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The West Africa Institute’s (WAI) contribution to the ECOWAS Post 2020 Vision

Djénéba Traoré

“Reflection must precede actions and decisions.” —the West Africa Institute Throughout its history, Regions & Cohesion has been committed to promoting citizen perspectives on regional integration. Such approaches to region-building are a

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Regional integration from “below” in West Africa

A study of transboundary town-twinning of Idiroko (Nigeria) and Igolo (Benin)

Olukayode A. Faleye

This study examines the nexus between space and society in West Africa using the Nigeria–Benin borderlands as a case study. Indeed, governmental institutions in the region have used the state as the major unit of policy formulation thereby

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Water cooperation within West Africa's major transboundary river basins

Miguel Roy Whitehead Dos Santos

, reside within West Africa and received scores within the WCQ of 100 and 53.3, respectively. But as stated above, the 2017 WCQ report does not provide clear context as to why or how these two major transboundary river basins achieved the scores that they

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The Appropriation of Bicycles in West Africa

Pragmatic Approaches to Sustainability

Hans Peter Hahn

Bicycles have a wide range of functions and roles in West Africa. They have vital functions for everyday necessities, but they also constitute prestige objects. The appreciation of bicycles in Africa started very early, almost simultaneously with their diffusion as consumer goods in Europe. However, the adoption of bicycles followed a specific pathway, which is explained in this article within the conceptual framework of appropriation. Cultural appropriation highlights the significant modifications of bicycles in Africa and the abandonment of some functions like braking. In spite of the technical simplifications, modified bicycles are perceived as having higher value, by virtue of their fitness for the tough roads and their increased reliability. Appropriation results in a specific “Africanized“ bicycle, which makes possible a prolonged usage. This essay argues that the “Africanized“ bicycle constitutes a model of sustainability in matters of transport, one which is not sufficiently recognized in current debates about sustainable innovations.

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Engaging Anthropology in an Ebola Outbreak

Case Studies from West Africa

Emilie Venables and Umberto Pellecchia

The largest Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in history severely affected the three West African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea during 2014 and 2015. As we write in March 2017 the region is still considered Ebola free since

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Doing bizness

Migrant smuggling and everyday life in the Maghreb

Line Richter

lack of consensus regarding the degree to which such people [migrant smugglers] operate in networks structured or durable enough to be called ‘organized crime’” 2 (2011: 35), regarding the specific case of human smuggling from West Africa to Europe

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Introduction

Understanding Experiences and Decisions in Situations of Enduring Hardship in Africa

Mirjam de Bruijn and Jonna Both

internalization (i.e., realities of duress). The articles in this section are all based on ethnographic and biographical studies situated in specific parts of Central and West Africa, where the conditions of life exemplify the notion of duress as we propose it

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Malaria-associated Health-seeking Behaviour among the Jola of the Gambia, West Africa

Theodore Randall

This article discusses the medically pluralistic character of malaria prevention and treatment-based health-seeking behaviour among the inhabitants of a predominantly Jola village in the Gambia, West Africa. Through the presentation of ethnographic data obtained between 2003 and 2004, the paper demonstrates that traditional health services - represented by traditional medical practitioners and medicinal plant usage - among the Jola appear as much, if not more accessible, available, affordable and acceptable than the biomedical services - represented by biomedical practitioners and antimalarial medication usage - provided by the Gambian government health system. This accessibility, availability, affordability and acceptability occur to the extent that many of the villagers suggest that traditional health services become incorporated into the Gambian government health system. The need to integrate traditional and biomedical services becomes especially relevant given the existence of traditional services within the context of biomedical hegemony and limited Jola accessibility, availability and affordability of biomedical services.

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Anthropology and discourses on global art

Thomas Fillitz

The notion of ‘global art’ acknowledges that there are major changes in the art worlds‐network, and refers to new concepts of contemporary art and art worlds. The anthropology of art, however, has participated in a limited way in these art theoretical debates, although it could fruitfully contribute to them. This article discusses one major issue of global art using three ethnographic examples from Francophone West Africa: how to analyse the local specificity of contemporary art?

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Travelling police

The potential for change in the wake of police reform in West Africa

Jan Beek and Mirco Göpfert

Police models travel around the globe and many arrive in the shape of police reforms in West Africa. On the ground, these transnational connections are composed of interactions between police officers carrying and receiving such models. Similar to the travel of other models, African officers usually adapt and subvert official reforms. In this article, we argue that the potential for wide‐ranging organisational change is caused not so much by these reform programmes, but rather emerges from the encounters that such travels bring along. In these encounters, officers tell stories that challenge or stabilise notions of police work for those involved.