Africa Today

Africa Today
Volume 51, Number 1, Fall 2004

CONTENTS

    Freidberg, Susanne Elizabeth.
    Horowitz, Leah.
  • Converging Networks and Clashing Stories: South Africa's Agricultural Biotechnology Debate
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Agricultural biotechnology -- Public opinion.
    • Public opinion -- South Africa.
    • Sustainable development -- South Africa.
    • Transgenic organisms -- Government policy -- South Africa.
    • Farmers -- Social networks -- South Africa.
    Abstract:
      The debate over agricultural biotechnology in South Africa is not only polarized, but also complicated by the increasingly blurry boundaries of food governance. This was particularly apparent during the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), held in Johannesburg in August 2002. This article explores how the politics and policies surrounding genetic modification (GM) in South Africa have taken shape within a range of overlapping transnational networks of information, advocacy, regulation, and resource exchange. Drawing on fieldwork conducted before and during the summit, it examines how South African actors identify with and draw on these networks, but also express concerns and aspirations defined by more localized experiences and conditions. It observes how South Africa has come to be seen as a pivotal site for the future of GM farming and food across the whole of the African continent.
    Hanson, Kobena T.
  • Rethinking the Akan Household: Acknowledging the Importance of Culturally and Linguistically Meaningful Images
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Households -- Ghana.
    • Akan (African people) -- Kinship -- Ghana.
    • Akan (African people) -- Ghana -- Social life and customs.
    Abstract:
      Conceptualizing the household, especially in non-Western cultures, has never been easy. Studies undertaken in sub-Saharan Africa indicate that what we consider the household is a fluid, open-ended interaction of diverse dynamics, which are often contingent upon and enmeshed within specific sociocultural interactions and economic relations, raising questions as to how meaningful a Western household conceptualization is to research in these cultures. Apart from the obvious cultural sensitivity lesson (people in different cultures do things differently), there is no doubt that the extant household conceptualization and its focus on location, residence, fixity, and simplicity reflects a modernizing, capitalist world, which privileges individual property and domesticity as a goal to be attained. This paper contends that Ghanaian Akan families do not reside in households; rather, they exhibit living arrangements that are unique to this ethnocultural group. It is critical that research in this culture adopt a more culturally and linguistically appropriate image—namely, the bokyea (cooking-hearth and eating group)—if we seek to understand and map out the lived worlds of Akans.
    Mushengyezi, Aaron.
  • Reimaging Gender and African Tradition? Ousmane Sembène's Xala revisited
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Sembène, Ousmane, 1923-, dir. Xala [film]
    • Women in motion pictures.
    • Sex role in motion pictures.
    • Senegal -- In motion pictures.
    Abstract:
      In the film Xala, Ousmane Sembène's interrogation of gender, African tradition, and modernity in postindependence Africa is problematic in many ways. While Sembène reimages gender and tradition in contemporary Africa, his vision is also surreal and romanticized. The paper critiques several binary oppositions which Sembène seems to create in Xala: between the "decadence" of modernity and the "purity" of African tradition, and between revolutionary, "masculine" women and villainous, "feminine" men. The paper raises questions regarding Sembène's vision for Africa: is his symbolic depiction of the xala (the curse of impotence on the African elite) as at once the "curse" of Western colonialism and modernity convincing? and does he see "modernity" as an entirely negative force in Africa?
    Metelits, Claire.
  • Reformed Rebels? Democratization, Global Norms, and the Sudan People's Liberation Army
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Sudan People's Liberation Army.
    • Sudan People's Liberation Movement.
    • Sudan -- Politics and government.
    • Democratization -- Sudan.
    Abstract:
      After years of using terror as a strategic tool against its ostensible supporters in southern Sudan, the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) claims to be moving in a democratic direction. If true, this change would stand as a case of an insurgency responding to global political and normative pressures to democratize, and would signal acceptance of greater reciprocity in social relations in the insurgency—a pattern that fits with broader propositions of state-building scholars. Yet, as this article argues, the SPLA will not achieve its state-building objective because of the effects of international norms on the movement's intentions and pursuits of its interests.
    Akwa, Christiane Dika Nsangue.
  • The Feedback Phenomenon in the Cameroonian Press,1990-1993
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Newspapers -- Public relations -- Cameroon.
    • Letters to the editor -- Cameroon.
    Abstract:
      Because communication plays a predominant role in the world today, media and information networks attempt to condition our lifestyle by modeling our thoughts and influencing our behaviors. Feedback is a determining element, both for senders of messages and their receivers, to understand the relationship of information exchange between them. This article proposes an analysis of feedback based on the information some Cameroonian newspapers reveal, and their readers' reactions.
    Day, Lynda Rose, 1953-
  • What's Tourism Got to Do With It?: The Yaa Asantewa Legacy and Development in Asanteman
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Yaa Asantewaa, 1832?-1921 -- Anniversaries, etc.
    • Ashanti War, 1900 -- Anniversaries, etc.
    • Tourism -- Government policy -- Ghana.
    • Culture and tourism -- Ghana -- Ashanti Region.
    Abstract:
      The commemoration of the centenary of the anticolonial war led by Yaa Asantewa in 1900 was launched both to honor her memory and to boost the tourist industry in the Ashanti Region. Though the events and initiatives of the commemoration may eventually bring economic gains to the region, this paper suggests that, like tourist development in other parts of the world, the tourist-development effort initiated new configurations of local cultural maps. The centenary events were important vectors of new cultural understandings consumed and shared by the people of the region, but the article asserts that the future success of tourist development will require the elaboration of new global cultural linkages connecting the people of the Ashanti Region and diasporic Africans, who comprise a growing percentage of visiting tourists.

Book Reviews

    Maddox, Gregory.
  • Eroding the Commons: The Politics of Ecology in Baringo, Kenya 1890-1963 (review)
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Anderson, David, 1957- Eroding the commons: the politics of ecology in Baringo, Kenya 1890-1963.
    • Environmental policy -- Kenya -- Baringo District -- History -- 20th century.
    Welch, Claude Emerson.
  • Beyond State Crisis? Postcolonial Africa and Post-Soviet Eurasia in Comparative Perspective (review)
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Beissinger, Mark R., ed. Beyond state crisis? postcolonial Africa and post-Soviet Eurasia in comparative perspective.
    • Young, Crawford, 1931-, ed.
    • Postcolonialism -- Africa.
    Normandy, Elizabeth L.
  • A Democracy of Chameleons: Politics and Culture in the New Malawi (review)
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Englund, Harri, ed. Democracy of chameleons: politics and culture in the new Malawi.
    • Malawi -- Politics and government -- 1964-
    Wunsch, James S. (James Stevenson), 1946-
  • Truth and Reconciliation in South Africa (review)
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Graybill, Lyn S. Truth and reconciliation in South Africa.
    • South Africa. Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
    Gartley, John.
  • Media and Resistance Politics: The Alternative Press in Namibia, 1960-1990 (review)
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Heuva, William. Media and resistance politics: the alternative press in Namibia, 1960-1990.
    • Underground press -- Namibia -- History -- 20th century.
    Snyder, Margaret C., 1929-
  • Once Intrepid Warriors: Gender, Ethnicity, and the Cultural Politics of Maasai Development (review)
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Hodgson, Dorothy Louise. Once intrepid warriors: gender, ethnicity, and the cultural politics of Maasai development.
    • Masai (African people) -- Social conditions.
    Sabea, Hanan.
  • The Struggle for Meaning: Reflections on Philosophy, Culture, and Democracy in Africa (review)
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Hountondji, Paulin J., 1942- Struggle for meaning: reflections on philosophy, culture, and democracy in Africa.
    • Conteh-Morgan, John, tr.
    • Philosophy, African.
    Clark, Andrew Francis.
  • Africa's Stalled Development: International Causes and Cures (review)
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Leonard, David K. Africa's stalled development: international causes and cures.
    • Straus, Scott, 1970-
    • Africa -- Economic conditions -- 1960-
    Singer, Barnett.
  • West African Responses to European Imperialism in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (review)
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Ohaegbulam, Festus Ugboaja. West African responses to European imperialism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
    • Africa, West -- Colonization.
    Dube, Smile.
  • The Inconvenient Indigenous: Remote Area Development, Donor Assistance, and the First People of the Kalahari (review)
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Saugestad, Sidsel. Inconvenient indigenous: remote area development, donor assistance, and the first people of the Kalahari.
    • San (African people) -- Botswana.
    Lehman, Howard P.
  • Security and Politics in South Africa: The Regional Dimension (review)
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Vale, Peter C. J. Security and politics in South Africa: the regional dimension.
    • South Africa -- Politics and government -- 1994-
    Durham, Deborah.
  • Creating Germans Abroad: Cultural Policies and National Identity in Namibia (review)
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Walther, Daniel Joseph, 1965- Creating Germans abroad: cultural policies and national identity in Namibia.
    • Germans -- Namibia -- Ethnic identity.

Books Received

Contributors




[Project MUSE] [Search Page] [Journals] [Journal Directory] [Top]