Africa: Facing Human Security Challenges in the 21st Century
580 Pages
English
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Africa: Facing Human Security Challenges in the 21st Century

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580 Pages
English

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Africa�s dynamic security environment is characterized by great diversity�from conventional challenges such as insurgencies, resource and identity conflicts, and post-conflict stabilization to growing threats from piracy, narcotics trafficking, violent extremism, and organized crime taking root in urban slums, among others. This precarious environment jeopardizes security at the societal, community and individual levels. In a globalized and interconnected world, millions of people worldwide are affected by some form of human insecurity. Infectious and parasitic diseases annually kill millions. Internally displaced persons number millions, including 5 million in Sudan alone. In Zambia 1 million people in a population of 11 million are reported to be HIV-positive, a situation much worse in other countries. Potable water crisis looms almost everywhere. In this book Tatah Mentan points out the need to shift the focus away from a state-centric and military-strategic emphasis on security to an interdisciplinary and people-centric approach that embraces notions like global citizenship, empowerment and participation. The primary elements of economic, food, health, environment, personal, community and political security all comprise the broader understanding of human security in an intricately interconnected world.

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Published 12 May 2014
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EAN13 9789956792368
Language English
Document size 2 MB

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AFRICA Facing HumanASecurFity ChRallenIgesCin theA21stCentury - Tatah Mentan -
tah Mentan
AFRICA: Facing Human Security Challenges in the 21st Century
Tatah Mentan
Langaa Research & Publishing CIG Mankon, Bamenda
Publisher: LangaaRPCIG Langaa Research & Publishing Common Initiative Group P.O. Box 902 Mankon Bamenda North West Region Cameroon Langaagrp@gmail.comwww.langaa-rpcig.net Distributed in and outside N. America by African Books Collective orders@africanbookscollective.com www.africanbookcollective.com
ISBN: 9956-791-11-3 ©Tatah Mentan2014
DISCLAIMER All views expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Langaa RPCIG.
Acknowledgements I want to thank His Grace Archbishop Paul Verdzekov (RIP) because he helped me learn & practice using social science research tools at the very stages of my academic career. He was a brilliant, extraordinary, and inspiring mentor in human and moral security concerns as well as an intellectual and spiritual advisor. He was an amazing and wonderful person, who was always humbly available to help anyone who asked for it. I also wish to thank Mr.Sam-Nuvala Fonkem who took time off from his deserved restful weekends at the United Nations Service in strife-torn Côte d’Ivoire to edit my manuscript. In fact, his invaluable and refreshing editorial surgery spared the manuscript from reading “like an old book.” Finally, I wish to thank my students at the University of Minnesota, College of St.Benedict (St. John’s University) and Concordia University. Their curiosity and searching questions on the African predicament as well as Peace and Security issues in the continent engineered research work for this book.
Table of Contents Foreword…………………………………………………...vii Preface……………………………………………………...xv Abbreviations………………………………………………xix Part I Prologue, Introduction and Conceptual Considerations................................................................................1 Chapter 1: Introduction…………………………….……….. 9 Chapter 2: Conceptualizing Globalization, Hegemony, and Human (In)Security…………………………….………. 17 Part II Challenges of Human Security in Africa……...…………..47 Chapter 3: Economic (In)security……………………………49 Chapter 4: Food and Nutrition Security…………………….. 81 Chapter 5: Environmental Challenges to Human Security…... 129 Chapter 6: Globalization and Challenges of Political Insecurity in Africa………………………………………….. 185 Chapter 7: Challenges to Health Security…………………… 233 Chapter 8: Cultural Insecurity in Africa Today……………… 277 Chapter 9: Personal/Citizen Insecurity in Africa……………. 321 Chapter 10: Social Insecurity in Africa: Challenges and Prospects…………………………………………………….359 Chapter 11: Community Security………………….…………409 Part III Epilogue: Review, Conclusions, and Looking Ahead…...469 Chapter 12: Review of the Past and Present, Conclusions and Looking Ahead……………………………471
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Foreword In the middle of the 1990s the concept of human security was introduced as a reflection of a general change of the stress from the military state-centric issues (assumed by the realist and neo-realist orthodoxism) to non-military issues. This new narrative consists in the transformation of the individual into the reference object of security, due to the fact that under the pressures of corporate globalization, the state is moved away (at least partially) from the epicenter of policy making. Hence, the concept of security is extended from the security of the nations to the security of the individuals and from the nation to the international system. It is extending by supplementing the military perspective with the political, economic and environmental ones and thus, the range of security can basically receive human dimensions. By the mechanisms and the normative principles of such a perspective, it has become possible to identify some important arguments that human security can be fundamental in the justification of the ethics of interventions and by by-passing the state to offer the ultimate argument for a < just war > theory (used to address the moral and legal aspects linked with the use of military force). As a result of rampaging globalization, a new concept is being elaborated in the international community at the beginning of the 21st century, that of “human security.” In part, this concept is a response to changing economic and political conditions often associated with “globalization.” These conditions have generated deepening disparities in wealth in many parts of the world; the economic and social dislocation of whole populations; the eruption of violence and terror in the name of ethnic, nationalistic, and religious identities and differences; and the trafficking of people (especially women and children), commodities (e.g., drugs and arms), and ideas and information across political and cultural borders. The questions one must ask are: How does all this affect Africa in the twenty-first century? And how prepared is the continent to face these challenges as well as those that will arise in the future? It vii
is rather difficult nowadays to keep pace with advances in science and technology, including among others, in the areas of biotechnology and nanotechnology, and genetic engineering. The challenge that Africa is facing is not only that of understanding how new scientific discoveries may have an impact on our societies, but also that of how to become a “continent of science” itself. The rapidity of the pace of change in virtually all spheres of social life at the local, national, continental, and global levels make it difficult to identify the challenges that Africa will be facing in the coming century beyond a few decades. Science itself is changing as a result of changes occurring in nature and in society. Moreover, science and technology, far from being neutral, have become key players in the evolutions that occur in production systems, trade, and intercultural relations, as well as in research and the formulation of responses to environmental change. The ability of science to anticipate, read and interpret the processes of change has increased over the years. The ability of humanity to follow developments taking place in nature, and to capture the major trends taking place within society, is likely to increase as science itself develops. Therefore, the list of questions that can be considered as major challenges for the 21st century is likely to change over time. st Africa in the 21 Century Africa has staggered into the 21st century with huge unresolved issues, such as poverty, rapid urbanization, the national question, regional integration, gender inequality, food insecurity, intractable violent conflicts, political fragmentation, and the fact that it occupies a subaltern position in the global community, and in global governance. The weight of the past is a major handicap for Africa. The effects of the slave trade, colonization and neo-colonialism that Africa has suffered from are still being felt, as they have each and together resulted in the suppression of freedoms, the violation of human rights and dignity of the peoples of the continent, as well as the looting of human, natural and intellectual resources and what the pan-Africanist historian Walter Rodney called the “underdevelopment” of Africa. Among the major disadvantages of viii
the continent at the dawn of the twenty-first century are also the low level of education of many Africans, the lack of modern techniques of production, transport, etc., a fragmented political space and the extrovert structure of the economies. The institutions of higher education and cultures of the elites are strongly marked, not by a philosophy and development strategies guided by the interests of African peoples, but by influences coming from the North, influences that are more alienating than liberating. Nevertheless, the Africa of the end of the first decade of the 21st century is not exactly the same as the Africa of the early sixties which had just got freedom from colonial rule. The challenges the continent faces today are not exactly the same as those of the sixties. Although there still are issues dating back to the early years of independence, these are of a different order, and are today discussed with a particular focus and a sense of urgency. This is particularly true of the issues of governance and development, most of which are yet to be resolved. Yet by all indications, these issues have gained particular relevance and magnitude. The celebration of the 50th anniversary of the independence of many countries in 2010 has provided an opportunity for African researchers to review the continent’s performance in 50 years of independence. This has been a mixed record after all. There have been many achievements in terms of social and economic development. Enormous progress has been made in education and health, and some countries have managed to establish democratic governance systems, especially after the wave of national conferences (in West and Central Africa) at the end of the 1980s and early 1990s. The fall of authoritarian regimes, the end of apartheid, the change of ruling parties in countries like Senegal, and the recent shaky changes in Tunisia (the Jasmine Revolution), Egypt and elsewhere in North Africa have made the promise of democratization and development of Africa much more real. Yet even with the recent political transformations, governance issues are still part of the great challenges facing the continent. Africa is still beset by the paradox of poverty in plenty: most people of the continent are poor despite the fact that the countries they live in are rich in human and natural resources. ix