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  • Author: Ibrahim El-Houdaiby
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: With the charges against former President Mubarak thrown out of court - the Egyptian judiciary is being both praised and condemned by its citizens. "The crisis in the Egyptian judiciary is not that it needs legal and administrative “independence” from the executive… It’s that it needs to reform as a top priority… and emphasise its role of enforcing the law… and not permit anyone to act outside the context of the law or to act in a political manner that does not conform to the law."
  • Topic: International Law
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Dina El Khawaga
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: On July 7, 2014, following the government’s announcement of its plan to reduce the fuel subsidy, President Abd al Fattah al Sisi stated that “Egypt is in a state of war, many are hostile to it within and outside the country who do not want this country to be saved.
  • Topic: War, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Heba Abou Shnief
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: While the Arab awakening has impacted the political economies of Arab states differently, the message that state-business relations can no longer afford to rely on pre-existing models of business advocacy has reverberated across the region. Rent-seeking, cronyism, patronage, and state capture have long been―to varying degrees—all features of state-business relations in the Arab world. In post-uprising countries, the rise and fall of regimes, the adoption of new constitutions, the holding of theoretically more open legislative elections, the emergence new interest groups and a more scrutinizing public are all dynamics that are likely to influence the mechanics of policymaking, and with it, legacy systems of private sector advocacy. While it is still too early to ascertain with certainty precisely how older business advocacy models might evolve to adapt to new realities, or how soon such adaptations might occur, the dynamics have already changed—particularly with regards to ‘state capture’—where challenges to pre-existing networks have paralleled challenges to incumbent regimes. Combining a desk study with extensive field interviews with key persons from the business sector, government and civil society in both Egypt and Tunisia, the research makes a preliminary examination of the initial attempts at policy advocacy by business interest groups during the transitions. In doing so, a deeper understanding of how those dynamics seem to have changed thus far, as well as an initial assessment of whether or not state capture has, perhaps, come to an end in any of the countries studied is made. Finally, a brief set of policy recommendations are presented on ways and means of improving advocacy processes so that national business interests might be better reflected in the economic policymaking calculus.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Murhaf Jouejati
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: Under the Assad regime, Syria acquired a well-deserved reputation as a repressive mukhabarat state dominated by vast, overlapping internal security agencies that operated with near impunity, reporting directly to the president. Having presided over so much destruction and division, however, it is likely that the Assad regime will eventually be replaced by a government with a better claim to legitimacy. Security sector reform will be a key challenge for establishing the legitimacy of any post-Assad political order, but what would such a system look like and how could it be constructed?
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Syria
  • Author: Mojúbàolú Olufúnké Okome
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Ìrìnkèrindò: a Journal of African Migration
  • Abstract: The simplest definition of return migration construes it as the move back from a place of sojourn to a place of origin by a migrant who then settles down. But return could be temporary or permanent. It could be volitional or compelled. There could also be secondary and repeat migration. Regardless of the contemporary worldwide concern about the meanings, implications, significance and consequences of return migration, return migration is yet to be subjected to as much scholarly research as other aspects of the migration phenomenon. Eborka in this volume rightfully points out that the gap in scholarly knowledge on this subject is even more profound in the case of Africa, and there is a dearth of statistics, as Essien, Setrana and Tonah indicate. Through her analysis of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah, Idowu-Faith also alerts us to the theoretical contributions of literary exploration of migration and especially return migration. This volume on return migration to Africa therefore contributes to discourses and research on the subject and in doing so, also contributes significantly to filling the gap in scholarly knowledge.
  • Topic: Migration, Literature
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Bimbola Oluwafunlola Idowu-Faith
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Ìrìnkèrindò: a Journal of African Migration
  • Abstract: This paper is a stylistic investigation of Americanah (2013) Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s latest novel. Whereas Americanah is the melting pot where love and romance collide and comingle with hair politics and the shifting meanings of skin color, Adichie employs migration as the window through which these issues are projected. Beyond Adichie’s juxtaposition of binary migratory terms of “Americanah” and “American” and her protagonist’s choice of the former, the novelist’s preoccupation is to critically engage international migration theories, and to chart a new migration story, where return migration is the quintessential closure.
  • Topic: Migration, International Affairs, Literature, Novels
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Kwame Essien
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Ìrìnkèrindò: a Journal of African Migration
  • Abstract: This article traces different waves of reverse migrations to the Gold Coast, now Ghana, which began in the early nineteenth century. The article explores external motivations for pursuing these journeys and factors internal to Ghanaian history that facilitated reverse migrations. Both contributed to the contradictions of return and the paradox of freedom or the illusion that their physical presence in Ghana would fulfil their fantasy. Part of the article chronicles the stories of individuals, family groups, and the transatlantic communities they created: Brazilian-Africans (Tabom), Caribbean Africans and American-Africans. The article focuses on themes of slavery, emancipation, abolition, reverse migrations and Pan-African activities in Ghana. This article maintains that literature on reverse migrations should extend beyond the narrow focus of the New World back to Africa. I assert that there are other reverse migratory paths from West Africa to Brazil (after liberated Brazilian-Africans settled in Africa in the early 1800s) and between Nigeria and Ghana that have been overlooked by scholars in their study of reverse migrations to Ghana and West Africa in general. In the end, this article shows similarities in reverse migrations and shared cultural kinship as members of the returnee communities in Lagos-Nigeria (the Aguda) and Accra-Ghana (the Tabom) crisscrossed the West African Atlantic and created various identities.
  • Topic: Migration, Slavery, Literature
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria, Ghana
  • Author: Chinyere G. Okafor
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Ìrìnkèrindò: a Journal of African Migration
  • Abstract: The Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) was adopted in Nigeria after unsustainable foreign indebtedness caused grave economic crisis, which spun off political and social turmoil. Its adoption in 1986 by the Babangida military regime, was pushed by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), as the only viable solution to Nigeria’s problems. Rather than provide relief, the adoption of SAP imposed extreme neoliberal austerity policies that pushed many middle class families into poverty, causing some to migrate both within the country and abroad. “Diary of an American Woman” is the story of three characters, Ola, Love, and Fakar. The story presents an account of three migrations: internal migration within Nigeria, external migration to America, and patrilocal movement from parental to marital abodes. Ola keeps a journal about her immigrant experience in America, which unfortunately is lost with her luggage in Nigeria. Fakar discovers the journal in his workplace and begins to read it. Ola’s immigrant experience in America as recalled in her diary reveals the underbelly of life of a Nigerian in America to the hotel janitor.
  • Topic: Debt, International Political Economy, World Bank, Military Affairs, Literature, IMF
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Mary Boatemaa Setrana, Steve Tonah
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Ìrìnkèrindò: a Journal of African Migration
  • Abstract: This paper describes the nature of migrants’ return to Kumasi, Ghana’s second largest city, and the strategies employed by the returnees to establish links with their relatives and friends, as well reintegrate into their neighbourhoods, and participate fully in city life. Using interviews and observations carried out among 30 return migrants and some migrant associations, the paper concludes that return migration is a negotiated process among family members. Migrants face several challenges including finding accommodation and jobs, establishing contacts with former colleagues and friends, meeting the high expectations of extended family members, and adjusting to the poor infrastructural facilities in the city. Return migrants are able to surmount these difficulties with support from family members, friends, colleagues, and a host of social organizations and networks.
  • Topic: Migration, Urban, Social Groups
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Author: Afia Serwaa Zakiya
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Ìrìnkèrindò: a Journal of African Migration
  • Abstract: This paper explores the broad issues of Gender, Water and Migration among rural dwellers in Ghana. Particular emphasis is paid to women who seek to improve their life chances and reduce their level of poverty through out-migration from their indigenous homeland primarily to urban and small town enclaves. It updates research on migratory trends in Ghana and examines the socio-economic and health conditions of rural women as a consequence of poor access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). The politics of water access and impact of globalization and disasters, among other factors, are raised to highlight how such phenomena linked to issues of climatic change and migration, can lead to loss of indigenous knowledge (IK) in rural communities. The paper ends with an overview of how one organization, WaterAid Ghana (WAG), is attempting to alleviate rural women’s poverty by providing sustainable WASH services delivery and advocating for WASH as a basic essential service and right. The use of culturally appropriate and endogenous development is proposed, with the right requisite levels of local and government leadership and financing, to reduce WASH related poverty, support rural development and reduce migration of men and women to overburdened cities where slums are developing without adequate WASH services and negative health outcomes.
  • Topic: Development, Gender Issues, Globalization, Migration, Poverty, Water, Women, Rural
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana