Posts

‘If Africa is serious about a free trade area it needs to act quickly, and differently’. The Conversation, 09.01.2017

 

In their latest op-ed for The Conversation GovInn Deputy Director Dr Chris Nshimbi and UNISA Senior Lecturer in political economy Samuel Oloruntoba assess Africa’s regional integration project in light of the 2016 affirmation on the continent-wide free trade area in Addis Ababa at the African Union (AU).

Africa is moving towards crystallising an ambitious integration agenda of establishing a continental free trade area  by October. This comes against a backdrop of an apparent trend away from mega-regional trade agreements in both Europe and the US. Read the full article here.

‘Why Europe’s ‘fortress’ approach to migration crisis won’t work’ The Conversation 17.11.2016

GovInn Deputy Director Dr. Chris Nshimbi and Dr Innocent Moyo (University of Zululand) consider the European Union’s migration policy in a recent article in The conversation. The failures of physically fortifying Europe against waves of migrants is compounded by policy incoherence and contradictions to EU legislation. Similarly the inability of the EU to adequately address the sources of migration is used as a tool to inform a more sustainable approach to resolving the issue. Read the full article here.

‘When politics and academia collide, quality suffers. Just ask Nigeria’. The Conversation, 25.10.16

 

In his latest op-ed for The Conversation GovInn deputy director Dr Chris Nshimbi considers the ramifications of politicising academia amid the ongoing student protests across South African Universities. The article explores Nigeria’s experiences with similar problems and the resultant decline in universities administrative, academic and financial autonomy while contributing to the departure of many academics. The full article can be read here.

‘Visible and invisible bordering practices: The EU-African migration conundrum and spatial mobility of borders’

 

In his latest article with Inocent Moyo (Department of Geography, University of South Africa), GovInn deputy-director Chris Nshimbi interrogates the European Union’s (EU) and Africa’s relationship on international migration issues. The paper employs the concepts of displacement and humanitarianism in an effort to frame the EU-Africa relations on migration in the context of borders, boundaries and frontiers. The findings suggest that issues of militarisation, securitisation, restrictive and, sometimes, draconian immigration regimes do not provide sustainable solutions to the migration crisis facing Europe. Theoretically, the paper attempts to understand better, the way the EU and Africa engage each other on international migration issues, in the context of border studies. Empirically, the paper positions itself in policy engagements and the quest for practical solutions by the two continents in view of the migration crisis currently facing Europe. Read the full article here.

‘Zambia post elections: President Lungu has his work cut out for him’, The Conversation, 22 August 2016

Govinn’s deputy director Chris Nshimbi  newest contribution on Zambia’s latest electoral result was published in The Conversation:

The national leadership should rise to the occasion and move the country in the right direction. To do this Lungu should build a team of selfless political, technocratic and civic leaders to steer Zambia for the next five years. Certainly, he will also need the support of the opposition parties, big and small.

Read more on https://theconversation.com/zambia-post-elections-president-lungu-has-his-work-cut-out-for-him-64058

‘Leave no trader behind: Ensuring that female informal cross-border traders do not lose out in formalisation processes’. 18.08.2016

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In his latest op-ed GovInn Deputy Director Dr Christopher Nshimbi takes a look at the inclusion of female informal traders in the process of formalising cross border trading in light of the recent unrest along the South Africa-Zimbabwe border in Include.

‘The violent protests by informal cross-border traders (ICBTs) at the Beitbridge border between South Africa and Zimbabwe in early July 2016 came as no surprise to many familiar with the informal economy and its operations in Africa. Informal trade provides employment and generates revenues that contribute to the livelihoods and welfare of the traders, as well as to local economies. And, now, the Zimbabwean government wants to cash in on the proceeds. While there is nothing wrong with this, once again, the government’s only means of achieving its goal is through a draconian, non-transparent, unaccountable and exclusive decision-making process.’

Read the full article here.

Debate on migration

Govinn hosts critical workshop on migration

Govinn, together with the American Political Science Association hosted a workshop on the critical issue of migration in Africa from 23-27 May, 2016, at the University of Pretoria. The workshop included in-depth dialogue sessions between academics from a diversity of disciplines, universities, countries and continents, as well as a public seminar which brought together scholars and policymakers.

Prof Loren Landau, director of the African Centre for Migration and Society, Prof Francis Nyamnjoh, from the University of Cape Town and Dr Chris Nshimbi from Govinn were some of the prominent speakers in the field that shared cutting edge information on migration in Africa today.

Questions of inclusion, exclusion, identity, policy and the free movement of people across borders was discussed and debated, with a particular focus on bringing together the micro and macro levels, allowing people’s experiences on the ground to speak to migration policy.

This workshop was sponsored by the Andrew W Mellon Foundation and the American Political Science Association.

GovInn in Groundbreaking seminar on Policy Coherence for Development

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GovInn, as part of the Consortium for Comparative Research on Regional Integration and Social Cohesion (RISC), participated in a groundbreaking seminar at the West Africa Institute (WAI) in Praia, Cape Verde, organized by the RISC Working group on Development, Equity and Policy Coherence; to analyze Normative Coherence for Development and Inter-regionalism. Deputy Director, Chris Nshimbi, represented GovInn at the seminar, which was coordinated by Prof. Lauri Siitonen (University of Helsinki) and Prof. Harlan Koff (University of Luxembourg), and held on April 27 and 28, 2016. Participants focused on normative development frameworks in different world regions including ECOWAS, SADC, ASEAN and the Andean Community of Nations and examined whether or not the EU respects them in inter-regional relations.

 

GovInn deputy director Chris Nshimbi delivers keynote address at 2016 Potsdam Spring Dialogues

 

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GovInn Deputy Director, Chris Nshimbi, participated in this year’s Potsdam Spring Dialogues in Germany held on 7-8 April 2016 under the theme “Pathways towards Coordinated African Migration Governance: The African Regional Organisations’ Role.” Chris gave a Keynote Address on Africa’s position and policies on migration. For more information of the conference, see the conference report…

 

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Networks of Cross-border Non-State Actors: The Role of Social Capital in Regional Integration

Chris Changwe Nshimbi, co-director of the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation, published a new article named ‘Networks of Cross-border Non-State Actors: The Role of Social Capital in Regional Integration’ in the Journal of Borderlands Studies.

borderlands coverThis paper examines the contribution of networks of cross-border grassroots non-State actors to regional integration. It uses three assumptions to determine whether sub-regional schemes augment regional integration: (a) networks of grassroots non-State actors connect communities that share common backgrounds, histories and cultures; (b) interactions in the networks generate a trust that stabilizes them and contributes to network efficiency; and (c) where these networks straddle State boundaries, they integrate the economies that host the communities of actors in the networks and thus enhance integration. The paper achieves its objective by illustrating these assumptions in the context of sub-regional integration in Southeast Asia and Southern Africa. A thorough review of the literature on regional and sub-regional integration, borderland studies, etc. is conducted along with the use of social capital and historical, socioeconomic and political accounts to illustrate the role of informal networks in integration. Because networks, norms and trust dominate conceptual discussion of social capital (Schuller, T., S. Baron, and J. Field. 2000. Social capital: A review and critique. In Social capital: Critical perspectives, eds. S. Baron, J. Field, and T. Schuller, 1–38. Oxford: Oxford University Press.), the paper conceptualizes the terms in the context of social capital. Participant observations, face-to-face interviews and focus group discussions conducted during extensive fieldwork between September 2013 and November 2014 at selected border posts, in the major border towns of the adjacent provinces of the ZMM-GT, in markets and villages in the contiguous border areas of the growth triangle also provide the primary data employed in the analysis. Sub-regional initiatives contribute to development, as does macro-regionalism. Unlike Southeast Asians, people in southern Africa are primarily driven by the need for survival and operate less on ethnic lines. However, a clear demonstration of social capital and cohesion is evident here. Leaders in Africa should encourage cross-border ethnic and kinship ties rather than abuse ethnicity for political gain.

The article can be found here.