Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa
Conseil pour le développement de la recherche en sciences sociales en Afrique
Conselho para o Desenvolvimento da Pesquisa em Ciências Sociais em África
مجلس تنمية البحوث الإجتماعية في أفريقيا


Child Research in Africa

Maylene Shung King , Rose September, Frederick Moses Okatcha, Carlos Cardoso. 2009; 97 pages; ISBN 978-2-86978-262-4.

Number of visits: 1221

The concerns for African children should not be confined to the disadvantaged
position of Africa, but rather extended to search into the virtues of their cultural
heritage, historical background and values of the African civilisation as the
basis for reflecting on the rights and welfare of the child. In other words, the
perspectives on the African child are shaped by a multiplicity of factors that
include both the worldview of the researchers, donor priorities and pressures,
as well as what will ‘sell’ better in peer review journals. This implies a real
concern with what is going on in terms of research on child issues in Africa, in
order to avoid generalisations and particularising the African children in ways
that portray them in an unfavourable light.

Departing from this theoretical and philosophical background, scholars from 13
countries in Africa converged in Dakar to discuss issues related to child
research in Africa. This monograph is about this extremely important exercise
undertaken by Childwatch International and CODESRIA in collaboration with
the Child and Youth Research and Training Programme at the University of the
Western Cape, the Children’s Institute at the University of Cape Town and
Kenyatta University.

It comprises three papers that were presented at that occasion as well as the
discussion that follows. Recognising the challenges that face researchers and
their institutions, and the existing gap between policy makers and researchers, the monograph is an excellent
evaluation of the child research potential in Africa. It examines the feasibility of the child research on the continent by
exploring ways through which researchers and institutions across Africa can strengthen the quantity and the quality
of child research in Africa. An assessment of the available research resources, in particular the technical skills of
African researchers, and available financial resources is also part of the analyses.

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