The Africa in focus series is an initiative of the Human and Social Sciences Research Council (HSRC) that creates a forum for African scholars to frame research questions and examine critical issues affecting the African continent in the 21st century. The series should inspire robust debate to help inform the orientation of public policy in Africa. Will Africa's recuperative powers have dispelled the shadows of historically imposed predicaments by the end of the century? This question is at the core of this first volume in the series, in which contributors wrestle with 'lived realities' related to the unfolding process of democratic transformation across the African continent. The volume interrogates a range of issues: knowledge and its transformation; the need to manage natural resources; the economy viewed through the lens of actual livelihoods; other thorny challenges affecting social well-being in Africa and Africa's relationship with the rest of the world. In the early part of this 21st century, colonial legacies continue to circumscribe many of the hopes and aspirations pinned on democracy by people of the African continent.
The challenges of the African state cannot always be explained through reference to the past, and the contributors put forward strong arguments for self-reliance among African people, ethical leadership, economic democracy, the indigenisation of knowledge and institutional reform. This seminal collection will be of interest to political scholars, students and professionals in the field of African Studies, as well as to policy-makers and public officials across the continent.
Kwandiwe Kondlo is Senior Professor and Chair of the Centre for Africa Studies at the University of the Free State, South Africa. He is the author of In the Twilight of the Revolution: The Pan Africanist Congress of Azania, 1959-1994 (2009), co-editor with Hebert Maserumule of Zuma Administration: Critical Challenges (2010) and co-editor with Peter Kagwanja of The State of the Nation: South Africa (2008). Chinenyengozi Ejiogu, Assistant Research Professor in the Centre for Innovations at the University of Maryland, College Park, is the author of the forthcoming The Roots of Political Instability in Nigeria (2010). He is a contributor to the Encyclopedia of Nationalism (2001) and has published in several peer reviewed journals.
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