Volume 7, No. 2, 2009

Striving in an Exclusionary State: Territory, Identity and Ethno–Politics of the Nuba, Sudan
by Guma Kunda Komey, Ph.D.

This paper traces and analyzes some socio-political discourses and strategic actions taken by the Nuba of Sudan in response to state exclusionary attitude towards communal land. It explores Nuba's responses to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in other to put an end to the civil war that worn out the Nuba for two decades. The analysis revolves around Nuba Land Action Strategy introduced in 2004 as part of their wider ethno-political movement in the making. The paper offers some reflections that point to the dominance of land issue in conflict instigation in Sudan, and indeed in similar cases in Africa. It contends that land is a material and a symbolic resource for local communities particularly in rural Africa. Despite this, the interests of such communities in many states are usually excluded in national development while their habitats are excessively exploited by states in the name of 'public interest'. Such an exclusionary policy tends to greatly endanger the very survival of the affected communities. In the process, the endangered community may strategically essentialize and invoke other forms of belongings like ethnicity and autochthony for their own survival.

Gender Egalitarianism and Public Service in Nigeria
by Robert Dibie, Ph.D., and Offiong Offiong, Ph.D.

This paper examines the predicament and prejudice that women face in Nigeria. It applies the famine advantage theories to explore the social, cultural, religion, and economic factors that militate against the integration of women into senior administrative and political leadership positions in Nigeria. It advances the notion that a society that treats women and men equally is likely to achieve sustainable development than a nation that in exclusive. While the diversity of men and women in leadership position is increasing in Nigeria, this paper is interested in finding whether, the ability to provide effective leadership is related to a person's gender. It contends that no development process will be totally beneficial to a nation if it does not involve women. Given a labor force and culture with male dominance in Nigeria, is the present use of women in the society the best possible one for the country? The concluding section calls for an equal opportunity and sexual harassment policies that would effectively reduce discrimination against women in the Nigerian society as well as stimulate and integrate talented women interests in the social, economic, leadership, and political development in the nation.

Justice and Reconciliation among the Anlo-Ewe in Ghana
by Setri Dzivenu, Ph.D.

This paper examines the various traditional mechanisms for justice and reconciliation and their application among the Anlo-Ewe in Ghana. Emphasis will be on the processes and principles of justice and peace making, rather than on the outcomes of the system's response to conflict and reconciliation. Secondly, it briefly examines the conditions under which disputants choose from the various modes of conflict resolution available and highlight the possible reasons why each mode may be more amenable to resolving a particular dispute. The paper concludes by discussing the relevant lessons offered by these traditional mechanisms and practices for promoting law and order. The analysis takes into account the local variables that ensure or influence conflict prevention, facilitate amicable resolution and invoke strict compliance.

Progressive Pathways toward Sustainable Growth in Developing Countries
by Albert O. Assibey-Mensah, Ph.D.

This paper examines the sustainable pathways for progressive growth in developing nations. It argues that development will not be sustainable if it would greatly reduce the abundance and variety of living things in developing nations. It contends that fostering economic growth has disturbingly become elusive in several developing nations. It stressed that under government leadership, some developing nations' sustainable growth plan strategies have suffered from insufficient implementation and inadequate capacity that have in turn diminishes the scale of expectations. Consequently, steady growth necessitates restructuring institutions; targeting the private sector as well as the informal sector. Thus, agriculture and non-rural sectors are regarded as spearheads for promoting sustainability, and implementing empowering policies. The concluding sections suggested instruments for galvanizing growth, manufacturing, industrialization, and critical infrastructure building.

Conflict, and Prospects for Democracy in Rwanda and Burundi Compared
by Rita K. Edozie, Ph.D.

This paper examines ways in which post-conflict democratic transitions in Rwanda and Burundi have differed, and how policy assumptions chosen by each country fare in providing the achievement of lasting democracy and peace. It argues that both countries continue to undergo complex, post-conflict democratic transitions that challenge 'deep divisions' in resourceful ways. Further, the paper contends that the threats of conflict posed to these countries are inseparable from the process of democratic nation-building and more generally from the ethos of democracy. This is the challenge that faces both Rwanda and Burundi. The concluding section suggests how both countries are grappling with solutions on how to eradicate the genocidal question from their politics once and for all. The paper's conclusion is especially interested in determining the peace prospects and assessing the democratic principles and policy assumptions used by each country in their contemporary post-conflict democratic transitions.

Constitutionalism as Framework for Post-Conflict Society Reconstruction in Rwanda
by Kelechi Kalu, Ph.D.

This paper examines the extent to which intrastate conflict such as the Rwandan genocide can be prevented from reoccurrence largely depends on the nature and scope of conflict management and prevention mechanisms in the country. It argues that the Rwandan genocide was meticulously planned and executed by government officials who failed in their central functions to ensure liberty and justice foe the citizens of Rwanda. The failure of the government officials to protect the citizens is a direct function of the failure of pre-colonial leaders in Rwanda to establish a sustainable institutional structure for leadership transition. The concluding section provides suggestions on how the institutions of state governance and nation-building can be reconstituted to ensure that they serve the interest of the leaders and the led in a transparent and judicially fair process.

BOOK REVIEW

Participatory Development in South Africa: A Development Management Perspective, Second Edition. Pretoria, South Africa: Van Schaik Press. 252 pp.

Reviewed by Felix M. Edoho

This book is a good resource for students, theoreticians, policymakers, planners, and practitioners who have interest in understanding the nature and scope of public participation in the development process in the context of post-apartheid South Africa.  It is also a useful resource for international development agencies, professionals, and scholars.  The book also will be beneficial to development consultants, local government councilors and politicians, project managers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), change agents, trade unions, and other   entities comprising the civil society that are interested in advocacy and  public participation in the development process.