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Africa Spectrum
Number of Followers: 16  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 1868-6869 - ISSN (Online) 1868-6869
Published by Sage Publications Homepage  [1174 journals]
  • Brewing Tensions: The Colonial Gaze of the German–Namibian
           Publishing Industry

    • Authors: Tycho Alexander van der Hoog
      Abstract: Africa Spectrum, Ahead of Print.
      The call to decolonize African Studies has a profound influence on the field, with varying degrees of success. This article addresses this topic in relation to the author’s personal experiences in the publishing industry in Namibia. By describing the attempt to publish a historical book about Namibian beer with a well-known German–Namibian publishing house, the lingering power of German–Namibian settler colonialism becomes clear. This article renders visible the power structures within the Namibian book market that perpetuates a whitewashed version of Namibian history and argues that decolonizing knowledge cannot succeed without paying attention to the (private) publishing industry.
      Citation: Africa Spectrum
      PubDate: 2022-06-15T05:23:35Z
      DOI: 10.1177/00020397221105900
  • “Stop Calling Me a Youth!”: Understanding and Analysing Heterogeneity
           Among Ugandan Youth Agripreneurs

    • Authors: Maya Turolla, Haley J. Swedlund, Marc Schut, Perez Muchunguzi
      Abstract: Africa Spectrum, Ahead of Print.
      The African “youth” population is growing at a fast and steady pace, attracting attention from scholars, policymakers, and politicians. Yet, we know relatively little about this large and heterogeneous segment of the population. This paper presents data from 110 interviews and ten focus groups with youth engaged in commercial agriculture across all four regions of Uganda. Capitalising on this ethnographic data, we provide an analytical framework for studying complexity among the heterogeneous social category of youth agripreneurs. The aim of the paper is twofold: First, to reconcile anthropological studies that highlight the heterogeneity of African youth with demographic understandings of youth as a statistical category defined by an age bracket. Second, to advance an operational definition of youth that allows for more context-sensitive and tailored programmes. Our results suggest that while “youth” is an important category demographically, the opportunities and challenges faced by youths are often not related to age.
      Citation: Africa Spectrum
      PubDate: 2022-06-13T06:13:21Z
      DOI: 10.1177/00020397221105292
  • African Renaissance, Afrotopia, Afropolitanism, and Afrofuturism:
           Comparing Conceptual Properties of Four African Futures

    • Authors: Lena Kroeker
      Abstract: Africa Spectrum, Ahead of Print.
      Since the turn of the millennium, the African continent has been extremely active in producing African futures. These are part of the multiple non-western modernities existing simultaneously; modernities of revolution, reform, or restitution. This contribution adds to the debate by analysing four recent concepts along four axes: the representation of time and space, the initiators behind those four concepts, and the concepts’ social inclusiveness. The paper first discusses the idea of the “African Renaissance,” which has been proposed as official government policy in South Africa and has given shape to Pan-African political bodies. Second, “Afrotopia” is a term coined by the Senegalese economist Felwine Sarr that emphasises identity politics. Third, “Afropolitanism” proposes an “African-style” modernity as seen in the works of Achille Mbembe and Sarah Nuttall and is also likened to John and Jean Comaroff's writings on “Afromodernity.” Finally, “Afrofuturism” emerged in relation to science fiction literature and digital visual arts and uses the virtual sphere to address an international audience.
      Citation: Africa Spectrum
      PubDate: 2022-05-19T04:22:49Z
      DOI: 10.1177/00020397221101633
  • The Quantification of Child Labour by Ghana’s Mass Media: A Missed

    • Authors: Kalaria Okali, Emmanuel Frimpong Boamah, James Sumberg
      Abstract: Africa Spectrum, Ahead of Print.
      This article describes how the mass media in Ghana use quantitative information to communicate the prevalence of child labour. During the period 2000–2020, stories about child labour frequently appeared in Ghana’s mass media. Within nearly 30 per cent of the stories, at least one numerical quantification is used. Quantifications appear to be constructed primarily to dazzle readers. The large numbers and the weight of the technical jargon used would appear to significantly reduce the potential to inform. We ask why successive governments have not used the mass media tools at their disposal to more effectively address the complex policy problem of child labour.
      Citation: Africa Spectrum
      PubDate: 2022-04-27T07:42:35Z
      DOI: 10.1177/00020397221096166
  • Africa's Middle Classes

    • Authors: Henning Melber
      Abstract: Africa Spectrum, Ahead of Print.
      Since the early 21st century, the middle classes of the Global South became a focus of attention. However, a precarious minimum income was all it took to be considered middle class. But who exactly is middle class' As the term is applied, it should certainly not be confused with Marxist theories of class. It refers to a socio-economic status somewhere between the highest and lowest echelons of society. What constitutes middle class remains all too nebulous. This article casts doubt on the positive political and economic impact and role ascribed to the declared growth of African middle classes. It argues that middle classness is a construct, which stresses the continued vagueness and fragility of this social segment in societies and cautions of too optimistic assessments when it comes to its role.
      Citation: Africa Spectrum
      PubDate: 2022-04-01T06:02:57Z
      DOI: 10.1177/00020397221089352
  • Book Review: Necropolitics by Mbembe A

    • Authors: Saswat Samay Das, Dibyendu Sahana
      Abstract: Africa Spectrum, Ahead of Print.

      Citation: Africa Spectrum
      PubDate: 2022-03-18T07:23:07Z
      DOI: 10.1177/00020397221087747
  • Book Review: Africa Since Decolonization. The History and Politics of a
           Diverse Continent by Welz, Martin

    • Authors: Henning Melber
      Abstract: Africa Spectrum, Ahead of Print.

      Citation: Africa Spectrum
      PubDate: 2022-03-17T05:35:41Z
      DOI: 10.1177/00020397221087745
  • Book Review: Risko und HIV/Aids in Botswana. Leben in der Pandemie by
           Astrid Bochow

    • Authors: Marian Burchardt
      Abstract: Africa Spectrum, Ahead of Print.

      Citation: Africa Spectrum
      PubDate: 2022-03-16T06:50:57Z
      DOI: 10.1177/00020397221087751
  • Changing the Rules: Institutions, Party Systems, and the Frequency of
           Constitutional Amendments in Africa

    • Authors: Christian B. Jensen, Michelle Kuenzi, Jonathan-Georges Mehanna
      Abstract: Africa Spectrum, Ahead of Print.
      What factors influence constitutional stability in the emerging democracies of Sub-Saharan Africa' This is an important question that has never been addressed in a systematic cross-national study of Africa's emerging democracies. Using the Comparative Constitutions Project dataset and our own original dataset for veto players and party systems, we examine the influence of veto players and party system characteristics on the frequency of constitutional amendments in the electoral periods between 1990 and 2020 in forty-one African countries. Our results provide broad support for the veto players theory. More specifically, we find that as the number of actors needed to approve of a constitutional amendment increases, the likelihood a constitution will be amended decreases. The strength of party veto players also influences whether a constitution is likely to be amended. Furthermore, our results underscore the importance of party system characteristics in influencing amendment frequency.
      Citation: Africa Spectrum
      PubDate: 2022-02-23T05:04:32Z
      DOI: 10.1177/00020397221082946
  • Change is the Only Constant in Life

    • Authors: Julia Grauvogel
      First page: 3
      Abstract: Africa Spectrum, Ahead of Print.

      Citation: Africa Spectrum
      PubDate: 2022-03-14T11:31:44Z
      DOI: 10.1177/00020397221087029
  • Dear German Academia: What is Your Role in African Knowledge

    • Authors: Lynda Chinenye Iroulo, Juliana Tappe Ortiz
      First page: 72
      Abstract: Africa Spectrum, Ahead of Print.
      Although African critical scholars since the 19th century have challenged the culture of studying and writing about Africa, research practices on Africa are still entangled in epistemic injustices resulting from colonial structures of power. In this reflective contribution, we illustrate how such knowledge production perpetuates coloniality and outline the ways in which academic coloniality affects the quality of research and is detrimental to both research subjects and knowledge consumers. To that end, we draw on our own experiences as researchers and teachers in German institutes and universities to analyse current trends and patterns in African Political Science. We provide concrete examples to demonstrate that this coloniality in academia is detrimental to research, fieldwork and publishing practices, teaching, and academic hiring policies. To challenge and change how knowledge is produced, Africanists from the Global North need to be aware of, and sensitised towards, their role in knowledge production. This article continues the debate on decolonising research on Africa.
      Citation: Africa Spectrum
      PubDate: 2022-03-09T10:02:34Z
      DOI: 10.1177/00020397221085982
  • African Studies in Distress: German Scholarship on Africa and the
           Neglected Challenge of Decoloniality

    • Authors: Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni, Rüdiger Seesemann, Christine Vogt-William
      First page: 83
      Abstract: Africa Spectrum, Ahead of Print.
      This paper is a response to Matthias Basedau's article published in issue 55/2020 of the present journal. At a time when African Studies scholarship is rising beyond the flogging of dead horses, certain strands in the field in Germany seem to ignore much of the valuable scholarship and intellectual contributions by excellent African and non-African researchers alike. It is striking to see how Basedau falls prey to the same shortcomings that he draws our attention to, that is, the domination of African Studies by sources and figures outside the continent and the construction of Africa as a space of lack. This underscores the urgency of decolonizing African Studies at many levels, including liberating it from the straightjacket of area studies, interrogating purportedly objective scholarship, and opening it up to new theoretical perspectives. The restriction to comparative approaches will only ensure that these strands in African Studies remain stuck in their epistemological cul-de-sac.
      Citation: Africa Spectrum
      PubDate: 2022-02-17T07:20:01Z
      DOI: 10.1177/00020397221080179
  • Book Review: African Dominion: A New History of Empire in Early and
           Medieval West Africa by Gomez, Michael

    • Authors: Georgi Asatryan, Jack Kalpakian
      Abstract: Africa Spectrum, Ahead of Print.

      Citation: Africa Spectrum
      PubDate: 2021-12-08T04:03:01Z
      DOI: 10.1177/00020397211060057
  • A Marriage of Convenience on the Rocks' Revisiting the
           Sino–Angolan Relationship

    • Authors: Paulo de Carvalho, Dominik Kopiński, Ian Taylor
      First page: 5
      Abstract: Africa Spectrum, Ahead of Print.
      China's relationship with Angola – which is both the region's top oil exporter to China and recipient of the highest amount of Chinese loans – represents a critical case when it comes to studying Sino–African relations. The Sino–Angolan relationship, forged for purely pragmatic reasons at an opportune moment of mutual need in the early 2000s, has been labelled a ‘marriage of convenience’. A variety of factors have, however, altered the environment in which China first made inroads into Angola; most notably a decline in oil prices, and the 2017 political transition. These have provided fresh impetus to the Angolan political economy and relations with China. Based on interviews we show that although oil remains a central ingredient, China's role has substantially evolved. The marriage of convenience is experiencing a period of rocky introspection, one in which the notion of China having sway in Angola can finally be laid to rest.
      Citation: Africa Spectrum
      PubDate: 2021-10-22T05:32:16Z
      DOI: 10.1177/00020397211042384
  • Precarity, Permits, and Prayers: “Working Practices” of Congolese
           Asylum-Seeking Women in Cape Town

    • Authors: Henrietta Nyamnjoh, Suzanne Hall, Liza Rose Cirolia
      First page: 30
      Abstract: Africa Spectrum, Ahead of Print.
      This paper provides an ethnographic reading of how Congolese women, in particular aslyum seekers with temporary permits, navigate Cape Town's informal urban economy. We argue that the intersections of temporary permit status and gender, as well as the particularities of diaspora flows and settlements, compound the precarity of everyday life. We engage with how precarity shapes and is shaped by what we define as “working practices.” These practices include the everyday livelihood tactics sustained on shoestring budgets and transnational networks. We also show how, in moments of compounded crises – including the COVID-19 pandemic – marginal gains and transnational networks are rendered more fragile. In these traumatic moments, working practices extend to include the practices of hope and reliance on prayer as social ways of contending with exacerbated precarity.
      Citation: Africa Spectrum
      PubDate: 2021-11-11T12:35:05Z
      DOI: 10.1177/00020397211050077
  • African and Not Religious: The State of Research on Sub-Saharan Religious
           Nones and New Scholarly Horizons

    • Authors: Yonatan N. Gez, Nadia Beider, Helga Dickow
      First page: 50
      Abstract: Africa Spectrum, Ahead of Print.
      Sub-Saharan African societies are widely seen as highly religious. However, at least 30 million Sub-Saharan Africans identify themselves as “religious nones” and are supposedly not affiliated with any religious tradition. While research interest in religious nones has been growing in the United States, Canada, and Western Europe, there is a dearth of literature on nones in Sub-Saharan Africa. In this paper, we offer an overview of this understudied subject and dwell on key challenges for studying African nones, including preconceived notions and structural oppositions. We further muse on the identity of African nones and consider differences from the characteristics established concerning Western nones. The article draws on quantitative data from across the region (primarily from Afrobarometer and Pew Research Center) and supplements them with interview data collected in Chad, Kenya, and South Africa.
      Citation: Africa Spectrum
      PubDate: 2021-11-10T05:24:38Z
      DOI: 10.1177/00020397211052567
  • Book Review: Under Construction: Technologies of Development in Urban

    • Authors: Kirsten Milo Nielsen
      First page: 101
      Abstract: Africa Spectrum, Ahead of Print.

      Citation: Africa Spectrum
      PubDate: 2021-08-19T05:22:57Z
      DOI: 10.1177/00020397211034524
  • Book Review: Classify, Exclude, Police: Urban Lives in South Africa and
           Nigeria by Laurent Fourchard

    • Authors: Leila Demarest
      First page: 104
      Abstract: Africa Spectrum, Ahead of Print.

      Citation: Africa Spectrum
      PubDate: 2021-10-18T12:54:11Z
      DOI: 10.1177/00020397211049812
  • Book Review: African Dominion: A New History of Empire in Early and
           Medieval West Africa by Michael Gomez

    • Authors: Georgi Asatryan, Jack Kalpakian
      First page: 107
      Abstract: Africa Spectrum, Ahead of Print.

      Citation: Africa Spectrum
      PubDate: 2021-11-20T10:56:32Z
      DOI: 10.1177/00020397211062908
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