quality
literature review. The use of illustrations, tables and photos in the book provide for the
broadening of readers' perspectives in the subject. The book's breadth cuts through multi-
disciplinary lines. It merges colonial history, ethnography, rural economy, African traditional
politics, agriculture, and rural development of the people in one volume. It serves as a literary
megaphone for the usually silent voices of the rural people in the Igbo part of Nigeria.
The book provides an in-depth look at the emotional makeup of colonial Igbo life. The
various responses from the rural voices of the region reflect a mixture of the agony and
opportunity (not love) with which the people viewed colonial intrusion in their sociopolitical
and economic life. In fact, the author acknowledges quite vividly that the Igbo were part of the
making of their colonial history, although not "under conditions of their own choosing" (p.
275). It serves a diverse readership. Researchers and practitioners with potential interests in
Nigeria's rural and regional development will find the book very informative. Lecturers and
students of African sociology, rural economics and regional politics will find it helpful. Nigerian
policy makers will find it an invaluable piece of research, especially as a way of learning from
the past.
Although providing very important information about the political and cultural struggles
in colonial eastern Nigeria, the author could have done more by describing rural life in more
expansive and narrative terms rather than viewing it mainly from the perspective of
agricultural change alone. However, considering that the main objective of the book is to expose
the "British attempt to transform a colonial society through the modernization of
agriculture...," the author probably had no other choice but to adopt the "agricultural change"
path (p.4). As Afigbo (2000) has already noted, the problems which have faced Igbo studies can
be grouped under three heads -lack of interest in the subject by the Igbo themselves, lack of
financial support, and lack of an institutional base. By presenting a well researched work in this
volume, the author has contributed in providing a solution to the first problem.


Afigbo, A. E. Obi Ikenga: The Case for a pan-Igbo Centre for Igbo Studies. Nigeria: Abia State
University Press Limited, 2000.

Afigbo, A. E. "The Age of Innocence: the Igbo and their Neighbours in pre-Colonial Times."
Paper delivered at the Third Ahiajoku Lecture of the Igbo, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria, 1981..

Chigbu, U. E. "The Igbo Person-the Igbo People." Igbo Catholic Church Magazine (Munich,
Germany: Igbo Catholic Community Publication, 2009).

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 12, Issue 1 I Fall 2010


Echeruo, M. J. C. "A Matter of Identity." Paper delivered at the first Ahiajoku Lecture of the
Igbo, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria, 1979.

Uchendu Eugene Chigbu, Technische Universitiit Miinchen

Henning Melber and John Y. Jones (eds). "Revisiting the Heart of Darkness-Explorations
into Genocide and Other Forms of Mass Violence." Development Dialogue 50 (December
2008). 302 pp.

"Genocide studies" has emerged in recent years as an interdisciplinary field in its own right,
drawing upon the methodologies of history, political science, psychology, and sociology in an
effort to answer the question as to why groups of human beings pursue the wholesale
extermination or extirpation of other groups. Not only has this blossoming field produced
countless books on the subject, in addition to several journals (such as the Journal of Genocide
Research and Holocaust and Genocide Studies), but now several universities across the globe have
established centers, or offer programs, devoted to the subject. Unfortunately, however, twinned
with this increased desire to understand the mechanics of genocide is the growing willingness
to employ the label for political purposes, so that the true meaning of the word is forgotten
amid accusations and counter-accusations launched across the world in our twenty-four-hour
news cycle. Too, the commercializing of genocide manifest in movies like Hotel Rwanda
popularly reduces the etiology of such crimes against humanity to mere original sin or man's
inherent inhumanity to man.
All of which make this particular issue of Development Dialogue-devoted to genocide and
mass violence, with a particular focus upon the African continent- a most welcome addition to
the literature. Arising from papers presented at two different conferences in Scandinavia in 2006
and 2007, this issue tackles both the broader questions of the definition and archaeology of
genocide while, at the same time, offering analysis specific to the Congo, Rwanda, Zimbabwe,
South Africa, and more. Opening the issue is Jacques Depelchin, who links modern genocide
with European colonialism in the question, "what if the evil which has so often and
unquestioningly been associated with Nazi Germany, or, today, with believers of Islam, were to
be seen as deeply imbedded in a way of thinking which is actually more associated with the
triumph of the West, its economic, political and social models?" (p. 18). Contributor Gerald
Krozewski follows up this question by asserting that violent conflict in Europe's African
colonies must be contextualized within the doctrines of the nation-state then being debated in
Europe at the time, while Jiirgen Zimmerer provides a comparison of the Holocaust and
colonial genocides, concluding that they are different only in levels of organization,
centralization, and beauracratization. Dominik Schaller -contrary to writers such as Adam
Hochschild of King Leopold's Ghost fame, who insist that European colonial violence cannot be
dubbed genocide despite the fantastic death count -applies to the colonial project Raphael
Lemkin's original definition of genocide, which can cover the deliberate destruction of cultural
and political institutions as well the elimination of targeted populations, and concludes that
"the situation colonial in Africa was not only violent but inherently genocidal" (p. 86).

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Coupled with these and other papers that embody much of the theorizing at the center of
genocide studies are four papers which zero in on specific events of mass violence in post-
colonial Africa. Mohamed Adhikari explores the Rwandan genocide through the lens of the
popular movie Hotel Rwanda, offering not only a contrast of the real-life experience of hotel
manager Paul Rusesabagina with that of the character played by actor Don Cheadle, but also
presenting the deep context of Belgian and German colonialism, Huti-Tutsi relations through
history, and the post-independence regimes of Gregoire Kayibanda (during which thousands
upon thousands of Tutsis were massacred) and Juvenal Habyarimana (widely seen as a traitor
by Hutu extremists). While recounting this bigger picture, Adhikari takes to task the film's
unnecessary simplification and decontextualization of events. Iam Phimister recalls the largely
unknown massacre of some 20,000 Ndebele speakers in Matabeleland, Zimbabwe, during the
early 1980s-a crime directed largely at a population known to have antipathies toward Robert
Mugabe's ZANU-PF political party. The author argues in conclusion that such violence, "as
regionally bound as it was undiscriminating," could well fall under the UN definition of
genocide (212). A second case study centered upon Zimbabwe is Mary E. Ndlovu's paper on the
2005 "Murambatsvina," the central government's notorious attack upon the infrastructure of
informal trade and informal housing, an event for which Ndlovu offers several possible
explanations, including the government's desire to suppress or pre-empt urban opposition to
ZANU-PF rule or to reassert control of a black market economy that deprived the state of
revenue. Finally, Elina Oinas and Katarina Jungar examine the HIV activism of the organization
Treatment Action Campaign and its indictment of both the South African government and
multinational pharmaceutical corporations on the charge of homicide for their respective
failures in addressing the AIDS crisis in the country. Examining the struggle from the
perspective of Foucauldian body politics, the authors conclude that the government, largely on
the basis of inaction, has "played itself into a corner where it can be defined as a perpetrator of
mass violence and lethal biopolitics on a mass scale" (p. 256).
Closing this issue is a handful of shorter papers that link colonialism and genocide with
modernity, explore the economic interests behind mass violence, ask the question as to whether
or not there exists a unique global south perspective on genocide, and report from a panel
debate on what constitutes genocide. The whole package, coming in at just over 300 pages, has
the feel more of a scholarly book than it does a single journal issue, and it practically demands
employment as such-for this volume has both the philosophical heft and general accessibility
to serve as a primer to the fields of genocide studies. While its modern historical case studies are
limited to a meager handful of sub-Saharan nations (with two of them focusing upon
Zimbabwe), they are all excellent works that provide a useful template for further inquiry.
Moreover, the Dag Hammarskj6ld Centre generously makes this issue, along with others in the
Development Dialogue series, available for free download at its website. If this volume is
indicative of the broader work of the Dag Hammarskj6ld Centre, then people of goodwill across
the world have a valuable ally in their struggle against inhumanity and violence.

Guy Lancaster, Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 12, Issue 1 I Fall 2010


David Newbury. The Land beyond the Mists: Essays on Identity and Authority in Precolonial
Congo and Rwanda. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2009. 444 pp.

David Newbury lui-meme caracterise probablement le mieux l'apport essential a
l'historiographie de l'Afrique de ses articles parus entire 1974 et 2001. Il d6crit ainsi le courant
contre lequel il advance depuis bient6t quarante ans :
<< ... they identified culture with race, they assumed that broad cultural/racial groups acted as
single (internally homogenous) agency, and they took it for granted that racial/cultural groups
were organized in a hierarchical fashion. There is an implicit assumption in these works that the
structures of African societies observed during colonial rule could simply be extrapolated into
the distant past, thus effacing the effects on African societies of both colonial influences and
African agency within that colonial context. [...] what is most surprising is that these
assumptions seemed to intensify over time, as researchers became further removed from local
testimony [...] a rigid intellectual framework (which also increasingly reinforced colonial
administrative thinking) became self-perpetuating. > (pp. 9-10).
Introduire de cette facon en 2009 un article cosigne avec un historien congolais trente ans
auparavant (en 1980), ne revient-il pas a combattre de vieux demons ? Malheureusement, ce
n'est toujours pas le cas. Les changements apport6s a la conceptualisation des soci6ets africaines
par les universitaires, semblent avoir eu peu d'effet sur la perception g6enrale de l'Afrique. Elle
est encore domin6e par l'id6e que < broad cultural/racial groups acted as single agency >.
Newbury insisted sur le danger de s'eloigner trop rapidement des modes locales de mise en
representation autant du pass que du present. Il remarque que la conviction faisant loger a la
meme enseigne le pouvoir et le savoir fait conclure que le savoir product dans les universities
l'emporte n6cessairement sur le savoir local. Les nationaux qui, comme David Newbury,
persistent a mettre en valeur les representations locales contre les dogmes politiquement
soutenus par un pouvoir patient parfois de leur vie s'ils n'ont pas eu le temps d'opter pour l'exil.
Ce fut le cas du coauteur de l'article de 1980, Bishikwabo Chubaka.
David Newbury nous a habitu6 a l'extreme rigueur de sa demarche, ses recherches sur
place, ses enquetes dans les archives et leurs analyses sont exemplaires. A cet 6gard, chaque
texte repris dans ce recueil est une perle du m6tier, un example de la recherche historique a son
meilleur'. En disposer en un seul volume est pr6cieux pour l'enseignant de l'histoire de
l'Afrique, un cadeau pour celles et ceux qui envisagent entreprendre une these en histoire de
l'Afrique. La finesse des analyses de David Newbury, sa sensibility aux contextes temporel,
social, cultural et, 6videmment, politique lorsqu'il r6colte, puis analyse, les traditions
historiques locales sont sans pareils. Historien attach aux normes de son m6tier, il est
neanmoins aussi tres sensible a ce que nous qualifions aujourd'hui des usages du passe. Ii sait
que les traditions orales sont transmises non pas par souci de conservation d'un savoir
antiquaire, mais parce qu'elles permettent d'interpr6ter le present et d'envisager l'avenir.
L'histoire 6crite par des historians et les traditions que ces derniers interpretent constituent
dans la region oi1 il travaille un enjeu politique important. Newbury nous explique pourquoi il

1 Dans son < Foreword >, Jan Vansina 6crit a propos de l'histoire que pratique David Newbury : << history rests on
fundamental concepts that have been careful scrutinized and probed rather than memerly assumed. >, p. XII.
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en est ainsi et il fait tout en son pouvoir pour eviter d'etre a son tour capte par les enjeux et les
jeux politiques.
Tous les textes que David Newbury a choisi de rassembler ont fort bien traverse le temps et
garden leur actuality et leur pertinence. N6anmoins, la presentation de certain aurait pu etre
mise a jour. Par example, dans le titre du deuxieme chapitre, Zaire aurait did etre remplace par
Congo. Le texte couvre les annees 1960 a 1980 qui sont divisees a part egales entire l'appellation
du pays du nom Congo et du nom Zaire. Dans les notes de plusieurs chapitres, l'adjectif
< recent ne doit pas etre compris comme referent a une publication parue en 2009. Certes, le
lecteur finit par saisir la valeur relative du terme, n6anmoins la confusion le guette. Le sens
exact de < recent est important parce que, a just titre, David Newbury engage de nombreux et
tres eclairants debats avec la litterature sur chacun de ses sujets, et < recent en 1980 ne renvoie
pas a la meme litterature que < recent > en 2001 ou encore en 2009.
Cette observation m'amene a exprimer un autre regret, en particulier par rapport au
dernier chapitre, paru a l'origine en 2001. Ce long texte de grande importance, ecrit apres le
genocide de 1994 au Rwanda, est paru pratiquement en meme temps que le livre de Jan
Vansina, Le Rwanda ancien (traduction americaine de 2004 Antecedents to Modern Rwanda,
Madison, 2004). Et meme si Newbury ne pouvait pas avoir lu ce livre sous sa forme finale alors
qu'il redigeait son article, il n'ignorait pas ce travail compete tenu de ses relations avec Vansina.
I1 s'y refere marginalement, un debat de fonds aurait ete de grand interet pour le lecteur.
Egalement, meme s'il mentionne dans sa bibliographie la synthese (Afrique des Grands Lacs,
disponible aussi en anglais) que Jean-Pierre Chretien a fait paraitre en 2000, il n'engage aucune
discussion avec elle, pas plus qu'avec les syntheses d'Augustin Nsanze (Le Burundi ancient:
L'economie du pouvoir de 1875 a 1920, 2001), ou avec le volume de Chretien et Banegas, The
Recurring Great Lakes Crisis: Identity, Violence, and Power, 2008. Il en est de meme avec les livres
de Prunier (Africa's World War: Congo, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Making of a Continental
Catastrophe, 2008) et de Lemarchand (The Dynamics of Violence in Central Africa) parus plus tard.
A mes yeux, le dernier chapitre du livre justified l'opinion de Vansina qui ecrit dans son avant-
propos : < ... violence in the middle of Africa since 1994 [...] was the outcome of several
centuries of historical developments, and anyone who wants to understand the present
situation of this region would do well to read this book... . Je regrette done que David
Newbury n'y ait pas ajoute une note prolongeant ses analyses afin de debattre avec les auteurs
des travaux parus au course de la premiere decennie de ce siecle, meme s'il s'agit plut6t des
syntheses. Tous ces travaux sont inevitablement marquee par la plus recent explosion de la
violence extreme, violence qui ne finit pas de ronger la region depuis au moins une generation.
On m'objectera soit que ces livres sont politiquement engages, soit que couvrir la litterature de
la derniere decennie demanderait tout un livre. Cependant, pour ces memes raisons, une
extension des analyses du dernier chapitre, a la lumiere des livres cites, mais aussi des
publications de Claudine Vidal et d'autres, aurait pu, avantageusement, clore cet important

Bogumil Jewsiewicki, Universite Laval

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 12, Issue 1 I Fall 2010

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