Adam Branch is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Political Science, Columbia University, New York. He is currently finishing his dissertation on humanitarian, developmental, and reconstruction interventions into Northern Uganda. His recent publications have dealt with the International Criminal Courts investigation of the Lords Resistance Army, the politics of UN military intervention, and SPLM/A local government in Equatoria, Southern Sudan. African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a1.htm African Studies QuarterlyVolume 8, Issue 2 Spring 2005Neither Peace nor Justice: Political Violence and the Peasantry in Northern Uganda, 1986-1998ADAM BRANCHAbstract: Uncertainty abounds concerning the 19-year conflict in Northern Uganda between the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and the Ugandan government. Two questions have received the most attention and could have the most bearing on efforts to resolve the conflict: first, why has the Ugandan government been unable or unwilling to end the war for nineteen years? Second, why has the LRA chosen to use extreme violence against the Acholi instead of trying to build popular support? First, this article addresses these questions, arguing that the debate has failed to take into account the political agency of the Acholi peasantry in the conflict and the relations between the peasantry and government, on the one hand, and the peasantry and the LRA, on the other. By putting the Acholi peasantry and its relations with government and rebels at the center of the analysis, the longevity of the war and the tendency by both rebels and government to use violence against the peasantry can be made sense of as a consequence of both sides' failure to realize an effective popular mobilization among the Acholi. Second, the article traces historically these failures of popular mobilization and the paths by which both the Ugandan government and the LRA came to see the population as a threat and potential enemy instead of as a potential support base. Third, by putting the people at the center of the analysis of the conflict, the groundwork is laid for putting the people at the center of the resolution of the conflict, transcending the current tendency of conflict resolution agendas to focus only on elites, treating the civilian population as passive bystanders or victims .INTRODUCTION1Uncertainty abounds concerning the 19-year conflict in Northern Uganda between the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) and the Ugandan government.2 Factual questions, such as the number of civilians killed, the rebels troop strength, or responsibility for certain violent acts, receive wildly disparate answers. Moral and political questions pertaining to the LRAs mass abductions of children or their reign of violence against their own people, the Acholi, lead to even greater perplexity. Among the many questions, there are two that have received perhaps the most attention and that could have the most bearing on efforts to resolve the conflict. First, why has the Ugandan government been unable or
2 BRANCHAfrican Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a1.htmunwilling to end the war for nineteen years?; Second, why has the LRA chosen to use extreme violence against the Acholi instead of trying to build popular support? In the first two sections, I will address the academic debates surrounding these questions. I will argue that the debates have for the most part failed to take into account the political agency of the Acholi peasantry in the conflict and the relations between the peasantry and government, on the one hand, and the peasantry and the LRA, on the other. By putting the Acholi peasantry and its relations with government and rebels at the center of the analysis, the longevity of the war and the tendency by both rebels and government to use violence against the peasantry can be made sense of as a consequence of both sides failure to realize an effective popular mobilization among the Acholi. In the subsequent sections, I trace historically these failures of popular mobilization and the paths by which both the Ugandan government and the LRA came to see the population as a threat and potential enemy instead of as a potential support base. By bringing the people back in and placing them at the center of the analysis of the conflict thus compensating for the current emphasis on national and international elites in explaining the Ugandan civil war the groundwork is also laid for bringing the people back into the resolution of the conflict, thus transcending the current tendency of conflict resolution agendas to focus only on elites, treating the civilian population as passive bystanders or victims.3 In the conclusion, I argue that the Acholi peasantry has, since the beginning of the conflict, been faced with the dilemma of having to choose between peace, offered by the Ugandan government, and justice, offered by the various rebel groups. However, at present, it appears that both options have been closed off. Nevertheless, there is a third option of peace with the possibility of justice through negotiations, as long as those negotiations take into account the grievances of the Acholi peasantry. THE GOVERNMENTS MILITARY FAILURE A number of parties to this debate have argued that the Ugandan military known since 1995 as the Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) has failed to end the war because it has been unable to defeat the LRA, despite its good faith efforts. Generally, those outside the Ugandan government have pointed to the UPDFs lack of capacity and training, poor morale, involvement in Congo, and, especially, corruption to explain this inability to defeat the Northern rebels.4 Most recently, the ghost soldiers fiasco is cited as proof of the UPDFs operational crisis.5The government itself tends to apportion blame to an external factor: Sudan. According to Major Shaban Bantariza, the UPDF spokesman, the Ugandan military had finished the LRA by 1992.6However, in 1994 Sudan revived the defunct rebel movement by providing it with arms and allowing the LRA to establish bases in southern Sudan. Thus, argues Bantariza, between 1994 and Operation Iron Fist in 2002, when the UPDF undertook significant military incursions into Sudan to root out the LRA, the UPDF had its hands tied.7While the Sudan factor has doubtlessly made the military campaign more difficult, the massive diversion of military resources and troops to the Congo and the permissive attitude towards corruption on the part of the government both of which have contributed to the persistence of the conflict could only be allowed to take place if the Northern war did not present a significant threat to the government, and if no significant constituency mobilized to demand an end to the war. That is, the governments failure to undertake the military reforms necessary to more effectively fight the LRA indicated at minimum an apathy within it, its key constituencies, and the UPDF towards ending the war. Others have gone further and attributed the governments failure to end the war not to apathy but to intention, to the fact that the government has been unwilling to end the war. Maintaining a contained
POLITICAL VIOLENCE AND THE PEASANTRY IN NORTHERN UGANDA 3African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a1.htmwar in the North, it is argued, serves the interests of various factions within the Ugandan government and military, and consequently both government and army have endeavored to prolong the war. The Ugandan government and UPDF have both political and economic interests in maintaining the conflict. Politically, on the local level, many have argued that the government maintains the war as revenge for Acholi violence against the civilian population of Luwero during the NRAs civil war. Others cite the governments desire to prevent political organization among the Acholi, who are perceived as a potential challenge to Musevenis hold on power.8 An explanation that holds much currency among Acholi political leaders and the Acholi diaspora is that the continuation of the war amounts to a slow genocide to eliminate the Acholi as a people.9 On the national level, it has been argued that the government maintains the war against LRA terrorists so as provide a crisis environment that enables the government to justify measures that would be unacceptable in different circumstances.10 Additionally, the presence of the LRA allows the government to silence political dissent in the name of counter-terrorism, thus disqualifying and subjecting political opposition to persecution.11 For example, vocal Acholi Members of Parliament are regularly accused of being friends of the terrorists by Museveni himself or by other Movementists.12 Finally, the war allows Museveni to maintain a large, unreformed army upon which he increasingly bases his own power.13On the international level, the continuation of the war has provided the means through which Museveni has re-invented himself, especially in the wake of 9/11, as Americas key ally in the region. Museveni has been the recipient of significant American military aid and diplomatic support for his own war on terror against the LRA in exchange for serving as a conduit to the SPLA in Southern Sudan, the front line in the American war on terror against the Khartoum government.14 Additionally, Museveni has managed to dodge donor demands to reduce the military budget by citing the presence of the war in the North even while much of the foreign aid, including military aid, has been diverted to the Ugandan invasion and militarization of eastern Congo.15 The donors for their part, not wanting to damage Ugandas reputation as a model of democracy and development, have conveniently ignored the conflict. This brings up the economic reasons for the continuation of the war. The high level of defense spending justified by the war has created a constituency within the UPDF for its continuation. However, as analysts have pointed out, one can hardly speak of a real war economy comparable with, say, Sierra Leones diamond sector.16 Indeed, the emphasis on economic gain in the literature on the Northern war is probably more a result of the international development communitys current fixation upon sources of rebel finance and the political economy of armed conflict than of its relevance to the Ugandan case.17Nevertheless, the ghost soldiers fiasco has recently brought up the fact that many UPDF officers were indeed profiting from the continuation of the conflict.18 The issue of land grabbing has been of concern as well. There is significant fear among the Acholi that displacement into camps is a first step towards the expropriation of their land by the government and its sale to investors.19In conclusion, in a context where beneficial effects of the war for various factions of the Ugandan government and military can be identified, but intentionality is extremely difficult to prove, the war might best be thought of as a system. That is, military incompetence and corruption, the armys economic interests, the governments political interests, and American and European interests have converged to create a situation in which it is to no ones benefit to end the war. All the parties with political or economic power Museveni, the UPDF, the United States, the other donor governments have aligned themselves so that the continuation of the war either serves their purposes or at least does them no significant damage. That the parties involved are content to accrue the benefits of the continuation of the war is certain, but to select some factors as the definitive causes why the government has failed to end the war for nineteen years is not possible.
4 BRANCHAfrican Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a1.htmHowever, there is one party to the conflict that does not have an interest in the continuation of the war: the Acholi peasantry. The effective mobilization of the Acholi within the governments counterinsurgency would have led to the defeat of the rebels, that is, to peace. Indeed, popular mobilization as a precondition for the defeat of rural insurgencies has a long history in Uganda: it was popular mobilization that lead to the defeat of Alice Lakwena in Iganga in 1987 and that stopped the incursion of the LRA into Teso in 2003. Conversely, it was the lack of popular support that hampered Obotes counterinsurgency against the NRA in the civil war in the early 1980s. In fact, the Acholi have formed militias at least twice to coordinate military efforts with the NRA/UPDF, but each time the Ugandan government has undermined the militias military capacity and evacuated UPDF regulars from the region, abandoning the Acholi to brutal rebel retaliation. At present, the civilian population of Acholiland, especially of Gulu district, is unwilling to participate in another mobilization that will only lead to its own destruction. The failure of mobilization of the rural Acholi by the government is another element in this system that is, if the Acholi were mobilized within the counterinsurgency, the war would probably come to an end. It is therefore important to trace the failure of mobilization by the government historically, which is the focus of sections three onward. LRA POLITICS AND VIOLENCE The debate over why the LRA terrorizes the Acholi peasantry is embedded in a broader controversy over the politics of the LRA. Before proceeding, a conceptual clarification is needed. In discussions of the politics of guerrilla groups, two different questions are generally asked. First is the whether a guerrilla group has a political agenda that motivates its war and use of violence. Second is whether its violence conforms to a political logic, that is, if it can be understood as the means towards certain political ends of eliminating the enemy or support for the enemy, establishing control over a population, or even building support. In the best of all worlds, the violence used would be transparently directed towards the realization of an explicit, coherent political agenda. But this rarely occurs, and the LRA case challenges both these meanings. First, the LRA leadership has at times asserted that it is fighting for the creation of a government based upon the Ten Commandments or other eschatological goals. These claims have tended to drown out the more conventional political claims the LRA has also made. Second, the LRA has concentrated its violence not against the UPDF but rather against the Acholi people, whom they claim to be fighting for. Of course, violence is a regular feature of relations between guerrilla groups and the civilians among whom they operate, as rebels need to deter defection and forcibly expropriate supplies.20 However, in the case of the LRA, few analysts have been willing to locate a political rationale in its anti-civilian violence. Nevertheless, I will argue in this section that the politics of the LRA in both senses should not be dismissed. The most commonly heard position in the debate is that the LRA is, in a word, bizarre. This is part of what anthropologist Sverker Finnstrom has termed the official discourse.21 Promoted by the Ugandan government, international news media, many NGOs, and some academics, this discourse sums up the motivations of the LRA in the ubiquitous coda to news reports that, The rebels have no clear political agenda but have said they want the country governed in accordance with the Christian Ten Commandments.22 The LRA, embodied in Joseph Kony, is portrayed as simply insane, the latest manifestation of incomprehensible African violence. Some, while maintaining Konys insanity, have located the LRAs ultimate motivation in external support. Gerard Prunier, for example, has argued that this bizarre syncretic and millenarian movement should be understood simply as a proxy in a war between Uganda and Sudan.23 The LRA
POLITICAL VIOLENCE AND THE PEASANTRY IN NORTHERN UGANDA 5African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a1.htmthus has no autonomous political logic, and its dedication to meaningless violence is the prerequisite for it to be simply an instrument of others. The LRA, according to Prunier, neither has a political agenda nor does its violence have any political logic, so it will have no interest in building support. Others have attributed LRA violence to a religious motivation. Frank Van Acker, in a 2004 article, writes: the LRA sees its struggle against the government of Uganda as a divine cause that is being directed and guided by God through his prophet Kony, indicated by the importance of supporting rituals and the transcendent moralism justifying wholesale acts of violence (as opposed to the conventional principle of secular terrorism of using the minimum force necessary), and the ritual intensity with which these acts are committed.24Acker goes on to state that this religious terrorism of the LRA is not motivated by political gains, but rather assumes a transcendental dimension, in which violence is morally justified, almost as a sacramental act.25 Thus, he concludes, this religious terrorism and the lack of an explicit agenda legitimizing the use of violence epitomize an extreme depoliticization on the part of the LRA.26 LRA violence, its failure to build popular support or articulate a political agenda, according to Acker, are a result of the LRAs other-worldly orientation, which informs its violence with a ritualistic meaning. One problem with this account is that Acker attributes the supposed motives of a few LRA leaders to the entire LRA. It is hard to believe that the abducted children who form the bulk of the LRA and who carry out most acts of violence see their violence as divinely ordained, buy into a transcendent moralism, or achieve an ecstatic religious fervor when they are forced to kill family members or neighbors. This aside, Acker, like those espousing the official discourse, ignores the political logic in LRA violence, which other analysts have drawn attention to. Ruddy Doom and Koen Vlassenroot, in a 1999 African Affairs article, find a political rationale to LRA violence, but remain ultimately ambiguous as what it implies for the politics of the LRA. They confront the brutality and apparent arbitrariness of LRA violence head-on, asking if blind violence can be distinguished from political violence in LRA acts.27 They state, drawing on Heike Behrends work, that in the early days of the rebellion, Konys aims were political, although it was not clear whether he wanted to topple the regime in Kampala or was limiting his actions to the north.28 However, in 1994, they argue, Kony was driven over the edge, becoming a mad Max, indulging in autogenocide as an escape from the fact that he had lost support among the Acholi.29 As they write, It seems that Kony is no longer interested in winning a conflict, but that violence has become both a tool and an end in itself, and that it is very hard to see any political perspectives in the movements later actions.Its political message has evaporated.30But in investigating the present motivations of LRA violence, Doom and Vlassenroot nevertheless find at least some indications that there is a political rationale in Konys madness, and that blind terror is producing political effects, even if they are partly unintended, or even undetected by those actually committing the killings.31 They point out that terror allows the traumatization of the population with minimum expenditure, useful if ones object is to paralyze the population or to undermine confidence in the governments capacity or will to protect its people.32 Furthermore, they point out that there is a high symbolic value to the atrocities committed by the LRA, which is clearly understood by the Acholi community.33 Violence is directed against suspected government informers and tailored so as to prevent communication that would be detrimental to the LRA. This economy of violence, they argue, can hardly be labeled as blind terror, and the political effect of terror must be
6 BRANCHAfrican Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a1.htmrecognized, whether clearly directed or not.34 But in the uncertainty of whether LRA violence is clearly directed or not, Doom and Vlassenroot leave the question of the politics of the LRA unresolved: if violence with political effects is clearly directed, then why term Kony mad, and why deny the LRA any political perspectives or political message? On the other hand, if the violence is not clearly directed, then what keeps it in conformity with a precise political symbolic order? If it is just the action of desperate people whose main interest is in day-to-day survival in a life devoted to violence, why does it precisely target certain individuals and employ certain symbolically loaded techniques?35 For these writers, it seems, the ambiguity is produced by the disjuncture between the LRAs apparent lack of an overall political agenda and the political logic that informs its violence. This ambiguity is similarly found in Robert Gersonys 1997 report, The Anguish of Northern Uganda. Gersony states categorically that the LRA is strikingly devoid of political content that is, it lacks a political agenda.36 Furthermore, he asserts that the most brutal acts by the LRA are indiscriminate, and, when carried out, the attacking forces demonstrate callous indifference and the unnecessary infliction of death in the course of operations which are of little military consequence, i.e. that LRA violence has no political rationale.37 But elsewhere in the report, Gersony, like Doom and Vlassenroot, recognizes that LRA violence specifically targets government collaborators, officials, and those suspected of violating LRA rules and that it is the LRAs demand for obedience and its expression of anger at its perceived betrayal by its natural ethnic constituency which motivates a great deal of the violence.38 For example, in discussing the Lokung/Palabek massacre of January 1997, Gersony explains that the LRA gathered civilians together, delivered short speeches, and then killed some of the group. The group was then dispersed, presumably to convey the content of the speeches to the others. According to survivors, LRA soldiers expressed anger that some Kitgum abductee youngsters had revealed to the UPDF the location of hidden arms caches in their area.39 In this case, like many others, the LRA used violence as a precise punishment for defection. It is not indiscriminate, let alone the sacramental act described by Van Acker. Nevertheless, like Doom and Vlassenroot, Gersony notes the political logic of LRA violence, but still places the LRA outside of politics. As Doom, Vlassenroot, and Gersony somewhat reluctantly recognize, LRA violence against Acholi civilians has a certain political logic. First, even if used randomly, anti-civilian violence can serve as collective punishment, as collective deterrence, or simply to stop the functioning of society and undermine faith in the government. In these cases, the random nature of the violence is calculated to realize certain political effects. LRA violence is sometimes random, but more often, it targets certain individuals; rises and falls predictably to signal the LRAs displeasure with government actions or to forestall anti-LRA organization among the Acholi; is oriented towards concrete goals such as dismantling the displaced peoples camps; and is often explicitly carried out as punishment for breaking rules such as fleeing the LRA, reporting on the LRA, or moving on the roads on certain days. It would seem that it is the LRAs apparent lack of a political agenda that underlies these analysts refusal to endow the LRA with political content, despite the political rationale its violence often displays. However, the LRAs lack of a political agenda is not universally accepted among academics. The Kampala-based Refugee Law Project, for example, argues that the LRA might have a political agenda which it has simply not effectively articulated.40 This could be due to Konys inability or to the fact that, since the LRA has been able to sustain itself through looting and abductions, it has not needed to articulate political goals. Sverker Finnstrom has gone the furthest in arguing that the LRA does indeed have a political agenda, locating it in its manifestos. Although the official discourse dismisses these manifestos as the work of an Acholi diaspora trying to manipulate the LRA, Finnstrom rejects this explanation.41Finnstrom argues that in its written manifestos and oral announcements made in the camps, the LRA
POLITICAL VIOLENCE AND THE PEASANTRY IN NORTHERN UGANDA 7African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a1.htmpresents political demands: it has consistently demanded the end of the war through negotiations, the dismantling of the camps, the national political integration of the Acholi on an equal basis with the rest of the country, an end to the genocide of the Acholi, reparations for lost cattle, free elections, and even multipartyism.42 In 1996, in fact, the LRA encouraged the population to vote for Ssemogerere and called a halt to violence during the elections, as he was an outspoken supporter of peace negotiations with the LRA. Significantly, these demands match the grievances of the Acholi population, and Finnstrom noted the interest of Acholi in the North in hearing about the agenda when given the opportunity.43 Finnstrom also has documented the efforts by the Ugandan government to conceal the LRA political program by denying the existence of documents and arresting those found in possession of LRA manifestos.44The fact that the LRA has made political demands is accepted by the International Crisis Group (ICG) in its 2004 report, Northern Uganda: Understanding and Solving the Conflict. The ICG, nevertheless, dismisses the LRA politically by invoking the scale of its anti-civilian brutality. Unlike Gersony, Doom, and Vlassenroot, who argue that the LRAs lack of an agenda renders their anti-civilian violence meaningless despite its apparent political rationale, the ICG argues that the LRAs political disqualification is the result of the military tactics the LRA employs. As the ICG writes, Although it does occasionally evoke Acholi nationalism and emancipation, these are irreconcilable with its violence against the Acholi.45 Furthermore, The violence the LRA inflicts upon the Acholi negates any claims it or its supporters can make that it is a legitimate champion of Acholi grievances.46 Thus, anti-civilian violence disqualifies the LRA from having a political agenda. Moreover, the ICG argues, the scale and arbitrariness of the LRAs anti-civilian violence cannot be equated to any coherent measures, such as those, for example, by the Viet Cong or the Irish Republican Army (IRA) against their respective support bases.47 LRA violence is too extreme, they state, to be the instrument in the realization of any political goals. Thus, LRA violence is resolutely non-political. The basis for this disqualification by the ICG merits further inquiry. If the exclusion of the LRA from politics is to be based upon a political argument of the excess of violence to the realization of political goals and to a political agenda demonstration of the excessiveness of that violence has to be provided, which the ICG fails to do. Alternatively, the unspoken basis for the political disqualification of the LRA may be moral, in the sense that the Western academic and policy communities have deemed that the LRA, due to their massive abuses of human rights, have forfeited their right to be a genuine political force.48 Indeed, the LRAs violence against children has led to its demonization internationally, and this probably most commonly underlies the international communitys refusal to bestow it with the privilege of having a political agenda.49 However, the international community cannot simply decide who is using violence within justified limits and is therefore entitled to a political agenda while simultaneously denying agenda to those seen as using violence outside those limits. A moral judgment as to the LRAs actions remains just that moral and cannot be translated into a judgment about the LRAs politics. Another unspoken basis for the dismissal of LRA politics could be their apparent lack of support from within the Acholi population in Northern Uganda. While it is true that the lack of support from the Acholi would disqualify the LRA from being the representatives of the Acholi or of their grievances at present, it does not necessarily disqualify the LRA from having a political agenda. Indeed, the LRA may see their political agenda at the present conjuncture as best fulfilled through violence. Furthermore, the LRA may still have the potential to build support among the Acholi based upon their political agenda, if their tactics could be transformed. Gersony categorically states that it is highly unlikely that an LRA revitalized by wiser leadership and a more forward-looking political message would persuade any significant segment of the Acholi population to continue the insurgency.50 However, many of those whom I have interviewed and whom Finnstrom quotes in his book have made it clear that if it were not
8 BRANCHAfrican Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a1.htmfor Kony that is, if the LRA stopped its violence against civilians they very well might be tempted to support the LRA.51 Thus, the lack of support now does not render support in the future impossible. If the LRA were to mobilize the Acholi, the war would undergo a significant transformation. The LRA would present a threat to at least the economy of the east and a threat to the trade routes to Kenya and would become a national problem, creating a constituency for peace in the South, Musevenis support base.52 Moreover, donors could not ignore the war any longer, and the Ugandan government would probably be pressured towards into negotiations from inside and out. However, the Acholi have thus far refused to support or join the LRA in numbers significant enough to become a genuine threat, principally because of LRA violence against the Acholi. None of these arguments that the LRA is insane, that it is is religiously-driven, that it lacks a political agenda, that its violence is in excess to any political goal, or that its human rights abuses or lack of open support disqualify it from politics is convincing enough to dismiss the LRA politically. Therefore, I argue that the politics of the LRA should be considered in two ways: first, in that the violence it uses is politically structured, directed towards certain shortto medium-term political goals; and second, that it has a political agenda whose importance waxes and wanes and which, at present, conflicts with its anti-civilian violence, but which could take on relevance in the future. I am not trying to defend the LRA indeed, the recognition of the political character of a movement says nothing about the justice of that movements politics. Instead, I am calling for the politics of the LRA to be taken seriously in accounting for its violence against civilians and its current apparent lack of interest in building popular support. To do this, we first need to trace the origins of the LRAs anti-civilian terror by investigating the changing politics of violence through a historical account of the relation between the population and the LRA. Second, we must inquire into the relationship between the LRAs stated agenda and the grievances of the Acholi population. This will also provide us with a view onto the possibility of the LRA building popular support in the future. These tasks both require that we bring the people back into the analysis of the conflict, and thus into the possibilities for its resolution. The failure to mobilize a popular constituency by both the rebels and the government has been a key to the prolongation of the conflict, and accounting for these twin failures will be the goal of the rest of this article. However, there is a third possibility that has also been foreclosed in the course of the war namely, that the rural Acholi become a constituency not for the LRA or for the government, but for peace under leadership independent of both LRA and government. Indeed, as mentioned, the rural Acholi are the only constituency for whom the war is inimical to their interests. At present, they are unable to give enough support to either government or rebels so as to bring the war to a close. At the same time, the Acholi are bereft of independent leadership due to LRA and government violence that has been designed primarily to eliminate political organization that might support the enemy. That is, the destruction of the Acholi populations autonomous political capacity is the side-effect of, on the one hand, LRA terror dedicated to destroying support for the government, and on the other, the Ugandan governments use of forced displacement, surveillance, paramilitarization, intimidation, arrest, torture, and murder to destroy support for the LRA and to silence dissent. In sum, there has not been a military resolution to the war because of the failure by both sides to effect a popular mobilization, and there has not been a political resolution through negotiations because of violent repression. The conclusion that I will draw is that the rural Acholi, if allowed to organize, would present a significant constituency for peace. At present, international and local efforts to bring peace are concentrating upon the elites and upon putting pressure on the LRA and the Ugandan government from above in order to bring them to the table. Instead, it should be asked what can be done to lessen the
POLITICAL VIOLENCE AND THE PEASANTRY IN NORTHERN UGANDA 9African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a1.htmviolence against the Acholi, so that they can organize and demand peace on their own terms, for it is they who are suffering in this war, and it is they who should dictate the terms of peace. I proceed by concentrating on what I have identified as five key periods in the transformation of the triangular relation between the Acholi population, the Ugandan government, and the rebels: March 1986 to February 1987; March 1987 to September 1987, March 1991 to August 1992; February 1994 to November 1996; and post-November 1996. MARCH 1986
FEBRUARY 1987 The overthrow of the Tito Okello Lutwa regime by Yoweri Museveni and the National Resistance Army (NRA) in 1986, only months after Tito Okello, Bazilio Okello, and their Acholi faction within the Ugandan National Liberation Army (UNLA) had led a coup against President Milton Obote, marked the end of twenty-five years of Northern rule of Uganda.53 The politicization and militarization of ethnicity had been fundamental to the Obote I, Amin, and Obote II regimes. In response, the Southern-based NRA had built a significant degree of popular support thanks to widespread resentment in the South against Northern governments and security forces. Although anti-Northern sentiment did not feature prominently in the NRAs public rhetoric, which focused on the struggle against dictatorship, Southern solidarity against the North played a key role in mobilizing support among the peasantry, as even NRA supporters have admitted.54Once the NRA took Kampala and Northern political-military power had been effectively eradicated, the last concrete remnant of Northern rule was the contingent of undisciplined Acholi UNLA troops fleeing north. This group lacked political legitimacy among the rural Acholi and failed to find support as they moved into Acholiland and hunkered down in Gulu and Kitgum towns to await the NRA.55The NRA, however, did not realize the political bankruptcy of the UNLA in the North. The long tradition of ethnic politics within which they had forged their revolution had produced in many minds an affinity between the fleeing Acholi troops, the security forces of the Obote II dictatorship, and the rural Acholi population.56 Consequently, as the NRA approached Acholiland in late February and early March, it prepared for a long, hard fight to win Gulu and Kitgum, not due to concern about the strength of the UNLA remnants, but because deep popular resistance was expected.57 Newspapers spread this fear. One reported that the whole of Gulu and Kitgum town have been militarized with a combined force of about 30,000 men.58 Another announced that the retreating UNLA had managed to militarize the whole region, arming nearly every human soul of five years and above including women and girls. It is now very hard for the NRA to make a difference between a peaceful civilian [and a soldier].59But as the NRA moved further north, the UNLA forces, failing to realize a popular mobilization, withdrew without a fight and evacuated Gulu and Kitgum by March 12, 1986. Many troops simply went home, and the rest accompanied the UNLA commanders as they fled for Sudan.[60 By the end of March, the last pockets of the UNLA had disappeared from Acholiland.[61 The NRAs concrete task in the region was then to incorporate the rural population, devoid of political or military organization or representation, into the national government. As the Financial Times (Kampala) reported, the rural Acholi saw no one within the NRA as representing their interests but also, when asked to name representatives of their choice who can assist in bringing peace in their area their vagueness persists.Acholi society is now leaderless.[62 However, the NRA proceeded as if occupying enemy territory, as if the Acholi were the mass base for a still-existent Northern military-political force waiting to re-take Kampala.[63 The NRA was not liberating the North from dictatorship, but was occupying the North to finish off that dictatorship.[64
10 BRANCHAfrican Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a1.htmSince this enemy could not be found, the NRA fought it by attacking the population they believed supported it. To pacify Acholiland, the NRA undertook a counter-insurgency without the insurgency. Some have argued that FEDEMU, an armed faction incorporated by the NRA in early 1986 and then deployed to the North without sufficient training or politicization, was responsible for the bulk of the anti-civilian violence in the early days of the NRA incursion into Northern Uganda.[65 Regardless of who was responsible, reports of harassment and abuse of civilians by the NRA began circulating in mid-April, 1986.[66 Violence only served to make the Acholi even more uncooperative with the NRA. In June, when the security situation degenerated and armed men began to rob civilians and attack government vehicles, the NRA, blaming the escalated violence on the Acholi for refusing to cooperate in collecting guns, stepped up their use of force.[67 Any resistance or failure to cooperate on the part of the Acholi was interpreted as anti-NRA sedition or rebellion and punished accordingly. When the call went out from the NRA for all Acholi to turn in their weapons and for former UNLA soldiers to report to army headquarters at Mbuya, popular memories were evoked of Idi Amins order to the same effect 25 years earlier, which had led to the massacre of tens of thousands of Acholi troops.[68 The NRAs orders went generally unheeded, and soon stories of looting and rape by NRA soldiers while on their frequent operations for hidden guns made their way into the national press.[69Acholi civilians expressed a willingness to assist in ending the insecurity, but complained that it was hard even for them to know who had guns and complained about losing property to the NRA.70 By midAugust, the situation had deteriorated even further, and as attacks on the NRA and its fledgling administration increased, the NRA began broad security swoops or screens, detaining hundreds. These panda gari or get on the truck operations further undermined the populations faith in the new governments intentions, evoking more comparisons to Amins campaign of terror in the region. The most infamous incident was the massacre of over 40 civilians from Namu-okora by the NRA and FEDEMU, news of which spread rapidly throughout the region.71 The NRA command consistently dismissed allegations of abuse, blaming it on the indiscipline of a few. Museveni himself stated that allegations of human rights abuses by the NRA were absolutely rubbish and contemptible, and that, we shall not deviate from our duty of pacifying the country.72Resentment against the NRA occupation blossomed, and soon the Acholi were desperate for leadership that could end the violence. The counterinsurgency then brought forth an insurgency. By the end of August, the NRA approach had alienated the Acholi sufficiently enough that when three to four thousand ex-UNLA troops, known as the Uganda Peoples Democratic Army (UPDA) entered Uganda from Southern Sudan, attacked Gulu Town, and then withdrew to the countryside to launch attacks against the NRA, they encountered a generally receptive, or at least tolerant, population.73 The NRA itself facilitated the political redemption of the UNLA and produced the political-military threat it had wrongly assumed to exist when it had occupied the region in March. The UPDA recognized their dependence upon the civilian population and worked to build support by forbidding looting and promising compensation for requisitioned property.74 They also conducted meetings in occupied areas to explain their struggle.75 The UPDA was generally successful in reining in their troops. One Catholic priest as late as December, 1986, attested that the rebels have never mistreated people as rumors have been circulating here, and many Acholi now look back on the UPDA almost with nostalgia, given the record of rebel groups since.76 But the UPDA also used violence to eliminate NRA support, especially in the early months of 1987 when the UPDA ransacked Gulu, killing pro-NRA civilians.77Most significantly, however, the UPDA reformed their demands to gain popular support. When they attacked Gulu in August 1986, their intention had been to capture and use it as a base for re-taking Kampala.78 But the Acholi would not support the UPDA based upon this claim to power. Rather, they
POLITICAL VIOLENCE AND THE PEASANTRY IN NORTHERN UGANDA 11African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a1.htmwere receptive to the UPDA because it appeared the only force able to stem NRA violence and establish security. Consequently, by early 1987 the UPDA had adopted a language of human rights, democracy, and the equal political inclusion of the North, dismissing charges of being tribalist as groundless and nonsensical.79 Realizing they could not re-take Kampala and that the Acholi were increasingly tired of violence without results, the UPDA called for the implementation of NRA promises to the South security and an end to dictatorship in the North as well.80The NRA responded by escalating violence in an effort to destroy rebel support. Opposition newspapers were reporting NRA atrocities by September.81 The Citizen reported persistent reports of almost incredible acts by the NRA, including brutal killings of scores of civilians, burning villages, and torture of those suspected of collaboration.82 By December 1986, these accusations had reached the national and international media. The BBC reported that the NRA was burning down grain stores and stealing cattle to deprive the rebels of food.83 In February, Bishop Ogwal of the Church of Uganda declared that the NRA was behaving worse towards the Acholi than even Amin.84Regardless of the veracity of Ogwals statement, it was symptomatic of a perception broadly held by the Acholi of the NRAs intention to eliminate them en masse. Several high NRA officials had made inflammatory statements in early 1986 concerning the collective guilt of the Acholi for the atrocities carried out by Obotes army in Luwero during the civil war.85 These statements were amplified by the UPDA as evidence of the NRAs genocidal plot, and NRA violence gave the claims additional currency. The NRA allowed Karamojong cattle raiders to loot with impunity as far west as Gulu Town, sometimes participating in the looting themselves. This destruction of one of the bases of Acholi livelihood became additional proof of the NRAs plans.86 Accusations were serious enough to warrant a series of categorical denials by the NRA.87 Ultimately, in June 1987 the head of the US Committee for Refugees, Roger Winter, visited to investigate the claims of genocide, which he dismissed, even complementing the NRA on their tactics in the North.88 Accusations of genocide, however, have not gone away and continue to carry weight among many Acholi up until today. THE DEBATE OVER THE NORTH Despite the fact that on the ground the NRA strategy was to eradicate the rebels suspected civilian support base, in public Museveni consistently declared that the UPDA had no support among the Acholi, who were simply the victims of disorganized and incorrigible criminals.89 In his words, for a resistance movement to take root, it must be a genuine political force, it must be capably managed and the opposing side must be inept at dealing with them. All those conditions are lacking here.90Musevenis conviction of the NRAs political impeccability and the rebels bankruptcy, both proven in Luwero, led him to announce that, because no guerrilla group without support from the population can survive, the NRA would necessarily, and quickly, defeat the UPDA. Therefore, negotiations were also out of the question. A Deputy Minister of Local government, Kahinda Otafiire, asked rhetorically in October 1986, Who are those people, what are they fighting for, and what are we going to discuss with them?91Musevenis conviction of the logical necessity of NRA triumph has produced the disjuncture between his pronouncements of imminent victory and the reality of unending conflict. It has allowed Museveni to dismiss charges of abuse against the NRA and denounce those critical of NRA tactics as being rebel collaborators.92 Finally, it has justified, in the name of the Acholi themselves, the escalation of the counterinsurgency and the NRAs refusal to negotiate, despite uniform opposition to the military solution among Northerners. As Museveni said in 1986, his spirit of reconciliation had come to an end following the atrocities being meted by those rebels in the northern part of the country.93 He urged
12 BRANCHAfrican Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a1.htmNRA soldiers to use maximum force and completely exterminate the remaining rebels and cattle-rustlers from society.94 Presented with a carte blanche to use force by Museveni, the NRA waging the counterinsurgency chose to turn that force on the civilian population. The result was contradictory. On the one hand, Museveni treated the UPDA as criminals, opposed by the population, and so refused negotiations. But what should have been the complement of that strategy, the political mobilization of the population against the rebels, was made impossible by NRA tactics. That is, the NRA should have either dealt with the UPDA as criminals and worked to incorporate the population into the counterinsurgency, or dealt with the rebels as if they had popular support and negotiated with the insurgents as a political force. Instead of dealing with either the population or the UPDA politically, the NRA, counterproductively, dealt with both militarily. While the NRAs approach was nurturing the resistance it claimed to be eliminating, a number of Ugandan academics, politicians, and journalists were calling for a political approach to the crisis.95 Like Museveni, they drew lessons from the Luwero campaign. Unlike Museveni, they did not take the NRAs political unimpeachability for granted. As one editorial put it, What Luwero teaches about the Northern Question was that any armed force had to rely on the people.96 Unfortunately, as another paper recognized, the Acholi were fundamentally confused as to the NRA.97 Therefore, the argument went, if abuses continued and the NRA failed to mobilize the Acholi, they the rebels would gain more support and forestall the NRA victory even further.98The first, and most immediate, mode of mobilization would be to include the people in the military struggle against the UPDA. For without civilians assistance in reporting on rebel movements, refusing to harbor or support the rebels, or organizing and cooperating with NRA regulars in the military struggle, the rebels would not be brought into submission. For this reason, many called for the organization of citizens militias and better relations between the NRA and the Acholi.99Beyond this immediate mobilization, there had to be other modes of political incorporation for the conflict to reach a sustainable resolution. On the local level, the peasantry could have been brought into the NRA project through the extension of the Resistance Council system. Many saw the Northern expansion of the Resistance Councilsas a participatory form of government and not as an administrative tool of the stateas the principle challenge facing the NRA. As John Wanambwa wrote in an editorial, What is brewing now in Northern Uganda could, in the last analysis, prove to be the litmus test for the effectiveness of the NRM political line.100Furthermore, representatives of the Acholi had to be included in the national government. Mahmood Mamdani pointed out that by only incorporating a few token ministers, the NRA was going to look like a Southern government, as regionally exclusive as the previous regimes.101 A Weekly Topic editorial argued the same, criticizing the Southern middle class for locking-out the Northern middle class and making them fertile ground for recruitment by those opposing NRA government.102 Without local participatory institutions and the development of relations of accountability between the rural population and the central government mediated by a national Acholi political elite, it was argued, lasting peace was impossible. But, despite the widespread calls for a political resolution to the crisis in the North, there was no constituency that could compel the NRA to take this political approach. Subsequently, the NRA pursued only its military solution, and the Acholi were left out of the NRA project. No mobilization or incorporation took place, whether through citizens militias, democratic local institutions, or national representatives. In the debate, however, one possibility was generally overlooked, namely, that the population would not do what was necessary for either side to win. That was indeed what came to occur. Before the UPDA could build a significant level of popular support, it fell victim to factionalization and the Acholi fell victim to the NRA counterinsurgency. The UPDA did not gain the support lost by the NRA in a
POLITICAL VIOLENCE AND THE PEASANTRY IN NORTHERN UGANDA 13African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a1.htmzero-sum game, but rather by mid-1987 both had lost the support of the population. Only one commentator, F. E. Etori, hinted at this possibility in Weekly Topic, concluding that the war might be there to stay as long as anti-popular interests hold sway on both sides.103 In Acholiland, the rebels survived and the state survived, and the population was left in the middle, not cooperating with either and being accused by each of collaborating with the other. Thus each armed group, unable to defeat the other, punished civilians as proxies for their military opponents, alienating the population further and further from themselves and making the popular mobilization necessary for military success even more unattainable. The next section will address the dynamics of this mutual loss of support. MARCH 1987
SEPTEMBER 1987: LAKWENA AND THE HOLY SPIRIT MOVEMENT In the first few months of 1987, the UPDA factionalized along two axes. First, there were personal and regional divisions among UPDA commanders.104 Second, there were religious divisions, as two major movements led by spirit mediums split off from the UPDA: the first under Alice Auma, or Lakwena ( Acholi for messenger), who founded the Holy Spirit Movement (HSM) in January or February 1987, and the second under Joseph Kony, who assembled his forces around June 1987, to be known eventually as the Lords Resistance Army. Factionalization was driven by new pressures on the rebels. Without any solid victories, the rebels prospects of forcing the NRA to negotiate were dim. Many UPDA who had volunteered in 1986 were leaving to take advantage of the amnesty. Military stalemate had repercussions with the Acholi, who saw no concrete benefits from the violence. Moreover, under the NRA onslaught, civilians were withdrawing from the UPDA as they could not provide adequate protection. In turn, the UPDA stepped up coercion to ensure supplies of food and recruits, and the line between rebels and bandits blurred.105Personalized factionalization was minor relative to the divisions introduced by the spiritualist movements. Rumors of witchcraft and human sacrifice among the rebels began to circulate in January 1987.106 By March, Alice Lakwena, formerly a witchdoctor for the UPDA, had begun to conduct her own combat operations.107 Though much has been written about Lakwena; I concentrate on the political logic of her movement.108Alice Lakwena and her forces, like the UPDA, saw themselves as conducting a military campaign to redeem Uganda. Whereas the UPDA would redeem the country through the political incorporation of the North and ending NRA violence against the Acholi, Lakwena proposed a deeper redemption, culminating in the eradication of violence not only by South against North, but also by North against North, leading to a new Uganda cleansed of all pernicious political forces. Whereas the UPDA wanted to rid the Acholi of NRA sympathizers, Lakwena wanted to cleanse Uganda of violence itself. In the context of escalating violence by all sides, increasing fatigue on the part of the Acholi in tolerating a war without result, and a continued lack of credible political leadership, this message of a fundamental redemption found fertile soil.109 Lakwenas Holy Spirit Movement was the first political movement in Acholiland for decades to gain lasting support from a significant portion of the population. Lakwena mostly rejected regular military means, which did not fail to attract significant international notoriety. The HSM did use guns and even heavy artillery at times, but her forces were famous for their stones that turned into grenades, sticks that fired like rifles, and ointments that made the Holy Spirit Mobile Forces impervious to bullets. Lakwenas HSM depended upon frightening the enemy into fleeing or surrendering, and, more importantly, upon continuously high recruitment from the population to compensate for high losses. For several months, the HSM remained in Acholiland. Lakwenas first target was the factionalized UPDA itself, and she overran a number of brigades, collecting their guns and absorbing the
14 BRANCHAfrican Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a1.htmtroops.110 After collecting all the volunteers available in Acholiland, Lakwena proceeded to march east and south in a bid to take Kampala. The fact that this rebel priestess, her troops chanting hymns as they walked into battle only to be mowed down by the NRA, made it to a few dozen kilometers from Kampala before being defeated, accomplishing what the UPDA never managed, was attributable to her mobilizing discourse. Indeed, her success was as a social movement, not as a military force the movement survived militarily despite, and politically because of, their often suicidal tactics. The idea of a national redemption appealed to the North and East of Uganda, regions that were not beneficiaries of the security that the NRA had established south of the Nile.111 It was because she called for an end to violence everywhere in Uganda that any area experiencing insecurity, oppression, or exclusion under the NRA would provide willing recruits. Once she hit the limit of the Nile, with nowhere left to go and no areas to gain new recruits, she was finished, her once-mighty army disintegrating in a matter of days.112Thus, it is wrong to interpret Lakwenas HSM as a tribal army or anti-modern movement. The HSM was a nationalist movement, and was only defeated when Lakwena ran up against the limits of the area where her vision of the Ugandan nation that is, one that required a redemption from, instead of having been redeemed by, the NRA made sense. As Lakwena moved south during 1987, in Acholiland violence between rebel groups intensified further. Although her forces had generally avoided violence against civilians, the fragmented UPDA and the splinters of the HSM terrorized each others civilian base.113 Additionally, once Lakwena had exhausted the supply of volunteers, those factions remaining had to step up forced recruitment. It was from this environment that Joseph Kony emerged. Without volunteers, faced by a population unwilling to support continued violence, and confronting a number of different enemies, many from within Acholiland itself, Kony turned on the civilian population. He combined Lakwenas discourse of cleansing with the UPDAs practice of eliminating suspected enemy collaborators, and launched a violent campaign to cleanse the Acholi of evil, where the potential for evil had been generalized.114Museveni declared that the rebels, by killing themselves off, were doing the NRAs job for it, and even publicly announced that Alice Lakwena has been very useful to us, thereby permitting the NRA to leave the armed groups to fight it out among themselves.115 This was convenient for those who saw Acholi civilians as the problem; since increased violence against civilians meant decreased support for the rebels, the NRA simply withdrew from combat. Lakwena had demonstrated the dangerous potential for popular mobilization in the North behind a convincing leader, and the NRA was resolved to do whatever necessary not to let this support develop again. At the same time, it realized that the rebels did not pose a threat to the NRA government as long as they lacked popular support and were confined to Acholiland. The key then was to create a situation whereby the rebels were forced to terrorize the civilian population to the point where the civilians could not support the rebels. Thus, the NRA did not take advantage of this upsurge of anti-civilian violence to build support for itself. Rather, since it lacked any political accountability to the Acholi, the NRA could simply abandon the population to rebel violence, letting it continue as collective punishment by proxy, ensuring that the rebels did not develop support, but also doing nothing to build popular support itself. From June 1987 on, the rural Acholi not only protested the abuse that the government troops doled out, but more frequently protested the NRAs refusal to protect them from the rebels. As the New Vision put it in June, the NRA seem to be only defending themselves and the barracks; they are doing nothing to contain the situation.116 Or, according to the Weekly Topic, the NRA mostly keeps to the urban centers in the region and leaves the rebels to roam the villages administering terror to their own people.117 When the NRA did act, it avoided the rebels and conducted operations against civilians in zones suspected to harbor rebel support.118 The Acholi were like millet in between two grinding
POLITICAL VIOLENCE AND THE PEASANTRY IN NORTHERN UGANDA 15African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a1.htmstones.119 Meanwhile the NRA and the rebels came to what was termed by one journalist as a peaceful coexistence, rarely engaging each other in combat or making any attempt to do so.120The specter of genocide arose again among the Acholi. Some accused Lakwena of being an agent of the NRA (as some would accuse Kony of later) on account of Musevenis declarations of their community of interests and the thousands of young Acholi whom she led to death. Cattle rustling also escalated during this period with the acquiescence of the NRA. As one commander was reported to have stated, since the rebels claim to be in full control of that area, they should fight and stop the cattle rustlers.121 Finally, the NRA several times cut off relief aid to the North, and diverted a large quantity of the aid that did make it across the Nile, which many Acholi saw as further evidence of the NRAs plan to eliminate the Acholi en masse.122The NRA strategy of leaving the rebels to do as they would with the civilian population partly succeeded, for the Acholi soon had little patience left for the rebels and only wanted peace. However, the Acholi also realized that they could not actively support the government against the rebels since the NRA would not protect them from rebel retaliation and did not appear serious about fighting the rebels themselves. Whereas in the early days of the UPDA, the population did not want to mobilize because of the violence the government was using against them, from mid-1987 on, the population could not mobilize because the government refused to cooperate against the rebels. The military solution was therefore no solution at all, amounting to constant escalation of anticivilian violence from both sides. As Tiberio Okenys open letter to Museveni stated: The President can bear me witness that he has had and is having many delegations and petitions on this issue of peace demanding dialogue with rebels for a lasting peace. And that, if this matter was put to a referendum, the suffering peasants would certainly overwhelmingly vote for a negotiated peace than for peace by crushing.123 Without a popular mobilization to root out the rebels in conjunction with a serious effort by the NRA, there would be no conclusion to the conflict. MARCH 1991
AUGUST 1992: OPERATION NORTH AND THE ARROW BRIGADES The waves of violence that swept through Acholiland from 1988 until 1991 followed the established pattern. Rebel factions used violence to gain recruits and supplies and root out informants. The government failed to protect the Acholi, reserving military force for use against suspected collaborators. The feeling remained among the Acholi that both the Holy Spirit and the NRA are no longer fighting each other but they, the civilians.124 The UPDA finally collapsed, a faction of it going over to the NRA after the Pece Peace Agreements of June, 1988, but the end of violence that the agreements were expected to usher in, did not materialize.125 Rather, Kony stepped up attacks in reaction to his exclusion from the agreement.126 Setting a precedent that it has followed since, the Ugandan government had begun negotiations with Kony in early 1988, only to sabotage the talks at the key moment, provoking a outbreak of violence from Kony.127 After that, Kony increasingly undertook mass abductions, especially of children.128 The population remained unprotected, afraid to report on rebel activity, and NRA violence escalated in turn.129Members of the Resistance Councils became targets of repression by both sides. Konys forces violently persecuted pro-NRM officials.130 Civil servants complained that the Resident Minister for the Pacification of the North, Betty Bigombe, was dismissing Council members or civil servants whom she suspected of rebel collaboration.131 The NRA also accused RCs who opposed their violent tactics of being rebel supporters.132 Despite the fact that the District Administrator, the Resistance Councilors, and Resident Minister Bigombe were all aware of NRA abuses, there was silence on the issue and repression of those who spoke out. The Resistance Councils, instead of facilitating the political mobilization of the
16 BRANCHAfrican Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a1.htmAcholi within the NRM, became tools of the state, and the political crisis in the North had deepened considerably by 1991. As one writer explained, the Acholi have no one to speak for them. Even the Churches which are supposed to be the voices of the voiceless have become silent now.133Late 1989 and early 1990 saw a period of relative calm, and Bigombe and other NRM officials declared the war over.134 In mid-1990, however, there was an upsurge in violence that continued into 1991.135 At that point, facing criticism in the South for premature declarations of victory, and having been promised significant funding by the World Bank on the condition that peace and security were reestablished in the North, the NRA went on the offensive in its first serious attempt to win the war.136 In mid-March, a house-to-house-cordon-and-search operation for remnants of the UDCA (the name Konys forces had adopted), was launched, expanding into Operation North on March 27, when the NRA ended all road transportation across the Nile.137 In early April, the NRA cut off communications with the North, imposed a media blackout, and seized all radios in the region.138 Once Acholiland was isolated, the NRA proceeded on two fronts. First, anyone speaking out against the operation was labeled a rebel collaborator, and dozens of Acholi political leaders were arrested, including Resistance Council members and district officials in the North, as well as and national political leaders in Kampala, most notably three Acholi members of the National Resistance Council: Daniel Omara Atubo, Zachary Olum, and Irene Apiu Julu.139 Second, beginning in Gulu town and moving out from there to the villages, the NRA conducted a massive screening operation, rounding up and interrogating tens of thousands in an attempt to root out rebels and collaborators.140 The NRAs brutality in the course of the screening operation still reverberates among the Acholi.141Museveni and Bigombe categorically denied the accusations of abuse and politically motivated arrests (to disprove of the accusations, Museveni noted that the minister who had made allegations of human rights abuses against the NRA was on trial for sedition).142 The NRA was sanguine as usual. In May, Lt. Gen. David Tinyefuza, in charge of the operation, labeled it an unqualified success, and Bigombe announced that 3000 rebels had been caught in Kitgum alone.143Bigombe spearheaded the most significant aspect of Operation North: the formation of popular militia, known as Arrow Groups, to assist the NRA in fighting the rebels. Once reporters were allowed back in, they noted that almost all sub-counties had Arrow Groups.144 Thousands of men, armed with arrows, spears, machetes, and sticks, were mobilized against the rebels.145 The popular mobilization called for since 1986 seemed to have finally occurred. The fact that the Arrow Groups were partially formed through forced recruitment is of marginal importance.146 For the first time, there was sufficient contact between the Acholi and the NRA, even if tainted with violence, for the Acholi to actively support the NRA. As long as the NRA was in the villages, cooperating with the militias and protecting those who opposed the rebels, a conclusion to the conflict seemed plausible. This development was short-lived, however. Without warning, the NRA decided that the Arrow Groups could take care of the rebels alone. Predictably, the rebels, seeing the Arrow Brigades as the key to their own demise, stepped up terror attacks on civilians, especially militia members and their families.147 The NRA abandoned the mobilized Acholi population at the key moment, leaving them unprotected against an unprecedented wave of atrocities. Konys forces began their first major period of maiming, cutting off hands, lips, and ears of those suspected to be working with the Arrow Brigades. A rebel commander explained the logic of maiming three years later: You the teachers turned school children into intelligence staff of government, you turned your classrooms into operation rooms. People turned their mouths into devices for telling NRA how we have moved through a village. They used their hands to point at which direction we have taken. The NRA would follow us, attack us and some of us died, why should we leave you untouched? So we cut off your
POLITICAL VIOLENCE AND THE PEASANTRY IN NORTHERN UGANDA 17African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a1.htmlips, hands, ears and noses of people to teach them a lesson. We could have killed such people but killing you would depopulate us, so we punish and let you live, as the Bible clearly states.148Konys forces went so far as to send a letter to Bigombe announcing that she had brought death to the Acholi by telling the people to rise against them, and that they were going to kill all Acholi, leaving only 10,000.149 Bigombe, for her part, further encouraged the creation of the Arrow Groups.150Bigombe did her best to justify the NRAs abandonment of the militia, arguing that it was the peoples duty to clean up the rebels, and so the NRA could now relax.151 Tinyefuza agreed and stated that NRAs job was done, and those few rebels remaining would be handled by the Arrow Groups.152The dimensions of the NRA blunder were soon apparent. The Operation ended in late July, and by the end of that month massacres and atrocities had begun.153 Acholi elders and Resistance Councilors pleaded for the Arrow Brigades to be better armed, but the NRA refused to supply more than a handful of rifles.154 In September, the Weekly Topic asserted that the rebels still numbered between 1000 and 1500, concluding correctly that even the cordon-and-search aspect of Operation North had been a failure.155 By October, one newspaper reported, all divisions are in total chaos.156The reason why the NRA abandoned the Arrow Brigades is not clear. Probably, it was a strategic miscalculation influenced by the NRAs impatience to declare victory and to end the military campaign. Those who favor an NRA conspiracy attribute the desertion to the NRAs plan to wipe out the Acholi using Kony as a tool.157 Alternatively, it could be an example of the NRA prolonging the existence of the rebels for its own purposes, as it would more clearly do from 1994 onwards. In any case, the withdrawal of NRA regulars marked the end of the last attempt by the NRA for a decade to finish off the rebels militarily. If credible Acholi political leadership had existed, it would not have been so easy for the NRA to abandon the militias. However, the eradication of independent Acholi leadership under the guise of eliminating rebel collaborators accelerated during Operation North meant that the NRM government remained unaccountable to the Acholi, so that when the militias called for NRA assistance, it did not arrive, and when the NRA deserted the Arrow Groups, no one could protest. The most deleterious political effect of Operation North was to destroy all organized opposition to the NRA, opposition that was in fact also independent of the rebels, in the name of eliminating rebel supporters. From then on, the government could only be challenged through secret ballot (which explains the importance of elections in Acholiland) or through appeal to the international community (which explains the outwards orientation of many of its current NGO, Church, and political leaders). Operation North also signaled to the rebels the danger of popular mobilization against them. Thus, the rebels ever since have reserved their most extreme violence for militias the massacres in early 2004 in Lango, for example, were not ethnically motivated, but were political, precisely targeting anti-LRA militias. Atrocities by the rebels continued unabated until early 1992, and the NRA, again, did not protect the civilian population. From mid-1992 until late 1993, rebel violence waned. This downturn signaled a new status quo between the rebels and the population. The rebels had demonstrated to the Acholi that the government would not or could not protect them, and so that mobilization against the rebels was pointless. Thus, this period of horrific atrocities and massacres, often cited as the epitome of meaningless, non-political violence, had a very specific political purpose, one which it succeeded in effecting. Through the NRAs refusal to cooperate and the LRAs year-long wave of atrocities, the Acholi were convinced to disband the Arrow Groups. The civilians de-mobilized, and the rebels, in return, scaled down their operations. Violence ebbed to the point that when Bigombe began peace talks with the rebels (now the LRA) in late 1993, they were moving freely in Gulu Town. With the reduction in violence, the Acholi came to welcome the NRAs refusal to pursue the rebels. As newspaper reported,
18 BRANCHAfrican Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a1.htmThe NRA is mostly confined to grass hut barracks in trading centers. Civilians say this is more effective than having mobile NRA units who leave civilians vulnerable to the wrath of the rebels when they move on and who can also misbehave out of the sight of the responsible commanders.158 By mid1992, civilians had been included in the peaceful co-existence that had transpired between the NRA and the rebels before Operation North. Many hoped that the peace talks between Bigombe and Kony could take advantage of this peace and end the violence. 1994
1996: THE FAILURE OF PEACE TALKS The peace talks, however, were a disaster.159 After months of negotiations, in February, 1994, Kony asked for six months to gather his troops and leave the bush and a UN observer team to oversee the process.160 Museveni, in response, publicly announced that Kony had seven days to come out, or he would be annihilated.161 Kony withdrew from the talks. Museveni declared that Kony was not a big problem and sent reinforcements, while the LRA stepped up attacks.162 As usual, civilians bore the brunt of the onslaught, with one reporter noting astounding revelations of bizarre excesses by the NRA and the rebels.163The sabotaging of the peace talks made it clear that certain sectors within the NRA wanted the LRA to continue to exist, and would do whatever necessary to ensure that they remained in the bush. Thus, one aspect of their strategy would be to refuse, or sabotage, negotiations. The other aspect would be to repress political organization among the Acholi to ensure that they could not effectively demand an end to the war. I will address this in the following section. The LRA concentrated their violence against suspected NRA supporters and Resistance Councils were again the most common target.164 Kony also began an information campaign in the villages, explaining to civilians that advisers close to Museveni, not he, were to blame for sabotaging the talks and the continued fighting.165 This was one of the many times that the LRA attempted to address a political agenda to the Acholi people. Once again, the NRA refused to respond to reports on the rebels as one woman explained, in most cases they [the NRA] even arrest such messengers. How can we then be sure that they are not collaborating with the rebels to kill us?166 Rumors of genocide abounded, especially with the recent example of Rwanda, and many accused the NRA of refusing to let the LRA come out in order to prolong the suffering of the Acholi.167 In June, 1994, pro-NRM candidates for the Constitutional Assembly in Acholiland overwhelmingly lost.168 In the words of Acholi Constitutional Assembly delegates; one wonders whether Acholiland is part of Uganda.169After the failure of the peace talks, Sudans role came to the fore. Ugandan rebels had received limited funding from Khartoum for several years.170 Now, the supply of military hardware escalated, especially through the pro-Khartoum SPLA-Nasir faction of William Nyuon.171 The LRA suddenly had uniforms of better quality than the NRA.172 For once they were well-armed, some with several guns each.173 His effort to leave the bush stymied, Kony set up permanent bases in Southern Sudan in late 1994.174 He frequently engaged militarily with Garangs SPLA, a Ugandan beneficiary.175Ever since 1994, the Ugandan government has used the Sudan factor to explain the duration of the war.176 But the escalated hostilities in 1994 were not caused by Sudanese support. Rather, they were caused by the governments refusal to conclude peace negotiations and let the LRA come out. Indeed, the rebels had managed for years without Sudanese support, and considering the NRAs permissive attitude towards looting, probably could have managed for years to come. Unable to leave the bush, the LRA used anti-civilian violence as a strategy for its own material survival and ensure that the population would not organize against it. The Sudanese scapegoat allowed the NRA to further demonize the LRA
POLITICAL VIOLENCE AND THE PEASANTRY IN NORTHERN UGANDA 19African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a1.htmthrough stories of abducted Ugandan children sold into slavery in Sudan. This was a popular theme among American supporters of the SPLA, and the Ugandan government hoped to tap that source of support itself.177At the end of 1995, there were a series of highly-publicized attacks by the SPLA upon LRA positions in Sudan.178 By December, Bigombe and Museveni had declared the definitive end of the LRA.179 But this euphoria only lasted until February 1996.180 Then Konys troops re-entered from Sudan.181 The press went on the offensive against Museveni and those who had declared victory over the LRA.182 As violence escalated dramatically in March, Musevenis response was to again reject peace talks and promise that we shall deal with them by mid-April.183 Violence went out of control with LRA massacres, and the UPDF (the successor to the NRA) employing helicopter gunships against rebels and civilians.184There was a brief lull in the violence when Kony declared a ceasefire for the 1996 elections.185The LRA conducted political rallies, encouraged the population to vote for Musevenis opponent, Ssemogerere, and declared their intention to participate in the elections.186 Ssemogerere won overwhelmingly in Acholiland. In Omoto, for example, he received almost ten times as many votes as Museveni.187 But with Musevenis national victory, Kony again stepped up his attacks.188 Museveni responded by sending Salim Saleh to the North, who announced the inception of a new offensive and then total war against the LRA.1891996 AND BEYOND: THE CAMPS Again facing pressure over his announcements of the wars imminent end, Museveni turned to a new strategy. In September 1996, the UPDF began displacing the Acholi into what it termed protected camps.190 The internment camps total population stood at a few hundred thousand by the end of 1996, and grew to over 1.5 million by 2004.191 While many government officials took refuge in the camps for their own safety, the majority of the Acholi left for the camps in response to a wide-scale campaign of forced displacement by the UPDF involving bombing and burning down villages.192At its inception, displacement into internment camps could have made sense within a counterinsurgency military strategy. Clearing out the countryside would cut off rebel resources and give free rein to UPDF mobile units. Indeed, after the formation of the camps, the UPDF announced that anyone found outside of the camps would be considered a rebel and killed. One UPDF officer put forth an alternate explanation for the camps, stating that the camps were the bait with which to catch the LRA: The depopulation of the villages removes the soft targets and logistics for the survival of the rebels. They would lack food, information, and youth to abduct and people to kill. Desperation would drive them to attack the Army in the camps. That will be their end.193 But the possibility that the camps were part of a military campaign was quickly belied by the UPDFs actions: the army refused to protect the protected camps. With its attention focused on DRC, once the camps were formed the UPDF began withdrawing soldiers from the North, leaving the Acholi unprotected by the regular army. Even the few UPDF that did remain rarely responded to rebel incursions.194In their place, the government accelerated a program begun the previous year of training Homeguards, again under the direction of Bigombe.195 By February, 1995, up to 12,000 Acholi civilians had been given basic training and arms.196 But, like the Arrow Brigades, the under-trained and under-armed Homeguard became an easy target for the LRA. In one case, over 200 were killed in Atiak in April 1995. After routing the Homeguard, the LRA announced, you Acholi have refused to support us. We shall now teach you a lesson.197 The LRA regularly overcame the Homeguard and then punished the civilians they were guarding, while the UPDF did not intervene.198
20 BRANCHAfrican Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a1.htmHomeguard numbers remain dismally inadequate. For example, one camp of over 50,000 people is protected by 45 homeguard, and another camp of 15,000 is protected by twelve homeguard.199Moreover, the homeguard earn so little (around US$20 per month) that they at times must steal from camp inhabitants to ensure their own survival. Nevertheless, the government has used the Homeguard as an excuse not to provide regular army protection to the Acholi.200 The homeguard serve other purposes as well. They are a labor reserve for the UPDF: when regular UPDF soldiers are killed, homeguards are often assigned their names and numbers so as to keep the casualty rates down.201 The discrepancy between homeguard payment and UPDF regular payment ensures that a significant bonus ends up the pocket of the commanding officer as UPDF are secretly replaced by the lower-paid troops. Homeguard are without any legal recognition, and so can be used at the discretion of the UPDF.202 Even those who join the homeguard to protect their homes often find themselves shipped off to Congo when they reach a reasonable level of competence.203Besides the lack of protection, the government has provided little or no food, water, or medicine to the camps. Unable to leave the camps, the Acholi are left dependent upon the charity of foreign humanitarian organizations. With neither protection nor survival guaranteed, the Acholi have consistently demanded since the camps inception that they be adequately protected or dismantled. In this context, the Homeguard, as the states primary coercive instrument, took on the role of silencing political dissent. The function of the homeguard, the UPDF, and other paramilitary forces is not to provide protection to the camps, but to terrorize those in the camps into not doing anything about their lack of protection. Thus, not only did the Ugandan government again fail to forge a link between popular mobilization and the UPDF, but that mobilization, because it was inadequate, became another element of the de-politicization of the Acholi population and the further alienation of the citizenry from the government. Those in the camps who protest the lack of security or the abuses by UPDF, Homeguards, or other paramilitaries face violent repression by those security services.204 Legal and human rights activists are particular targets. As one put it, when you want to speak freely, the government accuses you of being a rebel.205 Local elections are particularly hotly contested. In one camp, a paramilitary group called the kalataska was organized by a prominent local official in conjunction with a UPDF commander to ensure that a key election would go their way. The kalataska stalked the camp in civilian clothes, going after those who spoke up in support of the opposition candidate or, increasingly, anyone known to be critical of the government.206The failure to protect the camps made clear that the Ugandan government was no longer fighting a war in Northern Uganda. Devoid of protection, the camps do not serve a military purpose for the Ugandan government but are rather part of a political strategy to prevent organization among the Acholi that could hold the UPDF accountable or demand the end of the war.207 That is, the camps do not serve to combat the rebels, but rather prolong their existence while also preventing political organization among the rural Acholi, organization that would either support the LRA, and so make the rebels a genuine threat beyond Acholiland, or that could make effective demands for peace talks. Thus, the Ugandan government uses anti-civilian violence to prevent political organization. In the late 1980s, anti-civilian violence was in response to the fear that the Acholi were the support base for the rebels. But by the mid-1990s, as the continuation of the war came to benefit the Ugandan government and military, a reversal took place whereby the accusation of being a rebel collaborator became a convenient way of eliminating independent political organization in the North. Thus, anticivilian violence came to be used not just to prevent the population from building a political relationship with the rebels, but also to prevent the population from organizing to demand an end to the war itself.
POLITICAL VIOLENCE AND THE PEASANTRY IN NORTHERN UGANDA 21African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a1.htmLRA violence against the camp inhabitants is similarly not part of a war against the government, but designed to prevent political organization against the rebels by the Acholi. The camps became an easy source of supplies and forced recruits for the rebels. In fact, there is so little protection that some Acholi support giving food and medicine to the rebels so that they stop looting.208 But despite the ease of looting and recruitment, the rebels have consistently demanded the dismantling of the camps. Indeed, the LRA launches intense attacks on the camps quite regularly, in the words of one human rights organization, burning them down and calling on people to go back to their villages.209 Although the camps may facilitate resource acquisition by the rebels, they are not in their interest politically. The camps make popular mobilization against the rebels potentially easier for the government. Moreover, they serve to reinforce the separation of the Acholi from the rebels, since it has become difficult for the rebels to have regular enough contact to carry out the ideological activities they did previously. At present, the rebels can only loot and abduct, and so the Acholi can only be further alienated from the rebels. LRA violence has, since the beginning, been directed towards, at a minimum, ensuring their survival through looting, abductions, and destroying NRA support, and, when possible, towards building a constituency among the Acholi. Their violence is extreme, but not irrational or a-political. The conceptual and political problem caused by the disjuncture between the LRAs statements and their anticivilian tactics is thus a symptom of the current political disjuncture between the rebels and the civilian population, not evidence of the LRAs lack of political content. LRA propaganda, which voices many of the demands of the Acholi civilians themselves, is directed towards building support, while their tactics are directed towards destroying opposition. At present, the LRA is prevented from bringing their tactics in line with their rhetoric by the governments counter-insurgency, which has made it impossible for the population to support the rebels, and by the long history of stagnant war in Acholiland, which has left the population weary and unwilling to support an insurgency that shows little promise of achieving victories. However, as a generation grows up in the camps and as joining the rebels becomes less and less of a sacrifice for those who would otherwise be condemned to a life of insecurity, hunger, boredom, and humiliation, perhaps this generation of the camps will become a new constituency for the LRA or another armed organization, and the LRAs tactics will come into line with their rhetoric. Indeed, many LRA troops fight because they are forced to, but some male abductees remain with the LRA because the only alternative that the Ugandan government has presented them with life in the camps is as bad, if not worse, than life as a rebel. CONCLUSION: PEACE AND JUSTICE The dilemma faced by the Acholi population is that they want both peace that is, an end to war and justice that is, redress of the grievances they have against the government, from the decimation of their cattle herds, the current economic devastation, political exclusion on the national level, and NRA/UPDF violence against the Acholi peasantry. However, peace and justice appear mutually exclusive and, at present, impossible even on their own. By joining the government through participation in popular militias, the Acholi would choose peace without the clear possibility of justice. Furthermore, this would be at a steep price: the killing of hundreds or thousands of abducted Acholi in the LRA ranks. However, fact that the Acholi have been willing to participate in militias in the past reveals that, at times, the Acholi have indeed chosen peace over justice. But this option appears to have been foreclosed at the present. Because of the disappointments of earlier attempts to participate in citizens militias, the Acholi are hesitant about
22 BRANCHAfrican Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a1.htmjoining now. Choosing to join the UPDF would not guarantee peace, but may only lead to, as before, more suffering. However, if the government can convince the population that, this time, it will be serious about a coordinated counterinsurgency and if the Acholi decide again that for the present peace is worth putting aside their grievances, the population could be mobilized behind the government and the war would probably be brought to an end. By joining the LRA, the Acholi would choose justice over peace. But, as I have explained, this option is similarly impossible at present. Because of the LRAs history of extreme violence against the Acholi, they refuse to join the LRA in its current form. This is despite the fact that the LRA has consistently articulated, at least in its rhetoric, the grievances of the Acholi civilians.210 If the LRA would change its image sufficiently among the Acholi, through either a leadership change or a strategic reorientation, and if the government continues to appear apathetic at best about ending the war, then the generation of the camps may turn the Northern war into a genuine threat to Kampala. Because of the current impossibility of choosing either to join the UPDF or the LRA, there is a third option which enjoys near unanimous popularity among Acholi: peace with the possibility of justice through negotiations. This is preferable for many reasons. Peace would come about without the massacre of Acholi youth. The participation of civil society groups in the negotiations would draw attention to the grievances of the Acholi, which would give them a more significant chance of being addressed than if peace were achieved through military victory.211 This third option is really the only one open to the Acholi at present. Moreover, only it can avoid additional death, destruction, and turmoil not only for the Acholi, but for Uganda and the region. NOTES 1. This essay is based upon fieldwork carried out in Gulu and Kitgum districts, Uganda in July 2001, February-May 2003, January-February 2004, and October-November 2004. It is based upon interviews and discussions with those involved in the conflict, in addition to a review of the relevant literature on the North produced by NGOs, academics, and independent researchers. Much of the data is taken from newspaper reports which were compiled with the help of the staff at Centre for Basic Research, Kampala, and the staff at Main Library, Makerere University. I have not identified those I interviewed for the sake of their security. 2. Uncertainty, which Sverker Finnstrom associated with the existential position of the Acholi living in the conflict zone, is no less a hallmark of the discourse surrounding the war on the academic, policy, and governmental levels. 3. On the importance of bringing the peasantry back into the analysis, see Thandika Mkandawire, The Terrible Toll of Post-Colonial Rebel Movements in Africa: Towards an Explanation of the Violence against the Peasantry, Journal of Modern African Studies, 40.2 (2002): 181-215. 4. International Crisis Group, Northern Uganda: Understanding and Solving the Conflict, ICG Africa Report No. 77, Nairobi/Brussels, 14 April 2004, pp. 13-18. See also Frank Van Acker, Uganda and the Lords Resistance Army: The New Order No One Ordered, African Affairs, 103.412 (2004): 335-357, p. 353. 5. ICG 17. 6. Authors interview, Major Shaban Bantariza, UPDF Spokesman, Kampala, 23 October 2004. 7. See also Van Ackers analysis, pp. 352-353. 8. Authors interviews with Acholi political and cultural leaders, Gulu and Kampala, March 2003. 9. For accusations of genocide, see below.
POLITICAL VIOLENCE AND THE PEASANTRY IN NORTHERN UGANDA 23African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a1.htm10. ICG 11. 11. ICG 11-12. 12. For example, President Musevenis speech in Kaunda Grounds, Gulu Town on International Womens Day, 2003, at which the author was present. 13. ICG 12. 14. Finnstrom 155. 15. For a particularly dramatic portrayal of donors willingness to support the Northern conflict, see Peter Chapells documentary film, Our Friends at the Bank (France, 1997). I was told by a European defense analyst that the Ugandan government consistently purchases military equipment earmarked for the war in the North that is irrelevant to that conflict and is in fact much more appropriate to the war in Congo; confidential communication, European defense analyst, Kampala, April 2003. 16. Ruddy Doom and Koen Vlassenroot, Konys Message: A New Koine? The Lords Resistance Army in Northern Uganda, African Affairs, 98.390 (1999): 5-36, p. 31. 17. For more on this current fixation, see Mkandawire, The Terrible Toll of Post-Colonial Rebel Movements in Africa. 18. Refugee Law Project (RLP), Behind the Violence: Causes, Consequences, and the Search for Solutions to the War in Northern Uganda, Working Paper 11, February 2004: 28; Van Acker 353; ICG 17-18. 19. Interview with MP Reagan Okumu, Kampala, 28 October 2004; interviews with human rights activists, local community leaders in Gulu District October-December 2004. See also RLP 27; ICG 11. 20. In the field of political science, see Stathis Kalyvas, Stathis Kalyvas, Wanton and Senseless? The Logic of Massacres in Algeria, Rationality and Society 11.3 (1999): 243-286. 21. Finnstrom 149-161. 22. Girls Escape Ugandan Rebels, BBC Online, 25 June 2003, available at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/3018810.stm. See also Finnstroms critique of this position, Finnstrom 158-159. 23. Gerard Prunier, Rebel Movements and Proxy Warfare: Uganda, Sudan and the Congo (1986-1999), African Affairs, 103.412 (2004): 359-383, p. 359. 24. Van Acker 348. 25. Van Acker 349. 26. Van Acker 354. 27. Doom & Vlassenroot 5. 28. Doom & Vlassenroot 23. 29. Doom & Vlassenroot 25-26. 30. Doom & Vlassenroot 26. 31. Doom & Vlassenroot 26. 32. Doom & Vlassenroot 28. 33. Doom & Vlassenroot 27. 34. Doom & Vlassenroot 27. 35. Doom & Vlassenroot 26. 36. Gersony 103. 37. Gersony 44. 38. Gersony 51. 39. Gersony 50. 40. RLP 15-17.
24 BRANCHAfrican Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a1.htm41. Finnstrom 165. 42. Finnstrom 161-172. 43. Finnstrom 161-164, 169-170. 44. Finnstrom 165. 45. ICG 5. 46. ICG 9. 47. Ibid. 48. On human rights claim to be the only legitimate language in which to express resistance in the Third World, see Balakrishnan Rajagopal, International Law from Below: Development, Social Movements and Third World Resistance (Cambridge: Cambridge, 2003). 49. Chris Dolan makes this point about the demonization of the LRA through the exclusive emphasis on childrens rights in discussions of the conflict; see his Which Children Count? The Politics of Childrens Rights in Northern Uganda, available at http://www.cr.org/accord/uganda/accord11/children.shtml. 50. Gersony 103. 51. Finnstrom 162. 52. These were reportedly the targets of the LRAs 2003 move east; see ICG 7-8. 53. Amii Omara-Otunnu, Politics and the Military in Uganda, 1890-1985 (Basingstoke, Hampshire: Macmillan, 1987). 54. See, for example, Phares Mukasa Mutibwa, Uganda since Independence: A Story of Unfulfilled Hopes (London: Hurst, 1992): 154-5; Odonga Ori Amazi, Musevenis Long March from Guerrilla to Statesman (Kampala: Fountain Publishers, 1998): 23-38. Critics have made much of Musevenis November, 1985 interview with Nairobi-based Drum magazine, where he explicitly stated that the political mess in Uganda was a result of misrule by Northerners, and called for unity among Bantu speakers in response; Drum Magazine (East), October 1985, p. 9. Dani Nabudere is one such critic, see his, The Hidden War, the Forgotten People, Makerere University Human Rights and Peace Centre, October 2003. See also Omara-Otunnu 176. Refugee Law Project plays down this interview, pointing out that it is invoked so frequently by critics because it is the only instance where Museveni made this claim so explicitly; see RLP 53. For the importance of anti-Northern sentiment in the mobilization of the Baganda peasantry, see the generally laudatory Odonga ori Amaza, Musevenis Long March from Guerrilla to Statesman, p. 62; and Sverker Finnstrom, Living with Bad Surroundings: War and Existential Uncertainty in Acholiland, Northern Uganda (Uppsala: Uppsala University, 2003): 108. 55. NRA, Okello Forces fight for Karuma Falls, Weekly Focus, 7 February 1986. 56. Finnstrom 108. 57. War gets rough in the North, Weekly Focus, 18 February 1986. 58. Bazilio, Toko command 30,000 men to face NRA, Weekly Focus, 25 February 1986. 59. NRA fighters meet set backs on Eastern front, Weekly Focus, 4 March 1986. 60. Bazirio, sic. forces evacuate Kitgum, Arua Towns, Weekly Focus, 11 March 1986. 61. NRA completes liberation struggle, Weekly Focus, 27 March 1986. 62. Gulu: The Legacy of War, Financial Times (Kampala), 23 August 1986. 63. Heike Behrend War in Northern Uganda: The Holy Spirit Movements of Alice Lakwena, Severino Lukoya, and Joseph Kony (1987-1997) in African Guerrillas, ed. Christopher Clapham (Oxford, James Currey: 1998): 109; Dennis Pain, The Bending of the Spears: Producing Consensus for Peace and Development in Northern Uganda (London: International Alert/Kacoke Madit, 1997): 48; Amaza 62.
POLITICAL VIOLENCE AND THE PEASANTRY IN NORTHERN UGANDA 25African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a1.htm64. See A.G.G. Ginyera-Pinycwa, Northern Uganda in National Politics (Kampala: Fountain, 1992); and, Is There a Northern Question?, in Conflict Resolution in Uganda, ed. Kumar Rupesinghe (London: J. Currey, 1989). 65. See, among others, Robert Gersony, The Anguish of Northern Uganda: Results of a FieldBased Assessment of the Civil Conflicts in Northern Uganda, (Kampala: USAID Mission, 1997): 21-23; Amnesty International, Uganda: The Human Rights Record (1986-1989) (London: Amnesty International, 1989) and Uganda
Human Rights Violations by the National Resistance Army (London: Amnesty International, 1991). 66. Gulu: The Legacy of War, Financial Times (Kampala), 23 August 1986; NRA soldier goes on shooting spree, Weekly Focus, 18 April 1986. 67. Rebels harass NRA, The Citizen, date not printed. August 1986; Thugs Terrorise Gulu, Kitgum, Financial Times (Kampala), 19 June 1986. 68. Behrend 25; Doom & Vlassenroot 13-14. 69. Four NRA killed in Kitgum, Financial Times (Kampala), 8 July 1986. 70. Insecurity grips Gulu, Kitgum, Financial Times (Kampala), 14 August 1986. 71. Gersony 22. 72. Museveni explains situation in Northern Uganda, Focus, 27 February 1987. 73. Govt. admits guerrilla attacks on NRA, Focus, 15 August 1986; Behrend, War in Northern Uganda, 24-25. 74. Horror in Gulu: A personal account, Weekly Topic, 25 February 1987. 75. Interviews in Atiak, Pabo internment camps, March 2003. 76. Govt. troops close Catholic Mission in Northern Uganda, Focus, 5 December 1986. 77. Rebels draw up death lists, Focus, 6 February 1987; Northern rebels now turn against civilian population, Focus, 23 December 1986; Northern rebels storm Gulu, Focus, 24 February 1987. 78. Gulu: The Legacy of War, Financial Times (Kampala), 23 August 1986. 79. The communique released by the Uganda Goodwill Mission after their trip to Sudan to consult with the UPDA listed the causes for which the UPDM/A was fighting: 1. Violation of Nairobi Peace Accords by NRM/A; 2. Invasion of Uganda by Rwandese in contravention of Geneva Convention 1951; 3. Killings of innocent people in Gulu and Kitgum; 4. NRM/A violations of human rights; 5. introduction of communistic ideology into Uganda; 6. dictatorship and discrimination by NRM/A. The basic principles for which UPDM/A stood included: 1. Fight for survival and preservation of human rights in Uganda as a whole; 2. Fight for freedom and unity of Uganda; 3. Fight for sovereignty, independence and unity of Uganda; 4. Promote democracy; 5. Fight for introduction of populist constitution; 6. Fight for establishment of disciplined and independent armed forces; 7. Promote true peace and prosperity for all people of Uganda. The list is found in, Why Gulu
Kitgum rebels are fighting, Weekly Topic, 13 May 1987. 80. Allimadi is imposter, New Vision, 7 April 1987. 81. Violation of Human Rights: Govts credibility is at stake, Citizen, 26 September 1986; see also Amnesty complains of NRA atrocities, Weekly Topic, 4 November 1987. 82. Atrocities shake N. Uganda, Citizen, 5 September 1986. 83. Govt. troops intensify operations, Focus, 19 December 1986. 84. Bishop Ogwal ashames Acholis, Church of Uganda, Focus, 17 February 1987. 85. See N. Uganda: Okeny petitions Museveni, The Citizen, 7 December 1988, in which Tiberio Okeny states that the NRAs scorched earth policy in Acholiland appears to many Acholi
26 BRANCHAfrican Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a1.htmcivilians to be the implementation of the often publicly uttered statements by high ranking NRM officials to exterminate a people. See also Gersony 12. 86. Gulu witnesses brutality and atrocity, Weekly Topic, 2 December 1987; personal interviews Gulu District February 2003. See also Chris Dolan, What do you remember? A rough guide to the war in Northern Uganda, 1986-2000 (London: ACORD Working Paper #33, 2000); and Finnstrom 106-7. For more on the importance of cattle, see Gersony 27-29. 87. People kill, burn rebels in the North, Star, 25 March 1987. 88. American says North improves, New Vision, 9 June 1987. 89. Govt. admits guerrilla attacks on NRA, Focus, 15 August 1986; see also Yoweri Museveni, Sowing the Mustard Seed (London: Macmillan, 1997): 33. 90. Museveni Denounces Sudans Treachery, New Vision, 25 August 1986. 91. Northern consultative groups insist on total amnesty, peace talks, Focus, 21 October 1986. 92. Museveni explains situation in Northern Uganda, Focus, 27 February 1987; see also NRA Sweeps North, New Vision, 16 September 1986. 93. Museveni toughens on rebels, Star, 16 January 1987. 94. Museveni tours rebels mass graves in the North, Focus, 14 October 1986; see also Editorial, Weekly Topic, 29 October 1986; and NRA Commander Elly Tumwiines statement in Rebels are in disarray, New Vision, 25 November 1986. 95. These points were made by the Northern Consultative Group in October, 1986, who called for amnesty and peace talks, arguing that the problem in the North was a political problem and the military option was making it worse; see, Northern consultative groups insist on total amnesty, peace talks, Focus, 21 October 1986; see also Trouble in the North, by Mahmood, Weekly Topic, 27 August 1986. 96. What Luwero teaches about the Northern question, Weekly Topic, 5 November 1986. 97. Gulu: The Legacy of War, Financial Times (Kampala), 23 August 1986. 98. Re-thinking the North-East, by Mahmood, Weekly Topic, 25 March 1987; Ogen John Kevin Aliro, Unconsidered issues in the Northern question, Weekly Topic, 29 April 1987; NRM Lieutenants using wrong approach, Weekly Topic, 1 April 1987. 99. What Luwero teaches about the Northern question, Weekly Topic, 11 May 1986; Crisis in the North: Government Officials also to blame, Weekly Topic, 17 September 1986. 100. Behind the northern crisis, Weekly Topic, 3 September 1986. 101. Re-thinking the North-East, Weekly Topic, 25 March 1987. 102. Editorial, Weekly Topic, 1 April 1987. 103. F. E. Etori, War problem of democracy, Weekly Topic, 9 September 1987. 104. In February, according to one account, there were ten major rebel groups: Awach (3000 men), Adak group, Lalogi group, Alero, Lacor, Anaka, Purongo, Pabo, Atiak, Patiko; see Horror in Gulu: A personal account, Weekly Topic, 25 February 1987. 105. Northern rebels now turn against each other, Focus, 30 January 1987. 106. Ibid. 107. Fighting continues in Lira and Apac, New Vision, 21 March 1987. 108. See in particular Heike Behrend, Alice and the Holy Spirits: War in Northern Uganda, 1985-97 (Kampala: Fountain Publishers, 1999). 109. Amii Omara-Otunnu, The Struggle for Democracy in Uganda, The Journal of Modern African Studies, 30.3 (1992): 443-463. 110. July 17, 1987, Focus, Rebels launch attack on Gulu.
POLITICAL VIOLENCE AND THE PEASANTRY IN NORTHERN UGANDA 27African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a1.htm111. See Mahmood Mamdani, And Fire Does Not Always Beget Ash: Critical Reflections on the NRM (Monitor Publications: Kampala, 1995): 50-52. 112. See Lakwena attacks Magamaga, Foreign press meets Lakwena, Interview with a rebel, and Lakwena not a military threat, New Vision, 26 October 1987; Lakwena affair proved that people are the best soldiers, Weekly Topic, 3 February 1988. 113. Behrend 76. 114. Bloody battle at Koch Goma: Peace disrupted again, Weekly Topic, 9 March 1988. 115. A footnote to Lakwena debacle, Weekly Topic, 27 January 1988. 116. Opinion: Situation in Gulu is Unbearable, 16 June 1987. 117. Kenya becomes rebels rear base, Weekly Topic, 26 August 1987. 118. Insane happenings in the northern war, Weekly Topic, 24 June 1987. 119. Life in Gulu, Apac remains appalling, Financial Times (Kampala), 29 June 1987. 120. The fire burns again in Gulu, Weekly Topic, 12 April 1991. 121. Gulu witnesses brutality and atrocity, Weekly Topic, 2 December 1987; Human rustling hits North-East, Financial Times (Kampala), 5 January 1988. 122. Why Gulu
Kitgum rebels are fighting, Weekly Topic, 13 May 1987; see also Rebels cut off parts of N. Uganda, The Citizen, 12 September 1986; Gulu District held incommunicado?, Financial Times (Kampala), 25 May 1987; and Over 70,000 displaced by war in North-East, Weekly Topic, 16 January 1987. 123. Talk with Rebels says Okeny, New Vision, 2 December 1987. 124. For reports on NRA violence, see Amnesty concerned at reports of killings in the North, Weekly Topic, 14 December 1988; for the failure to protect the Acholi civilians, see 100,000 displaced in Gulu, New Vision, 14 November 1988; and NRM officials narrowly escape rebel attack, The Citizen, 3 May 1989, where the NRA admitted problems with its defense of Gulu town, after a large group of rebels entered the town, yelling and singing, and assaulted the hotel where the NRM officials were staying without any response from the NRA soldiers. See also NRA mops up in the North, New Vision, 18 March 18, which reports that the NRA troops in the area want the war to continue because of operational allowances and because they see it as intra-Acholi violence. For testimonies that civilians feel that both the Holy Spirit and the NRA are no longer fighting each other but they, the civilians, see Rebels promote Latek, New Vision, 1 November 1988. For genocide, see N. Uganda: Okeny petitions Museveni, The Citizen, 7 December 1988, where Okeny states that the NRAs scorched earth policy in Acholiland appears to many Acholi civilians to be the implementation of the often publicly uttered statements by high ranking NRM officials to exterminate a people. As usual, the fact that the NRA actually has to defend itself against these accusations speaks to the accusations broad appeal: see Holy Spirit enters Kitgum, New Vision, 16 November 1988, where an NRA officer argues that, The government troops are not out to wipe the Acholi. Some civilians believe that the government troops are in a sort of campaign to wipe them out. 125. Was NRM taken for a ride in N. Uganda?, The Citizen, 29 August 1988. 126. On negotiations between Konys forces and NRA in Gulu, see Holy Spirit talks continue, New Vision, April 16, 1988; and NRA, UPDA in final talks, New Vision, 11 April 1988. 127. Caroline Lamwaka, The Peace Process in Northern Uganda, 1986-1990, ed. Conciliation Resources, London, Accord: An International Review of Peace Initiatives (2002): 31. 128. Holy Spirit Movement in a dilemma, New Vision, 19 July 1988; Kitgum rebels resume attacks, New Vision, 30 January 1991; Rebels abduct Gulu RC V Women Secretary, The Guide, 14 March 1991. 129. Civilians escape Gulu rebels, New Vision, 19 February 1991.
28 BRANCHAfrican Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a1.htm130. Holy Spirit smashed in Kitgum, Latek flees to Sudan, New Vision, 22 November 1988. 131. Anti-Lakwena dismissals hit Gulu, The Citizen, 14 June 1989. 132. Army, RCs relations deteriorate in Gulu, The Guide, 10 May 1990. 133. Oyoo POkeny, Editorial, Weekly Topic, 11 January 1991. 134. Calm restored in Gulu, New Vision, 21 July 1989; Peace returns to Gulu: What next?, Weekly Topic, 20 September 1989. 135. Rebels in Kitgum hack 43 to death, New Vision, 11 April 1990; Over 300 feared killed in Gulu crossfire, The Guide, 27 April 1990; NRA, DA accused of rights violation in Gulu, The Guide, 2 August 1990; Of civilians trapped between the army and rebels, Weekly Topic, 13 December 1990; Civilians escape Gulu rebels, New Vision, 19 February 1991. 136. Behrend, Alice Lakwena and the Holy Spirits, 188. 137. NRA mops up in the North, New Vision, 18 March 1991; NRA launches search operation in the North, New Vision, 3 April 1991. 138. Lira radios seized, New Vision, 4 April 1991. 139. Kitgum DA replaced, New Vision, 6 April 1991; and Atubo arrested, New Vision, 17 April 1991. 140. Gulu gets Easter panda gari, Weekly Topic, 12 April 1991. 141. The Citizen, 24 April 1991, gives details abuses of detainees, dozens killed, scores tortured, looting, and rapes; I have had the locations of mass graves dating from this period pointed out to me in the course of my fieldwork in Acholiland. 142. Museveni refutes brutality claims, New Vision, 14 May 1991; see also Minister, CMs in court for treason, New Vision, 8 May 1991. 143. 3000 rebels netted in Kitgum, New Vision, 14 May 1991. 144. Tinyefuza welcomes Red Cross, New Vision, 15 May 1991. 145. Kitgum forms peoples battalions, New Vision, 17 May 1991; Gulu forms arrow battalions, The Economy, 4 June 1991. 146. Behrend Alice Lakwena and the Holy Spirits, 189; Kitgum stabilizes, New Vision, 30 July 1991. 147. Kitgum rebels burn 14 in hut, New Vision, 4 June 1991. 148. Kony rebels threaten, New Vision, 26 April 1994. 149. Kony still in Kitgum, New Vision, 5 July 1991. 150. Gulu assured of unity, peace, New Vision, 12 June 1991. 151. Ibid. 152. Over 1500 rebels killed, Weekly Topic, 9 August 1991. 153. Tinyefuza ends Operation North, New Vision, 30 July 1991; and Word of advice to Betty Bigombe, Weekly Topic, 26 July 1991. 154. Rebels massacre over 60 civilians, The Guide, 24 October 1991. 155. Where tears and pain never seem to end, Weekly Topic, 20 September 1991. 156. October 24, 1991 The Guide, Rebels massacre over 60 civilians. 157. Confidential interviews, Kampala February 2003, Gulu District April 2003. 158. Kony rules revealed, New Vision, 14 February 1992. 159. Billie OKadameri, LRA/Government Negotiations 1993-1994, ed. Conciliation Resources, London, Accord: An International Review of Peace Initiatives (2002): 34-41. 160. Kony wants UN role, New Vision, 22 February 1994.
POLITICAL VIOLENCE AND THE PEASANTRY IN NORTHERN UGANDA 29African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a1.htm161. Bigombe, rebels meet in forest, New Vision, 1 December 1993; Spirits give green light: Kony to meet Museveni, Daily Topic, 13 January 1994; Museveni and Kony, make peace, Monitor, 25 February 1994; Kony rebels reject Musevenis ultimatum?, Monitor, 18 February 1994. 162. Kony rebels minor problemMuseveni, New Vision, 25 February 1994. 163. Atrocities in Northern fighting: Secrets of NRA-Kony war exposed, Monitor, 11 March 1994; see also Blood, tears flow in Gulu war, Monitor, 29 March 1994. 164. Gulu attacks spread, Daily Topic, 23 February 1994; Kony rebels burn ministers Pajero, New Vision, 23 February 1994; Fighting erupts in Gulu, Daily Topic, 21 February 1994; Rebels abduct women, New Vision, 13 May 1994; Kony abducts 50, New Vision, 14 May 1994; Havoc as Kony goes for RCs, Daily Topic, 25 May 1994. 165. Kony rebels burn ministers Pajero, New Vision, 23 February 1994; Kony rebels play soccer, 18 June 1994; Otunnu to meet Kony in Sudan, New Vision, 28 July 1994. 166. Kony gets new foreign arms supply, Monitor, 15 July 1994. 167. Ibid. 168. Why NRM has failed in North
Bigombe, Daily Topic, 14 June 1994. 169. NRA rapped for fearing Kony rebels, Monitor, 23 August 1995; Defence confirms Kony rebel attack, New Vision, 19 August 1995; North border brings big headaches, Monitor, 21 August 1995; Kitgum rocked as Kony rebels change tactics, Sunday Vision, 27 August 1995. 170. Museveni and Kony, make peace, Monitor, 25 February 1994; Amaza 136. 171. Kony intransigent, New Vision, 23 March 1994; Kony gets new foreign arms supply, Monitor, 15 July 1994; Sudan disowns Kony, Daily Topic, 3 August 1994. 172. Five civilians killed, New Vision, 15 March 1994. 173. Kony rebels get better weapons, Sunday Vision, 20 March 1994. 174. Kony abducts boys for Sudan military camps, Monitor, 19 October 1994; Kony flees to Sudan confirms Brig Shef Ali, New Vision, 3 November 1994. 175. SPLA executes Kony prisoners, New Vision, 18 January 1995; Terror as rebel mines blow up 23, Monitor, 15 February 1995. 176. Disband Kony rebels, Museveni tells Sudan, New Vision, 3 May 1995; Why has NRA failed to finish off Kony, Monitor, 12 May 1995; see also Let someone take Kony as cheap labour, Monitor, 8 May 1995, in which Museveni blames Sudans intention to export Islam throughout the continent. 177. Kony abducts Children, New Vision, 20 February 1995; Slavery returns: Sudanese dealers buy 110 Ugandan kids, New Vision, 7 February 1995. 178. SPLA fighters kill 36 Kony rebels, New Vision, 3 November 1995; SPLA rescues 100 children, New Vision, 7 November 1995. 179. Kony supporters are demoralizedBigombe, New Vision, 12 December 1995; Itongwa, Kony finished says Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu, Monitor, 8-11 December 1995. 180. Kony rebels enter Uganda, New Vision, 13 February 1996; Kony attacks Kitgum, New Vision, 15 February 1996. 181. Kony wants to disrupt elections, New Vision, 17 February 1996. 182. Museveni telling lies about Kony?, Crusader, 23 February 1996; Can Shefe Ali bring peace to Acholiland?, The People, 21 February 1996; Sifting truth from hollow lies on Kony, Monitor, 23 February 1996. 183. Kony rebels hit Gulu, New Vision, 30 March 1996; Museveni rejects Kony peace talks, New Vision, 15 March 1996. 184. Huge demos planned against Govt, Kony, Monitor, 13 March 1996.
30 BRANCHAfrican Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a1.htm185. LRA rebels to honour ceasefirespokesman, New Vision, 28 April 1996. 186. Gulu in big panic: Kony fights for multipartyism, New Vision, 6 March 1996; Kony rebels hold political rallies, Sunday Vision, 14 April 1996; Kony rallies OK, says Ssemogerere, New Vision, 16 April 1996; Kony rebels vow to take part in May elections, Monitor, 22 April 1996. 187. Rebels blame Baganda, New Vision, 14 May 1996. 188. Kony rebels plan attack, New Vision, 29 May 1996; 200 rebels on rampage as PM Kintu enters Gulu, Monitor, 7 June 1996. 189. Saleh announces North offensive, New Vision, 20 June 1996; No more talks with KonySaleh, Crusader, 18 July 1996. 190. Musevenis official decree ordering the creation of the camps came out in September 27, and wide-scale forcible displacement began on October 2; Human Rights Focus, Between Two Fires: The Plight of IDPs in Northern Uganda (Gulu Town: HURIFO, 2002): 11. 191. WFP Emergency Report No. 41 of 8 October 2004. 192. Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative, Let my People Go: The Forgotten Plight of the People in the Displaced Camps in Acholi (Gulu Town: Gulu Archdiocese, July 2001): 8-10; Human Rights Focus 16-24. 193. Senior Presidential Adviser Major Kakooza Mutale, quoted in Human Rights Focus 18. 194. RLP 30. 195. 9000 homeguards to counter Kony, Sunday Vision, 23 October 1994; EC envoys assess Sudan-Kony threat, New Vision, 1 December 1994. 196. Scores killed as NRA hits back, Monitor, 25 January 1995; Slavery returns: Sudanese dealers buy 110 Ugandan kids, New Vision, 7 February 1995. 197. Kony rebels massacre 82, New Vision, 22 April 1995; Kony toll rises, New Vision, 24 April 1995; Atiaks longest day of the bullet, Sunday Vision, 30 April 1995. 198. Homeguards kill six Kony rebels, New Vision, 28 April 1995; Govt to be sued over Atiak massacre, Monitor, 19 May 1995. 199. Confidential Interviews, May 2003, Gulu District. 200. Human Rights Focus 29. 201. Confidential interviews, Gulu, May 2003. 202. Human Rights Focus 27-30. 203. Human Rights Focus 30. 204. Confidential Interviews, March-April 2003, Gulu District. 205. Ibid. 206. Ibid. 207. See Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative 12; Finnstrom 197-200; and Amnesty International, Breaking the Circle: Protecting Human Rights in the Northern War Zone (London: Amnesty International, March 1999). 208. Confidential Interviews, MarchApril 2003, Gulu District. 209. Human Rights Focus 10. 210. See Finnstroms excellent exposition of this dilemma in Finnstrom 161-172. The only other organization with enough of a constituency to make serious demands is the Church, embodied in the Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative. Indeed, they are the only organization that has consistently demanded the dismantling of the camps, precisely as they are not entirely beholden to foreign funds. It remains to be seen whether or not ARLPI will continue to voice the demands of the Acholi in the camps. 211. In this context, the International Criminal Courts current pursuit of justice in Northern Uganda is not to the point, limited as it is to the punishment of Kony and his top commanders.
POLITICAL VIOLENCE AND THE PEASANTRY IN NORTHERN UGANDA 31African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a1.htm Reference Style : The following is the suggested format for referencing this article: Adam Branch Neither Peace nor Justice: Political Violence and the Peasantry in Northern Uganda, 1986-1998" African Studies Quarterly 8 no.2: (2005) [online] URL: http://web.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a1.htm
John K. Mduma is a lecturer of Economics at the Economics Department, University of Dar es Salaam & Junior Research Fellow at the Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn. Peter Wobst is is a Senior Research Fellow at ZEF & Research Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Washington, D.C. The research was made possible by the Robert Bosch Foundation under the Policy Analysis for Sustainable Agricultural Development (PASAD) Project at ZEF. African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a2.htm32 African Studies QuarterlyVolume 8, Issue 2 Spring 2005Determinants of Rural Labor Market Participation in TanzaniaJOHN K. MDUMA and PETER WOBSTAbstract: Participation in rural off-farm activities (outside a household's own farm) is one of the livelihood strategies among poor rural households in many developing countries. One component of off-farm activities accessible to the very poor is wage labor because it does not require any complementary physical capital. A households ability to participate in the rural labor market depends on the characteristics of the household itself and the local labor markets conditions. This study examines the factors that determine the number of households supplying labor to a particular rural local labor market in rural areas of Tanzania and the share of labor income in total cash income. The study finds that education level, availability of land, and access to economic centers and credit are the most important factors in determining the number of households that participate in a particular rural local labor market and the share of labor income in total cash income.MOTIVATION Many studies show that participation in rural labor markets is an important strategy for poverty alleviation and food security in developing countries.1 In Sub-Saharan Africa, rural households commonly depend on off-farm sources for 30-50 percent of their income.2 Defined in terms of function, off-farm employment has two major components, namely wage employment and self-employment.3 The component of rural off-farm employment, in which the poor can participate because it does not require any complementary physical capital, is wage labor (i.e. to supply their labor for wage in the rural labor markets). A corresponding Kiswahili saying goes: mtaji wa maskini ni nguvu zake mwenyewe, which translates the asset of the poor is his/her labor power. The report on Tanzanias Household Budget Survey (HBS) of 2000/01 shows that the poverty
DETERMINANTS OF RURAL LABOR MARKET PARTICIPATION IN TANZANIA 33African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a2.htmrate of the households that participated in the rural labor markets were slightly lower than those which did not. However, the most recent national Labor Force Survey (LFS) in Tanzania shows that only 11 percent of the poor households participated (supplied labor) in the rural labor markets in 2000/01.4Studies elsewhere have shown that the capacity of households or individuals to participate in rural off-farm activities varies significantly across countries and within countries. In their analysis of 100 farm household studies, Reardon et al. in 2001 find that this variation is partly due to high entry barriers to certain rural off-farm activities, which makes certain activities accessible only to higher income groups.5 The 'entry barrier' hypothesis is particularly important in the case of off-farm self-employment. For the poor rural wage labor supplier, however, the main problem is the availability of wage employment in areas close to his/her homestead. In other words, with high entry barriers in off-farm employment such as off-farm self-employment, very poor households have no other option but to participate in rural off-farm wage employment, which in turn is only possible if there is sufficient demand for their labor nearby. Thus, concerning these very poor households an important policy question arises: what factors determine the total participation of individuals/households in the rural labor markets? Equally important is the question of factors that determine the share of labor income in total income. Few studies of rural labor markets in Africa focus on the nonfarm sector. although wage employment can be provided by both farm and non-farm sector.6 Furthermore, these studies concentrate on the individual/household level. However, the proponents of the importance of spatial targeting for poverty reduction argue that most micro-policies first target particular areas/locations and then households located therein.7 This paper answers the question of what determines the number of households in a village that participate in the rural labor market and the share of income derived from these markets (in the households total cash income) using a modified farm household model, aggregated to the village level. The rest of the paper is organized as follows: Section 2 presents the theoretical framework of the agricultural household model with transaction costs and liquidity constraints; Section 3 describes the econometric models and the estimation strategies. Section 4 discusses the results of the analysis; and Section 5 provides conclusions of the paper. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK In finding the determinants of the number of households which participate in a certain rural local labor market and the share of labor income in total income, it is important to address the spatial dependence in the development of one rural market on the other. For example, the study by Bryceson in 2000 shows that development of other markets such as credit markets in the rural areas may have significant impacts on rural labor markets.8This argument is theoretically based on the proposition that households participating in rural credit markets may offer jobs to other households, thus, increasing the number of households participating in the rural labor markets and the contribution of income derived from the rural labor markets. As most of the rural credit is directed to agricultural activities, for example season credit for purchasing fertilizers and pesticides, the link of credit availability and rural labor market is likely to work through the farm sector.9
34 MDUMA AND WOBSTAfrican Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a2.htmHowever, due to transportation and other transaction costs, the spatial dependence effects dissipate as distance increases, i.e. the strength of the connection between the two markets is expected to diminish with distance.10 This argument is in line with most spatial econometric analysis and regional sciences in general that indicate spatial dependence is a declining function of distance. Thus, high transaction costs cause localization of rural labor markets because it becomes costly to sell labor to distant places.11 As such, transaction costs is one of the factors that may result in disequilibrium in the rural markets as discussed in the recent study by Kanwar in 2004 for the case of rural India. As in many studies of rural economies, the starting point of our theoretical framework is the Farm Household Model (FHM).12 This model is preferred to, for example, the occupational choice models, because of its flexibility to analyze economic aspects for a range of different household types
from pure subsistence to commercial farm households. The FHM can readily be extended to accommodate incomplete markets and market imperfections such as differential accessibility to rural labor markets and other off-farm activities due to differences in transaction costs, rationing, and entry barriers.13Some studies of rural labor markets assumed that the rationing and transaction costs apply to each household differently.14 When the emphasis is on spatial targeting, this assumption may not be realistic because households in one village are likely to be rationed in wage labor markets by their access to infrastructure, information costs, and credit availability. This is particularly important when modeling village labor markets because farmers in Tanzanias villages are not fully integrated into urban wage labor markets.15 Thus, the paper adopts the non-separable farm household model (with transaction costs, rationing in labor markets, and credit constraints) used in the 2000 work of Woldehanna and extended by Mduma in 2003.16 However, the paper moves further by considering market outcomes at the village level. Normally, we consider the importance of the rural labor markets in terms of the number of households which sold their labor in the rural labor markets and the share of labor income in total cash income. We impose some regularity conditions, namely the quasi-concavity of the household preference, convex agricultural production frontier, and linearity in all constraints in the model. Woldehanna and Mduma show that, under these assumptions, the Kuhn-Tucker first order conditions for utility maximization are both necessary and sufficient for a households utility maximization problem. They also show that the propensity to participate in the rural labor markets declines with the increase in marginal value of time, the extent of rationing in the rural labor markets, and the transaction costs of participating in the rural labor markets.17 Furthermore, from the assumptions of rationing, search, and other transaction costs, the model implies that access to information and markets will influence participation rate in the village. Also from the assumptions of household characteristics, labor endowment and stock of human capital in the villages are some of the factors that have bearing on the rural labor markets. Although the focus of this study is mainly on the supply side of the rural labor market, the comparative statics behavior discussed above needs to be qualified by also looking at some aspects of the demand side in order to enable a village level analysis. This is particularly needed because the presence of 8.4% of unemployment rate in rural areas of Tanzania points to some of the demand side factors. On the demand side of the rural labor markets, the amount of labor that a household can buy increases with
DETERMINANTS OF RURAL LABOR MARKET PARTICIPATION IN TANZANIA 35African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a2.htmrelaxation of the cash constraint. In a 2003 study Mduma shows that relaxing the cash constraints increases the demand for labor by shifting the labor demand curve upwards. In other words, in the village labor markets, households that can access credit are likely to offer opportunities for wage employment to other households.18With respect to agricultural land, we note that land is likely to be complimentary to wage labor. However, even though large landholdings may reduce the need for seeking for wage employment, households with large amount of land (relative to their labor endowment) are likely to demand labor from the rural labor markets. Thus, at the village level, the effect of the land availability on rural labor markets is also likely to manifest itself through inequality in landholdings. In other words, those with relatively large amount of land will demand labor in the rural labor market and those with relatively low amount of land will sell their labor in the rural labor markets. The same argument is made with respect to the per capita village income: households with relatively higher per capita income are likely to be employers in the rural labor markets. Thus, it is likely that for the kind of off-farm employment we analyze, the village income inequality is an important factor in influencing the availability of wage employment to the relatively poor households. In the next section we describe how these theoretical implications were operationalized for empirical estimation. VARIABLES AND ECONOMETRIC ESTIMATIONS (a) Dependent variables As in Isiguts 2004 work, we use the share of village income from labor markets over total cash income (SHARE) as the first dependent variable that indicates the extent of participation in the rural labor markets. We also take the number of households in a village who reported to have supplied their labor to the rural labor markets (ACT_W) in the survey year as another dependent variable.19 From a policy perspective, while the former dependent variable is relevant in indicating the extent to which rural poor households depend on the income derived from the rural labor markets, the latter gives an overview of the participation rate in the supply side of these markets. (b) Predictor variables ( i) Development in other rural markets: To capture the interconnectedness of rural labor markets with other markets, we focus on the rural credit market because it is assumed to relax the cash constraints at the village level. The indicator of the village cash constraint is measured by the proportion of households which have at least one member who participated in formal financial and/or informal financial arrangements (CREDIT).20 As derived in the theoretical framework, the relaxation of cash constraints reduces participation in rural wage employment at household level. However, we note that the relaxation of cash constraints may have an opposite effect on labor supply in case of unemployment, through its positive effects on the labor demand. Therefore, the square of this variable (CREDIT_SQ) is included to capture this complex relationship.
36 MDUMA AND WOBSTAfrican Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a2.htm(ii) Agricultural assets: As pointed out in the section 2, labor allocation is likely to be affected by land availability. Thus, we include the per capita cultivated land in the survey year (PER_LAND). According to Yaos study of rural China, agricultural land is both a wealth variable and production factor, and therefore, it is expected to have multiple effects on participation in rural labor markets.21 First, as a wealth variable, land may induce confidence to households with a relatively large amount of land (confidence in what they can produce with their land). This effect, which Yao termed insurance effect of land, reduces participation in wage employment in the rural areas. Secondly, as a factor of production, land can be either complimentary to labor or a substitute for labor. The complimentary nature of land and labor is expected to have dominated in rural Tanzania due to the form of technology used in small-scale farming (hand hoe cultivation). However, at village level, per capita landholding may have negative effects on the labor supplied off-farm while at the same time inequality in landholding is likely to have positive impacts on the rural labor markets (because households with low land endowment are employed by those with relatively large per capita land). Thus, we include the gini coefficient in land holding (GINI_LAND) as one of the explanatory variables, in addition to per capita cultivated land in the survey year. (iii) Infrastructure development and transaction costs: We include proximity to important economic centers (including main roads) to capture costs related to marketing, transaction, rationing, and information. We tried two proxies to capture these aspects. The first proxy used was the average distance, in kilometers, to the nearest major/essential economic center, such as shops, market place, main road, and health centers.22 The alternative proxy is the average travel time (DISTC_HRS) to the nearest economic center. In the course of estimation, the travel time was found to be more appropriate than distance measured in kilometers. The travel time approach tended to fit the data better than distance in kilometers because travel time captures both the differences in terrain and the quality of the paths/roads. (iv) Human capital stock and labor resources: We use education indicators as proxies for the stock of skills in the village. For most studies in Sub-Saharan Africa, the cut off point has been primary education (and above) vs. no education. Thus we use the proportion of those who have primary education and above (PR_EDUC) in the population of individuals above 15 years of age. The square of this variable (EDUC_SQ) has also been included to capture the nonlinearity of the relationship, for the kind of wage employment analyzed here is expect to decline with the increase in education (as households shift to other preferred form of off-farm employment, e.g. self-employment). Thus, we expect the square of education to have significant negative effects on the participation and the share of labor income in the total cash income.
DETERMINANTS OF RURAL LABOR MARKET PARTICIPATION IN TANZANIA 37African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a2.htmAs indicated in the theoretical framework at household level, we include the average age (AGE) of the population between 15 and 65 years in the village. We have also included the square of age (AGE_SQ) to capture the lifecycle in the participation in the rural labor markets. Moreover, the average household size (HH_TOTAL) in the village was included as an indicator of the available labor resources in the village. However, to account for a non-working population in the village, we also included the average dependency ratio (DEP_RATIO) within the village, which is expected to reduce the rate of participation in rural labor markets. The dependency ratio was computed as the ratio of the population below 5 years plus above 65 years to the population between 15 and 65 years. The square of dependency ratio (DRATIO_SQ) was also included to capture possible non-linearity. (v) Economic development and diversification: Average time used per week on the primary activities (ACT_HRS1) and the secondary activities (ACT_HRS2) in the village are included as measure of rural economy diversification. The primary activities are essentially farm and livestock activities. The secondary activities are mainly off-farm activities such as fishing, mining, tourism, construction, and employment in the government and parastatals. However, a large proportion of the secondary activities take the form of off-farm self-employment. As an alternative way of including the proxies for economic diversification in the village, we also include the ratio of average time per week used in the primary activities to average time per week used in the secondary activities (denoted as ACT1_to_2). Furthermore, we include the number of petty traders in the villages (TRADE) and its square (TRADE_SQ), to capture wage employment generated by expansion in other off-farm activities, particularly off-farm self-employment. To control for differences in well-being of the people across villages, we include the proportion of households in the village that have access to safe water (SAF_WATE) as computed by Tanzanias National Bureau of Statistics. The square of this variable (WATER_SQ) is included to capture the nonlinearity of this relationship. We also include the proportion of households in the village that are connected to the national power grid (ELEC_PW), expecting that the villages with high proportions of their households connected to the national power grid will have better developed rural labor markets. Further, we include the square of this variable (ELEC_SQ) to capture nonlinear relationship. By including access to water and electricity as proxies of the village development level, we avoid the endogeneity problem that would be caused by the direct inclusion of per capita income (because income reported in the survey is necessarily a function of labor allocation in that year). However, we have included the gini coefficient of per capita expenditure (GINI_EXP) to capture possible wage employment provided by relatively rich households to the poor households in the village. This is a particularly important aspect when a substantial portion of the inequality is generated by incomes derived from activities located in the rural areas (thus increased labor demand). However, if a substantial portion of the inequality is generated by incomes from outside the rural areas, the effects of inequality on the rural labor markets remain ambiguous.
38 MDUMA AND WOBSTAfrican Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a2.htmData source and descriptive statistics The data used in this study represents 519 true rural villages (the enumeration areas) used in the 2000/01 Household Budget Survey (HBS) in Tanzania. According to Tanzanias National Master Sample (NMS), a true rural enumeration area shares the same boundary with the village in which it is defined. The 2000/01 HBS was a nationally-representative survey whereby the fieldwork was conducted between May 2000 and June 2001. Between 12 and 24 households were surveyed in each sampled village. More details of this survey can be found in the HBS main report published by in 2002 by Tanzania's National Bureau of Statistics. Table 1 provides the descriptive statistics of the data used in this study. It is apparent from Table 1 that about 8% of total cash income comes form the rural labor markets. This is a substantial amount as most of the rural wage labor incomes are intended to relax cash constraints when other sources of cash income, e.g. from selling agricultural products, are not available (as noted by the latest USAID report on the state of food security in 2004). Table 1 also shows that on average, 10% of the households interviewed reported participating in off-farm wage employment. In general, this is a relatively low rate of participation as compared to in some other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa as shown in a recent study by Mduma and Wobst published in 2005. Figure 1 also shows geographical distribution of the importance of labor income in the rural areas. The lowest shares are in Dodoma, Lindi, Mtwara, Ruvuma, and Rukwa regions. These regions are known for their relative lag in many economic aspects such as transport infrastructure. The relatively large share in the Coastal region (Pwani) could probably be explained by the influence of being close to Dar es Salaam.
DETERMINANTS OF RURAL LABOR MARKET PARTICIPATION IN TANZANIA 39African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a2.htm It is important to emphasize that rural labor markets in Tanzania are mainly agricultural based. The 2000/01 Integrated Labor Force Survey, which was conducted parallel to the 2000/01 HBS, shows that 97.8% of the households in rural Tanzania were involved in agriculture. Of those, 5.8% had hired employees, which is relatively high as compared to only 1.5% for those working in the non-farm rural sector. Table 2 provides other dimensions of the rural labor markets, including the gender dimension where it is apparent that more males are reported to be working for a wage than females.
40 MDUMA AND WOBSTAfrican Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a2.htmEstimation techniques For the first dependent variable SHARE (the share of labor income in total cash income), we use a truncated regression because the distribution of the variable is bounded between zero and one. Furthermore, given the discrete (count) nature of the second dependent variable (the number of households which sold labor in the rural labor markets, ACT_W), the empirical model was estimated using a negative binomial model. The reason for using the negative binomial regression is that, although ordinary least squares (OLS) could be used, the preponderance of zeros and small and discrete values of the dependent variable poses econometric problems.23 Alternatively, we could have used standard Poisson regression. However, one restrictive assumption of the standard Poisson model is that the mean and the variance are equal.24 Often, this restriction may not agree with sample data and may cause an over-dispersion problem (i.e. the mean deviates from the variance). RESULTS AND DISCUSSION (a) Model diagnostics: The overall results of our estimations are presented in Table 3. The last three rows in the table show the model diagnostics. The two estimations, namely the share of labor income and the number of households supplying labor in rural labor markets, fit the data fairly well. The null hypothesis that all coefficients are zero is rejected at one percent significance level in the two estimations. Furthermore, several regressors are individually significant at the conventional levels as indicated by an asterisk (*) in Table 3. The test for over-dispersion shows that there is significant over-dispersion, which justifies the use of the negative binomial model. (b) Estimated coefficients and their implications It is apparent from Table 3 that average household size (HH_TOTAL) in the village, age (AGE), and the dependency ratio (DEP_RATIO) are among the variables that are not significant. Although this could be a result of aggregation to the village level, the most likely reason is the theoretical indeterminacy of some of these variables, for example household size. However, many regressors have the expected signs and are significant. As expected, costs related to marketing, transaction, rationing, and information (DISTC_HRS) the average travel time to the nearest economic center has a negative effect on the number of households participating in the rural labor markets. Although it has the expected sign, it is not significant in influencing the share of rural labor income in total cash income. The non-significant effects on the share of labor income could mean that this variable will have similar effects on other sources of cash income (e.g. off-farm self-employment, leaving the composition of different sources unchanged). Thus, this result is supported by the findings of many other studies that conclude access to markets plays a significant role in enhancing development in off-farm employment and in improving the welfare of the rural poor.25Relaxation of the cash constraint (CREDIT) has a positive and significant effect on the number of households participating in rural labor markets. However, this variable
DETERMINANTS OF RURAL LABOR MARKET PARTICIPATION IN TANZANIA 41African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a2.htmis not significant in influencing the share of labor income in the cash income of the village. Even though the participation rate increases, this finding could imply that relaxation of cash constraints increases income from off-farm self-employment faster than it increases the wage income. In general therefore, this finding is contrary to Woldehannas 2000 findings at household level, which show that the relaxation of cash constraints reduced participation in the rural labor markets in Ethiopia.26 The reason for this difference is that our analysis at village level captures the effects of liquid households in providing employment to cash constrained households. However, the square cash constraint (CREDIT_SQ) is negative, which indicates that the relationship is not linear and that after some time the increase in cash flow in the village may reduce the number of households that participated in the rural labor markets. This could result from the ability of some households, who initially were wage workers, to overcome entry barriers in self-employment.
42 MDUMA AND WOBSTAfrican Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a2.htmThe indicator of wellbeing at village level, safe water availability (SAF_WATE), is positively associated with the number of households supplying labor in rural labor markets in a village and the share of labor income in total income. The square of this variable also is negative and significant, indicating that wage employment and safe water availability are not necessarily linearly related. Furthermore, the other wellbeing-related indicator, access to electrical power (ELEC_PW) is positively related to the number of households supplying labor in the rural labor markets and the share of income derived from these markets in the total cash income. We find that, contrary to our expectation, inequality in per capita expenditure has negative effects on the share of labor income in the total cash income. This partly implies that the inequality in the rural areas (Gini coefficient of 0.39) is a result of incomes generated from outside the rural areas such as remittances. Note, however, that there is significant evidence that land inequality is positively associated with the number of households that supplied labor in the rural labor markets. Moreover, as expected, per capita land has negative effects on the participation in rural labor markets as a supplier. Thus, these results in general imply that past policies in Tanzania that have favored egalitarian land holding/distribution partly explain the relatively low development of rural labor markets in Tanzania as compared to some other countries in the region, for example Malawi.27Indicators of economic diversifications in the rural economy, the hours worked in the main activity (ACT_HRS1) and in the secondary activity (ACT_HRS2) do have the expected effects. We find that the number of hours worked on the main activities in rural Tanzania (which are generally farming and livestock activities), increases the share of wage labor income in total cash income. However, number of hours worked on secondary activities in rural Tanzania (which are generally off-farm self-employment) reduces the number of households supplying labor in the rural labor markets. Similar results are obtained when these variables are replaced by their ratio in the regression.28 It is established at 5% level of significance that the increase in the ratio of hours worked in primary activities to hours worked in secondary activities increases the share of labor income in total cash income. However, the effect of this ratio was not significant in determining the number of households selling labor in the rural labor markets. The implication of this finding is that agriculture still has the dominating role in the rural economy of Tanzania as compared to other forms of off-farm self-employment. This is because most of the rural off-farm self-employment enterprises are generally small and provide employment only to their proprietors. This argument is also reflected in the findings which show that villages with larger a number of petty traders (TRADE) are associated with a low share of labor income in total cash income. This last finding could mean that the kind of wage labor analyzed here is considered to be an inferior option as compared to other off-farm self-employment. This argument is in line with the argument of distress-pushed participation in wage labor discussed in the 1997 work of Islam who identified the major factor for distress-pushed participation as successive droughts that depress agricultural income and hence increase the need for alternative sources of income.29 Furthermore, these results show that off-farm self-employment is a substitute for distress participation in rural wage employment. Thus, while promotion of off-farm self-employment may be an end unto itself, it is likely to reduce distress wage labor participation and increase wage in rural labor markets. In this case, promotion of
DETERMINANTS OF RURAL LABOR MARKET PARTICIPATION IN TANZANIA 43African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a2.htmoff-farm self-employment can be welfare enhancing for both sub-sectors of rural off-farm employment, namely wage employment and self-employment. The results with respect to education are as expected. We find that this type of labor market participation declines with education (the square of education is negative). As the type of wage labor analyzed here is predominately for the poor and less educated, our results indicate that education empowers rural households in their search and participation in other off-farm employment such as self-employment. Furthermore, a positive and significant coefficient of education implies that even for this inferior form of rural wage labor, education is important. It emphasize that villages with a relatively educated population will offer more wage opportunities than villages a with relatively uneducated population. SUMMARY AND CONCLUDING REMARKS This paper has considered factors that determine the number of households that supply labor in the rural labor markets at village level in Tanzania and the share of labor income (derived from supplying labor to these markets) in total cash income. Due to high transaction and supervision costs (involved in the rural labor markets) as well as poor transport infrastructure in rural areas of Tanzania, each village was considered to constitute a local labor market of its own. We have shown that the factors significant in determining the development of village labor markets are access to credit, education level, per capita agricultural land, and market access. Thus, interventions that relax cash constraints through increased access to credit for some households are likely to indirectly increase the participation of other households in the rural labor markets. For the case of education, we however noted that even though education is important for the development of rural labor markets, relatively high education (in the rural context) is likely to induce participation in selfemployment because it is generally considered superior to rural wage employment. Other factors that are significant in determining the development of village labor markets are diversification of economic activities in the village and inequality in both per capita expenditure and landholding. Economic diversification occurs mainly in the form of off-farm self-employment. As most of these self-employment enterprises do not have employees apart from their sole proprietors, we found that they have negative impacts on the number of participants in wage labor markets. As such, we found that in the current rural setting in Tanzania, rural labor markets are mainly tied to the farming sector (including the issue of land inequality discussed above) as opposed to the off-farm sector. Therefore, we argued that since a substantial portion of labor supplied in the rural labor markets is a result of economic distress, the promotion of off-farm self-employment is likely to reduce distress-push participation in the wage labor markets. If the promotion of the rural self-employment can bid up wages in the rural labor markets, then it can be welfare enhancing for both sub-sectors of rural off-farm employment (i.e. wage and selfemployment).
44 MDUMA AND WOBSTAfrican Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a2.htmNOTES 1. See Leavy and White 2003; Ruben and Berger 2001; FAO 1998; and Lanjouw 1998. 2. World Bank, 2000. See Barrett et al. 2002, for recent review of the importance on non-farm employment in Sub-Saharan Africa. 3. This classification is based on Barrett et al. (2001) in which they present the components of rural household in income a three-way classification. The classification may be based on (i) earned income (income from productive assets); (ii) type of the sector (farm vs non-farm); (iii) function (wage vs. self-employment); (iv) space (local vs. migratory). 4. The two findings based on the two national surveys reported in NBS, 2002a and NBS, 2002b. 5. Reardon et al. 2001. 6. Reardon, 1997, is one of those few studies of rural labor markets in Africa but concentrated mainly on wage employment in the non-farm sector. Leavy and White, 2003, argue, however, that a substantial amount of wage employment is obtained from the farm sector. 7. See Bigman and Fofack, 2000, in their excellent book on methodology and applications of geographical targeting for poverty reduction. 8. Bryceson, 2000. 9. See for example Temu et al. 2001. 10. Anselin, 2002. 11. Rosenzweig, 1988. 12. Singh at el. 1886; Lofgern and Robinson 1999; Taylor and Adelman 2003. 13. Reardon et al. 2001. 14. See, for example, studies cited in Woldehana, 2000. 15. Ferriera, 1996. 16. Woldehanna, 2000 and Mduma, 2003. 17. Woldehanna, 2000 and Mduma, 2003. 18. Mduma, 2003. 19. Isguti, 2004. 20. In general, most of the credit that has been made available to rural households is intended to facilitate purchase of commercial farm inputs (e.g. fertilizers and pesticides) and is typically extended on the basis of cropping seasons (Temu et al. 2001). 21. Yao, 2001. 22. The 2000/01 HBS collected information on distances to 20 socio-economic centers/points which we consider as measuring access to markets and information. In this study, we have only dealt with the average of all of them. The full discussion of each component in found in NBS, 2002b. 23. Wooldridge, 2001. 24. Greene, 2001. 25. See also the review in Reardon et al. 2001. 26. Woldehanna, 2000. 27. See for example, Edris et al. 2004 for the case of Malawi.
DETERMINANTS OF RURAL LABOR MARKET PARTICIPATION IN TANZANIA 45African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a2.htm28. Other results for this regression are omitted because they are similar to those discussed here. 29. Islam, 1997. REFERENCES Anselin, L. (2003). Spatial Externalities. International Regional Science Review, Vol. 26, No. 2, pp. 147-152. Baier, E.G. (1997). The impact of HIV/AIDS on rural communities and the need for multi-sectoral prevention and mitigation strategies to combat the epidemic in rural areas. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Barrett, C. B., T. Reardon, and P. Webb (2001). Nonfarm income diversification and household livelihood strategies in rural Africa: concepts, dynamics, and policy implications. Food Policy, Vol. 26, No. 4, pp. 315-331. Bigman, D. and H. Fofock (2000). Geographical Targeting for Poverty Alleviation: Methodology and Applications. Washington DC: World Bank. Bright, H. et al. (2000). Rural Non-Farm Livelihoods in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia and the Reform Process: A Literature Review. World Bank Natural Resources Institute Report No. 2633. http://www.nri.org/work, accessed on May 6, 2004. Bryceson, D. (2000). Rural Africa at the crossroads: Livelihood practices and policies. Natural Resources Perspective No. 52. London: Overseas Development Institute. FAO (1998). The State of Food and Agriculture. Part 3: Non-farm income in developing countries. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). www.fao.org, accessed on January 20, 2003. Edriss, A., H. Tchale and P. Wobst (2004). The Impact of Labour Market Liberalization on Maize Productivity and Rural Poverty in Malawi. Submitted to Journal of Development Studies. Ferreira, L. (1996). Poverty and Inequality During Structural Adjustment in Rural Tanzania. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 1641. Greene, W. (2001). Econometric Analysis. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Isigut, A. (2004). Nonfarm income and employment in rural Honduras: Assessing the role of locational factors. Journal of Development Studies, Vol. 40, No. 3, pp. 59-86.
46 MDUMA AND WOBSTAfrican Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a2.htmIslam, N. (1997). The non-farm sector and rural development
review of issues and evidence. Food, Agriculture and the Environment Discussion Paper 22. IFPRI, Washington D.C. Kanwar, S. (2004). Seasonality and Wage Responsiveness in a Developing Agrarian Economy. Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 66, No. 2, pp. 189-204. Lanjouw, P. (1998). Rural Nonfarm Employment and Poverty: Evidence from Household Survey Data in Latin America. Development Research Group, World Bank, Washington, D.C. Leavy, J. and H. White (2003). Rural labor markets and poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa. Working paper, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. Lofgren, H. and S. Robinson (1999). To Trade or not to Trade: Non-separable Farm Household Models in Partial and General Equilibrium. TMD Discussion Paper 37. IFPRI, Washington, DC. Mduma, J. (2003). Village Level Analysis of the Factors Affecting Households' Participation in Rural Labor Markets in Tanzania. PASAD Working Paper, Center for Development Research, University of Bonn. www.pasad.uni-bonn.de, accessed on April 13, 2004. Mduma, J. and P. Wobst (2005). Village Level Labor Market Development in Tanzania: Evidence from Spatial Econometrics. ZEF-Discussion Papers on Development Policy No. 96, Center for Development Research (ZEF), Bonn. NBS (2002a). The Integrated Labor Force Survey, 2000/2001. Tanzania National Bureau of Statistics, Dar es Salaam. NBS (2002b). Household Budget Survey 2000/01. Tanzania National Bureau of Statistics, Dar es Salaam. Reardon, T. (1997). Using evidence of household income diversification to inform study of the rural nonfarm labor market in Africa. World Development, Vol. 25, No. 5, pp. 735-748. Reardon, T., J. Berdegu, and G. Escobar (2001). Rural Nonfarm Employment and Incomes in Latin America: Overview and Policy Implications. World Development, Vol. 29, No. 3, pp. 395-409. Rosenzweig, M.R. (1988). Labor Markets in Low Income Countries. In H. Chenery and T.N. Srinivasan (eds), Handbook of Development Economics, Volume 1. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science Publisher B.V. pp 713-762.
DETERMINANTS OF RURAL LABOR MARKET PARTICIPATION IN TANZANIA 47African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a2.htmRuben, R. and M. Berg (2001). Nonfarm employment and poverty alleviation of rural farm households in Honduras. World Development, Vol. 29, No. 3, pp. 549560. Singh, I., L. Squire, and J. Strauss (1986). Agricultural Household Models: Extensions, Applications, and Policy. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press. Taylor, J. E. and I. Adelman (2003). Agricultural Household Models: Genesis, Evolution, and Extensions. Review of Economics of the Household, Vol. 1 No. 1-2, pp. 33
58. Temu, A. E., M. Mwachang'a, and K. Kilima (2001). Agriculture Development Intervention and Smallholder Farmers Credit in Southern Tanzania: An Assessment of Beneficiaries. African Review of Money, Finance and Banking, Supplement: pp.119-41. USAID (2004). Tanzania Food Security Monthly Report. Famine Early Warning Systems Monthly Reports for January 2004. US Agency for International Development. http://www.reliefweb.int, accessed on March 31, 2004. Woldehanna, T. (2000). Economic Analysis and Policy Implications of Farm and Offfarm Employment: A Case Study in the Tigray Region of Northern Ethiopia. Ph.D. Thesis, Wageningen University. Wooldridge, J.M. (2001). Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. World Bank (2000). Plenary Session Materials to the Internet Forum. Africa Poverty Forum on Poverty Reduction Strategies, Yamoussoukro, Cote d'Ivoire, June 29, 2000. http://www.worldbank.org, accessed on March 31, 2004. Yao, Y. (2001). Egalitarian Land Distribution and Labor Migration in Rural China. China Center for Economic Research, Beijing University, http://www.ccer.edu.cn, accessed on December 9, 2003. Reference Style The following is the suggested format for referencing this article: John K. Mduma and Peter Wobst." Determinants of Rural Labor Market Participation in Tanzania African Studies Quarterly 8 no.2: (2005) [online] URL: http://web.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a2.htm
George Owusu is a Doctoral Fellow at the University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway. His research interests include rural and urban development, decentralization, and participatory approchaes to development. African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a3.htm48 African Studies QuarterlyVolume 8, Issue 2 Spring 2005Small Towns in Ghana: Justifications for their Promotion under Ghana's Decentralisation ProgrammeGEORGE OWUSUAbstract: A key objective of Ghanas decentralization programme is the promotion of small towns, particularly district capitals, as a means of reducing rural-urban migration and the rapid growth of large towns and cities. While small towns have grown significantly in both number and population over the last three decades, the proportion of the total urban population living in these urban centres has changed very little or has even declined slightly. This contradicts the view that the growth and proliferation of small towns is leading to declining growth rates of the larger urban centres. This conclusion leads to the question of whether there is a justification for the promotion of small towns under Ghanas decentralization programme. This article examines the reasons accounting for the growth of small towns and concludes that promoting small towns, especially the district capitals under the current decentralization programme, is a positive response to rural development and the development of dispersed urbanization in the long term.INTRODUCTION The process of urbanization in Ghana, like much of Africa is not a recent phenomenon. Its origin predates the arrival of Europeans and colonization..1 However, while the scale of urbanization during this period was quite small, the process assumed a new impetus and dynamism during the European colonisation and the introduction of Western economic enterprise with its market economy which favoured urban concentration..2 The colonial and post-colonial investment strategies informed by the basic criteria of investing in regions with exploitable and exportable resources, and subsequent provision of basic infrastructure in such areas attracted the population and development relative to other parts of the country..3 Areas of southern Ghana with climates suited to the introduced cash crops, timber exploitation and mining sites closer to the coast or ports have benefited from these investments..4 More significantly, these activities to a large extent enhanced urban concentration as existing and new centres developed as collecting points for exportable locally produced commodities, administrative and communication centres. Northern Ghana, by virtue of its location received less of these investments. Furthermore, the presence of the Europeans on the coast also led to the reorientation of trade routes,
SMALL TOWNS IN GHANA: UNDER GHANA'S DECENTRALISATION PROGRAMME 49African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a3.htmaffecting towns in northern Ghana, which had developed as a result of the trans-Saharan trade between West Africa and the Islamised states in the Northern Africa. While these are the broad forces that intensified the process of urbanization in Ghana, the process itself, as in much of Africa, has been characterised by the predominance of very few urban centres. It is this trend that has drawn the attention of development planners because of its perceived detrimental impact on the spatial economy of the country. As a result, various planning strategies have been implemented with the aim of reducing this polarisation and producing a more balanced hierarchical settlement pattern. The most notable of these strategies have included the growth pole concept and the integrated rural development programmes (IRDP) designed to stimulate rural development to curtail rural-urban migration.5 However, these strategies have failed to significantly alter the urbanization and settlement pattern. In recent years, attempts at transforming the settlement hierarchy or at least reducing the growth rate of the large towns and cities have centred on decentralization and the promotion of small towns and rural development..6 Though the small town development strategy is not new, what is new here is the link with decentralization. The increasing transfer of resources and authority to the district level under Ghanas decentralization programme is expected to enhance district development and, in particular, promote district capitals as attractive centres to potential rural-urban migrants..7 Despite the implementation of its programme over a decade, the pattern and trend of the urbanization process have changed very little or at least remained the same. Ghanas population has increased significantly since the 1920s when formal censuses were introduced. Along with the increased population has come the increasing concentration of the population in settlements of 5000 or more people..8 In 1921, 7.8% of the population lived in urban centres. This had risen to 23.1% by 1960, to 32% in 1984, and to 43.8% in 2000..9 However, a few centres dominate this concentration, mainly Accra and Kumasi. As of 2000, the two cities accounted for about 34% of the total urban population though there were about 350 urban centres in the country. More importantly, there has been continuous increase in the number of urban centres (defined in this article as small towns), especially in the last three decades. However, the proportion of the total urban population residing in these centres has changed very little or has even declined slightly. OBJECTIVE AND METHODOLOGY This article examines the reasons accounting for the growth of small urban centres (including district capitals), and the justification for the promotion of these urban centres under the present decentralization programme, given the fact that their growth and proliferation have not slowed the growth of the large urban centres. This examination is based on data derived largely from the Ghana Statistics Service (GSS) reports on the 2000 Population and Housing Census and other studies on population and settlements in Ghana as well as fieldwork carried out in two district capitals in Ghana. Based on the official definition of an urban centre and Ghanas urban classification identified in this article, the various urban centres in the GSS 2000 Population and Housing Census reports are counted and categorized accordingly. This article acknowledges the limitations of the official survey data, especially the lack of clarity regarding the boundaries of urban centres resulting in either splitting or merging of some settlements. A typical case in point is the peri-urban areas surrounding major urban centres such as Accra and Kumasi. In some instances, identified suburbs of these centres are treated in the official report as independent urban units. In this case, some discrepancies could occur both with the counting and classification of the identified urban centres. Notwithstanding these limitations, the 2000 Population and Housing Census
50 OWUSUAfrican Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a3.htmreports provide relatively good quality and detail data for analyzing urban centres in Ghana since they contain names and populations figures of identified settlements. The article starts with a presentation of Ghanas current urban hierarchy and definition of small towns. After this, factors accounting for the growth of small towns are explored. Finally, the case for the development of small towns within the context of the decentralization programme is presented. GHANAS URBAN HIERARCHY AND SMALL TOWNS As earlier noted, urban centres in Ghana are officially defined as settlements with populations of 5000 or more.10 Besides other limitations, definitions of this sort significantly failed to delimit the various urban hierarchies found within each country or region. Some have therefore suggested that the best approach is the adoption of national or official definition of urban centres, and to delimit each countrys urban systems based on this.11 This approach does not remove the problem of the lack of a universally acceptable definition of urban centres but proponents have argued that it has the advantage of removing the problem of over-generalisation, and allows urban centres and systems to be analysed within a specific national or regional context. This approach that is adopted here. Using Ghanas official urban definition, three main classifications can be made: small towns, medium-sized/intermediate towns, and large towns/cities. Adding rural settlements, Ghanas settlement hierarchy can be placed within a four-tier system. At the top of Ghanas urban hierarchy are the large towns/cities of Accra, Kumasi, Tema and Sekondi-Takoradi, with populations of 250,000 or more. This is followed by the intermediate (medium-sized) towns with populations of 50,000 to 250,000, typified by the regional capitals. After this are the small towns, exemplified by district capitals/administrative centres with populations between 5000 and 50,000.12 Lastly, there are rural settlements. It should be noted that this classification and the definitions are for the purpose of analyses and discussions in this article since no official definitions exist in Ghana other than the official definition of an urban centre. This classification and definition of the urban hierarchy is, however, an oversimplification of Ghanas urban system. This is because with the exception of the administrative status criterion, many centres exhibit a variety of functional and population complexities which make the process of putting them into categories or boxes problematic. A typical example is the gold-mining town of Obuasi which is also the district capital of Adansi West District of the Ashanti Region, with a population of 115,564 in 2000. The presence of gold-mining activities has attracted many industrial and services establishments to the town, which may even be comparable to or exceed those of the medium-size town. According to the above definitions, Obuasi by virtue of its population, administrative status and industrial establishments could be classified as both a small and medium-sized town. Fig. 1 shows the distribution of urban centres in Ghana. It indicates a higher concentration of urban centres in the south reflecting the effects of colonial and post-colonial development policies, and the availability of economic opportunities due to limited or abundant mineral and agricultural resources in some regions.13Fig. 1: Map of Ghana Showing Distribution of Urban Centres
SMALL TOWNS IN GHANA: UNDER GHANA'S DECENTRALISATION PROGRAMME 51African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a3.htm Tables 1 and 2 indicate that Ghanas urban population has undergone a number of changes in the last 30 years. This observation also reveals regional disparities in the level of urbanization and proportion of small towns, as shown in Table 1. The Tables reveal the overwhelming dominance of urban centres defined as small towns (centres with populations between 5000 and 50,000). The number of these centres increased from 114 in 1970 to 336 in 2000 (see Table 2). Despite the massive increase in the number of small towns, the proportion of the total urban population residing in these centres has changed very little or has declined slightly from about 49% in 1970 to about 46% in 2000.14 What are the factors accounting for the growth and proliferation of small towns? What are the planning and policy justifications for the promotion of small towns, especially district capitals? These are very important questions, which need to be explored. In particular, they have relevance for the present decentralized development process, which aims at improving rural areas and the development of a more balanced settlement pattern.15
52 OWUSUAfrican Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a3.htmTable 1. Regional Distribution of Urban Centres: Proportion of Small Towns* 197019842000 Region No.Urban Pop.No.Urban Pop.No.Urban Pop. Western % of small towns 13 92.3 295,129 (28) 52.2 10 90 289,247 (23) 34.9 33 97 691,404 (36) 46.6 Central % of small towns 21 95.2 248,149 (29) 77.6 25 96 339,949 (29) 80.7 39 97.4 598,405 (38) 86.2 Greater Accra % of small towns 4 75 673,663 (85) 7.4 6 66.7 1,108,695 (83) 4.3 35 91.4 2,564,864 (88) 14.4 Volta % of small towns 12 100 124,451 (16) 100 21 100 224,809 (21) 100 35 97.1 441,084 (27) 86 Eastern % of small towns 25 100 282,455 (25) 100 40 97.5 437,923 (28) 86.6 56 98.2 728,718 (35) 88 Ashanti % of small towns 14 92.9 476,621 (30) 27.3 26 92.3 752,740 (33) 29.6 58 96.6 1,875,882 (51) 31.5 Brong Ahafo % of small towns 18 100 162,442 (22) 100 30 100 318,302 (27) 100 54 96.2 687,706 (37) 82.8 Northern % of small towns 8 87.5 141,594 (21) 40.9 16 93.8 288,736 (25) 52.9 27 96.3 496,803 (27) 59.3 Upper East % of small towns 3 100 50,494 (6) 100 5 100 99,928 (13) 100 7 85.7 144,282 (16) 64.4 Upper West % of small towns 1 100 13,740 (7) 100 3 100 47,547 (11) 100 6 83.3 101,096 (18) 34.1 Total % of small towns 119 95.8 2,468,738 (29) 49.2 182 95.6 3,907,876 (32) 47.8 350 96 8,330,244 (44) 45.7 *Figures in bracket show percentage of urbanized population (to the nearest whole number). Source: Derived from GSS reports on the 2000 Population and Housing Census.16Table 2. Distribution of Urban-Sizes in Ghana (1970-2000) 197019842000 Category ('000) No. PopulationNo. PopulationNo. Population 1000+0 00 02 2,829,207 500-10001 624,0911 969,1950 0 100-5002 490,3183 793,7834 1,147,963 50-1002 140,2544 276,9818 544,163 20-5013 369,84819 529,26638 1,127,988 5-20101 844,227155 1,338,651298 2,680,923 Total Urban119 2,468,738182 3,907,876350 8,330,244 Source: Derived from GSS reports on the 2000 Population and Housing Census.17
SMALL TOWNS IN GHANA: UNDER GHANA'S DECENTRALISATION PROGRAMME 53African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a3.htmGrowth of Small Towns: Recent Trends Whilst various studies have been done on Ghanas urbanization, they have mainly focused on the large towns, particularly regarding migration to these centres and its consequences.18 Not much has been done on the process of urbanization and urban growth regarding small towns. This situation, however, is not limited only to Ghana. Among the reasons given for this state of affairs is the view that small towns are not a clearly delimited independent entity about which one can easily generalize and develop concepts and models. There is also a perception that they are indifferent to the development process.19Even though the processes and policies shaping small and large towns may be the same, their dynamism within the urban hierarchy may differ. This point becomes more important in the case of Ghana where available data indicates that there is a proliferation of settlements defined as small towns yet the proportion of the urban population in these centres has changed very little or declined slightly. From this perspective, it is imperative for the factors accounting for the growth of these towns to be explored and analyzed. While the historical dimensions have been well-noted by many writers on urban growth and regional development in Ghana, more contemporary factors acting on these historical conditions and shaping the current urbanization process involve the impact of the economic and political reforms of the last two decades.20 These are the World Bank/International Monetary Fund (IMF) inspired Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs) as well as the decentralization and local government reforms introduced at the end of the 1980s. To these broader socio-economic factors can be added the effects of the continuing high population growth rate. Besides these broader factors, in the context of small towns there are also regional or local factors, such as peasant agricultural expansion and commercialization combined with favourable location factors, including location on main trunk roads, location closer to mining activities, and spillover effects from large urban centres. It must, however, be stressed that these factors have not been the cause of the present urban form but they have acted upon and shaped the existing historical and socio-economic situation. Again, it must be emphasized that the influence of these factors are not uniform. In other words, while the broader factors may be very important for some small towns, for other centers the influence of local or regional factors may be the key to their growth or decline. Determining which factors are more or less important would require the study of specific small towns in the country. Economic Reforms: Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs) In the early 1980s Ghana adopted the World Bank/IMF-inspired SAPs in response to persistently dismal socio-economic performance which began in the 1970s.21 These reforms involved economic liberalization and privatization, and a general restructuring of the states role in the economy. The implementation of these measures has restored some level of economic growth and sanity at the macroeconomic level. However, this has come at a high social cost due to the fact that most vulnerable groups have been adversely affected both directly and indirectly by measures such as the withdrawal of subsidies on social services, retrenchment of labour, and the general increases in prices of goods or services.22 Also, SAPs in Ghana have been criticized as only stimulating economic activities in the traditional resource-rich regions and relatively developed south, especially the cocoa and coffee, mining, and timber regions. This, it is argued, has further widened the gap between the north and south.23However, Konadu-Agyemang and Adanu argue that the promotion of non-traditional export commodities under SAPs has enabled regions (especially northern Ghana) to participate in the export
54 OWUSUAfrican Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a3.htmtrade
a process, if adequately supported in the long-run with better infrastructure would likely have a positive impact on previous disadvantaged regions.24Notwithstanding the criticisms of SAPs, the argument has been made that the removal of subsidies (which for a long time largely benefited the urban population), the shrinking of the formal sector (which was largely concentrated in the larger urban centres), and the high cost of living in these centres have reduced the attractions of the leading cities in the country.25 Also it is noted that SAPs have resulted in some amount of urban to rural migration, mainly from the large towns towards settlements on the lower scale of the settlement hierarchy.26In a related argument, Gilbert notes that SAPs lead to reduction in rural-urban migration rates and hence reduction in the growth of major cities, whilst at the same time allowing the growth of both secondary cities and other locations in the national urban system.27 To explain this, he provides three possible explanations: (1) diseconomies of scale associated with major cities alongside general improvements in transportation and other infrastructure, resulting in deconcentration of manufacturing and other economic activities; (2) shifting terms of trade from industry to agriculture, hence allowing rural areas to be more economically attractive; and (3) SAP-inspired export-oriented trade favouring agriculture over industry, hence investors are more prepared to take decisions to locate outside the core of the Third World metropolis.28While the explanations suggested by Gilbert may hold for other Third World countries, especially in Latin America, they fall short in the case of Ghana.29 Available evidence indicates that in Ghana, SAPs have not resulted either in deconcentration of industries and employment or a significant shift in the terms of trade in favour of agriculture. Rather, investments have continued to be concentrated in the core metropolitan areas, especially Accra-Tema. According to Grant and Yankson, one of the visible impacts of SAPs in Ghana is the dramatic rise in the number of new firms, particularly foreign companies, that have established operations in Accra (currently headquarters for 655 foreign companies).30 In total, the Accra-Tema metropolis accounts for about 70% of Ghanas manufacturing output, (about the same proportion according to Andrs pre-SAPs study of manufacturing industries in Ghana)31 In fact, evidence from the 2000 Population and Housing Census Reports indicate that the four urban centres of Accra, Tema, Kumasi and Sekondi-Takoradi account for about 44% of the total urban population. Accordingly, a GSS report on the Census noted that a balanced spatial distribution of the population is not likely to be achieved unless the opportunities for improvement in the lives of the people are more evenly distributed.32Alternatively, the fortunes of the various urban systems in the country could be analysed by looking at studies on poverty. A well-recognized study by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), Poverty Trends in Ghana in the 1990s, noted that even though there was a general decline in the incidence and level of poverty in the country in the 1990s (except in the urban savannah), the reduction was particularly sharp in Accra.33 Apart from Accra, which was singled out in the Report, all other urban centres were treated as one category. However, there is every reason to believe that just like Accra, the large towns and cities in this category benefited more than the other urban centres. Notwithstanding the limitations of the impact of SAPs on the growth of small towns, it can be argued that the improvement in the infrastructural base of rural areas and lower urban centres, such as electrification exercises and road rehabilitation under SAPs, seems to have opened up these areas and allowed the population to enjoy amenities long considered the privilege of those living in the mediumsized and large towns. According to Ofori, these general improvements illustrate the national and regional development policy aim of increasing rural accessibility, improving rural-urban linkages, and facilitating the transport of regional products from producing to consuming areas.34 Inflation, the removal of subsidies, and unemployment resulting from the contraction of the public sector have
SMALL TOWNS IN GHANA: UNDER GHANA'S DECENTRALISATION PROGRAMME 55African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a3.htmdiminished the attractions of the big towns and cities since they were more affected by these than small towns with their relatively small public sector services and economies often dominated by agriculture.35SAP-induced improvement in the transport system in recent years has contributed significantly to the growth of both large and small towns. The past two decades of SAPs and market liberalization have tended to reduce the barriers of physical distance. The resumption of aid flows and removal of many foreign exchange barriers have facilitated the importation of motor vehicles and spare parts in many African countries.36 In Ghana, the road sector has been a major recipient of donor funding programmes. In addition, economic liberalization and privatization (deregulation of public transport) have led to an increase in both the number of vehicles and private commercial transport operators, the most prominent being the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU). While some analysts such as Briggs and Yeboah have attributed the expansion of the major urban centres such as Accra to this, it can also be argued that economic liberalization and privatization have improved linkages between settlements, allowing small towns to have access to both higher-order centres (large and medium-sized towns) and lower-order settlements (rural areas).37 This, coupled with improved infrastructure, has enabled some economic activities, especially commerce and services to be introduced in small towns, though not on the same scale as the large towns and cities. Decentralization and Local Government In 1988 Ghana embarked on its decentralization of administration and development programme to encourage a greater degree of local autonomy and make district administration and development more efficient. To a greater degree, the decentralization programme is a logical continuation of the broader structural adjustment effort, a reaction to the changes in the broader economic and ideological environment. Under the programme, District Assemblies (local governments) have been established and given more responsibilities and power as the highest political, administrative and development authorities in their respective areas of jurisdiction. In all, 87 functions were delegated to the District Assemblies, ranging from environmental conservation to provision of social services. Even though Ghanas decentralization programme has several objectives, a basic goal is rural development as a means of reducing migration to the large towns and cities, generally redirecting population movement from areas of over-concentration to other areas previously regarded as deprived.38The implementation of the decentralization programme in 1988 led to the promulgation of Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) Law 207, giving legal backing to the creation of District Assemblies and the establishment of 110 districts in the country. This directly replaced the previous 65 district councils which had been in existence since the mid-1970s.39 The establishment of additional districts meant that new district capitals had to be found and assigned. This in itself provided the basis for the growth of hitherto rural settlements into urban centres and increased in the number of small towns. Administrative status tended to attract public infrastructure and influx of population allowing centres to rapidly developed into towns. In addition, the decentralization programme has resulted in several initiatives from government, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and donor agencies as a way of enhancing participatory democratic development and the capacity of local institutions. It has also meant strengthening small towns, particularly district capitals or administrative centres to enable them cope with their increased functions and perform their new role more efficiently. Some of these programmes and projects specifically targeting district capitals include the following: introduction of the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF), a constitutional provision which allocates 5% of the total national revenue to District Assemblies; the World Bank and United Nations Development Programmes Urban V projects,
56 OWUSUAfrican Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a3.htmtargeting roads and sanitation problems; European Union (EU) micro-project schemes; and the German Agency for Technical Assistance (GTZ)/Ghana Government (Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development) project titled Promotion of District Capitals (PRODICAP). Since the 1980s, it has also been the policy of central government and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to provide each district capital with a specific range of amenities
electricity, telephone, district referral hospital, potable water, a model secondary/technical school, and accessible road links.40 In fact, this policy has also informed much of the drive to extend electricity and other amenities to many parts of the country. These improvements or increased transfer of resources to the districts have contributed to the growth of district capitals and other settlements within the districts.41 Key informant interviews carried out in October 2002 with district planners in two districts in the Central Region (Upper Denkyira and Twifo Hemang Lower Denkyira Districts) confirmed this assertion. Both planners noted the improvement in the flow of resources to the districts. The District Planning Officer of Twifo Hemang Lower Denkyira District, established in 1988, stated: The district capital, Twifo Praso has changed quite significantly. When I came here, the capital was basically a rural settlement. However, the declaration of Twifo Praso as a district capital, the extension of electricity to the town, the rehabilitation of the road to Cape Coast and; improvement and accelerated increase in infrastructure from the districts share of the Common Fund and other resources of the District Assembly have greatly opened the whole district and Twifo Praso in particular In the case of Twifo Praso, the programme has rapidly turned a rural settlement into a fast expanding and growing urban settlement. There is a general consensus among analysts of Ghanas decentralization, both from interviews in the field and from the literature that the programme has led to improvement in the flow of resources and increased access of people living in previously neglected areas to central government resources and institutions.42 However, these positive results have also been described as generally marginal when related to the needs of the districts and functions delegated to the District Assemblies. Nonetheless, it is accepted that the programme has to some extent enhanced the infrastructure bases of rural areas and lower-order urban centres, especially the district capitals, hence their population growth (see Table 3). The large towns and cities of Accra, Tema, Kumasi, and Sekondi-Takoradi simultaneously continue to register impressive growth (Table 4). Again the tables show that the growth rate is not uniform but varies from region to region both for the district capitals and regional capitals. Table 3. Regional Distribution of District Capitals: Population and Growth Rate Population Region No. of Distric t Capita l 1970Growth Rate (1970-1984) 1984Growth Rate (1984-2000) 2000 Western Central G/Accra Volta Eastern 10 11 3 11 14 68,841 122,907 9,595 68,768 129,121 1.1 1.4 1.3 1.6 1.8 80,101 148,524 11,511 86,182 165,042 3.2 2.5 2.4 2.9 2.3 135,640 221,568 16,906 137,604 239,374
SMALL TOWNS IN GHANA: UNDER GHANA'S DECENTRALISATION PROGRAMME 57African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a3.htmAshanti B/Ahafo Northern U/East U/West 17 12 12 5 4 122,559 89,566 70,993 37,973 11,757 2.9 3.4 4.0 3.8 2.6 185,009 144,754 123,738 64,432 16,814 3.8 3.7 2.3 1.7 2.6 341,576 263,353 179,899 84,667 25,494 Total99732,0802.41,026,1073.01,646,081 Source: Derived from GSS reports on the 2000 Population and Housing Census.43Table 4: Metropolitan/Regional Capitals (Large/Medium-Sized Towns): Population and Growth Rate Population Region Regional/ Metropolitan Capital 1970Growth Rate (19701984) 1984Growth Rate (19842000 2000 Western Central G/Accra Volta Eastern Ashanti B/Ahafo Northern U/East U/West G/Accra Sekondi-Takoradi Cape Coast Accra Ho Koforidua Kumasi Sunyani Tamale Bolgatanga Wa Tema* 143,982 56,601 624,091 24,199 46,235 346,336 23,780 83,653 18,896 13,740 36,928 1.9 1.1 3.1 3.2 1.7 2.6 3.5 3.5 3.9 6.9 6.5 188,203 65,763 969,195 37,777 58,731 496,628 38,834 135,952 32,495 36,067 91,870 4.2 1.4 3.4 3.1 2.5 5.6 2.9 2.5 2.6 3.8 10.1 369,166 82,291 1,658,937 61,658 87,315 1,170,270 61,992 202,317 49,162 66,644 460,916 Total111,418,4413.02,151,5154.34,270,668 *Municipal centre without regional administrative capital status but major industrial/seaport centre. Source: Derived from GSS reports on the 2000 Population and Housing Census.44The marginal impact of the decentralization programme is generally attributed to the limited resources of the District Assemblies and numerous bottlenecks facing the programme. This situation may therefore account for the continuous concentration of the population in very few centers.45 This is an indication that the programmes policy objective of improving living standards in the districts and facilitating the geographical spreading of development as a means of reducing migration to the large metropolis is yet to be achieved. Again, in terms of redistribution of national resources and development, studies indicate that local governments in small towns and rural districts have not fared any better. In their detailed study, Razin and Obirih-Yeboah conclude that local governments in the capital city region (Accra-Tema) and in the second largest metropolitan area (Kumasi) as well as those in the other large urban centres, were the most financially sound compared to those in remote regions and predominant rural areas.46 Even financial allocations from central government, such as the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) were found to favour the large urban centres. Besides, the fiscally-sound large urban centres enjoyed relatively high self-generated revenue as they have a large tax base. This allows these Assemblies to implement more development programmes and enjoy a relative level of autonomy rather than relying
58 OWUSUAfrican Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a3.htmsolely on central government transfers, which come with strict guidelines with little or no reference to peculiar local circumstances. While the problems associated with the inability of District Assemblies to generate revenue on their own and over-dependence on central government transfers are not elaborated on further here, the point made here is that Razin and Obirih-Yeboahs study and other similar studies indicate that even though decentralization has improved the level of flow of resources from central government to all districts, so far it has failed to redistribute resources and growth from the large towns and cities.47Lastly, the marginal impact of decentralization on rural areas and small towns can be gauged by the limited employment opportunities in these areas and the continuous movement to the large towns/cities. This situation exists because these areas are also affected by the very forces which hinder job creation in large towns/cities. Rural household interviews carried out in eight communities within the hinterlands of two Central Region district capitals (Dunkwa-on-Offin and Twifo Praso), aimed at exploring the impact of decentralization on rural-urban linkages revealed that although a substantial proportion of the respondents (61.2%) have no intention of moving, 54.8% of respondents who intend to move indicated Accra-Tema, Kumasi and Sekondi-Takoradi as the urban centres where they would prefer to relocate to. Respondents cited the lack of jobs and employment opportunities as the main reason which makes the district capitals (small towns) unattractive. This view was backed by an unpublished report obtained from the Dunkwa District Branch of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In this report, the District Office responsible for income tax collection in the two districts (Upper Denkyira and Twifo Hemang Lower Denkyira Districts) noted the impact of broad macroeconomic processes such as falling world commodity prices on key firms such as gold mining companies and Twifo Oil Palm Plantation (TOPP). The Report concluded that these have impacted severely on employment opportunities and consequently on tax contributions in the districts. High Population Growth According to a GSS report, Ghanas population in 2000 of about 18.9 million represented an increase of 53% over the 1984 population of about 12.3 million, and an intercensal growth rate of 2.7%. While this rate is lower than the rate for West Africa as a whole (2.9%), it is higher in comparison to the rate for the world (1.5%) and the average for less developed countries (2%).48 This high population growth rate, coupled with a general imbalance in the distribution of economic opportunities between rural and urban areas provides fertile conditions for the continuous concentration of the population in urban locations, including small towns. It is important to note that this concentration of the general population is not only due to migration but also to natural increases. In Ghana there is not a significant difference between urban and rural fertility rates. In addition, although fertility rates may be somewhat higher in rural areas than in urban areas, lower death rates in the latter enable the normal rate of natural increase in both areas to remain fairly similar.49The growth and increase in the number of small urban centres has also been interpreted as the logical outcome of increasing rural population densities.50 Available data from the census reports indicate that there have been increased population densities in all the regions, the highest occurring in the Greater Accra Region. From a national average of 36 persons per km^(2) in 1970, the figure rose to 51 in 1984 and then to 79 in 2000.51 The increasing population densities and the continuing population growth give momentum for the growth of rural centres into small towns. This may actually account for the growth and increase in the number of small and intermediate towns in northern Ghana rather than the impact of SAPs as suggested by Burrows and Acheampong.52 This is a result of the unfavourable position of northern Ghana with respect to the implementation of SAPs, as already noted, and reflected in the
SMALL TOWNS IN GHANA: UNDER GHANA'S DECENTRALISATION PROGRAMME 59African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a3.htmrelatively slower urban growth rates between 1984 and 2000 in all the three northern regions compared to the period 1970-1984 as shown in Tables 3 and 4. Influence of Regional/Local Factors Regional or local geographical factors, which can be described as favourable location factors, may not account significantly for the growth or emergence of large urban centres but are very significant in the case of small centres. The last few decades have witnessed the exploitation of mineral deposits, emergence of large metropolis, and generation of road traffic. All of these are geographic elements, which offer opportunities for the growth of some human settlements according to their new relative location. While these favourable location factors may provide the basis for the initial growth, further growth may require a second series of factors, which are not dependent upon only local economic factors.53 It is this situation which may account for the large number of towns within the lower limit of the urban hierarchy. It must also be emphasized that these regional or local factors are not isolated from the influence of the broader factors. However, unlike the broader factors they do not affect the process of growth of all urban centres. Peasant commercial agriculture, especially expansion of cash crop farming, has been a major influence on the evolution of settlements in the past, and it continues to be the case today. The growth and increase in the number of small towns is a probable outcome of the increased effort to commercialize peasant agriculture, linking peasant farmers to market centres. Rural centres located in rich agricultural regions that are also accessible (such as located on a major highway or at the convergence of transport routes) provide excellent opportunities for the development of markets, and consequently the emergence of towns. In such situations, while the dynamism of the surrounding areas and the development of the market is very important, what is crucially important is the centres accessibility. These factors account for the phenomenal growth of many rural centres along the busy highways such as the Accra-Kumasi, Cape Coast-Kumasi and Kumasi-Tamale highways. As already noted, the introduction of modern mining technology in the past had been responsible for the rapid development of many settlements into towns in southern Ghana especially in the Ashanti and Western Regions, and this continues to be the case today. The presence of exploitable mineral deposits closer to a settlement provides strong influence for the settlements growth. The rate at which these towns grow depended on the scale of the mining operations. Dickson has noted situations where some towns such as Nsuta in the Western Region may not even have existed as recognizable villages, but were essentially the sole creation of mining activities.54 Notable mining centres include Obuasi, Tarkwa, Prestea, Nsuta, Bibiani, and Dunkwa. While mining operations have ceased in such places as Dunkwa due to either exhaustion of mineral deposits or operational difficulties, new centres have emerged as a result of government liberalization of the sector under SAPs. Even in places where major mining operations have ceased, there has been proliferation of small-scale mining and galamsey (illegal mining) operations, which attract many people and serve to sustain local economies. In fact, besides the national capital city region (Accra-Tema) and Kumasi, all the urban centres specifically identified by the GSS report on the 2000 Population and Housing Census as net receivers of migrants are mining centres ( Obuasi, Bibiani, Tarkwa and Prestea).55 With the exception of Obuasi, whose population has grown quite significantly for the last two decades from 60,617 in 1984 to 115,564 in 2000, all the other mining centres can be classified as small towns. Therefore the location of settlements closer to mineral deposits provides opportunities for the growth of rural settlements as towns. A significant factor in the increase of small towns is what can be described as the spillover effects of the large urban centres. The massive growth of the large urban centres and the problems of housing and
60 OWUSUAfrican Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a3.htmcongestion have created a situation facilitated by improvement in transport whereby a substantial proportion of the urban population who work in the cities are prepared to take up residence in the periurban areas and other nearby settlements. This has resulted in several rural settlements closer to the large urban centres developing into small towns. A 2002 GSS report notes that several localities adjoining the Accra Metropolitan Area which were rural in 1984 have now attained urban status, mainly as a result of the spillover of the growth of the Accra Metropolitan Area into localities in the surrounding districts.56The spillover has also induced massive growth of small towns in districts in the Central Region closer to the national capital, Accra. Special mention can be made of Kasoa in the Awutu-Efutu Senya District, where the population grew from just 2597 in 1984 to 34,719 in 2000. This is also true of the Kumasi and Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Areas, and to some extent Tamale, the largest urban centre in northern Ghana. Not surprisingly, therefore, data derived from the Ghana Statistical Service published reports on the 2000 Population and Housing Census indicate dramatic increase in the number of urban centres in these regions between 1984 and 2000, as shown in Table 1. While small and medium-sized towns have grown and proliferated over the last three decades, they have not slowed the growth rate of the few large metropolitan areas. Finding solutions to this situation remain at the core of the attempt over the last decade and half to address the spatial imbalance of the population through the decentralization programme. In particular, this is very relevant to the continued pursuance of the decentralization programme and continuous donor or government assistance in the growth of small towns, especially the district capitals. It is the implications for regional planning in terms of small towns promotion and rural development that the concluding section considers. CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS FOR PLANNING: THE CASE FOR SMALL TOWNS PROMOTION Ghana is experiencing rapid urbanization. However, what is worrying and is highlighted in numerous official and research documents is the uneven spatial concentration of the urban population.57 According to the 2002 GSS report (2002a), the level of urbanization was 43.8% in 2000.58 However, it was 87.7% for the Greater Accra region and 51.3% for the Ashanti Region, mainly due to the metropolis of Accra and Kumasi respectively. Indeed, none of the other regions has a level of urbanization that is above the national average. Overall, these largest metro areas dominate the urban system. This urban system has largely been shaped by colonial and post-colonial development policies of investing more in regions with exploitable and exportable resources. This development strategy has favoured large urban concentration to the detriment of rural areas and small towns. In recent years, the policy of decentralization has been pursued with the basic aim of rural development and facilitating a balanced spatial distribution of the population. The programme seeks to improve rural livelihoods as a means of reducing the rural-urban drift and the growth of the few large centers.59 The impact of the decentralization programme, SAPs, continuing high population growth, and the influence of some regional/local factors have all combined to register some level of growth at the lower levels of the settlement hierarchy. Small towns have not only increased in population but their numbers have increased as well. This has, however, not slowed the relatively rapid growth rates of the large metropoli despite the large proportion of urban centres (96%) being small towns. This leads to two conclusions with implications for planning. First, the increase in the number of small towns and a decline of the urban population residing in these urban centres would suggest that besides direct movement from rural areas to large urban centres, the population may also be engaged in a step-wise migration process. According to Burrows, this type of migration is very common, that is, migration from a village to a small town which finally ends in a
SMALL TOWNS IN GHANA: UNDER GHANA'S DECENTRALISATION PROGRAMME 61African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a3.htmmajor urban center.60 A 1995 GSS report on internal migration also adds that migration from small towns to large urban centres, particularly to Accra-Tema metropolitan region, has become very significant in recent years.61 Studies on rural-urban migration in Ghana show that by far the most common reason for this type of migration is economic, especially for employment. The continuous movement to the large urban centres indicates that economic opportunities in the small and mediumsized towns are limited or simply do not exist. The second conclusion which can be drawn is that population growth of small towns may be more due to natural increases than migration to these centres. The 2002 GSS report notes that the population increase at national level is largely the result of lowering growth rates but still high fertility and fairly low mortality rates.62 However, the same report attributed the massive growth of Accra, Tema and Kumasi as well as the mining centres of Obuasi (in the Ashanti Region) and Bibiani, Tarkwa and Prestea (all in the Western Region) to the high influx of migrants to these centres. Again, given that it is the capital city and the large urban centres which have experienced the highest growth rates and continue to dominate the national urban system, it is not surprising that they continue to be major destinations for migrants.63 The implication here is that attempts to reduce the growth of the large towns may not hold bright prospects at least in the short and medium terms. This is because the anticipated outcome of decentralization of enhancing the attractiveness of small towns, especially district capitals, as potential recipients of rural migrants and also as attractive centres for the small towns population is yet to be achieved. Both conclusions strengthen the argument that unless efforts are made to improve the lot of the small towns and rural areas, there is a large pool of potential migrants in these areas ready to swell the population of the large metropoli. Conversely, it can also be argued that the large number of small towns spread throughout the country presents an opportunity to facilitate the process of a balanced spatial distribution of the population. Both prospects strengthen the case for decentralization and the promotion of small and medium-sized towns. In particular, it would require in the short and medium terms the active involvement of the state in putting in place favourable decentralized policies such as adequate provision of infrastructure, supportive district socio-economic initiatives and mobilization, and transparent and accountable governance structures. These are required due to the countrys weak political and economic structures, especially at the district and regional levels.64 This supports Crooks assertion that even though decentralization may be a popular and conceptually efficient development strategy, it is unlikely to lead to poverty reduction without serious and strong commitment by central governments eager to pursue and support such policies. In other words, the extent to which decentralization results in improvements in human development outputs is largely a function of the resources and systems for allocating funding, primarily by central governments.65Compared to most countries in Southern and North Africa as well as some countries in West Africa such as Senegal, Cote dIvoire and Nigeria, Ghana is still relatively less urbanized.66 With an urban population of 43.8% in 2000, and this national average exceeded only by the Ashanti and Greater Accra Regions, there is still a large pool of potential rural-urban migrants that have the potential to swell the proportion of the total urban population of the big cities and towns. Also, there is the likelihood of more settlements becoming urban through the process of reconversion due to natural population increase, thus altering the proportion of rural and urban. It is significant that, even though the four largest urban centres account for about 44% of the total urban population, a large proportion of the urban population still lives in small and medium-sized towns, and the greater number of the rural people (representing about 56% of the total population) has closer contact with these towns than with the large towns and cities. This makes small towns important nodes for development. Therefore, the view taken here is small towns that serve the rural hinterland and its population have a great potential role to play in promoting a
62 OWUSUAfrican Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a3.htmsound and balanced national settlement pattern and a broad-based rural development benefiting the majority of the people. Further underpinning this argument is the current increasing prevalence of market-based development strategies under SAPs and their emphasis on export-oriented agricultural production, which calls for efficient economic linkages connecting producers to external markets. From this perspective, small towns are increasingly seen as playing a key role in providing and linking their rural hinterlands with both domestic and international markets.67 Hence, the interest in small towns as nodes for linking rural agricultural areas to marketing centres. In this respect, small towns in Ghana, especially the district capitals, could be important links in the process of commercialization of peasant agriculture and efforts to reduce poverty. Owusu and Lunds study of markets in two district capitals in the Central Region ( Dunkwa and Twifo Praso) demonstrates the potential role the district capitals could play in the development of districts within the context of the decentralization programme.68It should be noted that programmes for small towns do not explicitly aim at small town development but rather the strengthening of rural-urban linkages, the promotion of agricultural development in small towns hinterlands, and the stimulation of non-farm employment opportunities in small towns.69 Arguing from this position, it can therefore be said that Ghanas decentralization programme shares similar goals and objectives with small towns programmes, with both reinforcing each other
improving living standards in rural areas through improvements in agriculture. Small towns are in a unique position
they are places still rooted in rurality but have adequate contact with the urban networks and their influences. They are therefore potential host centres for development initiatives targeting the rural areas where greater proportion of the population resides. From the perspective of rural-urban linkages, strengthening small towns does not only enhance farmers access to market and services but the resultant improvement in income should lead to demand for higher order goods and services, resulting in the growth of district capitals and other small towns. Theoretically, this should have positive impact on labour and employment, and consequently on poverty reduction. It is argued that agriculture may be able to absorb a significant but not sufficient percentage of additional labourers as it nears labour capacity. Many of the unemployed labourers can be expected to migrate to the major cities and larger towns already suffering from diseconomies of scale due to their rapidly growing populations.70 Hence, the policy of decentralization and small town development programmes when pursued in a developing country should lead to absorption of surplus agricultural labour in the small town and also reduce migration to the cities and large towns. This, however, requires from the state conducive, genuine political and economic policies favourable to the provision of adequate infrastructure to support decentralization, thereby enhancing and facilitating local participation and resource mobilization. These must be fulfilled by the state, notwithstanding the policy of decentralization and autonomous development, if a process of enhancing rural-urban linkages necessary for the overall development of districts is to be achieved. Finally, promoting small towns, especially the district capitals, under decentralization involves a strategy of urban renewal from below by enabling these urban centres to grow to absorb new centres, or simply the development of a process of dispersed urbanization. This also involves the transformation of the rural economy. The strategy then accepts the inevitability of rural emigration but seeks to redirect flows away from the large urban centres of Kumasi and Accra. It also recognises that any solution to the urban problem associated with rural-urban migration must take account of the condition of the rural people.71 Since most rural-urban migrations are undertaken for economic reasons, any policy that transforms the rural economy will affect the scale and pace of urban development.
SMALL TOWNS IN GHANA: UNDER GHANA'S DECENTRALISATION PROGRAMME 63African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a3.htmNOTES 1. Dickson 1971; Anderson and Rathbone 2000. 2. Little 1974; Owusu 2005a forthcoming. 3. Konadu-Agyemang and Adanu 2003. 4. Dickson 1971, 1975. 5. Thomi and Yankson 1985. 6. Owusu 2004; Owusu 2005b forthcoming. 7. GSS 1995; Owusu 2004; Owusu and Lund 2004; Owusu 2005b forthcoming. 8. In Ghana, urban centres are officially defined as settlements with populations of 5000 or more. However, no official definitions exist for the various urban categories such as small, medium and large towns. Existing definitions such as Andr (1981); Thomi and Yankson (1985); GSS (1995) and; Yeboah and Waters (1997) though identify these urban (small, medium-size and large) categories achieved this through different definitions. The crudeness of the definitions can be justified by the requirements for which the classification was designed for, and the available data used. 9. GSS 2002a. 10. The use of this criterion has been well criticized for both conceptual and practical purposes. This is, however, not the subject of particular interest here. 11. Hardoy and Satterthwaite 1988; Simon 1992; Czerny et al. 1997. 12. Owusu 2005a forthcoming; Owusu 2005b forthcoming. 13. Yeboah and Waters 1997; Yeboah 1998; Konadu-Agyemang and Adanu 2003. 14. However, regionally there has been some increase in the proportion of the urban population living in small towns: higher in the Northern Region, and lower in the Central, Ashanti and Greater Accra Regions. 15. GSS 1995; Owusu 2004; Owusu 2005b forthcoming. 16. GSS 2002a, 2002b, 2002c. 17. GSS 2002b, 2002c. 18. Caldwell 1969; Briggs and Yeboah 2001; Konadu-Agyemang 2001. 19. Clark 1995; Pedersen 1997. 20. Dickson 1971, 1975; Songsore and Denkabe 1995; Bening 1999. 21. Konadu-Agyemang 2000; Yeboah 2000; Owusu 2001; Konadu-Agyemang and Adanu 2003. 22. Adepoju 1993; Sowa 1993; Donkor 1997; Konadu-Agyemang 2000. 23. Songsore and Denkabe 1995. 24. Konadu-Agyemang and Adanu 2003. 25. Acheampong 1996: p. 56; see also Aeroe 1992; Burrows 1992; Owusu 2002; Owusu 2005a forthcoming. 26. Canagarajah and Mazumdar 1997: p. 48-49; Sowa 1993; GSS 1995. 27. Briggs and Yeboah 2001, p. 19. 28. Gilbert 1993. 29. Yeboah 2000. 30. Grant and Yankson 2003. 31. Andr 1981. 32. GSS 2002a, p. 3. 33. GSS 2000; see also Konadu-Agyemang 2000. 34. Ofori 2002, p. 164. 35. Acheampong 1996, p. 56.
64 OWUSUAfrican Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a3.htm36. Bryceson 2001. 37. Briggs and Yeboah 2001. 38. GSS 1995, p. 12-14; Ayee 1997, p. 38. 39. Crook and Manor 1998. 40. GSS 1995; Owusu 2004, 2005b forthcoming. 41. GSS 1995; Acheampong 1996. 42. Ayee 1997, p. 39; Crook and Manor 1998; Thomi 2000; Yankson 2000. 43. GSS 2002b, 2002c. 44. GSS 2002b, 2002c. 45. GSS 2002a, p. 2-3; Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) 2002, p. 16. 46. Razin and Obirih-Opareh 2000. 47. see Ayee 1995; Asibuo 2000 for thorough discussion of the problems of revenue mobilization. 48. GSS 2002a, p. 1. 49. Konadu-Agyemang 2001, p. 54. 50. Giraut 1997. 51. GSS 2002a. 52. Burrows 1992; Acheampong 1996. 53. Giraut 1997. 54. Dickson 1971, p. 249-250. 55. GSS 2002a, p. 1. 56. GSS 2002c, p. iv. 57. GSS 1995, p. 2-3; Konadu-Agyemang 2001; GPRS 2002, p. 16-17 for discussion of the problems associated with the high concentration of Ghanas urban population in few large towns and cities. 58. GSS 2002a. 59. Ayee 1997, p. 38; Owusu 2004, 2005b forthcoming. 60. Burrows 1992, p. 190. 61. GSS 1995, p. 235. 62. GSS 2002a, p. 1. 63. Briggs and Yeboah 2001; Grant and Yankson 2003. 64. Owusu 2004, 2005b forthcoming. 65. Crook 2003, p. 83. 66. The World Bank 2000, World Development Report 1999/2000. 67. Tacoli 1998. 68. Owusu and Lund 2004. 69. Rondinelli 1984; Gaile 1992, p. 131; Baker 1997; Giraut 1997; Pedersen 1997. 70. Gaile 1992; Owusu 2004, 2005b forthcoming. 71. Pacione 2001. REFERENCES Acheampong, O. Akwesi. Tourism and Regional Development in Sub-Saharan Africa : A Case Study of Ghana 's Central Region. Stockholm : Stockholm University 1996.
SMALL TOWNS IN GHANA: UNDER GHANA'S DECENTRALISATION PROGRAMME 65African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a3.htmAdepoju, Aderanti. Introduction. In The Impact of Structural Adjustment on the Population of Africa ed. Aderanti Adepoju (London: UNFPA/James Currey Ltd, 1993): 1-6. Aeroe, Anders. Small Towns Development in Africa . Geography Review 6 (1992): 31-34. Anderson, M. David and Rathbone, Richard. Urban Africa : Histories in the Making. In Africa's Urban Past eds. David M. Anderson and Richard Rathbone ( Oxford : James Currey, 2000): 1-17. Andr, Gunilla. Industry in Ghana Uppsala : Scandinavian Institute of African Studies, 1981. Asibuo, S.K. Financial Capacities of the District Assemblies. In A Decade of Decentralization in Ghana
Retrospect and Prospects eds. Walter Thomi et al. ( Accra : EPAD Research Project/MLG&RD, 2000): 27-50. Ayee, Joseph R.A. The Adjustment of Central Bodies to Decentralization: The Case of the Ghanaian Bureaucracy. African Studies Review 40 (1997): 37-57. Ayee, Joseph R.A. Financing Sub-National Governments in Ghana : The District Assemblies' Common Fund. Regional and Federal Studies 5 (1995): 305-315. Baker, Jonathan. Introduction. In Rural-Urban Dynamics in Francophone Africa ed. Jonathan Baker ( Uppsala: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, 1997): 11-25. Baker, Jonathan and Pedersen, Poul O. Introduction. In The Rural-Urban Interface in Africa
Expansion and Adaptation eds. Jonathan Baker and Poul O. Pedersen (Uppsala: Scandinavian Institute of African Studies, 1992): 11-28. Bening, R. Bagulo. Ghana : Regional Boundaries and National Integration. Accra : Ghana Universities Press, 1999. Briggs, John and Yeboah, Ian E.A. Structural Adjustment and the Contemporary sub-Saharan African City . Area 33 (2001): 18-26. Bryceson, Deborah F. Countryside and City: Balancing or Blurring Differences? In Urban Development in a Transitional Context eds. J.D. Schmidt and K. Gough ( Aalborg : Centre for Development and International Relations, Aalborg University 2001): 192-219. Burrows, Sally. The Role of Indigenous NGOs in the Development of Small Town Enterprises in Ghana . In The Rural-Urban Interface in Africa
Expansion and Adaptation, eds. Jonathan Baker and Poul O. Pedersen (Uppsala: Scandinavian Institute of African Studies, 1992): 187-199 Caldwell, John C. African Rural-Urban Migration: The Movement to Ghana 's Towns. London : C. Hurst and Company, 1969. Canagarajah, Sudharshan and Mazumdar, Dipak. Employment, Labour Markets and Poverty in Ghana: A study of Changes during Economic Decline and Poverty Washington : World Bank, 1997.
66 OWUSUAfrican Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a3.htmClark, Peter. Small Towns in Early Modern Europe Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1995. Crook, Richard C. and Manor, James. Democracy and Decentralization in South Asia and West Africa : Participation, Accountability and Performance. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1998. Crook, Richard C. Decentralization and Poverty Reduction in Africa : The Politics of Local-Central Relations. Public Administration and Development 23 (2003): 77-88. Czerny, Miroslawa, et al. Small and Intermediate Towns in Latin American Rural and Regional Development. In Small Towns and Beyond: Rural Transformation and Small Urban Centres in Latin America, eds. Paul van Lindert and Otto Verkoren (Amsterdam: Thela Publishers, 1997): 1-14 Dickson, Kwamina B. A Historical Geography of Ghana Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1971. Dickson, Kwamina B. Development Planning and National Integration in Ghana . In The Search for National Integration in Africa eds. D.R. Smock and K. Bentsi-Enchill (New York: The Free Press, 1975): 100-116. Donkor, Kwabena. Structural Adjustment and Mass Poverty. Aldershot : Ashgate, 1997. Gaile, Gary L. Improving Rural-Urban Linkages through Small Town Market-based Development. Third World Planning Review 14 (1992): 131-147 Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) Accra : Ministry of Finance/Government of Ghana 2002. (February). GSS ( Ghana Statistical Service). Migration Research Study in Ghana Vol. One (Internal Migration) Accra : GSS, 1995. GSS ( Ghana Statistical Service). Poverty Trends in Ghana in the 1990s. Accra : GSS, 2000 GSS ( Ghana Statistical Service). 2000 Population and Housing Census
Summary Report of Final Result. Accra : GSS, 2002a. GSS ( Ghana Statistical Service). 2000 Population and Housing Census
Special Report on 20Largest Localities. Accra : GSS, 2002b. GSS ( Ghana Statistical Service). 2000 Population and Housing Census
Special Report on Urban Localities. Accra : GSS, 2002c. Giraut, Frdric. Contemporary Dynamics of Small Towns in West Africa . In Rural-Urban Dynamics in Francophone Africa ed. Jonathan Baker (Uppsala: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, 1997): 26-50. Grant, R. and Yankson, Paul. Accra . Cities 20 (2003): 65-74.
SMALL TOWNS IN GHANA: UNDER GHANA'S DECENTRALISATION PROGRAMME 67African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a3.htmHardoy, Jorge E. and Satterthwaite, David. Small and Intermediate Urban Centres in the Third World : What Role for Government? Third World Planning Review 10 (1988): 5-26. Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Dunkwa District Office. 1999 Assessment of External Shock and its Impact on the Local Revenue Collection and Development. Dunkwa ( Ghana ), 2000. Konadu-Agyemang, Kwadwo. The Best Times and the Worst Times: Structural Adjustment Programs and Uneven Development in Africa . Professional Geographer 52 (2000): 469-483. Konadu-Agyemang, Kwadwo. The Political Economy of Housing and Urban Development in Africa : Ghana 's Experience from Colonial Times to 1998. London : Praeger, 2001. Konadu-Agyemang, Kwadwo and Adanu, Sesime. The Changing Geography of Export Trade in Ghana under Structural Adjustment Programs: Some Socio-economic and Spatial Implications. The Professional Geographer 55 (2003): 513-527. Little, Kenneth. Urbanization as a Social Process London : Routledge, 1974. MLG&RD (Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development). Ghana : The Local Government System. Accra : MLG&RD, 1996. Nabila, John S. Rural Migration and its Implications for Rural Development in Ghana . In Rural Development in Ghana ed. C.K. Brown (Accra: Ghana Universities Press, 1986): 75-89. Ofori, Samuel C. Regional Policy and Regional Planning in Ghana : Making Things Happen in the Territorial Community. Aldershot : Ashgate, 2002. Owusu, George. Whose Space and Place? Ethical Implications of the Rural-Urban' Divide and Current Development Processes in sub-Saharan Africa . Acta Geographica Series A (2002): 220-226. Owusu, George. Small Towns and Decentralised Development in Ghana : Theory and Practice. Afrika Spectrum 39 (2004): 165-195. Owusu, George. The Changing Views on the Role of Small Towns in Rural and Regional Development in sub-Saharan Africa . In Cities in the World ed. A. Green and R. Leech ( London : SPMA/Maney Publications, 2005a forthcoming) Owusu, George. The Role of District Capitals in Regional Development: Linking Small Towns RuralUrban Linkages and Decentralisation in Ghana . International Development Planning Review 27 (2005b forthcoming) Owusu, George and Lund Ragnhild. Markets and Women's Trade: Exploring their Role in District Development in Ghana . Norsk Geografisk Tidsskrift
Norwegian Journal of Geography 58 (2004): 113-124.
68 OWUSUAfrican Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a3.htmOwusu, J. Henry. Spatial Integration, Adjustment, and Structural Transformation in sub-Saharan Africa : Some Linkage Pattern Changes in Ghana . Professional Geographer 53 (2001): 230-247. Pacione, Michael. Urban Geography: A Global Perspective. London : Routledge, 2001. Pedersen, Poul O. Small Towns: Between Rural Networks and Urban Hierarchies. Aldershot : Avebury, 1997. Razin, Eran and Obirih-Opareh, Nelson. Spatial Variations in the Fiscal Capacity of Local Government in Ghana Before and After Decentralization. Third World Planning Review 22 (2000): 411-432. Rondinelli, Dennis A. Small Towns in Developing Countries: Potential Centres of Growth, Transformation and Integration. In Equity with Growth? Planning Perspectives for Small Towns in Developing Countries eds. H.D. Kammeier and P.J. Swan (Bangkok: AIT, 1984): 10-48. Simon, David. Third World Regional Development: A Reappraisal London : Paul Chapman Publishing, 1990. Simon, David. Conceptualising Small Towns in African Development. In The Rural-Urban Interface in Africa
Expansion and Adaptation, eds. Jonathan Baker and Paul O. Pedersen (Uppsala: Scandinavian Institute of African Studies, 1992): 29-50. Songsore, Jacob and Denkabe, Aloysius. Challenging Rural Poverty in Northern Ghana : The Case of the Upper West Region. Trondheim : SMU, University of Trondheim 1995. Sowa, N.K. Ghana . In The Impact of Structural Adjustment on the Population of Africa ed. Aderanti Adepoju (London: UNFPA, 1993): 7-24. Tacoli, Cecilia. Rural-Urban Interactions: A Guide to the Literature. Environment and Urbanization 10 (1998): 147-166. Thomi, Walter. The Local Impact of the District Assembly. In A Decade of Decentralization in Ghana : Retrospect and Prospects, eds. Walter Thomi et al. ( Accra : EPAD Research Project/MLG&RD, 2000): 229-267. Thomi, Walter and Yankson, Paul W.K. Small Scale Industries and Decentralization in Ghana Accra : University of Ghana/J.W. Goethe Universitat, 1985. The World Bank. World Development Report, 1999/2000: Entering the 21 st Century. Washington DC : The World Bank, 2000. Yankson, Paul W.K. The Problem of Building up Planning Capacity for Decentralised Planning at the District Assemblies in Ghana . In A Decade of Decentralization in Ghana : Retrospect and Prospects, eds. Walter Thomi et al. ( Accra : EPAD Research Project/MLG&RD, 2000): 187-228.
SMALL TOWNS IN GHANA: UNDER GHANA'S DECENTRALISATION PROGRAMME 69African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a3.htmYeboah Ian E.A. and Waters N. Nigel. Urban Economic Participation and Survival Strategies in Ghana : 1960-1984. Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie 88 (1997): 353-368. Yeboah Ian E.A. Geography of Gender Economic Status in Urban Sub-Saharan Africa : Ghana 19601984. The Canadian Geographer 42 (1998): 158-173. Yeboah Ian E.A. Structural Adjustment and Emerging Urban Form in Accra Ghana . Africa Today 47 (2000): 61-89. Reference Style The following is the suggested format for referencing this article: George Owusu. "Small Towns in Ghana: Justifications for their Promotion under Ghana 's Decentralisation Programme" African Studies Quarterly 8, no.2 : (2005) [online] URL: http://web.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a3.htm
Rebecca Gearhart is an associate professor Department of Sociology & Anthropology at Illinois Wesleyan University. African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a4.htm70 African Studies QuarterlyVolume 8, Issue 2 Spring 2005Taking American Race Relations on the Road...to AfricaREBECCA GEARHARTAuthor's Note: I originally wrote this article in the summer of 2001, after returning from Kenya where I had spent the month of May with eighteen Illinois Wesleyan students enrolled in my travel course. Inspired by a series of articles devoted to study abroad programs in Africa (African Issues, volume XXVIII/1&2) in 2000, I hoped to contribute to the discussion by sharing the insights recorded in my students' travelogues. Then the September 11th terrorist attacks occurred, and soon thereafter the U.S. Department of State issued travel warnings against travel to several African nations including Kenya, which has prevented me from offering the course since. Although I have never underestimated the benefits of openly discussing sensitive issues as important as race relations, I was unsure of how to fit the discussion into a post 9/11 framework of analysis, so I put the article away. The recent resurgence of American students studying abroad and the growing interest in programs in Africa among my own students is what motivates me to revisit the discussion again now. It is my hope that my colleagues who are experienced dealing with the issues raised in the journals my students kept while in Kenya in 2001 will add their expertise to the comments shared here. Such a dialogue can only enhance our strategies for preparing students for the varied experiences they have in Africa, and may even lead to a better understanding of the tension that sometimes characterizes the encounters between Africans and African Americans in the U.S.Introduction Americans seem relatively naive about anticipating the potential pitfalls associated with wearing the prismatic glasses we use to see members of our own society, when we travel and study in other parts of the world. As an anthropologist who leads undergraduates to East Africa, I am in hot pursuit of a way to help my students avoid taking the particular way in which Americans understand race with them to Africa. So far, I have been unsuccessful in prying my students loose from the color-coded framework that has organized race relations for them throughout their lives. As illustrated in the journal entries of two African American students who traveled to Kenya with me during May 2001, American notions of race often become obstacles to understanding how social relationships are negotiated outside of the
AT ISSUE: TAKING AMERICAN RACE RELATIONS ON THE ROADTO AFRICA 71African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a4.htmAmerican context. Moreover, such notions prevent Americans from figuring out how they might fit into social structures that do not operate the American way. Racial division in the United States has primarily consisted of the separation of people into those with "white" skin and those with "black" skin. The degree to which skin tone shapes American social relationships is signified linguistically in the way we commonly identify each other as "White" or "Black" in everyday parlance. As Lee Artz outlines in his book Cultural Hegemony in the United States, "In practice, race has regulated legal treatment, economic opportunity, and social status, and the most defining characteristic of race in the United States has been skin color."1 While this statement might seem obvious to American readers, race does not work itself out the same way in all societies. Relevant to this discussion is the fact that social relationships in Kenya are not defined by skin color the way they are in America. From a Kenyan perspective, "race" might be translated as: cultural heritage, first language, home district, family name, profession, and/or ethnic affiliation. While Kenyans do recognize physical attributes associated with people of different ethnic groups, learning a person's name is usually the best way to guess a fellow Kenyan's background. As budding anthropologists trained to look for the unique criteria with which people organize their societies, my students do not find the Kenyan basis of difference difficult to accept. What is difficult for them, however, is overriding their "default" mode of response to the interactions they have with people in Kenya, which they often explain in terms of the American race-power continuum. Donal Carbaugh's study on social identity offers an explanation for why this framework is so difficult to let go. Carbaugh suggests that Americans' claims of identity are based on biological attributes that an individual makes part of the internal "self."2 Said another way, Americans understand their racial identities to be something that is not just skin deep, but something that explains who they are as people. Seen in this light, it is difficult to imagine simply prying oneself free from or shedding such identity while travelling, even if the new society operates in a different way. Instead, Carbaugh proposes that identity be conceptualized as "something people 'do,' something invoked, interpreted, performed, and so on in particular social scenes."3If we look at identity this way, the idea that one can learn how to reformulate one's identity or sense of oneself to better cope in new social settings becomes more plausible. Undoubtedly, reformulating a sense of self is a very challenging task for anyone who undertakes it. Most of the time it leads to an identity crisis, more popularly known to those who live and work outside of the cultural conditions under which they were raised as culture shock. By examining particular symptoms of the kind of culture shock that two African American students dealt with in Kenya, perhaps we can learn how to re-situate ourselves in social scenes that are not set against the same backdrop of racial politics that drives social dynamics in the United States. Being Black and American in Kenya As an undergraduate, I traveled to East Africa with an African American student named Cassandra (a pseudonym), who unexpectedly had a most tumultuous experience during her time abroad. Not blending in with the African people the way she had imagined she would was one of her greatest disappointments. On several occasions, Cassandra attempted to explain to the rest of us what wishing to be invisible was like, what wishing to fit in so completely that no one would even notice her was like. She had dreamed of such a camouflaged state of being all of her life, and was completely devastated to discover that she stuck out in Africa just as much as she did in the predominantly white community in which she lived back home. Cassandra could not figure out how, after discarding her western attire, braiding her hair, and learning to speak conversational Swahili, East Africans still recognized her as an American. This
72 GEARHARTAfrican Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a4.htmwas made even worse when she was continuously referred to as a mzungu, the Swahili term for "European," which literally means "someone who runs around in circles." Although irritating to the majority of our class, the term seemed to appropriately identify us with other white people. Not so for Cassandra, who was perpetually miffed by what she felt was an insulting misidentification. Drawing from my memory of Cassandra's experience in Kenya, I delicately warned the two African Americans enrolled in my travel course of similar problems they might face there. I say "delicately" because I did not want to discourage them from participating in the trip while at the same time I wanted to help them psychologically prepare for the identity issues with which they might be forced to deal. I believed at the time that in order to truly learn about East African society, they would have to transcend the quagmire of U.S. race relations that had shaped their perceptions of themselves as black minorities in a white-dominated social landscape. I failed to consider that the racial makeup of the class itself sixteen white students and two black students -recreated the race:power ratio they might be hoping to escape in Kenya. The journal entries that appear in the appendix articulate this problem and others in the refreshingly honest way that seems to be the hallmark of undergraduate writing. The students have given me permission to share the thoughts and feelings they had while in Kenya here with the expectation that they might help others to better understand some of the identity issues that African Americans encounter when visiting Africa. The first set of entries was written by a female anthropology major (Tami), who conducted ethnographic research on Swahili marriage customs while in Kenya. This student was raised in an African American community in an urban setting in the Midwest. The second set of entries was written by a female political science major (Lana) whose ethnographic research focused on the race relations between upper class Swahili families and their non-Muslim domestic servants. This student comes from a racially mixed family, and was also raised in a large Midwestern city. Pseudonyms have been used here at the students' request. Since readers are unable to compare Tami and Lana's reflections with other students in the course, I will refer to other student journal entries to offer a comparative perspective. An important point of clarification is that Lana and Tami are not the only students in the course who were aware of racial tensions among classmates and between students and Kenyans. A white student's very first journal entry includes a racial analysis of an incident that happened in London, while we were in transit to Kenya. The students had divided themselves between an internet cafe and a pub about a block away. After checking to make sure there were no more students at the cafe, I walked to the pub to join the others. Meanwhile, Tami and Lana were finishing up on a level of the cafe I had not noticed, and when they realized they had been left behind became quite frantic. Although neither Lana nor Tami made a point of describing the scare in their journals, one of the other students did write about it: At one point Tami and Lana, the two black women in the group, were left behind and because of the circumstances (the group had split up and reunited at separate times at a pub) it wasn't realized for fifteen minutes that they were missing. They felt that as "the two brown people" it should've been evident that they weren't with us. I really don't feel that they were/are considered expendable or anything by anyone in the group due to the fact of their color. However, I can accept that for them the fact that they are minorities in the group may make them anxious, and cause them to be particularly aware of each situation that singles them out. Or the rest of us may no be realizing the non-intellectual, subtle and insidious racist things we're doing. Or both.
AT ISSUE: TAKING AMERICAN RACE RELATIONS ON THE ROADTO AFRICA 73African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a4.htmAn excerpt from each of the African American students illustrates their point of view on the subject of feeling different from their white American peers during the course. Tami writes: I don't think anybody on this trip understands that my experience is different from theirs, and in what ways it's different. I'm looking at this society and culture through the experiences and eyes of a westerner, but I feel the need and the compulsion to identify with the people. I want to know them, I want to understand them, because I feel like this is my one opportunity to learn about/have a first hand experience with my roots. On the other hand, I'm afraid to let myself just relax and enjoy the trip and feel the culture because I'm afraid of being unaccepted and then really feeling like I don't belong anywhere. Because I'm certainly not fully accepted by these white kids and I know that I never will be. I will always be different, no matter how close or how friendly and understanding we may become with one another. There will always be this blatant, stark contrast that can not be denied or ignored. I guess what scares me most is the fear of not being accepted by my own people, even though in my mind the Kenyans aren't really my people because we share very different histories and lives. Yet, ancestrally they are my people and I've never been confronted with a situation of not blending in nor being welcomed by people who look like me. (Excerpt 4). Lana writes: I have seen so much poverty here. I wonder why it exists when there is so much wealth in places like America and Europe. There is no reason that poverty should exist in countries that others colonized. It gets me mad that a country could be poor simply because its people were forced to follow a system that they didn't create only to be let loose and forced to act and thrive within the system that was imposed on them. It's hard to come to a country like Kenya and develop a hatred for western capitalism. I am so used to seeing the benefits of capitalism that I really had no idea what the negative side of capitalism could be. I've seen how harsh it has been on the Black American community, but now looking at how it has affected the entire population of Kenya, I wonder if capitalism was made to screw Blacks! All across the world, it seems, black people got messed over. I had a conversation with one of my suite mates before I left for Kenya about this topic. She told me not to be surprised to discover that white people are glorified everywhere. And that the "white standard" has taken over the world. This is very hard for me to accept because even though my mother is white, the white community has always resisted me. I have never been accepted in the white community and because of my experiences, I see many problems with the "white standard" taking over the world. It just seems like all traditions are lost or changed when they encounter the "white community" (Excerpt 1). The Journal Entries in Perspective When considering the journals as a collective body of texts, a common experience many students write of is their struggle to renegotiate their identities in a new cultural context. Within this pattern lies a divergent experience between white students and their black counterparts. Black students write about trying to map out their coordinates on a new racial landscape with no clear sign posts, while white
74 GEARHARTAfrican Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a4.htmstudents write about being re-positioned as a racial minority for the first time. Statements made by white students in early journal entries: "I've never been so noticed," "I'm shocked at the lack of racial diversity here," "I feel like an intruder," "I feel like I'm in a television commercial for a relief agency," point to the unease with which they initially entered Kenyan society. As students became more familiar with their surroundings, their journal entries focused on their observations of the apparent contradictions within Kenyan society itself. Some of the juxtapositions that students repeatedly mention include: slums and skyscrapers, taxicab drivers with Ph.D.s, "poverty in paradise," temptations of western culture, and the destruction of traditional values. The first major sign of divergence in experience between black and white students appears in journal entries from the second day of the course, the day after five students were robbed in the overnight train to Mombasa, an incident Lana discusses (Excerpt 5, Appendix). As Lana explains, some of the students were very offended by the robbery, which seems to have exaggerated their sense of vulnerability. A few days after the train robbery, another student left his wallet by the pool at the hotel where we were staying, and although it eventually turned up, some cash and travelers' checks were missing. One student relates these two experiences by writing: I have begun to gain a stronger sense of a trend I've observed here; a mix between hospitality and hostility in the attitude toward us. The sense of generosity and courtesy established when we arrived here was shattered when Alex's wallet was stolen a mere few hours later. Though some of his money was eventually returned, it nevertheless was reminiscent of the porter on the train, who was our best friend to our faces as he brought us drinks, yet turned around and stole our money when he had the chance. The feeling of betrayal that students expressed after the robberies seems to stem from the students' longing for a degree of understanding and respect from the Kenyans they encountered that would make thievery and mistrust unimaginable. The thefts amplified the students' sense of being a misunderstood "other" in a place where being American meant being wealthy above all else. Both white and black students discuss their growing awareness of being a target for thieves and opportunists, which unified the class according to the conventional wisdom "safety in numbers." As the travel course progressed, the students became more comfortable sharing stories about their personal interactions with Kenyans in our nightly debriefings, which became therapeutic opportunities for them to normalize the sometimesfrightening revelations they were having about themselves and the society in which they were immersed. Yet, in spite of these sessions, which did seem to help the majority of students deal with the crosscultural challenges they were facing, I was fully aware that a few of the students, and the African American students in particular, were uncomfortable articulating their struggles in the group setting. It is for this reason that I turned to the Tami and Lana's journals for insight into what they were going through. And for help deciphering what I found within the journals, I looked to Dorothy Holland's (1998) analysis of identity formation. The Costs of Taking American Race Relations on the Road Holland tells us that we are always involved in the formulation of our identities and the production of our self-understandings, and that we do so in an improvisational manner according to specific social situations.4 Pertinent to the present discussion is Holland's explanation that "persons and, to a less extent, groups are caught in the tensions between past histories that have settled in them and the present discourses and images that attract them or somehow impinge upon them."5 From Holland's point of
AT ISSUE: TAKING AMERICAN RACE RELATIONS ON THE ROADTO AFRICA 75African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a4.htmview, therefore, the dilemma Tami describes in her second journal entry may be a result of being suspended between her historical role as an African American, which explains her feeling of subordination vis a vis her white peers, and her present position in an African setting, which promotes a new sense of identification with her white American counterparts. Tami explains this tension when she writes: I'm standing there feeling like a tourist viewing the exotic animals at the local zoo, yet I'm standing with a group of white people, but my skin tells me I blend in with the "attractions." And suddenly I feel the need to stay as much in the center of the whiteness as I possibly can. It's a comfort zone; for the first time in my life I feel comforted by the presence of that white skin all around me. I was hiding behind a wall of whiteness (Excerpt 2, Appendix). Another symptom of the liminal state within which Tami feels suspended is the reaction she gets from the Kenyans she meets on a daily basis, who identify her as someone special because of her black skin, and often refer to her as a "sister," (see excerpt 6, Appendix) meaning someone who shares the same heritage. Making the situation more uncomfortable is Tami's inability to speak Swahili, which many of the Kenyans she encounters assume she knows. Tami articulately explains how awkward she feels under such circumstances in the following excerpt: Then, as we were waiting for a representative of the Undugu Society, an older woman approached our group and went around and shook everyone's hand. As she clasped my hand, she began to say something individually to me in Swahili. And at the same time, I felt completely embarrassed and totally ignorant (Excerpt 2, Appendix). Tami goes on to share a sense of guilt she feels for being in a privileged position in relation to her black counterparts in Kenya because of her membership in a group of wealthy, white Americans: I guess what I'm really having trouble dealing with is feeling like I'm a traitor and that everyone here should have so much animosity towards me because I'm not experiencing or living the same life and the same history as the people here. I feel like such a hypocrite and such a phony walking around with a group of white people like I'm one of them, like I belong, like I've had the same history as they have, like I feel like I identify with them. And what makes it worse and makes it harder for me to deal with is it's true! I don't necessarily belong with the group, but I identify with their lifestyles and their histories (Excerpt 3, also see Excerpt 5, Appendix). It is in excerpt 4, quoted above, that Tami expresses a fear that is at the heart of what causes identity crises when people are confronted with a sense of displacement and an inability to re-situate themselves within a social matrix that doesn't make sense to them. The strong feelings of alienation Tami shares here get at one of the most harmful consequences of growing up in a hegemonic system based almost solely on biological signifiers such as race. What is most striking about this entry is that Tami articulates the difference between herself and her white peers as one based on race, and the difference between herself and her Kenyan counterparts as one based on culture (history and life ways). Here, Tami succinctly identifies one of the major problems with taking the particularly American race-based social template on the road. Tami has learned through her life experiences in the U.S. that her skin tone is her
76 GEARHARTAfrican Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a4.htmmost important identifying feature and that people generally hesitate to fully accept people who do not look like they do. Tami's strong identification with fellow black people, whom she refers to as "my own people," leads her to believe that being integrated into Kenyan society will be a relatively easy process-at least easier than fitting into white American society, an event she doubts she will ever fully realize. When Tami is confronted with cross-cultural barriers that separate Americans and Kenyans, namely language and economic status, a black-white racial matrix no longer explains her position relative to her fellow Americans. Tami discovers that in the Kenya setting, the cultural background she shares with her white American peers is more significant to her than the skin color she shares with the Africans she encounters. Tami's fear of not fully blending into the Kenya cultural landscape, as she hoped she might, is coupled with her fear of not ever truly feeling a part of the American cultural landscape she calls home. Discovering that she has re-aligned herself with white people and is now identified as one of them by people of her own race, turns the black and white world that Tami is familiar with, inside-out. For Lana, the African setting seems to help her recast her feelings of being alienated by the white community in America within a larger framework of globalization. In excerpt 1, quoted above, Lana explains what she calls the "white standard" as the neocolonial hegemonic apparatus that subordinates those in the developing world while privileging those in the developed world. It is not surprising that Lana perceives Kenyan poverty to be a consequence of skin color in the same way it is among African Americans. This is largely a result of her unfamiliarity with the ways in which sociopolitical status and ethnic affiliation work to determine winners and losers in Kenya. In placing the American racial template onto Kenyan society, Lana assumes that "the entire population of Kenya" is equally victimized by the "white standard." In another journal entry, Lana explains the link between what she considers to be white privilege in Kenya and the country's dependence on foreign tourism: Now the country of Kenya is dependent upon the money from tourism, but that barely covers it. So it seems the locals glorify whites even more because they depend on them for money. At this point I am so torn between knowing what is right. Is it ok to visit here, pour my money into the country and reinforce the idea that Kenya citizens are simply dependent upon Americans / westerners? If I do that, people will get fed, the economy develops, and it really helps. But if tourism would stop, it might be possible for the people here to become self-sufficient. I really don't think it's possible to decide what is helpful and what is hurtful (Excerpt 2, Appendix). Lana obviously finds it difficult to reconcile her dualistic role as both a wealthy western tourist in Kenya, and an African American student conducting ethnographic research on a group of disenfranchised fellow black people. This sense of displacement helps to explain Lana's reaction to an article in the Kenya Nation, which reported former President Moi's ban on all public opposition to him or his government policies in the interest of national security: "How can an African leader be so undemocratic to his own people?" she asked me, without taking into consideration that Moi's own people are generally considered to be members of his ethnic group--the Kalenjin, his political allies, and the wealthy African and non-African elites who have business interests in Kenya. Clouded by the American racial paradigm that suggests black leaders help their black constituents or they are not reelected, Lana found it difficult to understand how Moi got away with being so disinterested in the welfare of average Kenyan citizens. Lana's illusions about racial harmony among Africans were shattered upon arrival in coastal Kenya, where she was confronted with the racial dynamics of Swahili social structure. The Swahili
AT ISSUE: TAKING AMERICAN RACE RELATIONS ON THE ROADTO AFRICA 77African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a4.htmgenerally believe that lighter skin tone signifies one's Arab bloodline and darker skin tone represents one's African heritage. Due to the political, economic, and religious dominance Arabs had on the East African coast in previous centuries, those who claim Arab ancestry have more social status in Swahili communities than those who cannot make such claims. The Swahili's use of skin color as a status marker was all too familiar to Lana, who writes: The relationship between people here seems to be very similar to that between White and Black Americans. The people who have Arab lineage believe that they are purely Arab and that that makes them better than the black Africans. I have kept hearing people describe Africans as either Arab or Black African. The one place where I thought it would be good to be black has turned out to be bad for a black person. I really don't know what to feel or believe about the world. It seems that everywhere I go there is a conspiracy against Blacks (Excerpt 3, Appendix). Both Tami and Lana understand how racism works in America and the specific ways in which being black has affected their daily lives there. What surprised Tami and Lana about being black in Africa was that rather than making them instant members of the privileged majority, their skin color became a liability in some ways. First of all, being black set them apart from their white peers in a way that made them more, rather than less conspicuous in Kenya. Being alienated by white Americans is a situation that both Tami and Lana seem to be used to. Being alienated by fellow black people made Tami want to disappear and Lana want to scream. It is not surprising that both students make sense of their experiences in Africa by juxtaposing them to similar experiences they and other African Americans have had in the United States. Taking American race relations on the road with them to Africa is their only point of reference. Where Might We Go From Here? After analyzing the emotional challenges that my African American students faced in Kenya, it is necessary for me to begin thinking of ways I can integrate the topic of race into the course curriculum more extensively. Developing such a component is especially pertinent because the study abroad experience my students have is collapsed into a time frame of just a few weeks, which does not allow them to fully integrate into any of the communities in which they visit or establish the kind of relationships with local people that might help them better adapt to the society in which they find themselves. A video that I plan to screen during one of the pre-departure orientation sessions that I require my students to attend, is produced by the National Consortium for Study in Africa (NCSA) titled, Study in Africa: New Opportunities for American Students. The video addresses many of the important issues that American students need to think about before studying in Africa, including the different ways in which race and other categories of difference are perceived in Africa. Laura DeLuca wrote a short article that recaps the content of the video in African Issues (Volume XXVIII/1&2, 2000), which is devoted entirely to the topic of study abroad in Africa. Also in the volume are several articles that refer specifically to the particular challenges African American students face when living and traveling in Africa. Philip Peek, an anthropology professor at Drew University, hesitantly takes up this issue as one of the most challenging that he faces as the director of a summer abroad program to the Ivory Coast. He writes:
78 GEARHARTAfrican Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a4.htmI find many African Americans have difficulty with the experience in West Africa, because they, even more than their fellow students, first interpret the situation in terms of American racism. One could hardly deny there is racism in West Africa, but I do believe most of us, Black and White, who have lived in Africa know that social relationships in Africa are not based on physical differences as noted in the United States. My understanding from talking with African colleagues is that West Africans themselves are troubled by Americans' initial insistence on a racial perspective. Thus, the lack of success of a racist frame of reference is problematic for U.S. students, especially for African Americans, already coping with so much in the encounter.6A program that seems to be taking the psychological dimensions of dealing with race in Africa very seriously is DePaul University, which looks to clinical psychologist, Derise Tolliver, for help in developing and directing a three-week travel course to Ghana. In her contribution to the African Issues volume, Tolliver gets to the heart of why White and Black Americans have such different experiences in Africa. She explains: Race, on some level, can be ignored as part of the personal identity of White students even in Ghana, in much the same way it often is in America. This provides for very intense discussions about the power dimension of racism in America. The positive experience for Black students of being a part of the racial majority in Ghana leads to discussion about the negative impact that racism has on the psychological, emotional, and spiritual development of people of African descent in America...People of African descent are often vigilant about race and the impact of racism in their lives, whereas people of European descent often deny or are ignorant of the impact of racial identity in their lives.7A unique perspective on preparing African American students for study in Africa is offered by Nancy Dawson, a professor of Black American studies at Southern Illinois University, who takes a group of SIUC students to Ghana for six weeks each summer. In her article in African Issues, Dawson outlines how she helps her African American students overcome obstacles such as the "economic barriers associated with poverty and racism that limit African American students participation in study-abroad experiences."8 While Dawson does not ignore the identity issues raised by her African American students, she places them within a larger discussion of how their experiences in Africa help them get in touch with their cultural heritage. Dawson's positive message comes through loud and clear in the student essays she includes in her article, like this one by Christopher Rutledge: I believe that all Blacks should take a trip to Ghana at least once in their lifetime. Although we African Americans have our own "culture" here in the United States, going to Ghana and learning about the African culture gives us a much, much deeper understanding of ourselves, our roots, and our spirituality...At the airport we saw all these people standing around the gates. This was my very first time seeing my African brothers and sisters and their first time seeing me. It was a very beautiful moment. There were drummers and dancers to welcome us back to our ancestral homeland. This was one of the most fascinating parts of the trip for me.9Tolliver and Dawson offer programs designed specifically to help African American students deal with the kinds of identity crises Tami and Lana write about in their journals. Unlike my travel course, which
AT ISSUE: TAKING AMERICAN RACE RELATIONS ON THE ROADTO AFRICA 79African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a4.htmfocused on teaching students to understand the complex social hierarchies that make up Swahili society on its own terms, the study abroad courses Tolliver and Dawson offer acknowledge that African American students are unable to simply ignore personal issues of racial identity as they explore the ways in which African social structures operate. Although American categories of race have developed within a particular set of historical dynamics and are not applicable in other cultural contexts, we cannot expect African Americans to "perform" their identities differently simply because they are in a different place, as Carbaugh would have us think possible. When African Americans travel to Africa with white Americans, the racial dynamics between Americans of different skin color come with them, whether we like to admit it or not. For the benefit of all of the students we take abroad, travel leaders need to initiate a more frank and open dialogue about the identity issues that our students of all skin colors are forced to come to terms with before they leave for Africa, while in Africa, and after they come home. Programs that include race as a topic in each component of the course will better prepare American students for the experiences they will have in Africa. It is hubris to think we can so easily serve as cultural brokers between our students and the Africans with whom they meet and form relationships. I say this primarily with the final words of Tami's journal in mind, as they suggest that no form of mediation neither good nor bad can keep students from discovering the best that Africa has to offer: I have a new found thirst for knowledge about life in Africa and my family's history and heritage, and I'm eager to learn more about other aspects of African culture and about other African societies. I hope to adopt certain African practices and integrate them into my family's life, and hopefully restore some of the African culture to the black community in America, to whatever degree I can (Excerpt 7, Appendix). Appendix Select excerpts from Tami's Journal 1.When we landed in Nairobi this morning and stepped through the airplane door, I was taken aback by the clarity through which I saw the worldEveryone who knew that I am traveling in Kenya constantly asked me questions based on the stereotypes and media depictions of life in Africa. My whole purpose for coming to Kenya is to see firsthand and dispel those myths. Unfortunately, my first impressions fail to prove everyone wrong. Rather than walking into a bustling airport surrounded by traffic jammed freeways, the view was more like a scene from a PBS special or a real life version of The Lion King. Surrounded by open fields lightly scattered with trees, there wasn't the slightest hint of a skyscraper or city life on the horizon...I observed people walking alongside of the road--many of them without shoes and seemingly without a destination because there was nothing in sight to walk to. 2. I've traveled several times throughout Europe, but I have never felt the extreme sense of culture shock that I felt as we drove down that dirt road and then twisted our way through those narrow pathways of the slum. I felt so uncomfortable, so out of place, so...unreal. If I have ever wanted to be invisible, to shrivel up into the tiniest, most indiscrete speck--that was the moment. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know how to feel. I was experiencing a double dilemma and double the discomfort: For one, I had just left the comfort of my air conditioned apartment, the convenience of my sports car, and all the other luxury amenities that I experience on a daily basis, yet take for granted. And now I was standing on the set of a Save the Children commercial. Secondly, I'm standing there feeling like a tourist viewing the
80 GEARHARTAfrican Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a4.htmexotic animals at the local zoo, yet I'm standing with a group of white people, but my skin tells me I blend in with the "attractions." And suddenly I feel the need to stay as much in the center of the whiteness as I possibly can. It's a comfort zone; for the first time in my life I feel comforted by the presence of that white skin all around me. I was hiding behind a wall of whiteness. Then, as we were waiting for a representative of the Undugu Society, an older woman approached our group and went around and shook everyone's hand. As she clasped my hand, she began to say something individually to me in Swahili. And at the same time, I felt completely embarrassed and totally ignorant. As I starred back at her with a huge, phony grin and a dumbfounded look in my eye, I thought to myself "is this going to happen everywhere we go?" "Why did I come here?" "I'm in the wrong group!" "I'm with the wrong people!" "I look like a fool and I'm being a hypocrite." "This is the biggest mistake of my life." "I want to go home!" "How can I leave the trip early?" 3. Having just seen people walking miles in the boiling hot sun with heavy water containers on their heads while most of us are standing in a porcelain tub letting the water run freely without caring how much is being wasted or being unused is hard to deal with. Even though I appreciate and respect that I have been afforded the opportunity to enjoy such amenities, there's nothing to say that I couldn't be one of the people on the other side. There's nothing to say that my ancestors wouldn't have been stolen from their homeland and that some other black woman from America who knows so little about her history-both African American and African--would be standing with a group of white people staring at me like I'm some kind of exhibit. I guess what I'm really having trouble dealing with is feeling like I'm a trader and that everyone here should have so much animosity towards me because I'm not experiencing or living the same life and the same history as the people here. I feel like such a hypocrite and such a phony walking around with a group of white people like I'm one of them, like I belong, like I've had the same history as they have, like I feel like I identify with them. And what makes it worse and makes it harder for me to deal with is it's true! I don't necessarily belong with the group, but I identify with their lifestyles and their histories. 4. I don't think anybody on this trip understands that my experience is different from theirs, and in what ways it's different. I'm looking at this society and culture through the experiences and eyes of a westerner, but I feel the need and the compulsion to identify with the people. I want to know them, I want to understand them, because I feel like this is my one opportunity to learn about/have a first hand experience with my roots. On the other hand, I'm afraid to let myself just relax and enjoy the trip and feel the culture because I'm afraid of being unaccepted and then really feeling like I don't belong anywhere. Because I'm certainly not fully accepted by these white kids and I know that I never will be. I will always be different, no matter how close or how friendly and understanding we may become with one another. There will always be this blatant, stark contrast that can not be denied or ignored. I guess what scares me most is the fear of not being accepted by my own people, even though in my mind the Kenyans aren't really my people because we share very different histories and lives. Yet, ancestrally they are my people and I've never been confronted with a situation of not blending in nor being welcomed by people who look like me. 5. Yesterday we discovered that several people in the group had travelers checks stolen from them. We suspect this happened while we were on the train. There wasn't any concrete evidence to allow us to point to one person, but somehow some of the students seemed to think they could narrow it down to one man who cleaned our cabins. And that whole situation really pissed me off! Some were ready to basically prosecute this man who they weren't even sure was the culprit!...it could have been anyone a
AT ISSUE: TAKING AMERICAN RACE RELATIONS ON THE ROADTO AFRICA 81African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a4.htmtrain employee or even another passenger. No one can know for sure. But to have a group of uppermiddle class white people point the finger at one man without knowing for certain his guilt or innocence would automatically convict him. With whites having so much power and so much influence in Kenya, they could have permanently ruined this man's life and his family's life. And, once again, it blows my mind that the thought never crossed any of the students' minds. It's so amazing to me to see these students be so blind and ignorant to their power because of their whiteness. I've recognized it in the U.S., but it is so much more apparent and stark here because I'm in an environment where whites are the minority and still are the most powerful. 6. As we were exiting the Somali marketplace in Mombasa, a man called out to me asking if I am Marion Jones. Later I discovered that she is a famous African American track star. I'm not sure what she looks like or if she resembles me or not, but I never thought he would associate me with a black American with celebrity status. Throughout the day I was addressed as "sister" several times and I became less guarded in my attitude and more comfortable with my surroundings...As we passed one man, he asked me if I was his sister. And I smiled at him because I still haven't figured out a good response to that question. He proceeded to ask me where I am from and if anybody in my family is from Africa. I told him that my ancestors once lived in Africa before North American slavery and he asked me if I had any idea what part of Africa they came from. I told him that I am clueless. He told me that I look very Kenyan and that my ancestors were stolen from Kenya. This really intrigued me because it would be very fascinating and soul fulfilling to one day be able to construct a complete family tree. He went on to tell me that my features suggest that I am from the Kamba tribe (even though I have Native American and Irish ancestry, and I'm sure some slave master genes mixed in there as well), but I suppose my strongest features look Kenyan. He gave me a Kamba name Tuku. He told me it means "born in the night" and "born into innocence." And I felt so honored and intrigued by what the man was telling me. I wanted to stay and spend more time talking with him, but was pushed along with the group. 7. I am so so so incredibly blessed to have had this 28-day cultural experience. Although a lot of my personal fears and assumptions may have kept me from fully immersing myself in the culture, overall I felt accepted and welcomed. I definitely plan to come back several times with family and friends so they all can know and feel the spirit that is Africa. I appreciate that we've had a unique perspective of each community we've visited, and I feel so lucky beyond what words can describe, to have been able to make this journey. I don't know if I still consider myself an African American anymore. Although I've always said I am an American, just as any white person is, why do I need to further classify myself as African American, when whites don't go as far to say French American or German American? Now, I feel even more strongly that I love and value and cherish my ancestral roots, but even more so, I understand my ignorance of African culture and how little of it is translated into Black American culture. My curiosity of Africa has been peaked. I have a new found thirst for knowledge about life in Africa and my family's history and heritage, and I'm eager to learn more about other aspects of African culture and about other African societies. I hope to adopt certain African practices and integrate them into my family's life, and hopefully restore some of the African culture to the black community in America, to whatever degree I can. Select excerpts from Lana's Journal 1. I have seen so much poverty here. I wonder why it exists when there is so much wealth in places like America and Europe. There is no reason that poverty should exist in countries that others colonized. It
82 GEARHARTAfrican Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a4.htmgets me mad that a country could be poor simply because its people were forced to follow a system that they didn't create--only to be let loose and forced to act and thrive within the system that was imposed on them. It's hard to come to a country like Kenya and develop a hatred for western capitalism. I am so used to seeing the benefits of capitalism that I really had no idea what the negative side of capitalism could be. I've seen how harsh it has been on the Black American community, but now looking at how it has affected the entire population of Kenya, I wonder if capitalism was made to screw Blacks! All across the world, it seems, black people got messed over. I had a conversation with one of my suite mates before I left for Kenya about this topic. She told me not to be surprised to discover that white people are glorified everywhere. And that the "white standard" has taken over the world. This is very hard for me to accept because even though my mother is white, the white community has always resisted me. I have never been accepted in the white community and because of my experiences, I see many problems with the "white standard" taking over the world. It just seems like all traditions are lost or changed when they encounter the "white community." 2. Today we took a tour of Gede ruins outside of Malindi. In the ruins we saw the remnants of a working air conditioning system, bathrooms and sinks. The people who lived in Kenya had such a fascinating system for keeping things clean, even while Europeans claimed that Africa was uncivilized! I haven't seen any examples of non-civilization. I just think about all of the lessons we have in European history, while never touching on any parts of African history other than Egypt. Being here is showing me how conditioned our schooling in America is. It seems that this trip only makes me angry. I see how much Europeans destroyed the land, taking Africans' natural resources, all of the good farming land and then telling the local citizens to follow their rules and eventually they would be equal. Seeing the ruins today taught me that the people of Kenya would have been fine without interference from outsiders. I'm sure that the society would have eventually traded with Europeans and that they would've been better off had they not been colonized. Now the country of Kenya is dependent upon the money from tourism, but that barely covers it. So it seems the locals glorify whites even more because they depend on them for money. At this point am so torn between knowing what is right. Is it ok to visit here, pour my money into the country and reinforce the idea that Kenya citizens are simply dependent upon Americans / westerners? If I do that, people will get fed, the economy develops, and it really helps. But if tourism would stop, it might be possible for the people here to become self-sufficient. I really don't think it's possible to decide what is helpful and what is hurtful. 3. I don't know what to actually write. I am very disturbed by what I keep hearing. The relationship between people here seems to be very similar to that between White and Black Americans. The people who have Arab lineage believe that they are purely Arab and that that makes them better than the black Africans. I have kept hearing people describe Africans as either Arab or Black African. The one place where I thought it would be good to be black has turned out to be bad for a black person. I really don't know what to feel or believe about the world. It seems that everywhere I go there is a conspiracy against Blacks. 4. I am surprised by the level of understanding John (pseudonym) has of his condition as a house-boy. During our last conversation he told me about the condition of the poor in Lamu. The situation he described is the same one that people in America deal with when faced with poverty. John said that if you are poor, then you have no time to think about why you are poor, you have to work to live. If you have no time to think about how you got into your situation, then you cannot think about how to change it and what the cause of it is. If you cannot identify the cause or figure a way to change your condition,
AT ISSUE: TAKING AMERICAN RACE RELATIONS ON THE ROADTO AFRICA 83African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a4.htmthen you are bound to remain in the same condition for the rest of your life and accept it. I think the point that made me the happiest is that John sees the system isn't right and wants to change it. He is angry and vocal and has a network of friends who feel that the system is wrong. His group of fellow house-boys is not close to forming a union and he told me reasons why unions don't work. But people are mad and that is a start. Anger can cause people to do a lot of things and change is one of them. It took tired and angry southern Blacks and Whites to change the Jim Crow laws in our country, so I have a feeling that a change is coming to Lamu, and coming soon. If anything good can be said about western influence, it is acting as a catalyst for changing the house-boy system. NOTES 1. Artz, pg. 72 2. Carbaugh, pg. 23 3. ibid. 4. Holland, pg. 4 5. ibid. 6. Peek, pg. 102 7. Tolliver, pg. 113 8. Dawson, pg. 124 9. Dawson, pg. 128. REFERENCES Artz, L. and B. O. Murphy. Cultural Hegemony in the United States. Sage Publications, 2000. Carbaugh, D. Situating Selves. The Communication of Social Identities in American Scenes. State University of New York Press, 1996. Dawson, Nancy. Study Abroad and African American College Students at Southern Illinois University at Cabondale. In African Issues. Volume XXVIII/1&2, 2000. Holland, D. et. al. Identity and Agency in Cultural Worlds. Harvard University Press, 1998. Peek, Philip. Drew in West Africa: Some Observations. In African Issues. Volume XXVIII/1&2, 2000. Tolliver, Derise. Study Abroad in Africa: Learning about Race, Racism, and the Racial Legacy of America. In African Issues. Volume XXVIII/1&2, 2000. Reference Style The following is the suggested format for referencing this article: Rebecca Gearhart. Taking American Race Relations on the Road...to Africa" African Studies Quarterly 8, no.2 : (2005) [online] URL: http://web.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a4.htm
African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a5.htm84 African Studies QuarterlyVolume 8, Issue 2 Spring 2005Men and Masculinities in Modern Africa Lisa A. Lindsay and Stephan F. Miescher, eds. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2003. 262 pp. This book is the first collection of its kind to focus on the practices of masculinities especially in West Africa. Covering early colonial period through post-independence, the editors and contributors discuss how masculinities have been constructed and contested in sub-Saharan Africa. The book challenges stereotypes of African men as inferior and victims of colonialism. Contributors identify gender as central to the social and political transformation of Africa, and also investigate individuals who changed gender in certain circumstances. The book is divided into four parts. The three contributors in the first part address the change of senior masculinity in colonial Africa. McKittrick opens with the practice of masculinities in the Ovambo societies during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Two forms of hegemonic masculinities coexisted: fatherhood and the elite group. European trade, Western education, and Christianity rendered rituals like initiation and rainmaking redundant, but the position of fathers as producers and definers of masculinity consistently remained unchanged. Achenes essay examines King Ahebi Ugbabe, the first woman to be crowned king in Enugu-Ezike. Ahebis wealth, connections, and ability to speak English made her prominent among her people. She was saluted as the Leopard, and the songs composed to celebrate her coronation signified her transgender transformation, spirituality, and symbolic masculinity. Her actions challenged gender divisions that existed in Nsukka and demonstrated to what extent a woman can become a man. However, indigenous gerontocratic male authority forced her to transform into a woman by confisticating her masquerade spirit. Mann concludes this part with a discussion on military veterans in Mali during the late 1950s, when urban Muslim communities witnessed conflicts over traditions and rituals of prayer. Religious affiliation was one way people attainted masculine status. Old soldiers who came back from war had to demonstrate their adaptation into the community through religious knowledge. To assert their masculinity, they wore army uniforms and conversed in French. A few fortunate ones were sponsored to make the hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca), which added prestige. The second part addresses the remaking of men in Colonial Africa. Mieschers essay focuses on Presbyterian teachers in Colonial Ghana. Using the life histories of five teachers, he examines how the missionary project evolved from the 1920s to the 1950s. Three masculinity types were recognized: adult masculinity, senior masculinity, and the status of a big man. The teachers practiced multiple masculinities as teachers, catechists, and preachers; as husbands and fathers within their marriage; and as elders in their hometowns. Shear discusses the politics of black police employment in early 20th century South Africa. Native police received very little education; their uniform was shorts; they were inadequately trained; had limited promotion prospects, their revolvers were replaced by sticks, and they were not permitted to produce written
BOOK REVIEW 85African Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a5.htmreports. The white administration feared operating through local police. Copper uses illustrations from the French and British to discuss the cultural construction of the proper worker during the post-war years. Using the French program of family allowances established in 1956, this chapter explores the case of official coding of gender roles in the reproduction of a working class. Colonial administrations attempted constructing a future society in gendered terms. Lindsay explores the relationship between wage labor, money, and gender among railway workers in southwestern Nigeria from the late 1930s to the mid 1960s. Three types of adult masculinities connected to sex and age were identified: adult masculinity, senior-or elder masculinity, and the "big man". The ability for men to be breadwinners was important to their masculine identity. Seniority status was attained by educating their children, assisting lineage members, investing in community projects and building a house. Wealth, followers, and political power gave big men their hyper-masculine status. The history of Enugu Government Colliery is the backdrop for Browns chapter on colonial racism and notions of masculinity among the Igbos in the Nigerian coal industry from 1930 to 1945. Colonial employers treated their workers as boys because racial discrimination was the principle upon white European supervisors performed their duties. The natives validated their masculinity by becoming members of a titled society, contributing to community projects, and supporting members of one's lineage. Gendered nationalisms is the focus of Part Three. It opens with Whites examination of masculinity in the Mau Mau movement for independence in Kenya. While missionaries attempted to recreate African men into a more disciplined and domestic fashion, African men had their own vision about what it means to be a man. The Mau Mau rebellion was one way men negotiated their preferred definition of masculinity. The chapter argues that Mau Mau politics was not about land and freedom alone but issues of masculinity, marriage, child care, and the allocation of domestic chores. Obeng examines the cultural and historical constructions of masculinity in 20th century Asante. Oral narratives among the Ashante suggest that forms of masculinity have always been essentialized and structured along biological divide. Yaa Asantewaa showed that senior masculinity was not restricted to biological males. Her actions were located in religion, economic power, royal lineage, and warfare by which she claimed for herself senior masculinity with its political and military connotations. The young men of the National Liberation Movement on the other hand failed to attained senior masculinity because they did not have royal and religious legitimacy. The connection between seniority, sex, and gender are not fixed; they may be reconfigured in special circumstances and over time. The final section dealing with masculinity and modernity begins with Hodgsons discussion on what it means to be a Maasai man. The chapter explores the historical articulation of modernity with shifting production of Maasai masculinities. She focuses on the dominant masculinity represented by pastoralism and cultural authenticity which was recognized and reinforced by both colonial and postcolonial policies; Ormeek was a derogatory term used to describe men who got baptized, received Western education, and worked for the colonial government. Masculine positions shifted with education, institutionalized religion, political structure and language of the nation-state. The knowledge of the Ormeek became exalted while the ignorance of traditional pastoralists discredited. The examination of masculinity in Ado-Odo in Southwestern Nigeria completes the series of essays. Drawing on interviews, oral histories and participant-observation in everyday life in Ado-Odo, Cornwall explores the negotiation of masculinities among the Ado-Odo. Using snapshots from everyday lives of men she analyzes the emergence and performance of different ideal masculinities. Simply being a man came with
86 BOOK REVIEWAfrican Studies Quarterly http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a5.htmprivileges and specific rights but with time, the position shifted when masculinity was equated to the ability to fulfill financial obligations to one's family. Overall, the book gives insight into the performance of masculinities in Africa during colonial and postcolonial times. The coexistence of different forms of dominant masculinities suggests that Connell's idea of hegemonic masculinity does not take into consideration historical and cultural situations. The presentation of specific historical events makes the book an excellent contribution to gender studies in Africa. The book avoids the common error of generalization by dealing with specific African societies. One aspect conspicuously missing is homosexuality in Africa. This omission aside, the book is very informative and covers a broad range of masculinity issues in Africa. Wisdom Agorde University of Alberta
African Studies Quarterly | http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a6.htm 87 African Studies Quarterly Volume 8, Issue 2 Spring 2005 We are the Poors: Community Struggles in Post Apartheid South Africa, Ashwin Desai. New York: Monthly Review Press, 2002. 156 pp. As South Africa rides yet another wave of Madiba Magic in the wake of its celebration of ten years of democracy, the third democratic elections and being awarded the 2010 Soccer World Cup, Ashwin Desais book carefully deconstructs the realities of the South African miracle. We are the Poors cuts through the national myth to demonstrate how liberation ideals have been usurped by neoliberal economic practices. Desais primary objective is to give some account of the lived experience of both the human cost of the ANCs capitulation to domestic and in ternational capital and the growing resistance to the ANC. (12) Desai recognizes that he is not covering new theoretical ground in this book. The betrayal of the South African liberation struggle (11) has been well documented by Patrick Bond, John Saul, David McDonald, John Pape and others.1 However, what stands out about this work is its human face. Instead of engaging with the neoliberal economic, globalization and new social movements literatures in a dry, abstract manner viewed from above, Desai tell s the story through the people on the ground. The main section of the book provides an in depth analysis of the experiences and reactions of the mainly Indian population of Chatsworth, Durban. The point is not that this is government discrimination against Indians (as some within the Indian population have claimed), or that the resistance is anti black (as some in the government have claimed). The books title is drawn from the statement, We are not Indians, we are the poors. Desais use of this statement as a primary theme serves to anchor his theory that in South Africa people are no longer discriminated against on the grounds of race, but on the grounds of class. By grounding the book in the history and experiences of a particular community, Desai succ eeds in demonstrating why the current programs of evictions, retrenchments, service cutoffs and other manifestations of the new economy have had devastating effects on the people of Chatsworth. In 11 short chapters, he provides the history of the diverse difficulties of the people of Chatsworth from the time of its development as an apartheid created area to the present day. Each chapter is grounded in an individuals story, the day to day lived experiences of the poor people of the area. Through telling t he stories of individuals affected by the different circumstances with the same root cause, a sense of a gathering storm of new activism is developed. As the narrative style of the book illustrates, this is not a new high minded, ideological struggle, but a new struggle for survival mobilized around particular issues. The Chatsworth section of the book is well grounded in its historical and spatial context, but We are the Poors is a book with two definite halves. The second half takes the debate beyond Ch atsworth and into other types and locations of struggle. The focus therefore rapidly shifts between Mpumalanga and Isipingo (two communities in KwaZulu Natal and Soweto,
88 | BOOK REVIEW African Studies Quarterly | http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a6.htm respectively) and Cape Towns Tafelsig area, and then onto industrial strikes and the 2001 World Conference Against Racism. Within this latter section, Desai is clearly attempting to illustrate the spread of the emergent resistance and the dawn of a new facet in South African politics. However, this section lacks the critical edge of the C hatsworth section. The strength of the first section was its contextualization, its rootedness. The social movements within the second section seem somehow disembodied. There is little sense of how these movements fit into the broader local political envir onment. Desai proposes that the political movement encapsulated within the formation of the Durban Social Forums alliance at the World Conference Against Racism marked the beginnings of a new form of South African politics around flexible alliances of disp arate groups. This is perhaps a little premature and the presentation of these disparate groups within the book is misleading in its inherent suggestion of community and communication. We are the Poors is effectively an updated and extended version of th e 2000 publication, The Poors of Chatsworth. The disconnection between the two sections and the less nuanced nature of the second half of the book are the result of Desais efforts to widen the scope of the earlier work. Like other recent publications by the Monthly Review Press, this is an engaging book written by someone with passion for both the theoretical issues and the people affected by current government policies. This is both the books great strength and its fundamental flaw. As an activist acad emic, Desai clearly cares greatly about the people he writes about. His passion is contagious and his journalistic skills bring the reader face to face with the lived experiences of the poor of post apartheid South Africa. However, this very passionate eng agement perhaps cloud his critical engagement. We are encouraged to get dragged along in the excitement of the moment, but never to step back and look at the bigger picture and ask questions of the process and of alternative interpretations. That said, We are the Poors is an immensely readable and engaging book. It should be a key reading for any scholar of South Africa, particularly for those based outside of the country. Its accessibility makes it a good recommendation for students. Although locally foc ussed, the books engagement with the bigger issues of globalization, neoliberal economics and new social movements makes it a good entrylevel text for a wide readership. Jane Battersby University of Cape Town Reference: Saul, J. S. (2000) Cry for the beloved country: The postapartheid denouement, Monthly Review 52 (8), 151. McDonald, D. & J. Pape, eds. Cost Recovery and the Crisis of Service Delivery in South Africa. London: Zed Books, 2002. 1. See for example Bond, P. ( 2000) Elite Transitions: From Apartheid to Neoliberalism in the New South Africa Pietermaritzburg: University of Natal Press.
African Studies Quarterly | http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a7.htm 89 African Studies Quarterly Volume 8, Issue 2 Spring 2005 Black Heretics, Black Prophets: Radical Political Intellectuals. Anthony Bogues, ed. Routledge: New York, 2003. 260pp. Black Heretics, Black Prophets offers the Southern African reader a fascinating insight into the historical interpretations and contemporary potential of black radical political thought. The book focuses on black radical thought as a source of alternative knowledge on and paradigms of black experience and has the deconstructionist flavour of Appiahs My Fathers House: Africa in the Philosophy of Culture and Serequeberhans The Hermeneutics of African Philosophy: Horizon and Discourse. The book is divided into two distinct but interdep endent sections. The first section explores heresy or the challenge of orthodoxy and the creation of new critical discourses in black radical thought. The second section focuses on the prophets, those who produced a redemptive discourse. In this, Bogues argues people would be called to action and reminded of their condition (19). Drawing inspiration from diverse sources: the slave Cugoano, the woman Wells Barnett, the revisionists James and Du Bois, the revolutionary Rodney, the statesman Nyerere and musi cian Marley Bogues challenges contemporary and particularly Eurocentric thinking about the purpose and contributions of African political thought. Bogues avoids essentializing African politics and thought by exposing the complexities and diversity of bl ack intellectual tradition. Black Heretics, Black Prophets also provides a sharp counterpoint to Kitchings recent discussions of the value of African studies (Kitching 2000 & 2003), particularly in Kitchings references to the state of Africa and African studies. Bogues book speaks to African and African diaspora scholars and elites, some of who (contrary to Kitchings arguments) are in favour of humanism and democratic political transformation. One of Bogues potent arguments, which I think Afro pessimi sts have missed, is that those reviewing the contributions of Black radical political thinkers have tended to cast the thought of black thinkers as primarily derivative[of] already accepted systems of thought. (2). Throughout the book, Bogues challenges this view of Africa and its intellectuals, showing the diverse ways in which Black political thinkers have in their writing and political acts transcended context and contributed to new forms of knowledge and ways of thinking. To provide the evidence for his argument, Bogues seeks the moments at which rupture occurs in the thinking of Black radicals. The moment at which thought supersedes context and is therefore no longer informed or constrained by it. The evidence arrives in his discussion of the word s of those who are objects amongst objects: slaves, women and the colonised. By doing this, Bogues offers a departure from the writings of those authors who deal with these objects amongst objects as products (of oppression and colonisation) rather than as producers.
BOOK REVIEW | 90 African Studies Quarterly | http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a7.htm In his consideration of the political thought of Quobna Cugoano, for example, he notes the radical humanism in the slaves interpretation of fundamental rights. For Cugoano slavery and servitude in any form are not compatible with civilized human society[and] the fundamental natural right was the right of the individual to be free and equal, not in relationship to government but in relationship to other human beings (43 45). Bogues also reflects on political thought and practice as an engaged critical social enterprise (67) and an expression of profound cognitive capacities. (6). In his analysis of Ida B. Wells Barnetts work, he shows how she challenged powerful stereotypes of domestic responsibility, black male and female sexuality and the notion of civilization in the segregated South. However, throughout the book, Bogues emphasizes the importance of new epistemologies not only to radicalism but also to revolution. This is evident in his reflection on Nyereres search for an emic under standing and transformation of Tanzanian society and Walter Rodneys focus on authentic liberation. In my opinion, the best part in this book is Bogues discussion of Rastafari (15385), not only because here he reflects on the significance of Rastafari to redemptive and revolutionary politics in both Africa and the African diaspora, but also because he provides an exceptionally detailed analysis of black radical thought in the Caribbean and discusses the ways in which these thoughts are conceived and deve loped outside the recognized episteme (184). One disappointment in this book is Bogues failure to explore in greater detail (and earlier on in the text), the significance of memory as a tool for both heretics and prophets in the production of radical th ought. On several occasions he discusses heretics (in particular) as though the inspirations for their alternative paradigms are solely derived from the present. It leaves the reader with an important question what role did memory (not only derived fro m the experience of slavery or colonialism) play in shaping black radical thought? In Africa today (and in the African diaspora communities of the Indian Ocean region), the evocation of memory occupies an important place in subaltern politics and provides an alternative knowledge making space in the production of black radical thought. Having said that, for the African reader, Black Heretics, Black Prophets is uplifting and politically engaging. As a young southern African woman, I have encountered mostly Western scholarship and have deep experience of colonization. However, I finished Bogues book with a renewed sense of hope about the potential epistemological and political linkages between Africa and its diaspora. For me, this book challenged Mamadou Di oufs statement that African studies scholars in the West are writing for themselves (Diouf in Postel 2003). Dr. Rosabelle Boswell Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa References: Appiah, K.A. My Fathers House: Africa in the Philo sophy of Culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992.
91 | BOOK REVIEW African Studies Quarterly | http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a7.htm Kitching, H. 16 December 2000. Why I left African Studies. Mots Pluriels. http://www.arts.uwa.edu.au/MotsPluriels/MP16OOgk .html Kitching, H. Jagged Fragments: Imperialism, Racism, Hurt, and Honesty. African Studies Quarterly Volume 7, Issue 2 & 3, 2003. http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v7/v7i2.htm Postel D. A Pioneer Of African Studies Explains Why He Left The Field, And Provokes A Firestorm Of Debate Within It, The Chronicle, March 28, 2003. Serequeberhan, T. The Hermeneutics of African Philosophy: Horizon and Discourse. New York: Routledge, 1994.
African Studies Quarterly | http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a 8 .htm 92 African Studies Quarterly Volume 8, Issue 2 Spring 2005 West African Challenge to Empire: Culture and History in the Volta Bani Anticolonial War. Mahir Saul and Patrick Royer. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2001. 404 pp. According to the authors, the Volta Bani uprising of 1915 16 was the largest armed movement of resistance to colonialism in Africa. Yet it has been virtually ignored by historians. The first achievement of Mahir Saul and Patrick Royers meticulously researched book is therefore to fill a significant gap in our knowledge of resistance to colonial rule. The Volta Bani War started in late 1915 and lasted about a year. The war was not actually a single united campaign but played itself out in four separate arenas in the western Volta region of what was then French West Africa (FWA). Some 800,000 900,000 Africans in a thousand villages (approximately 8 percent of the population of FWA) were involved in the war, with the African side mustering armies of between fifteen and twenty thousand men at its height. The resistance movement was ultimately beaten by superior French firepower and its leaders executed. The scale of the war prompts the authors to ask two key questions. First, how were the resisters able to marshal such tremendous resources and sustain a series of military campaigns on such a scale over such a long period? (3) This is especially pertinent, given that the political organization of western Volta society has traditionally been seen as conforming to the segmentary model of Afric an societies. However, as the authors point out, it is not enough simply to recognize that such noncentralized societies, too, can offer serious resistance. (11) The phenomenon requires explanation: what kind of society was it that made this mobilization possible and how did it articulate with the occupying colonial forces? Second, how is it that such a large scale war has been ignored by historians for so long? The first few chapters of the book address the first of these questions by examining the struc tures, customs and practices of West Volta society in the nineteenth century and then showing how the French colonial occupation of the region remained incomplete before World War I. This proves to be an important element in understanding the context withi n which the uprising started and interpreting the purposes and resources of the anticolonial movement. A complex picture emerges, in which traditional linkages and alliances between the villages of the region played an important role in laying the foundati on for the organizational capacity that was to make the sustained campaigns of 1915 16 possible. Subsequent chapters chart the course of the war by examining the specific contexts within which anticolonial opposition emerged and providing a meticulously de tailed narrative of the war itself in each of the arenas in which it took place. The authors suggest that their detailed analysis enhances our understanding of the type of society that produced this war effort, although they do not actually summarize in th eir conclusion the ways in which it is supposed to do this. This perhaps reflects the fact that the
93 | BOOK REVIEW African Studies Quarterly | http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a 8 .htm complexity of the picture they have painted defies synthesis and the drawing of broad brush conclusions. In addressing their second question of why the war has been ignored for so long, the authors suggest some interesting explanations, including the invisible language barrier between French and English that still divides postcolonial Africa and the attitudes of successive governments that ruled over the se territories. (24) In the latter case, it was not only France that had a vested interest in drawing a veil over the murderous events of 1915 16, but also the governments of the newly independent Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso) and Mali, for both of whom the Volta Bani anticolonial war concerned areas that were marginal in terms of the symbols mobilized to forge a national identity. (25) The authors criticize as unhelpful some of the habitual distinctions made in colonial history between resistance an d rebellion, conquest and pacification. They are also careful to distance themselves from some of the recent literature that falls within the domain of postcolonial studies, notably that produced by the subaltern school. In particular, they suggest that the term subaltern is not useful for describing West African opposition to Europeans in the first decades of colonial occupation. They also point out that the recent preoccupation with colonial discourse has led to a lack of interest in analyzing actual confrontation and organization, thereby taking us further away from filling in the gaps of our understanding of the latter. They clearly see their study as a contribution to righting this imbalance in the literature and in this they succeed admirably. S aul and Royer, respectively an anthropologist and a historian, have produced a book that is an excellent example of the value of crossdisciplinary work in the field of African history. It uses an extensive range of oral and archival sources effectively to produce a rich account of anticolonial resistance that challenges historians to rethink and refine the terms and theories that they have used hitherto to analyze such movements. Tony Chafer University of Portsmouth
African Studies Quarterly | http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a 9 .htm 94 African Studies Quarterly Volume 8, Issue 2 Spring 2005 African Theatre Women. Martin Banham, James Gibbs, Femi Osofisan, and Jane Plastow, eds. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2002. 178 pp. The guest editor Jane Plastows stated aim in this volume is to contribute to the discussion and understanding of womens place in the development of African theatre (xi), by going beyond theatre women like Ama Ata Aidoo, Efua Sutherland, Fatima Dike, Zulu Sofola and Tess Onwueme who hav e already received critical attention, to focus on playwrights and theatre practitioners lesser known outside their immediate areas of activity. This is a challenge that the contributors rise to admirably. Duntons essay on Nigerian playwright Stella Oyede po (99 108) and Kurias on Kenyan playwrights Mboya and Mwachofi (4757) provide insights into the work of women who have not been published or performed often outside of their immediate locations. This does not mean that such works occur in a vacuum. Even those women whose works are well known to theatre enthusiasts outside Africa find mention here from a fresh perspective. Thus Ajayis analysis of the later work by Onwueme (109 121) enables the reader to compare Onwueme and Oyedepo, both Nigerian playwrig hts. This is an opportunity to inflect the blanket term womens theatre or womens issues with subtlety and difference. It also fulfills the aim that Plastow indicates, of celebrating past contributions and linking them to present work. As such, the vo lume seems designed to enable the reader to appreciate the histories of struggle and engagement that underwrite the practice of theatre by women in postcolonial societies. Coming from such a society myself, I especially appreciate the refusal of contributo rs like Kuria and Ntaangare (58 67) and Dogbe (83 98) to use conceptual categories like feminism, emancipation, development and power without problematizing them with reference to the realities of location, history and politics. Indeed, the crucial issues for womens theatre work in areas that have a history of violent contact with other civilizations, whether that violence is overtly political or covertly epistemological, inevitably foreground questions about what constitutes feminism, developme nt and emancipation. Theatre is a public form, and within it the female body is presented as occupying a gendered public space. Ntaangare shows the implications of this for gender ideologies in transition in her analysis of depictions of women in Uganda n popular theatre. Thus, it is important not only to understand womens writing of plays, but also their active participation in the very making of theatre itself. Kuria and Dogbe explore the social and political ramifications of active participation of wo men in all areas of theatre craft. Actual experiences of female theatre workers across Africa place these women in the context of the modernising society that they seeks to represent, understand and change : the society that they, as women, also have to struggle against. An example of this is the interview with Efua Sutherlands protege and co worker, actress Adeline
95 | BOOK REVIEW African Studies Quarterly | http://www.af rica.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a 9 .htm Ama Buabeng by SutherlandAddy (66 82). Buabeng recreates, through her memories, the theatre milieu in which Ghanaian theatre workers effec ted the fusion of what was the popular Concert Party genre in Ghana with scripted theatre. Recording political and social change as a context for the present struggles and successes of women as women and as theatre makers is also the aim of Matzkes essay reconstructing early urban womens theatre in Eritrea (2946) from oral testimony of participants in the Eritrea Community Based Theatre Project. The experiences of women as part of communitybased theatre projects are used as material for analysis in the essays by Matzke and Dogbe and also critiqued by Kuria for their inability ,in specific cases, to accommodate and facilitate womens activity to engineer and control social change through theatre. Fatima Dikes revised script, Glass Houses with a prefac e by Blumberg (132 153) is one of the major attractions of the book for third world scholars like myself, who are hard put to access current work by authors from other third world areas which provide contemporary examples of a theatre activists direct engagement with the urgent realities of her country. Apart from this playscript, I would look at the book as divided into three parts. Some essays record histories of, and analyze texts written by, women. The account of Algerian women dramatists in the di aspora by Chakravarty Box (314), Dunton on Oyedapo, Ajayi on Onwueme, and Kuria on Kenyan playwrights Mboya and Mwachofi may fit into this set. Another set of essays record histories of representations, like the analysis of the figure of Isis in Tawfik a l Hakim and Nawal al Sadawi, in an effort to refigure the Egyptian goddess in feminist terms by Amin (15 28) and Ntangaares analysis of Ugandan popular theatres images of women. Kurias essay however, may also be seen as analyzing both text and represen tation within a wider context of community participation. My third category is the account and analysis of womens participation in the making of theatre in capacities other than (though not excluding) writers, where I would also place the essays by Matzke Dogbe and Sutherland Addys interview with Buabeng. Thus the volume focuses on theatre in a multiplicity of aspects: text, history, practice and sociology. These thematic foci are connected by an active concern for hearing the voices and taking note of t he efforts of theatre women across Africa. As such the volume would be useful to scholars and practitioners involved in theatre and performance studies as well as feminist scholars with an interest in the sociology of text and performance. Ipshita Chanda Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India
African Studies Quarterly | http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a10.htm96 African Studies QuarterlyVolume 8, Issue 2 Spring 2005Pan-African History: Political Figures from Africa and the Diaspora Since 1787 Hakim Adi and Marika Sherwood. London and New York: Routledge, 2003. 203 pp. This book has an ambitious agenda in covering over two hundred years of Pan-African history via political figures from Africa and the African Diaspora. Studies relating to African cultural resistance continue to hold attention in the academy and with good reason. Certainly the dynamic and interdisciplinary aspect of African Diaspora research presents unparalleled opportunity for those researchers interested in both the continuities and discontinuities concerning the history of African descended peoples throughout the world, but particularly within the "Atlantic world." Hakim Adi and Marika Sherwood, both scholars based in Britain, offer a book that can summarily be described as a collection of short biographical accounts on some of the key PanAfricanists to emerge from 1787 to the middle of the twentieth century. It is a useful reference book that gives basic insight into the lives of forty personalities who they claim as part of PanAfrican history. I use the phrase "who they claim" purposefully as many scholars would probably not, for example, depict Martin Luther King, Jr. as part of Pan-African history. Most often it is black nationalists such as Malcolm X, who is covered in the book, that have been viewed as typical of a "Pan-Africanist" political figure. Nevertheless, when one reads the pages covering King and his links with the African continent it makes sense that he should be included. The authors argue rightly that there has never been a universally-accepted definition of what Pan-Africanism stands for and entails. They go on to define it as such: "Our definition includes women and men of African descent whose lives and work have been concerned, in some way, with the social and political emancipation of African peoples and those of the African diaspora." (vii) In terms of women being included in their definition, it is curious that they only offer us three from the forty personalities: Constance Cummings-John, Amy Ashwood Garvey, and Claudia Jones. Why they did not consider a biography of Anna Julia Cooper, a pioneer for African-American women's rights who attended the first Pan-African conference in London in 1900 (her presence at the meeting is noted on page 192, by way of Henry Sylvester Williams); or Ida B. Wells-Barnett, the great crusader against lynching and for women's rights; and Mary Church Terrell, another pioneering woman in African American history, to name only a few, is quite baffling. Indeed, another salient omission is that of Amy Jacques Garvey, Marcus Garvey's second wife, and arguably the most influential Pan-African woman of her generation, is equally bewildering, especially as the authors present a biography of Amy Ashwood Garvey, his first wife. Amy Jacques Garvey, inter alia, was responsible for editing and publishing her husband's major speeches and writings, along with keeping the Garvey movement alive after his death in 1940. This is a major oversight in the analysis of historical Pan-African personalities. To their credit, the authors do point out the lack of research into the role of women in Pan-African history. (x)
BOOK REVIEW | 97African Studies Quarterly | http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a10.htm Regardless of the notable exclusions, the book can be considered unique, and at least the authors have created a first biographical reference volume that highlights the linkages and commonalities of these diverse Pan-Africanists. Certainly this is a refreshing and much-needed theme that counters academia's endemic "fragmentation theses" offered through usually turgid postmodernist analyses on Africa and particularly the African Diaspora. In point of fact it is a hopeful sign that forthcoming scholarship will continue to find commonality in the historical and contemporary struggles of African descended population groups. Moreover, it is noted that each biographical sketch is presented in a rather sober style, and they do not make the error of glorifying Pan-African history. All of the personalities covered were undeniably influenced in some way by their social interaction with the West, particularly in terms of those born in Africa such as Kwame Nkrumah and Julius Nyerere. Nkrumah, for instance, was educated in the US and spent time in London forming his ideas about African liberation, and his influences included two giants of Pan-African history: Marcus Garvey and W.E.B. Du Bois. Julius Nyerere studied at Edinburgh University in Scotland before he was to become the creator of Tanzania, and a founder member of the Organization of African Unity (OAU). In terms of the regional parameters of the African Diaspora, the authors state that the focus of the book is primarily on Anglophile and Francophile Africans, along with their Caribbean counterparts. Therefore some names contained in this volume will be very familiar, others not so familiar. Frantz Fanon, George Padmore, Walter Rodney, C.L.R. James, Nelson Mandela, and Paul Robeson are among the familiar Pan-Africans. Nathaniel Akinremi Fadipe, Dus Mohamed Ali, Ras T. Makonnen, Ahmed Ben Bella, and W. Alphaeus Hunton can be deemed among the lesser-known group. Finally, at the end of each account references are provided for further reading. Overall, in producing a timely introduction to Pan-African political figures, this book will serve a useful purpose in the field. It can best be considered as a starting point that is likely to be expanded upon by future scholars. Adi and Sherwood shed light on some of the major PanAfrican personalities, and some of the obscure players. This should help the student of African studies explore the historical evolution of Pan-Africanism. Though the lives of forty personalities, stretching over two hundred years, cannot be expected to provide us with the breadth of Pan-African thought and experience, the reader should come away with new ways to combine and define the African continent and its Diaspora as it relates to the struggle of the European enslavement, colonial, and postcolonial eras. Mark Christian Miami University, Ohio
African Studies Quarterly | http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a11.htm98 African Studies QuarterlyVolume 8, Issue 2 Spring 2005Broken Lives and Other Stories Anthonia C. Kalu. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2003. 183 pp. If literature has the power to touch and, in the words of Rainer Maria Rilke in his poem, "Archaic Torso of Apollo,"teach us to change our lives", then the latest stories from Nigeria have set out to do exactly that. Anthonia C. Kalu's Broken Lives and Other Stories is in the vein of Helon Habila's Waiting for an Angel which exposes the dire human condition during the Sani Abacha military regime and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's The Purple Hibiscus which retells the Biafran war story. While a lot of the fictional stories we have read about the Biafran war are colored by the writer's ideological sentiments, the above-mentioned works aspire to be as neutral as possible. And this is the special merit of Anthonia C. Kalu's stories. The stories in the collection do not aspire to be pacifist, pro-Biafra or pro-Nigerian; rather they focus on the more humanistic sense of loss. One of the more moving moments in "Angelus," the second story, is when the narrator is sent for by her father in the heat of the war. "My father had sent an army for me As he drove off, I looked back and started to wave at the few remaining groups of students waiting for transportation to their different homes. None of them smiled or waved at me as the jeep took me through the school gates" (43). This is the dreaded moment of rupture when the hitherto known world thins away into nothingness while you look. The blankness in the faces of the young women, their inability to wave back at their colleague is a story in itself. And in pictorial bits, we are led to the devastations of the war whose cause or justification the people never understood and might never understand. The scene of incest in "Camwood" (84), which, like the next story, "Broken Lives," documents incidences of broken lives; these move us to sympathy in the Aristotelian sense of empathy. We are introduced to the pain of women being torn from their families and used as sex objects in the military camps, the pain of husbands watching their wives taken from them by other men. Nonetheless, "Broken lives" does not claim to be a sophisticated narrative and it is not. Many of the stories are filtered so that the author inadvertently comes in-between the reader and the stories. The greater part of "Angelus" is chatty. One has the impression that the story is trying to be many things all at once: a story about the Biafran war and a history lesson on European colonial plundering of Africa (20-27). Because of the absence of the desired narrative immediacy, the reader tends to forget the characters regardless of how touching their fates are. The stories seem a bit too programmatic both in conception and execution. There is a conscious, albeit too conscious, effort to initiate a discourse with them, and this effort overrides the aesthetic project of honing in on the specificities of the character and allowing those specificities to speak to the reader. In short, we are missing what J.M. Coetzee would call the "dreamlike state of realistic narratives."1
BOOK REVIEW | 99African Studies Quarterly | http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a11.htm But all these do not take away the importance of the stories especially as means of reinterrogating, and abrogating the pervasive absolutist discourse about wars. If the former Biafrans tend to mystify the perceived glories of the Biafran age and thereby justify their having waged a war that could have been avoided, they should take up Kalu's book. Every one of the stories cries and cries, and then whispers: never again. Chielozona Eze UCLA International Global Fellowship Institute Note Coetzee, J.M. Elizabeth Costello New York:Viking, 2003, p.16.
African Studies Quarterly | http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a12.htm100 African Studies QuarterlyVolume 8, Issue 2 Spring 2005Highland Sanctuary: Environmental History in Tanzania's Usambara Mountains Christopher A. Conte. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2004. 215 pp. Highland Sanctuary situates the Usambara Mountains of northeastern Tanzania within the environmental history of the highlands which stretch through eastern Kenya and Tanzania. Conte uses contrasts between the eastern and western massifs of Usambara to reveal some of the underappreciated diversity in environmental change, which may be found throughout the "Eastern Arc" mountains. For despite their very long geological history, rich diversity of flora, and importance as sites of early cultural, agronomic and metallurgical development, these highlands remain inadequately studied. With stylistic economy, Conte's two opening chapters provide a vivid introduction to the environment of Usambara, and to its natural and human history before the twentieth century. They also introduce the Wambugu, a pastoralist Cushitic minority who lived alongside Usambara's more numerous Bantu-speaking Washambaa farmers and exploited its high forests for grazing. The heart of this book lies, however, in the following five chapters, where Conte examines environmental change during the colonial period and, in one chapter, since national independence in 1961. These chapters focus primarily upon highland forests. Conte shows that European colonialists and the indigenous inhabitants of Usambara valued forests very differently. A point which emerges prominently from his discussion of European and particularly German perceptions of Usambara is that they were shaped by a fundamentally aesthetic and culture-bound appreciation of mountain landscapes. Yet, while Europeans gradually moved towards a more conservationist valuation of mountain forests, believes Conte, demographic pressure and incorporation into a market economy increasingly led the indigenous peoples of Usambara in the opposite direction. Mounting pressures to obtain money led villagers and pastoralists to clear and exploit their forests for commercial timbering and market farming. It is this finding which leads Conte away from the perspective advanced by the other book which must be read alongside Highland Sanctuary for a full appreciation of colonial Usambara Steven Feierman's Peasant Intellectuals Where Feierman emphasizes the enduring salience of an old political culture, Conte sees the old culture crumbling under the weight of destructive colonial pressures. Feierman suggests that desire for the revival of the sort of political authority which had been capable in precolonial society of "healing the land" --a desire which might be read as evidence of indigenous commitment to conservation--underlay nationalism in Usambara. By contrast, Conte sees the colonial economy causing expansion of market production, aggressive clearing of fragile mountain land, and soil erosion. As a result, he believes that the increasing scarcity of arable land and declining security of land tenure forced many of the poor either to leave Usambara or to join the nationalists. It was the "tensions of hunger," he argues, "[which stoked] the fires of resistance, [as] the ancient ties that bound the mountain peoples with their environment strained under the pressure of agrarian change" (145).
BOOK REVIEW | 101African Studies Quarterly | http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a12.htm Conte's argument helps to show why environmental historians should be careful of throwing around the concept of "healing the land" without Feierman's care and nuance. It is far too simplistic to see "healing the land" as an ethic uniting of agrarian communities. This ethic also legitimizes power, which could be deployed coercively and divisively. In demanding the revival of such power in the 1950s, Washambaa villagers surely were not simply critiquing colonial power, but were seeking to rein in members of their own communities who exploited their neighbors' labor, land and forest as market opportunities widened dramatically. The fault lines of division ran not only between the colonial state and local communities, but also through the interior of mountain communities. Another fault line ran between local residents and the outsiders who came to the mountains from Kenya and elsewhere in Tanganyika for market farming and timber harvesting. The post-independence TANU government sought to resolve this particular division by allowing national interests to override local and tribal claims to resources. Unfortunately, the primacy given national interests left the mountain communities, which had the most to lose from the rapacious exploitation of their forests with little ability to control intruders. Here Highland Sanctuary reveals, I think, the cost of allowing nationalism indispensable as it was in the late-colonial, Cold War moment --to supplant older, more localized political cultures. As Conte shows, precolonial political authority in Usambara found ways of controlling pastoralist newcomers while permitting them access to certain ecological niches. Nearly half a century after independence, the national state of Tanzania is still struggling to find equally successful ways of regulating similar competition for land and natural resources. James Giblin University of Iowa
African Studies Quarterly | http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a13.htm102 African Studies QuarterlyVolume 8, Issue 2 Spring 2005Education Reforms in Sub-Saharan Africa: Paradigm lost? Jeanne Moulton, Karen Mundy, Michel Welmond, and James Williams. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2002. 248 pp. Using research on policy implementation, Moulton and her co-authors "examine how an emergent paradigm of education reform has been designed, debated, and implemented across sub-Saharan African countries." (2) To illustrate how this paradigm has evolved, the authors draw upon empirical data from five country cases of education reform: Malawi, Uganda, Benin, Guinea, and Ethiopia. Their analyses attempt to answer questions on the usefulness and shortcomings of the education reform paradigm and offers valuable insight into funding agency assumptions and the often unexamined political context of education reform. The authors cite findings from the 1988 World Bank study, "Education in Sub-Saharan Africa: Policies for Adjustment, Revitalization and Expansion" as providing the impetus for reform. The study, which speaks to the "crisis and deterioration of African educational systems during the 1980s", led to the initiation of broad education reform programs designed and implemented throughout the region over the course of the following decade. USAID soon "launched or extended" some twelve education programs under the Development Fund for Africa; the World Bank and other aid agencies developed broad reform programs of their ownsometimes in cooperation with one another, and often not. Viewed as the next logical step to structural adjustment programs, education systems were soon targeted for fiscal and technical reform, encompassing broad issues of administration, curricula, teacher training, and classroom materials (such as textbooks) in attempts to establish goals for improving conditions of equity, quality, and financial management. Drawing on the work of McDonnell and Elmore, the authors analyze data within these five cases around a typology of policy instruments used by international donor agencies to effect reform: inducements; dialogue; transfer of official authority; mandates; and capacity building. Moulton and her co-authors develop a three-part framework for comparing reform across casesfocusing on the content, actors, and contexts of reform as various policy instruments were brought into play by donor agencies. This framework for organizing the analyses of findings was useful in understanding how reform was structured, implemented, and administered, as well as the political, economic, and social conditions that shaped reform. Noting in particular the strong influence of national politics and aid agency assumptions about policy development in relation to implementation, the authors describe how international funding agencies used a number of policy instruments to revitalize whole systems of education, with varying success. Combining their analyses of individual reform cases, the authors conclude that some policy instruments fared better than others. Whereas dialogue proved helpful in all of the casesproviding opportunities for stakeholders to aid in policy developmentinducements and mandates yielded mixed results. In the case of Benin, conditions on budgetary support from USAID to the government were not enforced in the early stages of reform; national officials
BOOK REVIEW | 103African Studies Quarterly | http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a13.htm learned to ignore the aid agency's agenda, and mandates on spending were only successful when combined with added financial inducements. However, questions remained as to whether the transfer of central authority to more local levels of governance was successful in achieving overarching reform goals in most country cases. National politics often superseded reform goals, and local communities frequently received mixed signals regarding their involvement in children's schooling (Uganda); efforts to ensure universal free access to primary school led to overtaxed teachers and classrooms as enrollments swelled beyond existing capacity (Malawi). In their conclusion, the authors bring three aspects of international education reform to light in perhaps the strongest section of the book. First, international development is political and reform can be a factor within that arena. National agendas can thus change suddenly and dramatically, altering reform or derailing it altogether. The Guinea case is an example of how political instability can lead to changes in leadership ultimately detrimental to reform (Guinea). Second, the authors emphasize the need to recognize the role of stakeholders in the policy process, "who will continue to negotiate priorities in a context of uncertainty." (211) Stakeholder involvement in all levels of policy is key, they say, to sustainable reform; the success of dialogue in establishing close relationships between donors and national partners is convincingly documented by the authors in this regard. A third aspect of education reform noted by the authors is the donor tendency to see policy development as separate and distinct from its implementation. Yet policy is often re-shaped, even changed completely, in implementation.1 This is perhaps the most important of the authors' findings, focusing their case-comparison upon a critical issue of international development and reform in education. Based upon long-standing assumptions in the field of development, reform programs are thus viewed as "generalizable", applicable in a given country context. Donors seem to need one "best" education solution for Sub-Saharan Africa, say the authors, in contrast to the competitive policy environment of the U.S. The authors seem to imply that this view toward policy hampers the success of international development initiatives in education reform. On the whole, the book will be helpful to policy makers, international development agents, and partners interested in better understanding how reform policy is designed and enacted in the complex contexts of international development. However, some researchers might find the text wanting in terms of the organization and presentation of findings in two main areas. First, where the authors' analysis of systemic reform appears complete, well crafted, and insightful, presenting a brief summary of findings early on would have strengthened the text. Some readers, especially researchers, will likely want a synopsis of the major findings by the end of the introductory section to aid in understanding the authors' interpretation of case study data. Waiting until the conclusion section to present findings may seem logical or less prejudicial, yet this arrangement leaves the reader without any guiding reference point from which to judge independently the validity of the authors' conclusions. The book's conclusions would also benefit greatly from additional documentation of data in support of the authors' findings, particularly from interviews and surveys; data collection methods should have been described in detail for each case to further strengthen the authors' conclusions. Some conclusions, such as those regarding aid agency assumptions about policy design and implementation seem to rely less upon case evidence and more on the authors' own experiences, as evidenced by the independent and individualist manner in which cases were written. While this collection of reform experiences is indeed valuable to improving understanding of systemic education reform in sub-Saharan Africa the authors would need to
BOOK REVIEW | 104African Studies Quarterly | http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a13.htm provide clearer documentation of findings and data gathering methods to truly add to the research literature on international development policy. Mark Anthony Hamilton Michigan State University Note 1. This assertion is supported by recent policy research showing the complex ways in which actors such as teachers often shape, or change completely, reforms in implementation. In "Policy as practice: Toward a comparative sociocultural analysis of educational policy" (2001, Sutton and Levinson, eds.), contributing authors address the need to view policy design and implementation in education as far more fluid than commonly thoughtas matters of "practice" rather than as distinct phases of design and implementation.
African Studies Quarterly | http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a14.htm105 African Studies QuarterlyVolume 8, Issue 2 Spring 2005Collective Insecurity: The Liberian Crisis, Unilateralism, & Global Order Ikechi Mgbeoji. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2003. 186 pp. At the end of World War II, the founders of the United Nations had hoped that this newly established organization would stabilize the international order and would help maintain worldwide peace. Hampered by the Cold War, however, the UN never fulfilled the high hopes of its creators. After the end of the Cold War it seemed as if the UN at last could effectively intervene into the devastating conflicts that followed so many state failures. But again, the UN Security Council was blocked by national egoism and rivalries. As a consequence, regional coalitions and unilaterally-acting great powers seized the initiative and intervened in humanitarian crises. Ikechi Mgbeoji, who is a professor of law at York University, takes a look at the implications that this development has on the future role of the UN and the evolving global order. Mgbeoji uses the Liberian Crisis of 1991-1996 as a case study to point out why a regional organization found it necessary to intervene and why the UN only half-heartedly took on a limited role in the peace building initiative in Liberia. The book begins with a detailed account of the Liberian Civil War up to the 1996 elections. Mgbeoji does not restrict himself to simply narrating the relevant events, but also gives a broader, conclusive analysis of the causes of many state failures and civil wars in Sub-Saharan Africa. According to the author, bad governance and the fact that the borders of African states were arbitrarily drawn by European powers with no regard for ethnic and national cohesion account for the instability in many African nations. Mgbeoji convincingly shows that these causes lie at the root of the Liberian conflict. The government of Samuel Doe favored his ethnic kin and discriminated against members of other ethnicities. In addition, Doe rigged elections and installed a patrimonial system in which he and his cronies pocketed the scarce state revenues. When the economic situation of Liberia worsened due to a cutback in American subsidies, Charles Taylor easily instigated an insurrection among disaffected Liberians. Soon Liberia was divided along ethnic and cultural fault lines and descended into a protracted civil war. In the second chapter, Mgbeoji analyzes the intervention of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in the Liberian civil war. The ECOWAS member states quickly recognized that the Liberian crisis had the potential to destabilize the entire region. They therefore tried to broker a cease-fire through the ECOWAS Cease-fire Monitoring Group (ECOMOG), but the attempt to build peace in Liberia was undermined by several problems. First, ECOWAS was deeply divided between a Francophone and an Anglophone block. Second, ECOWAS was notoriously short on resources badly needed for effective peacekeeping. Third, ECOMOG was send to Monrovia before a cease-fire had been brokered that all parties to the conflict had accepted. In the subseqent chapters, Mgbeoji examines the legality of the ECOWAS intervention under current international law, arguing that Chapter VIII of the UN Charter allows
BOOK REVIEW | 106African Studies Quarterly | http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a14.htm for peacekeeping measures by regional arrangements or agencies. He holds the opinion that the Security Council at least implicitly acknowledged the legality of the ECOWAS intervention and consequently the enforcement actions of ECOMOG. The UN itself made only a minimal effort to get involved in the Liberian crisis (weapons embargo, creation of UNOMIL, resolutions urging members to help ECOWAS establish a fund for Liberia) and seemed satisfied with leaving the resolution of the conflict to ECOWAS. Mgbeoji correctly notes that the Security Council practically abdicated its monopoly on mandating peace enforcement actions with serious results for the global order. In the last chapter Mgbeoji discusses how the African nations can reconfigure collective security for the continent. His first suggestion is to re-think African statehood and governance. Hitherto, he claims, there has been a taboo on discussing the present borders that were drawn up during colonial times. African states, he urges, should find ways to overcome the artificial separation of ethnic and cultural groups. Furthermore, the style of governance has to change in order to create governments that have political legitimacy in the eyes of their own citizens. Mgbeoji's second point concerns the relationship between regional organizations and the UN. At present, the decisions of the Security Council more often than not reflect the interests of greater world powers. To change this, Mgbeoji recommends the creation of a unified UN military force, but admits that such a ground breaking reform of the UN is not in sight. Therefore, he posits that at least the relationship between regional arrangements and the UN, especially the Security Council, should be clarified and that the UN should make better use of regional arrangements to prevent them from undermining the Charter regime. He also argues for giving regional arrangements a more pronounced voice in the Security Council's deliberations and decisionmaking processes. Mgbeoji's book clearly demonstrates the many problems of peace enforcement in presentday Africa. His case study of the Liberian crisis is highly informative and elucidates the difficulties that beset many African states. Likewise, his discussion of international law and the present global order shows an in-depth familiarity with this complex subject. His book will not only be useful for scholars of international law and international relations, but is also a valuable resource for the general public. Dieter Janssen Saarland University, Germany
African Studies Quarterly | http://www.africa.ful.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a15.htm107 African Studies QuarterlyVolume 8, Issue 2 Spring 2005Journalism and Mass Communication in Africa: Cameroon Festus Eribo and Enoh Tanjong, eds. New York: Lexington Books, 2002. 168 pp. Journalism and Mass Communication in Africa edited by Festus Eribo and Enoh Tanjong, locates its analysis of mass communication in Cameroon within a historical framework. It provides a "one-stop volume on mass communication in Cameroon" (vii) and its main objective is to explore the historical development of the mass communication in Cameroon from the colonial to post-colonial period. The book explicates the development of print and electronic media, the relationship between journalists and the empowerment of the people, the growth of public relations, advertising, publishing industry and communication research. The book consists of two parts, totaling twelve chapters. Part one addresses issues concerning journalism and mass communication in Cameroon while part two focuses on communication research and its application to a developing country like Cameroon. Chapter one examines the origin and development of the media in Cameroon, as well as the role played by the elites in the development of the media. The main themes that emerge from this study are that print media is the oldest media in Cameroon and this is true with other African countries. The government in Cameroon has been dragging its feet to develop and modernize the audiovisual sector and this led to the proliferation of video clubs. In chapter two, Tanjong and Angwa conduct an empirical study of media audiences and their perceptions of journalists through surveys, which reveal that the majority of participants give Cameroonian journalists high ratings and also that these journalists do not enjoy press freedom. The third chapter, on communication and the empowerment of people, explores the relationship between systematic and strategic application of communication systems and empowerment of people. The chapter concludes that the use of appropriate technology, communication is vital for people-centered development. This study tears apart the dominant paradigm for development and espouses a participatory model for empowering people. In chapter four, Bisong Divine Epey explores the aesthetic traits of broadcasting, both audio and visual in Cameroon. The creation of competition among media outlets, especially between public and private has resulted in the adoption of a high level of aesthetics during production to enhance programs. Chapter five looks at the notion of effective public communication and its significance in Cameroon. Central to this chapter is message construction through human communication and variables such as location, timing, scheduling, structural patterns and means of delivery, all of which are examined in detail. Funge, Cheo, Henry and Tita examine the rapidly expanding field of public relations in Cameroon. The study looks at the way public relations is being utilized in public and private sectors. Chapter seven follows closely on themes from chapter six by looking at the history and development of advertising in Cameroon. Citing particular national campaigns, the author is able evaluate the effectiveness and weaknesses of adverting in Cameroon. Chapter eight, the last chapter in part one, looks at the publishing industry in Cameroon, probing the
BOOK REVIEW | 108African Studies Quarterly | http://www.africa.ful.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a15.htm problems confronting the industry, authors, and readers. The chapter also traces the historical evolution of the publishing industry in Cameroon, paying particular attention to government policy on publishing. In part two, Adidi Uyo in chapter nine examines communication research, steps involved, and methods and techniques of data analysis. In chapter ten, Enoh Tanjong explores the use of survey research in Cameroon and examined some of the cultural taboos that may affect researchers especially during the sampling stage. Matt Mogekwu focuses on content analysis, emphasizing its significance and problems within an African context. The last chapter, by Okigbo, Kizito, Kyayonka and Eribo empirically analyze media contents across the continent, drawing examples from West and East Africa. What is interesting to note about these four chapters is they relate communication research with an African context and raised some of the cultural taboos that researchers, especially foreign researchers, should be aware of to avoid stonewalling by the locals during fieldwork. An evaluation of this book depicts common patterns involving development of mass communication in Africa in general and the way governments in Africa, be they colonial or postcolonial, have been hostile to private mass media and at the same time use the public mass media to advance their hegemony. What makes this book unique is that it precisely focuses on Cameroon and in the process raises some socio-cultural, economic and political conditions that distinguish the development of mass communication in Cameroon from the rest of Africa. By focusing on Cameroon alone (this is one of the rare media and mass communication books that do not focus on the dominant sites of study in Africa -Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya or South Africa), the authors give a refreshing and unique study about the development of mass communication in Africa. The other strength of this book is its clearly well laid research methods and theoretical framework. Authors relied heavily on qualitative research methods with the exception of a few that utilized survey research and a combination of qualitative critical analysis and quantitative content analysis to analyze selected newspapers and magazines from Nigeria and Kenya. The research designs in these different chapters are clearly explained. While the book is a compilation of twelve different chapters, the dominant and visible theoretical framework that guides this book and threads across the different chapters is the historical evolution of mass communication in Cameroon from colonial to post-colonial Cameroon. All the chapters in this book are developed within this theoretical framework. This book is useful especially to those interested in an insider's perspective concerning the evolution of mass communication in Cameroon. The book is up-to-date and fills an important scholarly void in mass communication studies in Africa and has significant value to students, scholars and policymakers of journalism and mass communication. However, it also important to note that even for a work of this broad magnitude, the book has its shortcomings. The glaring shortcoming of this work is its peripheral treatment of mass communication policy environment in Cameroon. None of the chapters dwell convincingly on regulation of journalism and mass communication in Cameroon yet it is the regulation that shapes the way in which institution of mass communications functions. Policy is always an instrument of the state and shapes the environment of mass communication in any society. Also, the book does not address adequately how globalization has affected or not affected journalism and mass communication in Cameroon and how the corridors of power in Cameroon have responded to the phenomenon of globalization of the media.
BOOK REVIEW | 109African Studies Quarterly | http://www.africa.ful.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a15.htm Upon all the shortcomings outlined above, Journalism and Mass Communication in Africa: Cameroon is a well-written and compelling work on journalism and the evolution and development of mass communication in Cameroon. Wenceslous Kaswoswe Ohio University
African Studies Quarterly | http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a16.htm110 African Studies QuarterlyVolume 8, Issue 2 Spring 2005Imagining the Congo: The International Relations of Identity Kevin C. Dunn. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003. 236 pp. Kevin Dunn's path-breaking book offers an illuminating look into the imaginings and reimaginings of the Congo from the beginning of the colonial era to the present. Dunn effectively maneuvers through international relations theory, political history, literature and other sources to analyze the most common portrayals of this greatly misunderstood country. From early depictions of Congo as a "Heart of Darkness," hopelessly backward and savage, through contemporary allusions to the "New Barbarism," Dunn takes us on a fascinating ride through these changing "discursive landscapes," to use his phrase. Along the way, he argues that these shifting (although almost always racist) portrayals have framed the world of potential political decisions open to the Congolese and, more importantly, to the outside influences that have played such crucial roles in fashioning Congolese politics over the last century and a half. To Dunn, the "Congo's identity has been authored largely by outside actors to the overall detriment of the people on the ground." (16) While he overstates the point, he backs up this contention brilliantly with a thoughtful assessment of the most important periods in the Congo's history, keenly outlining both the forces that worked to define Congolese identity and the repercussions of these identities. Dunn points out that while most people in the western world know very little about the Congo, they ironically feel as though they know it very well because it is "enveloped in a century of powerful imagery." (4) "Imagining the Congo" traces this imagery, starting with the "invention" of the Congo under Belgian colonialism. In particular, Dunn looks at the ways King Leopold II and explorer Henry Morton Stanley depicted the Congo as a land in dire need of Belgian civilization, a land of savages that would only reach true humanity under colonial rule. Unfortunately, the Congolese themselves had limited means to contest these racist images due to their lack of access to printed media. This helped to solidify the role of Leopold and Stanley as key authors of the entire region to western audiences. That the western world overwhelmingly envisioned Congo through the lens created by these two people made possible the violent oppression of the Congolese people, a cruelty widely seen as one of the most brutal in all of colonial Africa. Eventually, the number of potential authors of Congo's identity expanded, and this ruthlessness became a source of shame for Leopold, as critics of his colonial regime produced alternative depictions of the Congo focusing on Leopold's excesses. The Congo Reform Movement, for example, developed the image of "Red Rubber" to connect the wild rubber from the Congo with the blood spilled by the Congo's inhabitants, who were forced to gather it." (51) Importantly, the identity given to Congo by the Reform Movement still stressed the inferiority of the Congolese and the necessity of colonization; it simply promoted a more "humane" form of rule. Ultimately, the Red Rubber image stuck and Belgium took charge of the Congo,
BOOK REVIEW | 111African Studies Quarterly | http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a16.htm presumably to eliminate the unrestrained behavior afforded Leopold during the days of his personal "ownership" of the colony. Perhaps the most interesting section of Dunn's book focuses on the image of Congo as chaos during the period leading up to and directly following independence. The image of Congo as chronically crisis-prone and inherently unstable led the U.S. (and others) to intervene in the country after independence in order to prevent a Soviet takeover. The assassination of Lumumba, and the support for Mobutu, Dunn argues, must be viewed through this context, i.e. one can only conceive of intervening in such a way when one imagines Congo as literally on the brink of disaster, unable to fight off the "Red Menace" on its own. Dunn moves from the era of chaos to the Mobutu period to demonstrate how Mobutu himself re-imagined the Congo (and himself) as simultaneously a bulwark of anti-communism in the heart of Africa and a model of Third World nationalism. Dunn analyzes the policy of authenticite and, in one of the most unique and insightful portions of the book, shows how this policy was consumed by the international community. Rather than focus simply on how images of the Congo were created, then, he delves into the ways in which these images were viewed by outside sources. In particular, Dunn points to the little-known reality that Mobutu rarely mentioned authenticite within the Congo. Rather, the policy served as an integral component of Mobutu's foreign policy, i.e. his attempts to fashion himself as an authentic African leader. That authenticite became the official doctrine in Gabon, Togo and the Central African Republic is a testament to the effectiveness of his efforts. The final section of Dunn's book looks at the current war and the image of Congo as a cancer, destroying the region. As the country descended into violence, support for Mobutu waned, but the international community did little to address the situation. To Dunn, the West's images of the Congo (remarkably similar to those of a hundred years ago) precluded more positive actions to deal with the humanitarian crisis in the region. Dunn's point is clear and persuasive. The imaginings and re-imaginings of the Congo have "cumulatively helped make the current situation possible." (141) "Imagining the Congo" serves as a much-needed addition to international relations theory, a discipline heavily deficient in perspectives from Africa and African affairs. The book's lively and accessible writing style and the interdisciplinary nature of Dunn's approach will interest anyone concerned with African politics, whether they know much about the Congo itself or not. International relations theorists, and those interested in identity politics, in particular, will appreciate this excellent look into the role of identity-formation in shaping Congo's turbulent and captivating history. Brendan McSherry University of California, Berkeley
African Studies Quarterly | http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a17.htm112 African Studies QuarterlyVolume 8, Issue 2 Spring 2005Oral Traditions as Philosophy: Okot p'Bitek's Legacy for African Philosophy Samuel Oluoch Imbo. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2002. 181 pp. Okot p'Bitek is among Africa's best known authors, although as Samuel Oluoch Imbo laments, "the full influence of his legacy has not been appreciated, his views on important philosophical issues remain unexplored." (xviii-xix) Yet p'Bitek's efforts of linking poetry and everyday living to philosophy could benefit contemporary discussions in African philosophy. In his aim of revamping and generating more interest in p'Bitek's views, Imbo has no doubt used his efforts resourcefully. The text not only locates p'Bitek's views very well within African philosophy, but will also provoke and stimulate African philosophers to search for African philosophy in oral traditions as well. Though the author relies heavily on p'Bitek's African Religions in Western Scholarship, Africa's Cultural Revolution Song of Lawino and Song of Ocol his other essays are representatively discussed. Therefore, in reading Oral Traditions as Philosophy one gets a holistic purview of p'Bitek's views. In the debate regarding the nature of African philosophy, the so-called professional school would probably find the title of Imbo's text somewhat inappropriate. On the other hand, upon reading the text ethnophilosophers would be very uncomfortable with it because of its emphasis on logos. However, the novelty of the text lies within this enigmatic stance. The ethnophilosophers are discredited for having imposed visions of what Africa is, whereas the professional philosophers are castigated for being myopic and restrictive in their definition of philosophy. (18) Imbo adapts a middle way in the antagonism. In chapter two, Imbo ably supports p'Bitek's controversial position that Western assumptions about what constitutes the philosophical, the religious and the spiritual is inappropriate in African contexts. Using Luo tales, Imbo argues that the narratives are best apprehended by a holistic approach that sees the spirits, the living, and the unborn as members of the same extended family. The reader is cautioned that the experiences of African life are impossible to meaningfully parcel out into these disparate pigeonholes (44). Chapter three discusses the Western assumption of privileging the written over the spoken, of denying that the spoken word can sustain analytical and rigorous philosophical dialogue. Imbo in supporting p'Bitek's view mutatis mutandis, postulates that the spoken word plays an important role within philosophy and as a result "the discipline of philosophy must become porous enough to let in wordsmiths such as poets, novelists and storytellers." (49) The question of "What is a Text?" is also addressed. Here, Imbo explicates the weakness of the logocentric view that cordoned off the realm of text to exclude everything except writing. According to Imbo the realm of texts includes the oral as well as material culture, such as textiles, sculptures and masks (51). At any rate, as p'Bitek asserts, "a song is a song whether it is sung, spoken or written down" (47). Imbo is emphatic that "Western prejudices prevent a rose by any other name from smelling just as sweet." (60) He therefore advises, "it is more fruitful to realize that the oral stories are just a means of transmitting the culture's rigorous intellectual traditions. Philosophy is the extraction
BOOK REVIEW | 113African Studies Quarterly | http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a17.htm of meaning from the accounts of the oral traditions. That extraction is made richer by the admission of oral traditions as texts." (68) The chapter on "Roles for Women in African Oral Traditions" is refreshingly novel and would confound most so-called African feminists. The question that Imbo grapples with is: "Are oral traditions inherently misogynistic or do they merely lend themselves invariably to misogynistic interpretations?" (72) A perusal of the chapter reveals that Imbo thinks that it is the latter. Though the role of women is ambivalent, he cautions that one should not lose sight of the fact that the central role of African traditional culture is the promotion of social harmony and the provision of a framework for interpreting real biological differences as making men and women different and equal. Therefore, any theorizing on any issue in traditional Africa ought to begin with a firm planting of both feet in African traditions. (89) This, according to Imbo, is the mistake of the feminist movement and it is for this reason that African women are reluctant to describe themselves as feminists. Chapter five is based on one of p'Bitek's favorite themes: "Western Scholarship and African Religions". According to Imbo, p'Bitek's position is that philosophy and religion are inseparable in traditional Africa, and anyone who wants to understand traditional African ways should observe the ordinary person in the village. The folly of anthropologists and missionaries was that they looked for African metaphysicians and theologians for answers. (93) The reader is also told that p'Bitek's other quarrel with Christianity is the manner in which it was introduced in Africa. Its introduction ruled out dialogue yet dialogue presupposes the ability and a willingness of all involved to listen to each other. This scenario resulted in intellectual smuggling even amongst African nationalists and intelligentsia "they surreptitiously imported alien themes and concepts into African context and then claimed theseas indigenous to Africa." (100) The problem involved in translating Western concepts into African languages is discussed in chapter six. Imbo explicates some of the problems that p'Bitek encountered in translating his works. Imbo then offers some principles that would lead to a good and fairly representative translation. In chapter seven, Imbo agrees with p'Bitek that Westerners have distorted the authentic African selfhood. The views of Frantz Fanon, Ifeanyi Menkiti and Kwame Gyekye on African selfhood are also explored. Imbo then presents what he thinks is the only meaningful interpretation of the idea of an African personality. (149-150) In the last chapter, Imbo poses the question: "What do we do now?" Borrowing from Ngugi wa Thiong'o, he believes that "the Devil, who would lead us into the blindness of the heart and into the deafness of the mind, should be crucified, and care should be taken that his acolytes do not lift him down from the cross to pursue the task of building Hell for the people on Earth." (153) In this endeavor, Imbo singles out the African philosopher. Since philosophy has been ably employed in the African continent as the handmaiden of ideology, the African philosopher has a special political responsibility of addressing the imbalance created by past (and present) practices of philosophy. Given the interdisciplinary nature of the subject matter of the text, its potential readership is indeed wide. The book is meant not only for African and Africanist scholars, but it would interest African political leaders both in Africa and the Diaspora. Western scholars who have the interest of Africa at heart will find the book to be an indispensable companion. The manner in which the ideas are presented are refreshing, even to those who may be familiar with the ideas. F. Ochieng'-Odhiambo University of the West Indies
African Studies Quarterly | http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a18.htm114 African Studies QuarterlyVolume 8, Issue 2 Spring 2005Boundaries of Self and Other in Ghanaian Popular Culture Joseph Adjaye. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2004. 195 pp. With Boundaries of Self and Other in Ghanaian Popular Culture (2004), Joseph Adjaye offers us an inspiring ethnography of several rituals among the Akan, Krobo, and Bono in Ghana. The book offers a vivid impression of the (post)colonial transformations of libations, funerals, naming ceremonies, female initiation practices and two festivals (Bakatue and Apoo), which the author tries to explain by using and refining different theoretical approaches. The strength of this book is situated in the author's personal experiences. As the eldest son in an Akan family, he has to take up specific rules during rituals. The theoretical strand, which underpins all his analyses, is based on the postmodernist conception of contextually-realized plural identities and meanings. Adjaye intends "to contribute to theoretical formulations about performance studies in African contexts, thereby bringing fresh and novel interpretations to our understanding of the role of ritual actions in the social construction and experience of African realities" (3). A difficult task given the heterogeneity of approaches and the conceptual problems in the field of performance studies. The first chapter following the theoretical introduction tackles libations as ethnopoetic constructions of reality The author stresses that this genre, probably the most common ritual in Ghana, is ever-changing, adaptable to every circumstance. Drawing on discourse analysis, Adjaye illustrates how libators as mediators between the profane and the sacred shape new realities, both for themselves and the audience. These realities are very individual, as they are colored by distinct life trajectories and actual emotions of the participants. The third chapter, devoted to naming ceremonies within Akan culture, opens with a curious question: "Is there a universal view of culture, or, more specifically, of naming systems?" (41) The author does not succeed in answering this question, but he nevertheless successfully describes how a baby transforms from non-person into a person through this ritual. Here, Adjaye rejects structuralism for being static and not considering reality as multileveled, multifaceted, and multivocal (49). In his view, symbols are socially objectified loci of meaning (51), and a structural analysis of rituals does not adhere to a flexible conception of meaning'. In "Dangerous Crossroads: Liminality and Contested Meaning in Krobo Dipo Girls' Initiation" (Chapter 4), the author uses van Gennep's (1909) and Turner's (1969, 1995) writings for a structural investigation of the initiation ritual. The innovation of this chapter lies in its focus on the personal experiences of rituals and emotions toward symbols. While criticizing Jean La Fontaine's study of Gisu initiation (1985) for not taking into account the differences between official and informal versions of initiation rituals, Adjaye tries to prove the heterogeneity in the experience of one and the same ritual. Here, the author analyzes one ritual which he did not experience himself. Therefore, the ethnographic data (based on minimal verbal responses, powerful facial and emotional expressions) and conclusions are rather vague (78).
BOOK REVIEW | 115African Studies Quarterly | http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a18.htm Chapter 5 and 6, which are both dealing with less documented Ghanaian festivals (Bakatue festival and Takyiman festival) are by far the best chapters of the book. Following and explaining Turner (1969, 1995) and Bakhtin (1973, 1984), but without mentioning James Scott, Adjaye tackles power relations and the temporary accepted reversal of the hegemonicsubordinate roles. The first festival is open to the whole community, while the Takyiman festival allows youth to mock the dominating groups. Here, Adjaye moves to an analysis of intergenerational relations. In the author's view Ghanaian youth does not possess a subculture of its own, nor does it offer a counterculture. Rather these youngsters realize a carnivalesque reversal of power relations in the annual festival, by means of song and dramatic behavior. In chapter 7, inspired by symbolic interactionism, Adjaye describes the transformation of Akan funeral rituals since colonialism. The other' in mourning rituals has shifted from the otherworld' to societal others who need to be impressed by mainly financial efforts. The last chapter of the book offers a recapitulation of the author's theoretical assumptions organized around themes as space, time, power, the body, morality, the solemn and the nonsolemn, ritualization, agency, societal integration and renewal, the individual and society, knowledge, and meaning. But here Adjaye touches too hastily on too many topics. The variety of the discussed performances is both the strength and the weakness of this book. Adjaye tries to comment upon diverse practices, which stops him from elaborating his ideas more thoroughly. While the main theme of this book is the multiplicity and heterogeneity in collective and personal experiences, the author sometimes only hints at the plural strategies for the construction of meaning in the performances. Another shortcoming of this text is its conceptual vagueness. What, for example, is meant by "social and cultural arrangements" (3)? In the sixth chapter, while describing the performances of young men, a cultural definition of youth' is missing. What are "youthful ages" (15)? And lastly, Adjaye twice utters remarks on the role of women during funerals the primordial role of women as mourners (154) and the subordination of women as key speakers (24) but he does not use this opportunity to give a more detailed analysis of female identities and experiences. To conclude, Adjaye has given the reader an inspiring book, which combines multiple theoretical lines within anthropology and other disciplines in the field of ritual studies. It raises many questions of interest to performance-oriented scholars and indicates possible routes for future research. Katrien Pype Catholic Uiversity of Leuve (KUL),Belgium
African Studies Quarterly | http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a 1 9 .htm 116 African Studies Quarterly Volume 8, Issue 2 Spring 2005 A History of Postcolonial Lusophone Africa. Patrick Chabal (with David Birmingham, Joshua Forrest, Malyn Newitt, Gerhard Seibert, and Elisa Silva Andrade). Bloomingto n I N : Indian a University Press, 2002. 339 pp. Patrick Chabals new edited volume, A History of Postcolonial Lusophone Africa, seeks to provide an extensive review of postcolonial Portuguese speaking Africa. In many respects, this new book compliments Chabals earlie r edited work entitled The Postcolonial Literature of Lusophone Africa. However, I would argue that Chabals latest book is far more ambitious than the latter, in that it seeks to outline and synthesize the political and socio economic history of postcolon ial Lusophone Africa into one single text. In order to bring a sense of organization to such a large text A History of Postcolonial Lusophone Africa is divided into two parts. The first part written by Chabal himself is entitled Lusophone Africa in His torical and Comparative Perspective. The second part, which consists of five country studies by each of the contributing authors, takes on a different tone than Chabals lengthy opening section. This difference in tone is due in part to the varied areas of specialization of each of the co authors. The country surveys include Angol a by David Birmingham, Mozambique by Malyn Newitt, Guinea Bissau by Joshua Forrest, Cape Verde by Elisa Silva Andrade, and So Tom and Prncipe by Gerhard Seibert. Although each of the country surveys can be read separately, the book can best be appreciated if read together. Chabal in part one seeks to furnish a comprehensive history of Lusophone Africa by pulling together common themes from the shared experience of Portuguese colonialism, apart from language. He does in fact pull together various commonalities: the protracted wars of liberation, the perverse colonial legacy of the Portuguese, and the Marxist orientation of the five postcolonial governments. Despite identifying similarities, Chabal throughout his section consistently draws distinctions between the shared experiences. For example, the degree to which the PAIGC, MPLA, FRELIMO, and the MLSTP adhered to Marxism was noticeably different (52). Chabal even drives home the idea that [a] single minded focus on Lusophone Africa could easily detract attention from the fact that the five countries postcolonial trajectory has been intimately bound up with regional and international factors. (73) He uses as examples Guinea B issaus close relation to West African French speaking territories and Angol as position in central African politics Nonetheless, Chabal is interested in the comparative African perspective. For him, postcolonial Lusophone Africa is not significantly dis tinct from that of the rest of the continent. Hence, the themes selected for each chapter are all relevant to the postcolonial African state: the end of empire, the construction of the nation state, and the limits of nationhood. In other words, Chabal is t rying to create an interpretative interchange between students of Lusophone, Anglophone, and Francophone Africa.
117 | BOOK REVIEW African Studies Quarterly | http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a 1 9 .htm Throughout, Chabal successfully poses challenging questions. For example, how did the wars of liberation contribute to the developing nationa lism of the day? And how is it that Mozambique has managed to resolve a conflict, which appeared worse than that in Angol a which has become intractable? He also can be commended for his ability to incorporate both the internal and external forces of Afric an postcoloniality into his analysis. Although Chabals section could have stood on its own, it is followed by five country reports, which are uneven and rarely pick up on issues raised in the first part of the book. The second section should have suppor ted Chabals analysis; instead, each of the co authors write about topics that they are familiar with, seldom drawing connections with earlier chapters, a problem typical of multi authored works Although Birmingha m s chapter on Angol a is insightful and l ucid, it is severely lacking in documentation. To illustrate, while commenting on the circumstances of clientalism in Angol a, Birmingha m notes that dos Santo s readily gave Christmas bonuses of $25,000, the equivalent to 10 years salary for ordinary gove rnment employees to his favored civil servants etc., but never gives the source for this statement (178). The reader is then left questioning the reliability of such an astounding figure The chapters on Mozambique and Guinea Bissau are informative and be tter documented than Birmingha m s essay. However, at times Newitt is contradictory. For instance, he argues that Mozambiqu e inherited a favorable and diversified economy (188), yet later states that increases in foreign debt led to human disaster (206). No netheless, Newitt does a fine job illustrating the paradigm located in Mozambiquan history, disaster and chaos followed by international relief and tentative recovery. (235) Although not as analytical as the three afore mentioned essays, Andrades chap ter on Cape Verd e and Seiberts chapter on So Tom and Prncipe are welcomed contributions. First, the two island states are included in the text; both countries are often neglected and relegating to the dustbins of historical inquiry. Second, Seiberts e ssay best correlates with Chabals opening section in its direction and analysis, while Andrades essay was thought provoking and thoroughly researched. Unlike the other authors who often used only English references, Andrade used sources not readily avail able to the Anglophone reader, sources more than likely only available in Cape Verde, which in turn is a valuable contribution to the text. Although this book is not for specialists, it would be useful for undergraduate survey courses on Africa in general, postcolonialism, and the history of the Lusophone world. It is readable, comprehensive, and at times candid. The incorporation of a glossary is helpful to the reader. The bibliography, compiled by Caroline Shaw, references tex ts applicable for the study of Lusophone Africa, but is by no means extensive and is difficult to navigate. Nonetheless, Chabal must be given credit for assembling such a text, for he is one of only a handful of scholars who continue to give voice to Lusop hone Africa In short, it is never a scholars purpose to exhaust the subject, only to suggest that it is there. Chabal and his co authors have done just that. Paul Khalil Saucie r Northeastern University, Boston
African Studies Quarterly | http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a 20.htm 118 African Studies Quarterly Volume 8, Issue 2 Spring 2005 African Renaissance: Roadmaps to the Chall enge of Globalization Fantu Cheru. London: Zed Books, 2002. 253 pp. In African Renaissance, Fantu Cheru offers new insights into the crisis of Africas development. His goal is to set a different agenda, a path not bound by the often idealistic, sometimes nave visions of some left think ers, nor trapped under the dogmatic arrogance of the neo liberal consensus. Based on numerous field studies and secondary research, the eight chapters cover nearly every possible aspect of African social and economic development, with much room for overlap The chapters range in topics from agriculture to regional integration to democracy and provide a clear analysis of Africas current crisis with realizable proposals for development and policy alternatives to ensure the realization of the African Renaissance. Cheru points out the fact that African governments have thus far reacted to the challenge of globalization in one of two ways, outright resistance as the example of the earlier Marxist inspired experiments showed, or, as in the case of South Afric a, total acceptance of globalization and neo liberal paradigms. For Cheru, neither of these options is feasible today; the former because for such a resistance to be successful, African and other Global South nations would have to unify and stand together i n demanding paradigmatic shifts in international trade and economic policy; which for Cheru isnt likely (although recent events at the WTO meeting in Cancun might suggest otherwise). For the latter, complete acceptance of the neo liberal agenda has proven to have dire effects on the ability of states to maintain social systems and to formulate and conduct nation development agendas. Here, Cheru brings into focus a third option, what he calls, a guided embrace of globalization with a commitment to resist. In the opening chapter, The Globalization Challenge, Cheru sets the tone of the book by exploring the broad problem of African development and the failure of the liberalization policies of structural adjustment enforced by the WTO and IMF. Extreme rat es of poverty throughout sub Saharan Africa, where close to half of the continents population live on under $.65 (USD) per day, coupled with the overall decline in foreign aid, have led to crisis in the ability of the African state to support education an d health care, which is dominated by the epidemic of HIV/AIDS and the largest refugee problem of any region in the world. He looks at domestic factors in creating political and economic instability, which leads to poor agricultural performance due to the dependence of the state on levying heavy taxes on agricultural exports and the centralized control over commodity prices and market entry. In the manufacturing sector, which employs less than 10% of the total work force, dependence on foreign technology and expertise has led to stagnation in growth for this sector across the region. The African Brain drain has resulted in a depletion of needed expertise and now stands at an annual rate of nearly 20,000 trained intellectuals leaving the continent for higher salaries and political stability in foreign lands.
119 | BOOK REVIEW African Studies Quarterly | http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a 2 0 .htm In the second half of the chapter, Cheru turns his focus on external forces at hand in undermining Africas development. Unfavorable, even hostile terms of trade lead the way in a range of issues and con flicts with the international economic order followed by the lack of positive foreign direct investment have left Africa vulnerable to volatile external market forces and coercion from multi lateral lending institutions, as the only sources of foreign exch ange credits. This dependence has created a situation where African nations control over regional and national development policy is consistently curtailed and opposed by the interest of the international financial system, to which Africas economies are essentially mortgaged. The chapter concludes with a restatement of the main idea that Africa must have a guided embrace of globalization with a commitment to resist. The following seven chapters highlight some major points and issues that African policy makers and civil society groups will have to face in order to usher in a new era of social development with universal access to health, education, sanitation, water and other basic life services. The remaining chapters of the book cover some of the main challenges to sub Saharan Africas future development, including democracy, education, agriculture, regional integration, rural urban linkages, and rebuilding war torn societies. Throughout each chapter is detailed research on the recent histories in domestic policy and global forces that have helped to shape the reality sub Saharan Africa finds itself faced with today. The book ends with a Wake up Call to Fellow Africans. Cheru calls on us to rethink the concept of decolonization of the African m indset. Africas dependence on foreign aid, he says, has done the opposite of its claimed mission, but in fact has been used to keep Africas people disempowered through the support of dictatorships and undemocratic regimes. Further, the habits of import consumption and the rejection of products produced in Africa is the highest example of how deep the colonial ingraining has been. Further along, he challenges African universities, scholars and heads of state to commit to strengthen their peoples capacity in all the relevant specializations and improve the ability for sub Saharan trade negotiators to engage in meaningful dialogue during WTO meetings, and other international negotiations. One thing I felt was missing from the book was a specific look at the situation from a health related and gendered perspective. Although Cheru offers many side bars and critiques of the crisis from a gender sensitive view and discusses to some degree the issue of health care, with particular emphasis on HIV/AIDS, I tho ught both subjects warranted a chapter on their own that would have made this book absolutely complete. Still this book is by far the best that Ive read on the issue of modern African development. It is a very easy read either for graduate level students or for those newly approaching the subject. Cherus research, which was accumulated through years of work as a consultant with many international organizations and governments, was very well documented in the notes and references sections. I highly recomm end this book to any and all interested in African political economy and development. Khalil Tian Shahyd Brandeis University
African Studies Quarterly | http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a 2 1 .htm 120 African Studies Quarterly Volume 8, Issue 2 Spring 2005 Economic Change, Governance and Natural Resource Wealth: The Political Economy of Change in Southern Africa. David Reed. London: Earthscan, 2001. 168 pp. The author of this book is the director of the WWF Macroeconomics Program Office (MPO) and this book comes out of the MPOs efforts to work with national governments and international development agencies to address ecol ogical and equity concerns emerging from structural adjustment programs in southern Africa. The author draws upon research projects that took place in three countries (Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) as well as South African water and energy pricing regime s. Unfortunately the South African experiences, which have much to teach about civil society responses and resistance, are not included in the book. Reed criticizes the forms of government in Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, especially one party rule and state domination of economies, but is less critical of the World Bank and IMF which have imposed massive economic changes on these countries. The lack of transparency and accountability of governments is harshly criticized (and rightly s o), but the same lack of transparency and accountability in the World Bank and IMF (not to mention the major resource corporations) receives little criticism. This is despite the fact that David Kaimowitz's "Preface" notes that there are more poor under st ructural adjustment programs. The oversight may be, not so innocently, related to the fact that Reed benefited from "steady contributions" from World Bank staff towards "the development of the project" (xix). World Bank officials commented on draft report s and offered numerous suggestions. The reader should be aware that this book is written throughout in the language of neo liberalism, from a perspective that favors structural adjustment. In a work that clearly privileges GDP measures over investment in social infrastructure, Reed speaks favorably or uncritically of privatization, liberalization of foreign investment regulations, downsizing, market based pricing, fiscal discipline and almost anything proposed by the IMF or World Bank. The gap in Reed's ana lysis is illustrated by his perplexity when faced with the persistence of poverty even as socioeconomic reforms proceed. Reed does not even entertain the possibility that economic setbacks and deepening poverty are happening, not despite structural adjustm ent, but rather because of structural adjustment. In each case the concern is with the most convenient approach to achieve economic outcomes desired by the Bank. Whether in the case of autocracy or democracy the people of the country and their needs often disappear from the discussion (except for vague references to "resistance from the public" which is presented as being manipulated by local elites). Downsizing, which in Tanzania led to 50 000 unemployed civil servants in less than two years, is presented flippantly as simply a "central priority" (49). Similarly Reed laments that it took more than five years "to fulfill many of the divestiture objectives" of privatization in Tanzania (49). Reed crows about reforms in Zimbabwe that meant the country's "labo ur costs
121 | BOOK REVIEW African Studies Quarterly | http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a 2 1 .htm were now globally competitive" (in other words, "a 35 per cent decline in wages [that] reduced real income (108 109). Later he notes that some "tension" arose because "layoffs associated with the adjustment programme intensified downward pressure on the incomes of the rural poor," a supposed concern of the book (111). It is also bewildering that someone involved with an environmental organization can speak approvingly of mining policy that sets "an attractive regulatory framework" for business, e specially given how such attractive frameworks privilege profit over ecological protection (52). Similarly, Reed bases his evaluations of reforms largely on rates of growth and exploitation, and, moreover, he views such increases positively. One might expe ct a representative of an environmental NGO to be more critical about expansion of activities such as mining, given the serious ecological and social impacts associated with this sector both in southern Africa and globally. Instead, Reed lauds growth of mi ning sectors and criticizes governments for not directing more budget expenditures towards developing growth in this sector. Perhaps more troubling is the way in which Reed passes over practices like child labor, as merely "a common problem" related to the adjustments, rather than making this a focus for sustained discussion and criticism. There is even a patronizing aspect to Reed's boosterism, as when he insists that "there have been economic spin offs benefiting the region. Tour operators have occasional ly purchased thatching mats and local produce, and hired short term labourers, thereby increasing local incomes albeit in nominal ways" (85). Ironically, Reed has to concede that the reforms have not even lived up to their limited goals of increasing econo mic efficiency and accelerating economic growth as "a striking feature is that economic performance has deteriorated on many counts since the launch of the reforms." Indeed economic problems under structural adjustment "brought the country to the brink of collapse" (108 109). Reed is also at a loss to explain why, rather than democratization, "economic reforms and institutional changes have created a new political elite and economic elite whose actions and policies lie beyond the realm of public scrutiny and accountability." (94). Reed's preference for neo liberal adjustments leaves his analysis paralysed in the face of IMF and World Bank PR: "This conclusion [that the poor are doing worse] is paradoxical because the expressed purpose of the economic reform s, as articulated by the Bretton Woods institutions over the past decade, has been to alleviate poverty, particularly rural poverty, and to draw the peasantry fully into the country's economic life." (95). Precisely what is lacking in this book is the very thing it should be contributing, a "coherent analytical framework for understanding these outcomes, and for understanding the skewed distribution of benefits from the adjustment process more generally." Jeff Shant z Yor k Universit y Toronto
African Studies Quarterly | http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8 i2a 2 2 .htm 122 African Studies Quarterly Volume 8, Issue 2 Spring 2005 Lords of the Fl y: Sleeping Sickness Control in British East Africa, 1900 1960. Kirk Arde n Hoppe. Westpor t Connecticut : Praeger, 2003. 203 pp As Hoppe notes, the statistics of sleeping sickness ( trypanosomiasis) epidemics in colonial East Africa draw historians attention: in Uganda, perhaps 250,000 people died during the epidemic at the turn of the century; and in Tanganyika and Uganda, hundreds of thousands of people were forcibly resettled from infested zones, depopulating huge swathes of land in forcible resettlement that remade the landscape. Beginning with this drama, Hoppes book explores British sleep ing sickness control in Uganda and Tanganyika. He announces his book as an environmental history of the land transformed by depopulation and vector management, a study of the powerful social engineering function of British medical experts in marginal are as, and asserts a specific causal directionality, arguing that the emerging cultural and political authority of natural and medical sciences informed the logic, organization and meaning of colonial sleeping sickness control.(3) He explores these argume nts over the changing terrain of Uganda and British Tanganyika by drawing on sources central to the experts campaigns, such as official reports, gazettes and correspondence involving scientists and administrators, newspaper reports from the Times and use of the voluminous travel literature produced by wouldbe expert observers of colonial development, complemented by references to the environmental histories that have proliferated in the years since Walter Rodney and Helge Kjekshus provided early sketches of a devastated East Africa. Clearly responding to an obvious criticism, he has also sought to bring in the insights of the re settled and others who experienced the upheaval he describes, with interviews that were still apparently so politically problematic in the 1990s that they are sketchy and difficult to integrate into his argument or analyze systematically. As a history of expertise, this work is centered on the sources generated through that expertise, and the questions those experts raised. It suf fers, though, from shortcomings with regard to this evidence. The heavy reliance on published work makes it more difficult to understand how the scientific experts from the metropole fit into local administrative contexts, or their interactions with distr ict commissioners, local government authorities such as government chiefs, and (especially by the 1920s in Uganda) local politics. Surely the argument that scientific experts shaped the colonial practices of Uganda and Tanganyika requires evidence not simp ly of what the scientists attempted to do, or argued that they were doing, but of how their actions shaped local debates, power struggles, and crises. That would require, at the least, broader reading in the administrative files of each colony. One of the books peculiarities is that it fails to draw on the consolidated materials available in the Public Records Office in Kew, instead using the problematic and incomplete resources at Entebb e and the apparently more helpful materials at
123 | BOOK REVIEW African Studies Quarterly | http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i2a 2 2 .htm the Tanzanian National Archives. With broader reading, it might be possible to contrast the propaganda efforts of scientists with the contempt and dismissal offered by district commissioners and chiefs backed up by their Governors, who after the most serious years of the Uganda n epidemic may have had other priorities and concerns. Such an exploration might force change in the argument, or it might strengthen it dramatically. Such a broad ranging approach would be challenging, and is one reason why comparative studies tend to be relatively rare. More oddly, Hoppes discussion of the international scientific understanding of trypanosomiasis seems limited. Much material comes from the secondary literature this is a crowded field. But given the claims the study makes about experts a nd their power, it should look more closely at the articles experts wrote, the scientists they trained, and the prestige they generated. In addition to close readings of the science and sociology of scientific papers and conference reports, it might also b e useful to compare responses to trypanosomiasis to responses to other major diseases, such as malaria among humans and east coast fever among cattle Hoppe is most successful in pushing readers toward some important central questions: how not only the dis ease, but the interventions of experts, shape colonial experiences for the administrations of Uganda and Tanganyika, the lands they administered, and the people of the affected areas. This is an important and interesting question in the context of debates over scientific power and decision making in contemporary Africa in the context of not just HIV/AIDS, but malaria, Ebola, etc. Hoppe fundamentally undermines any claim that the continent offers too much inertia to state sponsored or science based intervent ions. Colonial governments in a variety of periods were able, after all, to achieve dramatic re shapings of the landscape. As science knows more, presumably we should be able to do more, though Hoppes epilogue describes current difficulties with and respo nses to the disease without concluding whether they are likely to work or not This study potentially appeals to readers in various fields, but all are likely to be left wanting more: environmental historians may follow his discussion of park origins and b rush clearance, but want a more complex assessment of how space and power intersected in changing ways during the 60 years chronicled here. Historians of science will value the analysis of how cosmopolitan science shaped local brush clearance and removals, but may find frustrating Hoppes limited critical discussion of the actual science. Historians interested in health should focus on his claims of imperial intentions and follow the limited discussion of the removal camps, but may miss discussion of the ex perience of illness and the management of sick and dying trypanosomiasis patients. And those predominantly interested in questions of state power and governmentality are likely to find provocative Hoppes suggestion that scientific management was used to c ontrol marginal areas, but query whether the area around the governors house at Entebbe qualified as marginal Hoppes book is full of strong questions that are formulated to tackle a wide span of regions, periods, and discourses, and serves as a beginnin g for a range of new studies. Carol Summer s Universit y of Richmon d