Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, African International Links

The queue outside the embassy : Remittances, inequality and restrictive migration regimes

Upphovsperson: Lisa, Åkesson
Utgivare: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, African International Links
År: 2013
This article juxtaposes theoretical notions concerning the relationship between migrant remittances and socio-economic inequality with an anthropological case study of remittances in Cape Verde. Contemporary theorizing involves, firstly, the idea that remittances do not benefit the poorest; secondly, the conclusion that the impact of remittances changes over time; thirdly, the notion that family structure influences the distribution of remittances; and fourthly the proposition that remittances have a stronger impact on social stratification when linked to the return of a migrant. The primary aim of the article is to use these theoretical notions as entry-points for analysing how remittances interplay with patterns of inequality in Cape Verde. A second aim is to examine the explanatory power of the theories through applying them to this specific case. The article demonstrates that remittances in some cases benefit the poorest in Cape Verde and that this has to do with the long history of migration, which means that nearly everyone, irrespective of class, has a close relative abroad. It also shows that Cape Verdeans generally receive quite small amounts of money, which implies that they are seldom able to improve their economic situation in a more substantial way.In conclusion, the article contends that in order to fully appreciate the complex relationshipbetween remittances and socio-economic inequality it is necessary to take into account theimportance of other sources of income. Moreover, it argues that the contemporary restrictiveimmigration regimes in receiving countries have a fundamental impact on the socio-economic distribution of remittances. In studies of the relationship between remittances and inequality, this is an aspect that has been left out. Instead, theorizing tends to focus on factors that are internal to the countries of origin, and on the migrants’ links to these countries.

China and India, "rising powers" and African development : challenges and opportunities

Upphovsperson: Roy, Sumit
Utgivare: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, African International Links | Uppsala, Sweden
År: 2014
Ämnesord: Africa, China, India, Globalization, economic development, international trade, investment, international economic relations, International relations, development, Sustainable development, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, Zambia, Angola, Southern Africa, Eastern Africa, case studies, Political science, Statsvetenskap, economics, Nationalekonomi
In this report, the challenges and opportunities arising from the growing ties between two key “Rising Powers,” China and India, and Africa are more fully explored. This trend has given rise to speculative, exaggerated and ideological responses and a mixture of anxiety and hope. What is needed is an interdisciplinary political economy study to investigate the ways in which global, regional and national linkages in the relationship impact on the prospects of sustainable development in Africa. The necessity for this is underscored by the growing influence of the BRICS group (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) in reshaping the world.In this frame, the focus is on the nature of the shift in China’s and India’s strategic vision of Africa in terms of politics, ideology and economic development. This shift impinges on trade and investment and, in turn, the scope for inducing structural economic change in the context of colonial and postcolonial tensions. Comparative observation of countries in Eastern and Southern Africa, particularly Ethiopia in the former, illustrates their capacity to cope with the new powers. This is a critical aspect of the continent’s complex interplay with states and institutions within and beyond its borders. Ultimately, African nations have to individually and collectively confront the challenges and opportunities stemming from their evolving relationships with these Rising Powers.

Academics on the Move : Mobility and Institutional Change in the Swedish Development Support to Research Capacity Building in Mozambique

Upphovspersoner: Fellesson, Måns | Mählck, Paula
Utgivare: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, African International Links |
År: 2013
Ämnesord: Higher education, Aid programmes, Capacity building, Research and development, Career development, Labour mobility, gender equality, Mozambique
In the competitive global knowledge economy, highly qualified individuals are increasingly recognised as being the key to development. In particular, doctorate holders are not only the most qualified in terms of educational attainment, but also those specifically trained to be at the forefront of innovation and in a position to drive advances in science, technology and knowledge of society. In developing countries with relatively weak research structures, not least with regard to PhD graduates, the training of PhDs has been intimately linked to the reproduction of human capacity in national research systems. This study examines the mobility of PhD graduates funded under the Swedish development aid program to build institutional research capacity in Mozambique from 1990 to 2013. Principal areas of investigation are extent and direction of geographic, sectoral and vertical mobility, perception and individual rationales for mobility and career choices and experience of the so-called "sandwich model".

Making migrants responsible for development : Cape Verdean returnees and Northern migration policies

Upphovsperson: Åkesson, Lisa
Utgivare: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, African International Links
År: 2011
In recent years, there has been a surge of “Northern” policy documents concerned with increasing the positive effects of international migration in countries of origin. This article contrasts some basic assumptions in policies on migration, return and development with an anthropological study of Cape Verdean returnees, and it reveals some important disparities between the returnees’ experiences and the ideas underpinning policy documents. The article analyses the role returnees’ savings and skills play in local change in Cape Verde, and in particular it looks into entrepreneurial activities. This is related to a discussion of the conditions that must be fulfilled in order to make it possible for return migrants to contribute to positive social change. In conclusion, the article shows that structural conditions have a fundamental impact on individual migrants’ abilities to support development, a perspective often left out of contemporary policies.

Social Branding in Urban Burkina Faso

Upphovsperson: Bjarnesen, Jesper
Utgivare: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, African International Links
År: 2014
Ämnesord: Social branding, regeneration, Mediation, urban youth, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire
In the past decade Diaspo youths – second generation immigrants in Côte d’Ivoire who were forced to migrate to their parents’ country of origin, Burkina Faso, during the Ivorian civil war– have become a visible presence in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso’s second largest city. By consciously displaying their Ivorian origins, they have provoked both the admiration and resentment of local youths, whose ambivalence towards the outspoken and colourful newcomers stems from Côte d’Ivoire’s central role as a destination for Burkinabé labour migrants since the colonial period. Regardless of this animosity, Diaspo youth culture has made its mark on the city. This paper explores the response of Diaspo youths to their social stigmatisation and argues that their claims to recognition and access may be understood as a process of social branding. It may be seen as a self-aware performance of otherness, intended to evoke a collective identity that is mediated through a specific set of aesthetics to a well-defined audience.

Relations Key to Innovations – Peasants, Institutions and Technical Change on the Mossi Plateau in Burkina Faso

Upphovsperson: Hårsmar, Mats
Utgivare: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, African International Links
År: 2013
Ämnesord: Technical change, Food crop productivity, Innovation systems, Burkina Faso, Smallholders
How can technical changes within food crop cultivation in a country like Burkina Faso be explained? This is an important question for the reduction of poverty, for enhanced food security as well as for economic growth. Poor countries, where agriculture is dominating broad based economic growth, require increased productivity in food crop cultivation. This study builds on fieldwork from three villages, undertaken in 2001/2002 and in 2010. The villages are situated on the ‘Mossi plateau’ in central Burkina Faso, where chronic poverty is widespread. The study finds the character of diffusion channels and the role of social relations to be decisive in explaining access, choice and adoption of new techniques. The innovation system theory is found relevant, not least because of its focus on power structures and relations between actors. To further strengthen such systems, intermediary organizations should be supported and informal institutions transformed.