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This book brings and blends together a dozen scholarly articles published by the author since the 1970s. It sketches two different yet related stories: first, that of one of the most ancient and prestigious African civilizations, the antiquity and sophistication of which are becoming more and more prominent as field research unfolds their many facets. Second, the story of the researcher himself, who has had to alter and shift his approach to that civilization as he got to meet Grassfielders, colleagues, friends and scholars who changed his views about the Grassfields kingdoms and their people. This book bears witness to those many encounters. Historical and anthropological research is not only a question of relevant theories and methodologies. It is also a human endeavour made of networks and friendships.
Memories of an Authentic Eye Witness
The Cameroon Political Story is a long journey through the eyes and actions of the author himself. It is a mix between Mbileís memoirs, a bit of his biography and the Cameroon political story, heavily weighted in favour of that part of the Republic formerly identified as Southern Cameroons, later West Cameroon, now South West and North West Regions. The story is told in the interest of the Cameroonian youth and scholar who have often complained of the inadequate recording by political leaders of the life and deeds of their times. It is the story of an African boy of humble village beginnings who rose to participate in the making of a modern political community. It is hoped the book provides useful knowledge on the history, growth and constitutional evolution of Cameroon, a country which after more than a century of administrative metamorphosis settled to its present statehood in 1961, a Cameroon reborn.
This book deals with the important subject of governance and development. Even more significantly, the book has the merits of critically evaluating the concept of good governance in an African context, identifying the internal factors that impinge on good governance and development, and proposing solutions. It provides empirical evidence on the extent to which inappropriate governing strategies are the main internal obstacle to development in Cameroon. The authors discuss factors contributing to precarious and problematic governance from multidisciplinary perspectives, and demonstrate the extent to which such inadequacies impede positive social change. To promote effective development, the authors argue for the implementation of a good governance strategy that comprises, inter alia: adopting appropriate development strategies; decentralizing administration to make for popular participation and ensure accountability; taking the necessary steps to fight corruption; and ensuring the enforcement of property and cultural rights.
Initially considered something of a black sheep within the Anglophone Cameroon literary genres, the Anglophone novel has gradually grown to carve out a respectable niche for itself in the Anglophone Cameroon sub-system, imposing itself in a way that makes it impossible for critics to ignore it. Now a vibrant genre, it even threatens to overtake drama and poetry, both of which have enjoyed more critical attention. This book is a study of how Anglophone Cameroon has contributed in extending the possibilities of the novel as a literary form, and of some of the established conventions necessary for a fruitful evaluation of the growing body of the Cameroonian novel in English. In this eclectic and compelling book, Ambanasom sets out to achieve three primary objectives: to introduce the reader to the extensive body of Cameroonian novels in English, to re-examine the distorting and limiting criteria upon which the critical assessment of the Cameroonian novel in English has so far been based, and to bridge the widening chasm between literary theory and actual critical practice. To achieve these objectives, Ambanasom begins by elaborating an alternative and flexible theoretical framework which he christens the 'Socio-Artistic Approach' and which, according to him, is 'concerned with both a text's thematic, moral, cultural or ideological issues, on the one hand, and its central literary analysis, on the other.' He then proceeds to use this new critical framework to examine twenty-seven major Cameroonian novels in English. There are critical voices, already emerging within the Anglophone Cameroonian literary circles, calling for rigorous teaching and practice of theory in the interpretation of literary works, setting in motion a critical discourse. Such a call is salutary, and welcome. Those university lecturers whose responsibility it is to teach theoretical courses should take this call very seriously, moving from theory to hands-on practice. This book is Ambanasom's contribution to that critical debate.
Management and Resolution, 1981-2011
At independence, Cameroon and Nigeria adhered to the OAU principle of UTI POSSEDETIS JURIS by inheriting the colonial administrative borders whose delineation in some parts was either imperfect or not demarcated or both. The two countries tried to correct these anomalies. But such efforts were later thwarted by incessant geostrategic reckoning, dilatory, and diversionary tactics in the seventies and eighties that persisted and resurfaced in the nineties with a more determined posture. On two occasions, the border conflict almost boiled over to a full-scale war. First, in May 1981 when there was the exchange of fire between Cameroonian and Nigerian coast guards and second, in February 1994 when Nigeria marched her troops into Cameroonís Bakassi Peninsula. Elsewhere in Africa, border incidents like these have often degenerated into war. But Cameroon and Nigeria together with the international community managed these protracted incidents from escalating into war. This book examines the part played by the disputing parties, Cameroon and Nigeria; the mediation, conciliatory and adjudicatory role of third parties; and the regional and international organisations, in the process of the resolution of the border dispute from 1981-2011. The study situates the nature and dynamics of the dispute historically, and comprehensively explores in detail its causes, settlement and resolution.
Its History and Prospects as an Opposition Political Party (1990-2011)
Cameroon's Social Democratic Front (SDF) was among the watershed challenges c.1990 by sub-Saharan Africa's democratization forces against autocratic regimes, but it crested in 1992 and has subsided since. Yet the party survives, participates in the National Assembly, maintains a grass roots structure, and prepares for a presidential ballot in 2011 that will likely determine its fate. The author conducted research four times in Cameroon, 1989-1999, focusing on the SDF since 1991, and maintains party contacts to the present. The book assesses its history and its prospects, covering the SDF in Africa-wide as well as Cameroonian terms. "Krieger has given us the first, superbly researched, finely tuned analysis of the fortunes of a major contemporary African opposition party, Cameroon's Social Democratic Front (SDF)." - Victor Le Vine, Washington University, St. Louis, USA. "The book goes far beyond its title and puts in context a daylight re-emergence of political opposition in Cameroon. To say that this long overdue history of the SDF party is a prolegomena to understanding contemporary Cameroon social forces is not an overstatement." - Ambroise Kom, University of Yaounde I, Cameroon. "...a level-headed but provocative examination of the structure and workings of a major African country...the sobriety with which he evaluates institutions and leadership is commendable, yielding exceptional analysis that will stand the test of time." - Toyin Falola, Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Letters and Fellow of the Historical Society of Nigeria. Milton Krieger started teaching and research about sub-Saharan Africa in 1970. Nine trips there include four research visits providing two years time in Cameroon, 1989-99. The second, 1991, coincided with 'villes mortes' and turned his primary scholarship to the Social Democratic Front. Access to party documents, officials, and rank and file members included visitor status at the 1995 and 1999 national conventions. Party contacts continue to the present.
In an uncomplicated plot, The Campaign Trail takes its readers through the independence of a state in fiction, the introduction of a multiparty system, to its demise owing to poor governance and power struggle; this novel has a universal appeal to the political scientist, the literary critic, the sociologist, the anthropologist and just anyone who needs entertainment. The author blends the comic and the tragic to good effect.
From Restoration to Integration
This book was first published as a two-part essay in 1965 and 1967 in ABBIA ñ Cameroon Cultural Review ñ under the title ìIdea of Cultureî. Its main argument is that indigenous Africans cultures must be the foundation on which the modern African cultural structure should be raised; the soil into which the new seed should be sown; the stem into which the new scion should be grafted; the sap that should enliven the entire organism. This culture, the object of imperialist mockery and rejected, needs rehabilitation. However, such rehabilitation of African culture cannot be a mere archaeological enterprise. It will not answer to dig up the past and live it as it was. Not only is African culture not without its imperfections, times change and African culture must adapt itself, at every turn, to the changing times. In restoring African culture, it is imperative to steer clear of two extremes: on the one hand, the imperialist arrogance which declared everything African as only fit for the scrap-heap and the dust-bin, and, on the other hand, the overly enthusiastic and rather naive tendency to laud every aspect of African culture as if it were the quintessence of human achievement.
Moving towards consolidation years after independence?
Tanzania has been independent in 2011 for 50 years. While most neighbouring states have gone through violent conflicts, Tanzania has managed to implement extensive reforms without armed political conflicts, Hence, Tanzania is an interesting case for Peace and Development research. This dissertation analyses the political development in Tanzania since the introduction of the multiparty system in 1992, with a focus on the challenges for the democratisation process in connection with the 2000 and 2005 elections. The question of to what extent Tanzania had moved towards a consolidation of democracy, is analysed by looking at nine different institutions of importance for democratisation grouped in four spheres: the state, the political, civil and economic society. Focus is on the development of the political society, and the role of the opposition in particular. The analysis is based on secondary and primary material collected between September 2000 to April 2010. The main conclusion is that even if the institutions of liberal democracy have gradually developed, in practice single-party rule has continued, manifested in the 2005 election when the CCM won 92% of seats. Despite impressive economic growth, poverty remains deep and has not been substantially reduced. On a theoretical level this brings the old debate between liberal and substantive democracy back to the fore. Neither the economic nor the political reforms have brought about a transformation of the political and economic system resulting in the poor majority gaining substantially more political influence and improved economic conditions. Hence, it is argued that the interface between the economic, political and administrative reforms has not been sufficiently considered in the liberal democratic tradition. Liberal democracy is necessary for a democratic development, but not sufficient for democracy to be consolidated. For that a substantive democratic development is necessary.
Exploring Through Innovation Approach
A brief overview of the African economic picture reveals a paradox where the continent that has rich mineral resources, nearly a billion people and a land mass which includes the sizes of China, USA, India, Western Europe, Argentina together larger than the sum of these regions is in an unacceptable state of being an object of aid, debt and loans despite the vast resources both known and yet to be explored. Africa should have been a productive and innovation centre and not a charity and aid centre of the world where ëdonorshipí has replaced African national ownershipí of not just Africaís resources, but even worse, Africaís own agency, autonomy and independence to shape policy and direction; to undertake African integrated national development by establishing a science, engineering and technology based knowledge, innovative, learning and competent economy. The chapters in this volume address the application of the innovation approach to a variety of problems in Africa. Together they highlight the critical importance of the innovation systems approach in each of the issues the authors preferred to select and analyse. In the African context, the application of innovation goes beyond firms to the informal activities at grassroots level. The boundaries and the range of actors and activities for innovation application are varied and not limited. This variation is represented in this volume by the diverse issues that the authors dealt with in their research by applying as common the use and application of innovation.