Eastern Africa Social Science Research Review - Jan 2017 Issue
Industrial Development Finance in Sudan: An Empirical
Investigation, 1990–2013 by Mutasim A. Abdelmawla
Finance is an instrument for accelerating economic growth and for stimulating development. As the case in many other Arab and African countries, lack of adequate finance is the major obstacle to development in Sudan. This study aimed at examining the impact of domestic and foreign finance allocated to industry, together with power generation and inflation rate, on industrial development in Sudan during the period 1990–2013. The importance of the study stems from the fact that finance is a key factor in any development and that industrialization is a main driver of economic growth. The results obtained by applying the Ordinary Least Squares technique to the log linear form of the model signify that each of the explanatory variables is statistically significantly at 1% level. Inflation deters industrial development, while the other regressors impact positively. In particular, industrial value-added as percentage of gross domestic product is found to be more responsive to changes in Foreign Direct Investment followed by inflation, domestic finance, and lastly power generation. The study recommends attraction of more Foreign Direct Investment, curbing inflation to reduce the cost of doing business, raising more real domestic financial resources, improving resource management, and enhancing the quality of industrial products to international standards as key to facilitate economic growth in the Sudan. Human capacity building for industrialization is also highly recommended.
The Accuracy of Demographic Data in the Ethiopian Censuses by Selome Bekele
The quality of age-sex reporting and the presence of net undercount in the Ethiopian censuses were assessed using demographic analysis methods. First, to identify the presence of coverage errors, data organised by birth cohort for the three censuses (1984, 1994 and 2007) were graphically examined. Then age-specific sex ratios and cohort sex ratios were assessed. Second, to identify the pattern of digit preference, the two classical indices of heaping (Bachi’s and Myers’) were calculated. Third, to evaluate the overall accuracy of the data, the United Nations age-sex accuracy indices were calculated at the national and sub-national levels. Fourth, the relationship between quality of data and some socio-economic variables were analysed. The findings showed the presence of coverage and content errors in all of the three censuses. The results of all the indices suggested the inaccuracy of the data. The age-sex accuracy index declined from 66.5 in 1984 to 46.9 in 2007, suggesting a modest improvement in the accuracy but the qualification is still in the ‘highly inaccurate’ category. Finally, stressing the importance of better quality demographic data, some recommendations are made.
Interrogating Religious Plurality and Separation of State and
Religion in Ethiopia by Assefa Tolera
Ethiopia is a multi-religious country. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Christianity was the official state religion from the 4th century until the fall of Emperor Haile Selassie in 1974. The Socialist Dergue’s (1987) constitution separated state and religion, and the FDRE’s constitution (1995) reaffirmed the separation, and further declared neither should interfere in the affairs of the other. However, the rules often become only theoretical possibilities rarely adhered to in practice. Despite the rhetoric of state-religion separation, as has been reflected in the Ethiopian constitution, the government finds it discomforting to leave religious institutions alone, and this seems to have become the cause of frustration among the Ethiopian Muslims. Furthermore, in the past few years, tensions were growing between followers of some of the religions, as well as between Muslims of different sects. Drawing on the author’s personal observation of the developments in relation to the subject matter over the last few years and his readings, this paper explores the causes of the growing religious tensions, conflicts and ‘radicalisation’ over the past decade, i.e., mid-2000. The paper also questions if the rhetoric of Ethiopia’s religious diversity is really an asset and religious tolerance a virtue. It then strongly argues for the need to build ‘religious pluralism’, a philosophical basis upon which the future of Ethiopia as a multi-ethnic multi-cultural country may be built. Finally, it concludes with a note that emerging challenges of inter-and intra-faith relations and the state–religion relationship are far from clear and, therefore, call for further research.
The Constitutional Court Ruling against Child Marriages in
Zimbabwe: A Landmark Decision for Advancing the Rights of the
Girl Child by Cowen Dziva and Delis Mazambani
On the 20th of January 2016, the Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe went a step ahead to protect children’s rights by banning child marriages and other harmful practices that are detrimental to childhood. The ruling comes at an opportune time to denounce the inadequacy of marriage laws, and to ban all archaic practices responsible for an upsurge in child brides. This is undeniably a groundbreaking ruling in the eyes of diverse actors who for long have been battling it out against the upsurge and impact of child marriages. This article goes beyond acknowledgement of the ruling to commend the judiciary’s role in ending harmful practices, and to decipher post-ruling strategies to end child marriages. Amongst other efforts, the legislature is urged to expedite harmonisation and alignment of marriage laws to the 2013 Constitution, and other international best practices as well as implementation of innovative and multi-sectoral approaches in tackling child marriages. The paper advocates for litigation in lower courts, as well as widespread awareness campaigns at all levels of society to rethink attitudes, beliefs and practices which are inconsistent with best practices in child protection.
Decentralisation and Local Government Reforms in Africa:
Challenges, Opportunities and the Way Forward by Oluwasinaayomi F. Kasim and ‘Tunde Agbola
Strengthening local governments has emerged as a focus of decentralisation in developing countries. In Africa, a few attempts have been made to conceptualise decentralisation and/or to compare decentralisation and local policies across a group of countries. The paper builds on existing literature in examining characteristics of actors involved in decentralisation, democratisation processes, fiscal and resources autonomy and its implications on local government reforms in selected countries in Africa. There are commonalities and differences in local government reforms; however, the challenges to autonomous local government in Africa are linked to central governments’ inability to decentralise power and fiscal autonomy in the name of national unity and stability. The paper concludes that there are obvious shortcomings in the implementation of local government reforms in Africa. Nonetheless, mistakes and setbacks should be used as learning opportunities to strengthen reform, rather than as excuses for adopting a closed system of government that is not autonomous, inclusive, transparent and accountable.