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Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa



State of Africa: Call for authors

According to the 2018 UN-HABITAT report entitled ‘The State of African Cities’, more than 400 million Africans live below the poverty line. Income inequality has escalated, youth unemployment has intensified, and gender inequality persisted on the continent.1 UN-HABITAT further noted that despite a massive agricultural potential many African countries remain highly food insecure and increasingly vulnerable to global climate change fluctuations that affect farmlands. Africa has over 65% of the world’s arable land and could effortlessly meet its food requirements and possibly feed the entire planet by 2050. While sustained foreign direct investment in the agricultural and extractive industries towards Africa amounted to over $56.5 billion in 2016, Africa’s solid developmental potential has not yet realised in most sectors. Africa’s agricultural sector has great potential to be the messiah of African development. Unfortunately, upscaling agricultural activities in Africa countries, as majority of initiatives are focused on practice at a subsistence level. About 42% of Africa’s population lives below the poverty line, indicating a need to strategically refocus the development path and ensure that Africa’s rising narrative reflects in the quality of life for many on the continent. Notwithstanding these development potentials, many people have moved from the rural to urban centres on the continent; an increasing number of people in these metropolises live below the poverty line, and inequality has become a prominent feature of Africa’s urban spaces. The fundamental questions the present book attempts to answer are.

• What are the significant causes of pervasive poverty and inequality in major urban centres on the continent?

• What measures should African countries deploy to address this critical developmental challenge?

Fundamental to the book will be to investigate how the methodological framework of the various poverty alleviation projects initiated by multilateral organisations have perhaps exacerbated the poverty and inequality in Africa.

Defining poverty Poverty is generally viewed as a condition whereby people’s basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter, are not met. Three years after the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, the United Nations (UN) sees poverty through two different lenses: absolute and overall poverty. The primary objective of the Rio ‘Earth Summit’ was to produce a broad agenda and a new blueprint for international action on environmental and development issues that would help guide international cooperation and development policy in the twenty-first century.

Call to action:

Possible next steps or recommendations

Abstracts will be assessed against the criteria of originality, quality, relevance and potential impact.

The deadline for the submission of chapter abstracts is 30 September 2023. Authors of selected abstracts will be notified by 15 October 2023. The deadline for submission of final papers is 10 December 2023.

For submission of abstract, use the link: https://hsrc.ac.za/state-of-africa-2024.php, and for queries send email to publish@hsrc.ac.za.

Abstracts should be submitted in Microsoft Word.See more details

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