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OEAS Endorses New Economic Policy for Africa

OEAS Endorses New Economic Policy for Africa










Washington, DC (PRWEB) December 05, 2012

The Organization of Emerging Africa States (OEAS) representing independence movements in Biafra, Cabinda, Southern Cameroons, Mthwakazi (Zimbabwe), Lunda (Angola), Dagora (Burkino Faso), Vahvenda (South Africa), and the French Indian Ocean territories (UMMOA) has expressed its support for economic self determination initiatives by its member states. In November 2012 oil and mineral agreements between a Canadian company, Kilimanjaro Capital Ltd, and Southern Cameroons and Cabinda as reported November 24, 2012 by industry source Oil Review Africa.

Ebenezer Akwanga, OEAS Secretary General since 2010, National Chairman of the Southern Cameroons Youth League (SCYL) is a leading member of the Southern Cameroons Government which seeks the total independence of that country. In 1997, Akwanga was first arrested by the government of Cameroun for advocating independence for Southern Cameroons and sentenced in a mass trial of independence advocates to 20 years in jail. During his detention he was repeatedly tortured, beaten and denied proper medical care according to the international human rights organization REDRESS.

In 2003, Akwanga escaped prison to Nigeria where he was granted protection by the United Nations. Akwanga has narrowly escaped multiple attempts on his life since then. In 2011 the UN Human Rights Commission found that Akwanga’s human rights had been violated by Cameroun government and that he was owed compensation. Ebenezer Derek Mbongo Akwanga v.Cameroon, UN Human Rights Council, Communication No. 1813/2008.

Akwanga was also instrumental in recent negotiations leading up to funding by Kilimanjaro Capital for the Southern Cameroon’s government. During these negotiations gunmen attacked Akwanga’s residence in South Africa on behalf of a state party, according to a November 12, 2012 letter by the South African National Prosecuting Authority to Akwanga’s lawyer (Case No. 9/2/12-512/2012), the matter has been referred to the Chief Prosecutor in KwaZulu-Natal.

Cabinda and Southern Cameroons join the independence movement in Western Sahara as aspiring African states that have signed future resource development deals with the private sector. This is a trend which may eventually result in numerous new African nations joining the United Nations.











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A Premier Business & Deal Driven Event – 9th Western Africa Oil/Gas & Energy Conference 2013

A Premier Business & Deal Driven Event – 9th Western Africa Oil/Gas & Energy Conference 2013










Windhoek, Namibia (PRWEB) October 06, 2012

This Conference will be once again be a landmark event with a Strategy Briefing on Western Africa held the day prior to the Conference, led by Global Pacific & Partners, and will offer prime networking potential as well as direct exposure to Governments, National Oil Companies, Licensing Agencies and leading corporate players in and across this vast zone where a century of oil/gas development is combined with numerous fast-emerging frontier ventures, including pre-salt targets in the highly prospective offshore/deepwater zones from Morocco to Cape Town.

“Western Africa” covers a vast oil and gas exploration zone, one of the world’s richest and most promising for ventures – from Morocco to the Cape, including island states, with an enormous offshore zone and hydrocarbon potential, alongside prospective deepwater blocks, ultra-deep opportunities only to date marginally explored, Exclusive Economic Zones, and promising pre-salt potential analogous to Brasil, plus numerous existing onshore basins (producing and immature, as well as frontier) and a huge interior domain across 27 countries – in effect, fully one half of Africa and the continental land mass of over 30,000 sq km.

As Dr Duncan Clarke (Chairman & CEO, Global Pacific & Partners) remarks: “No global player or emerging Independent with an international footprint, or even fast-growing state oil company, can afford to underrate this world-class Western African play – which offers a suite of technical and corporate options: abundant acreage, farmins, acquisitions, bid rounds, new exploration frontiers, a consistent record of oil/gas discoveries, fast-breaking plays such as in the Transform Margin, rising oil/gas reserves, attractive contract terms, competitive potential in LNG ventures across several countries, and even large undeveloped resources in heavy oil/oil sands, and emerging shale gas/oil ventures”

This 9th Western Africa: Strategy Briefing on 22nd April 2013, prior to our Annual 19th Western Africa Oil, Gas & Energy Conference with 49th PetroAfricanus Dinner, provides key insights on the corporate upstream oil and gas game, governments and state oil firms, and licensing strategies, in Africa’s dominant oil and gas exploration and producing zone, Morocco to South Africa and across the Atlantic margins focused on 25 countries.

The Strategy Briefing is built on 30 years of Africa-wide oil and gas knowledge and extensive research on economics and the political economy of Eastern Africa. It tracks changing competitor maps in oil and gas-LNG companies, providing seasoned insights and interpretations on key players, policies and portfolios, unique to Global Pacific & Partners.

Presentations are by Dr Duncan Clarke (Chairman & CEO, Global Pacific & Partners), author of Africa’s Future: Darkness to Destiny (Profile Books, 2012) and of Africa Crude Continent: The Struggle for Africa’s Oil Prize (Profile Books, 2010), the first and only Africa-wide oil historiography to the present day, now a TV- Film Documentary by CNBC-Africa. Earlier published works included The Battle For Barrels (Profile, 2007) and Empires Of Oil (Profile 2007).

Participants benefit from deep understanding of corporate strategies, access to unique industry knowledge, high-level networking, Luncheon, and Cocktails Delegates receive direct online access to Presentations (over 500 Images).











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Volunteering in Ghana, Africa, w/ Cross-Cultural Solutions

Volunteer teaching English in Ghana, Africa with Cross-Cultural Solutions (crossculturalsolutions.org/countries/africa).
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Nigerian Activist Nnimmo Bassey Calls US Emissions Stance “A Death Sentence for Africa” 2/2

DemocracyNow.org – Democracy Now! continues its week-long coverage from the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP 17 in Durban, where negotiators from more than 190 nations are in their final week of key talks on fighting climate change. The future of the Kyoto Protocol is in doubt as is the formation of a new Green Climate Fund. With the talks taking place in South Africa, special interest is being paid to how the continent of Africa is already being heavily impacted by the climate crisis. Democracy Now! speaks to Nigerian environmentalist Nnimmo Bassey, Executive Director of Environmental Rights Action in Nigeria and Chair of Friends of the Earth International. He is author of the new book, “To Cook a Continent: Destructive Extraction and Climate Crisis in Africa.” “We are still in a situation where the negotiations are being carried out on a big platform of hypocrisy, a lack of seriousness, a lack of recognition of the fact that Africa is so heavily impacted,” Bassey says. “For every one degree Celsius change in temperature, Africa is impacted at a heightened level. This is very much to be condemned.” Watch part 1 of this interview: Towatch the complete daily, independent news hour, read the transcript, download the podcast, and for more reports from the UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, visit www.democracynow.org FOLLOW DEMOCRACY NOW! ONLINE: Facebook: www.facebook.com Twitter: @democracynow Subscribe on YouTube: www.youtube.com Daily Email News Digest
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Environmental Problems in Africa

Environmental Change
by lu_lu

Environmental problems in Africa

The environmental problems seem to be key challenges of the XXIst century. In the previous years the world politics and every person in general was occupied with politics and wars. But with the development of new technologies, with the increasing number of plants and factories all kind of manufacturing in general, a huge shift was made towards the environmental issues. The terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments have declined in virtually all aspects. New developments in industry and manufacturing were root causes of environmental degradation over the past three decades. The rapid growth of population, urbanization and globalization are the driving force of the environmental problems. However, the challenge is extremely high not only for the well-developed regions, but in poor parts of the world as well. Such environmental problems as land degradation, deforestation, declining of marine resources and water scarcity of deteriorating of water and air quality are on the priority list in Africa. Despite, Africa possesses wealthy natural resources many Africans live in poverty unable to benefit from the African wealth because of uneven distribution across the continent and partly because of African complicated history over the past 50 years after the decolonization.

Africa has a vast majority of poor states and regions, and poverty is a major reason and consequence of the environmental degradation. The present paper ascertains the small research on the environmental issues in Africa. In the work I will analyze one Africa region, demonstrating its problems in the environment. At the end I will point out the root cause of these problems and suggest possible ways out, if there are any.

In general a vast majority of countries in Africa depend more on their natural resource base for economic and social needs than any other region in the world. Thus, two-thirds of sub-Saharan Africa’s people live in rural areas and rely on agriculture and other natural resources for income. Sub-Saharan states of Africa are right the countries, where environmental problems are first on the agenda. The environmental problems have already waited a long time for their turn. Among them there are air and water pollution, inefficient use of natural resources, oil spills and so on. Environmental problems of sub-Saharan Africa also include air and water pollution, deforestation, loss of soil and soil fertility, and a dramatic decline in biodiversity throughout the region. nest paragraphs will face the problems in more details.

It is quite understandable that the environmental problems in Sub-Sahar region are crucial and severe. The most compelling problem in Sub-Saharan Africa is that it has one of the world’s fastest growing populations (approximately 2.2% a year). With the fast grow of the population the environmental challenge increase. By the year 2025 according to some estimation, the population of the African people will be over a billion. This means that the environmental challenges will definitely double or triple. Some literature indicate that Sub-African countries managed to perform more effective economic policies, which influenced the development in the region in general, but GDP growth has stagnated recently and it is obvious that with the stagnation of the economics will cause decrease in the solution of the ecological challenges.

Poverty also is the main factor that influences the development of the environmental issues. And it also exists in Sub-Sahar region, despite the region is not that poor in the comparison with other regions in Africa and in spite of the wealth natural resources. In general the problems in sub-Sahar and in Africa in common was addressed during the World Summit on sustainable Development (WSSD) which was help in South Africa in August 2002. Basically, the material of the summit points out main environmental problems and challenges. The key issues which dominate African environmental problems were addressed during the summit. They include:

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1. Water pollution and sanitation. First of all water pollution is caused by oil transmission n ship ports, water resources poor management, lack of financial resources required for sustainable development and efficient utilization of resources, absence of effective regional and basin development plans and shared management, and under-estimation of the groundwater potential to supplement irrigation and drinking water supplies. Thus, Africa’s freshwater problems are acute and worsening. Freshwater shortage is the two greatest limits to development in Africa;

2. Energy. Energy consumption in sub-Saharan Africa varies dramatically and dominates fuel consumption. According to reports the use of wood for fuel is predominant in both rural and urban locations and accounts for approximately 70% of total energy use. This cause another problem deforestation. In Sub-Sahara region Nigeria consistently leads to commercial energy consumption. Thus, according to data in 2001, Nigeria consumed 0.92 quadrillion Btu (quads), 32% of all energy consumed in the region. Although domestic demand for energy consumption in sub-Saharan Africa is growing rapidly, consumption levels remain well below world averages. I would like to mention but few words about deforestation. Africa is home to one of the world’s largest rain forests. It is obvious that rain forests are lungs of the Earth and their reduction cause air pollution. They protect and stabilize soils, recycle nutrients and regulate the quality and flow of water. Deforestation is one of the most pressing environmental problems not only in Africa but in other parts of the world and has negative implications for the local and global environment. Forests cover about 22 per cent of the region, but they are disappearing faster than anywhere else in the developing world. During the 1980s Africa lost 10.5 per cent of its forests. Thus, African forests are shrinking as a result of deforestation;

3. Deforestation causes another problem – biodiversity. The richness of African biodiversity requires greater protection and a sustainable use that will ensure the income of those who depend on it. There is a need to maximize biodiversity landscape protection, to give priority to biodiversity areas close to areas of high population density, and to give balanced attention to such regions as the arid and semi-arid areas.

4. Oil pollution. Oil pollution is one of the issues that must be specified being a controversial subject of heated discussion among the representatives of the academia. In a number of countries such as Nigeria and Angola, fore example, oil is the principle source of benefits. However it is pretty clear that new technologies used in oil exploration are extremely harmful for the environment. Environmental problems are common and rise heated debates. On the one hand, it expands relations among states, diversify trade relations, bring benefits. But, on the other hand, the benefits from oil are not fairly distributed among the population. The revenues from oil mainly belong to some local government communities or certain groups of interest. But the commons of Sub-Sahara have to face the oil-related problems.

5Agriculture. Increased food insecurity resulting from rapid population growth, degradation of agriculture and arable lands, and mismanagement of available water resources combined with poor economic policies to support food production. Land degradation is also a serious environmental problem. However, Africa owns vast areas of unexploited arable land which could be exploited in the future through the integrated management of land, water and human resources.

After the Summit was held sub-Saharan Africa many problems were clear. To summarize, the address of environmental issues first of all lie in environmental awareness. But what was done to address the challenges? First, many problems in this region received more attention than in past and The United States pledged .5 billion over the next three years to combat HIV/AIDS and improve access to safe water. Many projects were launched by international organizations and NGOs in order to promote forest conservation. European Union was also involved in the process of combating the issues and helped in brining water and sanitation services. These events were helpful but did not solve the whole spectrum of problems. Moreover, it is clear that external participation is not obviously enough in addressing complicated problems. It is understandable that local governments have to work hard on the solving. The environmental problems that were addressed in the paper are not unique and can be found in many regions of our planet, especially where poverty flourish. But not only poverty is the decisive factor in pollution. Russia, for example is the state which suffers from the water and air pollution caused by nuclear developments. The problem was not resolved completely as Russia does not want to cease the development of nuclear infrastructure, but it was addressed at least party. It is important to notice that a vast majority of states face environmental issues and problems, they may vary from region to region, but in general almost every region on this planet where urbanization or globalization takes place is a subject to environmental problems. Moreover, environmental issues may vary from one region to another, but still may have an impact upon different sphere of economics or social spheres. To cap it all the environmental issues need regular monitoring, assessments and public reports of the state.

Water pollution is one of the examples of growing global awareness and efforts made to combat the issue. It must be noticed that the environmental impacts associated with oil exploration and development was the controversy surrounding the World Bank’s approval of the Chad-Cameroon Pipeline Project in June 2000.

Thus, the summit, which was held on Sub-Sahar issue draw the attention of a number of developing states and the world hegemony the United States as well as regional or international organizations. The awareness of the problems made these entities to collaborate on the issue. The increase of problems awareness influenced also the attention of local governments. But it is clear that some states of Africa because of their poverty undoubtedly need the interference of stronger states in the resolution of the problems. It was stated at the beginning of the paper that environmental problems are rather new and some of them are not more that 10 or 20 year old. To most extent they were caused by globalization and urbanization. Thus, is they are caused by global inadequate levels of population grow and demands for more water and oil, then the burden of their resolution is also global. It is true that the increase in environmental awareness made people more persistent in the demands toward local governments. But the forceful demands are not enough, as significant regions in Africa are poor and suffer from poverty issue. This means that it is important to increase environmental awareness within the general public, but because of poverty it can not lead sometimes to strong and necessary changes. Hence, the key challenge for Sub-African region is to reduce poverty. New approaches must be found and it is important to organize investment climate. Establishing a positive investment climate in Africa is increasingly important to face the environmental problems in the regions, which are only involved in oil production.

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World Business: EU Africa Summit 09/10/09

World Business: For years, development assistance to Africa has been a key topic at global summits most recently during the G20 in Pittsburgh. But times have changed. As the global recession cast its shadow, aid has dipped. But Africa still boasts a wealth in raw materials leading to record foreign direct investment in 2008. And its broadband infrastructure was recently boosted with the completion of a 0 million fiber optic cable. African stakeholders are increasingly working to awake the sleeping giant and the private sector role has become critical in driving change across the continent. Reporter: Eckart Sager
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Q&A: World history questions: africa, the middle east, and asia in the era of independence?

Question by Beth S: World history questions: africa, the middle east, and asia in the era of independence?
1. which of the following is NOT a problem in the rural environment of the third world countries?
a. depletion of soils
b. inefficient farming techniques
c. industrial pollution
d. deforestation
e. insufficient labor supply

2. which of the following statements concerning population growth in the third world is most accurate?
a. population in asia has acutually begun to decline in recent decades
b. the rate of population growth in asia is much higher than that of africa.
c. third world growth rates are lower than in the developed nations
d. the population of africa has actually begun to decline in recent decades.
e. the rate of population growth of africa is greater than that of asia.

3. what was the most formidible barrier to economic growth post-colonial africa?
a. european tariff barrieres
b. lack of technology
c. lack of capital
d. lack of educational institutions
e. rapid population growth

4. one of the chief by-products of population growth in third world nations has been
a. imposition of effective state brith control programs
b. industialization
c. overpopulation in the countryside
d. mass migration to cities
e. intensive programs of land redistribution

5. which of the follwing was NOT a problem for the new nations created in the wake of the withdrawal of european imperialists?
a. divisions between different ethnic groups and religions
b. reconquest by europeans
c. rapid population growth
d. concessions made to departing colonizers
e. underdeveloped economies

THANKSSSSS

Best answer:

Answer by Allan M
1. which of the following is NOT a problem in the rural environment of the third world countries?
a. depletion of soils
b. inefficient farming techniques
c. industrial pollution
d. deforestation
e. insufficient labor supply ______E_______

2. which of the following statements concerning population growth in the third world is most accurate?
a. population in asia has acutually begun to decline in recent decades
b. the rate of population growth in asia is much higher than that of africa.
c. third world growth rates are lower than in the developed nations
d. the population of africa has actually begun to decline in recent decades.
e. the rate of population growth of africa is greater than that of asia.
__________E_________
3. what was the most formidible barrier to economic growth post-colonial africa?
a. european tariff barrieres
b. lack of technology
c. lack of capital
d. lack of educational institutions
e. rapid population growth E

4. one of the chief by-products of population growth in third world nations has been
a. imposition of effective state brith control programs
b. industialization
c. overpopulation in the countryside
d. mass migration to cities D
e. intensive programs of land redistribution

5. which of the follwing was NOT a problem for the new nations created in the wake of the withdrawal of european imperialists?
a. divisions between different ethnic groups and religions
b. reconquest by europeans B
c. rapid population growth
d. concessions made to departing colonizers
e. underdeveloped economies

What do you think? Answer below!

Rural development: Engaging rural communities in participatory development in Africa

Abstract
Most development theories have focused on socio-economic and political aspects of development with the exclusion of human centred development.However, this paper seeks to analyse the importance of participatory development in many african rural areas and the role played by local people in their own development. Most African governments due to pressing political and economic hardships have abandoned development of rural areas and this in turn has left different aid agencies playing the front role of developing these areas. Recent research has proven that if local people are involved in their own development through empowerment, sustainable development can be achieved.Different development aid agencies like NGOs tend to implement a top-down approach which excludes involvement and participation of local people and in turn leads to a dependency syndrome.Therefore, this paper emphasises rural development as a process that includes mass participation of local people in decision making processes and development of their local areas.Over the years development has mainly focused on the urban sector and lack of state provision of health, education, clean water and sanitation is restricted, exposing poor rural people to health risks, reducing their productivity and opportunities. Underlying this is the very fact that people do not participate in their own development and as such they are not in a position of authority to provide information on what they regard as important and necessary. The major problem in this regard is that government, aid agencies and other stakeholders that implement programmes to deal with rural development impose programmes on local authorities and communities creating a dependency syndrome due to non-participation of the community.

 

Introduction
Most government institutions, NGOs and other stakeholders seem to be implementing a top-down approach in their national development strategies and as such poverty persists in most rural communities in Africa. As such policies implemented by these various stakeholders are ineffective and have made overall poverty alleviation rather fragment and uncoordinated and much short of dynamism required to acheive desired results. In other words non-participation of local authorities and communities means that community mobilisation and participation is not being viewed as both a goal of development which requires that national resources and opportunities be equitably distributed, and as a way of facilitating and energising the development effort by means of popular involvement in developmental decision making.Lack of empowerment amongst rural people leads to their vulnerability and thus most development projects tend to benefit the benefactors rather than the beneficiaries.In light of this sustainable development is not achieved because non-participation of local people means that rural development is not self sustaining.Therefore, local rural people play an important role in rural development because they understand their situation and problems better than the government, aid agencies and other stakeholders.One of the biggest problems or upsets in most African rural communities is poverty which has detrimental effects on the socio-economic lives of local people.Participation and involvement of local people at grassroots level is important in curbing this phenomenon.

Participatory development in Africa
The current challenge facing development circles is to search for human centred development strategies which emphasise active mobilisation and participation of the people of the grassroots level. Attempts in this field in most countries are increasingly focused on evolving an approach to development based on bottom-up initiative and self reliance. Such endeavors have resulted in transformation from welfare-oriented approach with masses as passive beneficiaries to a community development approach aimed at helping communities to help themselves through active participation.1

Sloganeering about mobilisation and participation in development no longer goes without challenge. Tallying up the once-hidden voices of participation alongside its known virtues, concluded that participatory development is an essentially contested concept.2 Yet it is clear that delivery of sustainable, equitable and affordable rural services is helped if users are involved in choices about priority of delivery options. They tend to be more prepared to invest in their own resources and sometimes though not as often as hoped, this involvement makes those services more accessible to vulnerable sections of the population.3

In developing countries, it is often argued that this kind of participation is constrained by the represenative political process. In response it has been argued that intensive community consultation techniques (such as found in the PRA toolbox much popularised by Robert Chambers and associates) can greatly improve the quality of local service planning decisions.4 Most donors now insist that these techniques adopted and many are supporting network training programmes, manuals and guides to help install them in routine planning practices in developing countries.

Although central to contemporary analysis and prescription for the African environment community is one of the most vague and elusive concepts in social science and unlike all other terms of social organisation (society, state, nation state etc) it seems never to be used unfavourably.5 The combination of ambiguity with virtue has made the term popular with policy makers and planners everywhere, but in Africa its appeal is associated with images of tribal community governed by tradition. As such most communities strive to engage in participatory rural development. Rural development can be defined as improving the living standards of the low income population residing in rural areas and making the process of the development self-sustaining. This simple definition has 3 important features with substantial implications for how rural programs are designed and implemented but however, the most important that links and relates to this study is mass participation which requires that resources to be allocated to low-income regions and classes and that productive and social services actually reach them.

The problem of marginalistion of the people as a result of them being excluded from decision-making processes for development is pervasive throughout Africa and the Third World. It is a negation of the principle of the democratisation process. The people’s involvement in participation in decision-making results in the democratisation of the development process.6 This necessarily results  in the reduction of authoritarian phenomenon for which Africa is sadly noted.Empowerment of the people must necesssarily result in the reduction of power held and exercised by a few executives whether they be politicians, managers or administrators. Empowerment must therefore lead to a meaningful self-reliant development of the economy and self transformation of the people. The extent to which these processes have occured in Africa is virtually negligible.7

The concept of participatory development in African rural communities
The UN Conference on Popular Participation held in Arusha In Tanzania 1990 observed that the political extent of Socio-economic development in Africa has been characterised by an over-centralisation of power as well as by various impediments to meaningful and effective participation of the majority of the people.8 This according tyo the Africa Charter for Popular Participation has resulted in the demotivation of the majority of the African people and their organisation to the extent that they are not able to contribute to their best to the development process and to the betterment of their own-well being.9 This in turn has led to the curtailment of collective and individual creativity of the people.For example in Zimbabwe 70% of the population stays in rural areas and little development has taken place since independence due to the non-involvement and participation of people in their own development and planning process.

It is important to note that this concept has been on the agenda of most developing countries as this is an empowering tool for most rural communities. The UNECA Executive Secretary during the UN Conference on Popular Participation held in Arusha, Tanzania (1990) observed:

” The process of marginalising the participation of the people in the formulation of public policies, which has tremendous negative impact on their well being and     even on their survival , has been exacerbated by the persistent socio-economic crisis which Africa faced throughout the 1980s with the consequential ever-growing concern and pre-occupation by governments with short term crisis management”10

This statement one way or the other shows the increasing narrowing base for decision making and the lack of popular debate on national development policies.11

Fred G Burke notes that the capacity of African political systems to be sensitive to and then respond  to the demands of the people is very low. It is low because the inherited colonial system was not egalitarian or democratic on participatory but rather authoritarian-sensitive not to the needs and demands of the masses but to those of the colonial office in London or Paris to a settler community.12 Thus according to Burke the likelihood that politics will successfully manage this growing conflict is problematically right.13 In relation to this, most scholars note that a human centred development approach should be pursued and this call is further reinforced by the need for Africa to realise that it is becoming increasingly marginalised in world affairs both geo-politically and economically, and that its greatest resource is its people.14

Therefore, people have been realised to be at the forefront of most development programmes. People must be empowered to determine the direction and content of development within an environment of social and economic justice.15 However, this empowerment is not taking place in most African countries because of the abject poverty in which the majority of Africans live and furthermore the absence of an environment which is conducive to meaningful development is as a result of inter-alia, the exclusion of the majority of people from the development process.16 In most cases people are expected to be passive recipients rather than active initiators of change and in addition there is widespread repression in most African countries and a perfect recipe for economic stagnation and civil strife emerges.

Poverty persists alongside development largely because poor countries are developed from, by and for people in cities, people who, acting under normal human pressures deny the fruits of development to pressure less village poor.17 On the other hand some sholars note that the desire for control of local initiatives by local rural people may remain a distant dream because poor peasants in rural Africa are disorganised and powerless because they have been unable to capture the local level organisations of the African party-state and make their own and neither political parties nor development communities that have been built from below.18 In addition to this observation Robert Chambers also notes that centralised urban and proffessional power, knowledge and values have flowed out over and often failed to recognise the knowledge of rural people themselves.19

Given the limited support of state and civic institutions poor people often turn to their own organisations.20 Research has begun to provide evidence at the grassroots level that  participation is necessary for a fully effective, society wide development transformation. Public participation in development projects has been shown to bring the project information that outside agencies are unlikely to have and it also brings greater effort-the kind of effort that is required to make a project successful.21In essence government, aid agencies and other stakeholders should work hand in hand with rural communities through wide consultation, involvement and participation of the rural populace for development projects to be fully effective.

According to Joseph Stiglitz a comprehensive pardigm is emerging that sees development as a transformative movement from the traditional to the modern and where traditional societies accept the world as a modern society that seeks change and recognises that individuals and socities can affect that change, reducing infant mortality, raising life expectancy and increasing productivity.22 If development therefore requires a change of mindset, it is clear that attention needs to focus on how to affect that change, the change cannot be ordered or forced from outside, it has to come from within and the most effective way of ensuring that it reaches deep down in society is arguably through the kinds of open and extensive discussion that are central to participatory processes and indeed there is a whole tradition that identifies government by discussion as key.23Therefore, open discussions and wide consultation by government, aid agencies and other stakeholders is an effective tool in participatory development.

On the other hand people should identify their own needs and problems; however, in a development situation where they come into contact with ideas and techniques beyond the scope of their traditional knowledge, outside assistance is often necessary.24 Assisatnce means giving help, not controlling and so when planning is being undertaken it should be with the full participation of the community. It is sometimes assumed that rural people are not very clever and have to be told what to do all the time and the facts are really rather different. Failure by government authorities  to consult the local populations causes great resentment, hostility and suspicion whilst from a psychological point of view people need to be involved in the planning of their own lives and activities because if they are not involved in this way they cannot be expected to co-operate.25

It is paradoxical to talk about people’s participation in their own development or even in sustaining livelihood. Instead people should rather talk about the development agent’s participation in people’s efforts to create a firm base for their livelihood which will not be liable to collapse when the first calamity sweeps over them.26 People are expected to participate in development which is largely planned from outside by wiser experts and well wishers who think they know better than the local people what is good for them.27 Yet working from the bottom-up with concepts that arise from the everyday economies of rural people makes it possible to take into consideration people’s non-quantified and socially significant ways of maintaining their livelihood.28In addition to this local people at grassroots level should be given the platform to actually participate in development projects which are planned and initiated by them. At times some development projects implemented in rural areas are of minimal importance and significance. For projects to be viable communities must participate from the planning stage up to the implementation period rather than participate in the implementation phase.

John Makumbe notes that popular participation is both a means and an end.29 As an instrument of development, poular participation provides the drivivg force for determination of people based development processes and willingness by the people to undertake sacrifices and expand their social energies for its execution. As an end in itself, popular participation is the fundamental right of the people to fully effectively participate in the determination of the decisions which affect their lives and at all times.30

The role of NGOs and CBOs in participatory development in Africa
Authoriries on rural development are largely agreed that NGOs do a better job in faciliating beneficiary participation in development than government, international donors and the private sector . NGOs seem to adopt more effective approaches in mobilising the rural populace to participate in development activities which result in the alleviation of poverty, squalor, hunger and ignorance.31National economic hardships have often forced governments of developing countries to reduce their committment to rural activities or projects.32 They have however,allowed NGOs operate in these areas in order to improve the living standards of the rural people.Such ba situation exists because of the lack of committment by the government to enforce rural development. International donor agencies have also resorted to channelling thaeir assistance to needy communities through the work of voluntary organisations. This has reduced the administrative costs for the donor agencies and has also ensured that assisatnce gets to the needy without too much bureaucratic delays or resource diversion. NGOs thus have been viwed as effective instruments of empowerment of the less advantaged people of developing societies.

NGOs are reputed for effectively facilitating popular access to basic human needs such as clean water, health, training and credit facilities. Their proximity to the needy people compared to that of central government, for example, enables them to respond quickly to local situations. NGO training and education activities improve the level of awareness and skills base of the less advantaged people. Their simple organisational structures and systems have the advantages of versatility which tends to be lacking in complex governmental organisations.33

Also present beneath local government structures are a number of structures and interest groups formed by the communities with the direct assistance, in most instances, of various donors and NGOs. These include Community Based Organisations which primarily serve as initiators of development activities. CBOs are also formed to play a crucial role in participatory development as local people are able to engage in their own development.

However it is worth noting that the very same institutions are not fully effective in implementing the concept of participatory development.NGOs also have a role to play in implementing participatory development. The concept of community-based planning has been used by some NGOs working within the continent as part of the programmes to engage people’s participation. The programme, however, has not been effective. People are not actually fully equipped with the necessary skills to engage in their own decision making process that would lead to rural sustainable development. In most cases these are only short term programmes that try to equip communities with the relevant skills to engage in their own development. Therefore, NGOs should focus on more than providing short-term material benefits to beneficiaries. Instead, they should aim at programmes and projects which do not have a long term impact on the living standards of the beneficiaries, but will increasingly make the beneficiaries less dependent on outside assistance.

A dependency syndrome amongst local communities has also emanated from some of the programmes or projects that NGOs implement.Programmes that pertain to food relief have vastly created a huge dependency syndrome as most local people wait for NGOs to come and give them food and this in turn has created an attitude of laziness amongst rural communities.It is also important to note that NGOs should involve people in identifying development projects which are of high priority to them. Needy people are sometimes taken advantage of by organisations which will have made up their minds about what development activities they would be willing to finance or undertake. The people’s high priority needs can easily be overlooked under these circumstances and such projects which do not have the full committment of the beneficiaries tend to collapse as soon as the benefactors have handed them over. Therefore, the need for NGOs to work closely with the people at the outset cannot be emphasised.

Conclusion
Beneficiary participation in development is widely beleived to be an essential ingredient of the development process. It enables beneficiaries to influence the decision and policy-making processes and facilitates the designing and enhances the implementation of plans, programmes and projects. It basically centres or hovers around people. In essence participation results in the development of a feeling of ownership and belonging among beneficiaries which in the long run ensures the success of a project or programme.

One of the strategies for enabling rural communities to plan, implement and manage poverty alleviation on sustainable basis, using local resources and their culture is empowerment. Community empowerment is a process of enabling people to understand the reality of their environment, reflect on factors shaping it and take steps to effect changes to improve the situation. One way or the other it is a process that encompasses people deciding where they are now, where they want to go and developing and implementing plans to reach their goals, based on self-reliance and sharing of power.

In light of this participation is a two way process which requires that both the beneficiaries and the benefactors interact at all levels of the development process. As such community participation is an essential component that helps in facilitating rural sustainable development.Participatory development to be effective and meaningful has to be accompanied with well thought-out conscientisation campaigns. These will enable participants to make rationale decisions or choices whether or not to participate in a given project. Wherever  possible, beneficiary participation should be solicited from the outset of a given programme or project. Planning is at the centre of all development initiatives. Socio-economic development planning conducted in a multi-stakeholder and participatory manner gives communities the opportunity to determine their destiny. The history of socio-economic development planning shows that more is acheived when the target beneficiaries are involved in all the steps of the process.

References
1. Deepa Naraya and Patti Petesch, Voices of the Poor from Many Lands, Oxford University Press, London,2002, Pg 413
2. Tina Wallace, Development and Management, Oxfam, UK, 2000, Pg 104
3. Ibid, Pg 104
4. Ibid, Pg 104
5. Philip Woodhouse, Henry Bernstein and David Hulme, African Enclosures: The Social Dynamics of Wetlands in Drylands, James Currey, Oxford, 2000, Pg 14
6. Fred G Burke, Public Administration in Africa: The legacy of Inherited Colonial Institutions, Journal of Comparative Administration, 1969, Pg 345
7. Ibid, Pg 346
8. John Mw Makumbe, Participatory Development: The Case of Zimbabwe, UZ Publications, Harare, 1996, Pg 1
9. Ibid, Pg 1
10. Ibid, Pg 2
11. Ibid, Pg 2
12. Fred G Burke, Public Administration in Africa: The legacy of Inherited Colonial Institutions…………………Pg 345
13. Ibid, Pg 345
14. Ibid, Pg 345
15. Pekka Seppala and Bertha Koda, The Making of a Periphery, Economic Development and Cultural Encounters in Southern Tanzania, Nardiska Afrikainstutet, Uppsala,        1998, Pg 164
16. Ibid, Pg 164
17. Tina Wallace, Development and Management……………Pg 104
18. Ibid, Pg 104
19. Robert Chambers, Rural Development: Putting the Last First, Longman Scientific and Technical, UK, 1983, Pg 82
20. Chris Roche, Impact Assessment for Development Agencies Learning to Value Change, Oxfam, UK, 1999, Pg 116
21. Ibid, Pg 116
22. Joseph Stiglitz, Participation and Development in Democracy, Market Economics and Development, Farrukh Iqbal and Jong-ll You, The World Bank, USA, 2001, Pg 50
23. Ibid, Pg 50
24. Ian MacDonald and David Hearle, Communication Skills for Rural Development, Evans Brothers Ltd, London, 1984, Pg 1
25. Ibid, Pg 1
26. Pekka Seppala and Bertha Koda, The Making of a Periphery, Economic Development and Cultural Encounters in Southern Tanzania……………..Pg 164
27. Ibid, Pg 164
28. Ibid, Pg 164
29. John Mw Makumbe, Participatory Development: The Case of Zimbabwe……………Pg 5
30. Ibid, Pg 5
31. Ibid, Pg 74
32. Ibid, Pg 74
33. Ibid, Pg 74

Sources
Burke F. G , Public Administration in Africa: The legacy of Inherited Colonial Institutions, Journal of Comparative Administration, 1969
Chambers R , Rural Development: Putting the Last First, Longman Scientific and Technical, UK, 1983
MacDonald I and Hearle D, Communication Skills for Rural Development, Evans Brothers Ltd, London, 1984
Makumbe J.M, Participatory Development: The Case of Zimbabwe, UZ Publications, Harare, 1996
Naraya D and Petesch P, Voices of the Poor from Many Lands, Oxford University Press, London,2002
Roche C, Impact Assessment for Development Agencies Learning to Value Change, Oxfam, UK, 1999
Seppala P and Koda B, The Making of a Periphery, Economic Development and Cultural Encounters in Southern Tanzania, Nardiska Afrikainstutet, Uppsala,1998
Stiglitz J, Participation and Development in Democracy, Market Economics and Development, Farrukh Iqbal and Jong-ll You, The World Bank, USA, 2001
Wallace T, Development and Management, Oxfam, UK, 2000
Woodhouse P, Bernstein H and Hulme D, African Enclosures: The Social Dynamics of Wetlands in Drylands, James Currey, Oxford, 2000

Wayne Malinga is currently a 4th year student at Midlands State University, Zimbabwe, pursuing a B.A (Hons) in History and Development Studies.
E-mail: malingawayne3@gmail.com
Cell: +263 913 924 634
+263 734 135 778
+263 916 306 873

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For God’s sake, please stop the [development] aid, Africa isn’t as poor as do-gooders make them out to be

Question by robertg567: For God’s sake, please stop the [development] aid, Africa isn’t as poor as do-gooders make them out to be
http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/0,1518,363663,00.html

The Kenyan economics expert James Shikwati, 35, says that aid to Africa does more harm than good. The avid proponent of globalization spoke with SPIEGEL about the disastrous effects of Western development policy in Africa, corrupt rulers, and the tendency to overstate the AIDS problem.

SPIEGEL:
Mr. Shikwati, the G8 summit at Gleneagles is about to beef up the development aid for Africa…

Shikwati: … for God’s sake, please just stop.

SPIEGEL: Stop? The industrialized nations of the West want to eliminate hunger and poverty.

Shikwati: Such intentions have been damaging our continent for the past 40 years. If the industrial nations really want to help the Africans, they should finally terminate this awful aid. The countries that have collected the most development aid are also the ones that are in the worst shape. Despite the billions that have poured in to Africa, the continent remains poor.
SPIEGEL: Do you have an explanation for this paradox?

Shikwati: Huge bureaucracies are financed (with the aid money), corruption and complacency are promoted, Africans are taught to be beggars and not to be independent. In addition, development aid weakens the local markets everywhere and dampens the spirit of entrepreneurship that we so desperately need. As absurd as it may sound: Development aid is one of the reasons for Africa’s problems. If the West were to cancel these payments, normal Africans wouldn’t even notice. Only the functionaries would be hard hit. Which is why they maintain that the world would stop turning without this development aid.
So, we know development aid only ‘helps’ to keep Africa poor and dependent.

We know that numbers of people starving or suffering of AIDS or malaria are grossly inflated by African governments to squeeze more aid money out of the gullible westeners.

When will the do-gooders finally realize that they are not helping?

The only people who would be hurt by stopping development aid altogether is the functionaries of international aid organizations. Africa would be better off without aid.

Best answer:

Answer by ocpalmtree
i keep getting these scam e-mails from s. africa so apparently they are scamming people over in the U.S. and elsewhere over their computers, so they are not too poor!

Give your answer to this question below!

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