Monday, 31 October 2016

Re: The Path to Sustainable Development in Africa

        Corruption (Again) and Planning
The last talk (The Path to Sustainable Development) on 27 October 2016 was a huge success. Members of the convening team are deeply grateful to all attendees. They included students and staff of the University of Dundee, but also students from the University of St Andrews and Abertay University who made various insightful comments.
Vincent Onyango, Edwin Ezeokafor and Theophilus Dapel made their individual presentations, as previously advertised. The universality of corruption was a dominant view from the audience. While corruption was roundly condemned, a strong case was made for African countries to develop despite various corrupt practices. Nevertheless, weak institutions and a lack of robust regulatory regimes were highlighted as significant challenges. Such challenges are sometimes compounded by foreign investors who are overly focused on making profits and exploit the weaknesses of their host countries. As such, it was also argued that African countries need to relate with other countries on an equal partnership basis. It remains open to debate, however, how much equality can be achieved where some African economies are run almost entirely on finite natural resources. The global oil price collapse is illustrative of the need to implement comprehensive national economic plans, including the diversification of revenues. In appropriate contexts, “African solutions to African problems” would have its appeal. However, a word of caution from Vincent Onyango: there is no African way of fixing a car.

See more photos of the event via this link: https://goo.gl/photos/xYDVFRtfMLz4F21A8 .

By Pontian Okoli

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

DARN Presents 'The Path to Sustainable Development in Africa' on 27th October



The discussion on sustainable development in Africa is built on a tripartite structure. Vincent Onyango focuses on the triad of process, substance and “enlightened or ideologised” approaches in relation to a representative case study (Kenya). This involves a juxtaposition of Brundtland’s concept of sustainable development and indicators of performance, with a view to problematising existing challenges.  He considers possible solutions by examining a more transformational and fit-for-purpose approach in the light of Brundtland’s view. Edwin Ezeokafor considers the inadequacies of the Millennium Development Goals, especially from the standpoint of security. This entails an examination of intractable terrorist activities, restiveness caused by subnational groups and non-state actors, and how cross-border crimes have undermined sustainable development in Africa. Dapel Theophilus examines sustainable development in Africa, with Nigeria as a case study. This sub-theme involves a detailed analysis of the forces that have shaped the economic situation of Nigeria. He also considers possible solutions.
About the Speakers

Image result for vincent onyangoDr Vincent Onyango is a lecturer in Town and Regional Planning at the University of Dundee. He is also the Degree Programme Director for MA Environmental Sustainability. Part of Dr Onyango’s recent research concerns the relationship between austerity and environmental decisions.                                                                                                                        

Dr Edwin Ezeokafor obtained his PhD from the University of Dundee. His doctoral research explored the interface between the processes of securitising threats in West African states in the context of neo-patrimonial statehood. Dr Ezeokafor is also a founding co-convener of the Dundee Africa Research Network.

Dapel Theophilus is a PhD candidate at the University of Dundee. His research is focused on poverty mobility, inequality and oil in Nigeria.