Vol. XX, Issue 4 (Fall 2013):

 

BOARD:

Gloria Emeagwali
Chief Editor
emeagwali@ccsu.edu

Walton Brown-Foster
Copy Editor
brownw@ccsu.edu

Haines Brown
Adviser
brownh@hartford-hwp.com

ISSN  1526-7822

REGIONAL EDITORS:

Olayemi Akinwumi
(Nigeria)

Ayele Bekerie
(Ethiopia)

Paulus Gerdes
(Mozambique)

Alfred Zack-Williams
(Sierra Leone)

Gumbo Mishack

(South Africa)

 

TECHNICAL ADVISOR:

Jennifer Nicoletti
Academic Technology, CCSU
caputojen@ccsu.edu

For more information on AfricaUpdate
Contact:
Prof. Gloria Emeagwali
CCSU History Dept.
1615 Stanley Street
New Britain, CT 06050
Tel: 860-832-2815
emeagwali@ccsu.edu







 

Table of Contents 

 Editorial

In this issue of Africa Update, Dr. E.J.C Duru points to cultural endangerment and shares a concern for the preservation of indigenous values.  We may recall that in the summer issue of Africa Update, Osakue Omoera of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, focused on language endangerment.

Dr. Duru notes that economic conditions must also be addressed and cultural retention attended to in the school curriculum and the education system, in general.  A root cause of the malaise is globalization, and so too, the vulnerability of unemployed youth.

While Dr. Duru reflects on aspects of neglect of Youth and the way forward,  Dr. F.  Olasupo discusses the neglect of the female emirs of Northern Nigeria, both in contemporary narratives and in policymaking and in terms of their overall economic difficulties.Their salary structure is also nothing to write home about. Most of them do not receive up to one tenths (1/10) of their male counterparts’ salaries,” Dr. Olasupo points out.

Dr. Olasupo provides an illuminating discussion about the historic roles of the female emirs and makes suggestions for a change in Nigerian government policy towards them.  The researcher has provided rich illustrations and the disparity between male and female emirs highlighted.

In A Report on the Implications of Globalization on Rural Development, Girma Tegegn focuses on Natural Forest Protection at the District of Manna, Ethiopia. Tegegn provides us with insights on Ethiopian socio-cultural attitudes to environmental issues in general in the course of discussion.

Dr. Duru, Dr. Olasupo and Girma Tegegn must be commended for their scholarly analyses, useful insights and recommendations.

Professor Gloria Emeagwali
Chief Editor

Culture and Youth Development in Nigeria

Dr. E.J.C. Duru
Department of
Public Administration
University of Calabar
, Nigeria
E-mail: duruejc@yahoo.com

It is most appropriate in the course of this work to situate certain basic concepts in their correct, critical perspective .Consequently, we shall consider concepts such as culture, socialization and youth development.

Culture is very much an elusive term to define, perhaps because of its wider scope and broad nature (Obioha, 2010).  This notwithstanding, when thinking of culture, what readily comes to mind is values and norms that people have which make them live in a particular way.  It is a way of living of a particular people.  In other words, culture could be referred to as the sum total of peoples’ languages, food habits, religious and moral belief, attitudes, and values; in short, their way of life.  According to Obioha (2010:2), culture encompasses peoples’ languages, songs, stories, celebrations, technology, architecture, kinship, the interpersonal relationships, political and economic systems and all the social relationships that these entail.

One of the features of culture is that it is neither exhaustive nor mutually exclusive to any society.  But as an embodiment of societal character and identity, culture could be learned, borrowed or transferred from one people to another.  Another feature of culture is that it is dynamic.  Culture, as Obioha (2010) has observed is never static.  Rather, every now and then, people are transformed culturally.  Culture changes exactly the same way as human beings change.  But this change is gradual rather than sudden or abrupt.  But despite this change, Obioha submits that culture continuous to give a people a sense of identity, dignity, continuity, security and binds them together.

Socialization, on the other hand is a popular concept in sociology and anthropology and it is otherwise known as “internalization of culture”.  According to Eteng (1980:338), socialization is a life-long process by which human beings transmit and learn particular thought, feeling and behavioural process and patterns required for social perpetuation of, social adaptation to, and social transformation of, culturally determined conditions and expectations, such as learning one’s language, behaving according to the norms and values of the culture, understanding social roles one is expected to perform as one relates to others, and developing complex skills and techniques with which to adapt to, as well as transform one’s social and physical environments.  For others, socialization is the internalization process by which individuals are inducted into their total cultural way of life.  And by internalization, we mean the overt and imperceptible processes whereby individuals absorb culturally determined as well as innovative patterns of behaviour which become so habitual that their expressions and manifestations frequently require no formal reflection or rationalization (Eteng, 1980:338).

Youth development on the other hand is the process through which adolescents (alternatively called youths or young adults) acquire the cognitive, social and emotional skills and abilities required to navigate life.  The experience of adolescence varies for every youth: culture, gender and socio-economic class are important influences on development.  This development occurs throughout a young person’s life, including formal and informal settings such as home, church or school; and similar relationships, such as peer friendships, work, parenting, teaching or mentoring, while development generally is taken to mean a process of socio-economic and political transformation of problem generating structures, in such a way that it leads to improvement in the level of living of the people including income, education, housing, health, nutrition and other related social services (Duru, 2004:4).

The Impact of Globalization on Nigerian Culture

As we have already pointed out, one feature of all cultures is that culture is learned.  Such learning according to Obioha (2010), does not take place through natural inheritance, neither is it genetically transmitted.  Rather, it takes place by a process of absorption from the social environment or through deliberate instruction, or through the process of socialization.  The point being made above is that in the process of inter-societal interactions (whether at the national or international levels), there is an interaction of cultures and thus a borrowing and diffusion of one culture among societies and nations.  This, according to Obioha (2010), is in itself not unusual.  But what is unusual and unfortunate is the domination of one culture over the other.  This is true of globalization which has generated a lot of controversy with regards to the rise of a global culture.  In the rise of global culture, western norms and practices are gradually being transported across the globe as the standard and acceptable way of behaviour.  In this regard, Africa is the worst hit.  The hitherto rich, cherished and dynamic African culture has been completed diluted and is at the verge of complete atrophy.  Thus, globalization which is propelled by aggressive spread of information and communication technologies under the influence of multinational corporations has generated a process of socialization, especially among youths which has brought new impediments to local cultures and values, particularly in Africa and other non-western societies at large.  In the Nigerian context in particular, through the process of this global socialization, occasioned by globalization, youth prefer development which eschew largely African culture to Western learned culture.  Nigerian youth are now cultivating the habit of materialism and individualism.  According to Obioha (2008), the culture of individualism is fast eroding the values and ideals of the extended family system which Nigerians are known for.  Thus, global socialization propelled by the process of globalization has not only resulted in the emergence of values and ideals which are opposed to traditional African family values and social relationship.  It has also affected the kind of food we eat and the kind and mode of our dressing.  Thus, in Nigeria today, most women dress half-naked, smoke cigarette, while their male counterparts plait and braid their hairs, put on earrings and nose rings and wear torn cloths or rags all in the name of fashion.

Generally, therefore, globalization has brought about the decline of the traditional world in Nigeria and other African states, the undoing of the old cultural set up, and the rapid erosion of old values.  The Nigerian culture is fast eroding and this has a negative implication on youth development.  For instance, inclination to western culture by the youth is generating upsurge in criminal activities, societal violence, drug abuse and social vices like prostitution, among female youth and armed robbery.  All these have come as a result of structural change in the world economy, globalization and aggressive and seductive advertisements which are blatantly superficial but nonetheless successful in creating desires in people of traditional societies (Akande, 2002).

The Imperative of Reorienting the Nigerian Youth

The imperative of reorienting the Nigerian youths gained its credence from the fact that the youth though victims of the negative influence on the traditional Nigerian culture by the Western culture, need a positive orientation that would prepare them to turn around the consequences of the impact of globalization on our traditional culture.  The prevalent state of restiveness, gangsterism and cultism among youths stems from the decay and erosion of traditional values, norms and ideals.

Statistically speaking, about 85 per cent of Nigerian youths are not gainfully employed; 90 per cent of these unemployed youths possess academic qualifications ranging from first school leaving certificate to university degree (Igodo, 2001:18).  These unemployed youths still have to contend with the harsh realities of life in a materialistic society where those that amass questionable wealth openly display what they got through unbridled corruption in the form of mediocrity, falsification and forgery of documents, stealing and looting of public wealth, which are all by-products of culture atrophy facing the Nigerian culture.  Consequently, the Nigerian youths need a positive orientation, which will enable them to participate actively in societal development.

One way of bringing about this positive orientation is by ensuring cultural security.  We can strengthen and secure our culture and thus ensure positive youth development by cultural adaptation and alignment, i.e. instead of copying a foreign culture, we can rather do that with modification and innovations.

Another way of orientating the youth is by ensuring the introduction of several aspects of culture into our school curriculum at all levels of our education.  Non-Governmental Societies and organizations such as the Society for Promoting Igbo Language and Culture (SPILC) should ensure that the youths are made to appreciate the value of their culture and traditional practices.

Above all, cultural ethics of hard-work, self – discipline and selflessness must become once again the watch world and guiding principles of our society.  By so doing, the contemporary Nigerian youths, through cultural reorientation would have been made to cultivate values that support development.  Also the provision of qualitative and affordable education for the youth by the state will result in positive youth development as well as positive community development which is the idea that all young people need support, guidance, and opportunities during adolescence.  It also looks toward creating supportive communities for all young people and at the same time, engaging youth to contribute to the well –being of the larger community.  Positive youth development enhances that sense of belonging, creating, or strengthening stronger relationships with peers, friends, and certainly one’s identification of one’s culture within a community (Duru, 2004:8).

By way of conclusion, we submit that the contemporary Nigerian society should evolve a culture that can encourage the youth to make contributions to their communities through service learning activities.

 Conclusion

Globalization demands some degree of structural changes in the various dimensions of society.  The effects of these changes on the normative and value systems (and their attendant institutions) of the non-western societies in general and Nigeria in particular are most dramatic.  These structural changes have all too often created traumatic experiences for those who often find themselves helpless to prevent the erosion of their cultures and economic well-being.  One of the traumatic experiences within the Nigerian context is that youths prefer development which eschews largely African culture to western learned culture.  And, any society or group which abandons its philosophy, and guiding principles rooted in its culture via socialization, is subjected to physical, social and cultural decimation; while it can only survive as an outpost and / or dumping ground for the more powerful society whose products and artefacts it consumes.  Obviously, this is neither development nor empowerment.

References

Neglected Female Emirs of Northern Nigeria
F.A Olaupo
Deparment of Local Government Studies, Faculty of Administration
Obafemi Awolowo University
Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria

Introduction

Sheik (Alhaji) Abubakar Gummi, during the 1987 Local government election in 1987 boasted that he “did not hope to see a woman leader emerge in his life time” (Kukah, 1983:240). Not just in modern Local Government system but more importantly in traditional government where religion and tradition, more than any other factor, keep women out of competition for public office by leaving the public space for male competitors only. Two decades after, in 2007, a counterweight response to Sheik’s out-burst was published by Agency France Press (AFP). According to it, AFP, “In Kumbwada, a village of about 400 kilometres away from Kano, a woman is the traditional and religious leader. No man dares, as any that assumes the throne dies mysteriously within a week. (The Nation, 2007: 5)

These commentaries provided the leads that spurred our visit to places in Northern Nigeria where information says women emirs exist. Areas in the north where female emirs have been discovered include: Kumbwanda in Muyan Local Government of Niger state;  Armado Debo in Ganye Local government;  Nokowa in Numan Local Government of Adamawa state; and Ilesa Baruba, Gwanara and Okuta in Ilesa Baruba Local Government of Kwara State. Two types of female traditional rulers are found in these areas: Substantive female emirs and gender balance or dual ruler-ship in emir-ship (Olasupo, 2007:183; 2010: 132). It is the concern of this paper to present factual and pictorial evidence of these, starting with substantive female rulers in the North.

Substantive Female Emirs

These are female emirs who are sovereign authorities in their communities. They are both political and religious leaders of their communities. As a matter of fact ruler-ship by males in these communities is forbidden as any attempt by them always results in mysterious death (The Nation, 2007: 5). Such communities include, Kumbada, Arnado Debo and Nokowo. In providing pictorial evidence of this, we shall limit ourselves to one of them, the female Emir of Kumbada, Hajia Hadisa Muhammed.

Gender Balance Emir-ship

Unlike the West and Eastern parts of Nigeria, Gender balance in traditional governance, from the northern part of the country, among the Baatonu Barubas in particular, presents a spectacular and interesting scene. Here, both the female and male kings are princesses and princes from the same ruling house. In other words, they are either brothers and sisters or cousins but having the same royal blood. When the office of kingship or emir-ship is vacant, princes compete among themselves to occupy the throne while the princesses also compete among themselves for female equivalent of emir-ship throne.  Thus, while males are kings (Emirs) in their communities, their counterpart Queens (or female emirs) are variously referred to as Magajia, Yonkogi and Buyonkafo in the same communities (Hussaini, 2003:39-40, 93; Ogungbola, 1995:21). They have their own palaces, kingmakers and staff of offices like that of their male counterparts.

In my interview with Emirs in these communities, these are their reactions: According to the Emir of Gwanara, Alhaji (Dr.) Sabi Abdullahi Idris (OFR) Kotokotogi II, “the Queen and I are Prima inter pares (first among equals). Both of us are from the same ruling house and are princess and prince before we ascended the throne. So, we are equal except that I have a slight edge over her. She is the only person who could overrule my decision under certain circumstances. She is a powerful kingmaker with regards to male emir-ship throne and without her support nobody can become Emir” (Interview, 05/022013).

As for the Emir of Okuta, Alhaji Idris Abubakar, Shero Betete III, he confirmed what Emir Sabi Abdullahi said, but added that “there is important festival called Ganni festival, that is held annually among Baatombu (Barubas). When the Emirs hold their own, a week or so after, Queens also hold theirs. In Okuta, as I have the right to ride on the horse on that day, so does the Queen also have the right to ride on a horse on the day she is celebrating her counterpart female Ganni festival”. Corroborating pivotal role which female Emirs play in the appointment of an Emir, as Emir of Gwanara said, the Emir of Okuta added that male Emirs in Baruba areas also play vital role in the appointment female Emir (Interview, 05/022013).

At Ilesa Ibaruba, the Emir Engineer Bio Usman, had travelled abroad but we were attended to by his next in command who told us that there is no doubt woman traditional ruler exist in the town. She is, according him, a princess before she emerged as the female Emir. She is the one the subjects must see first before seeing the male emir. Every Friday, he says, she comes from her palace to sit in front of the male palace to receive homage from subjects who come to pay homage to the male emir.

This tradition of gender balance in governance, found in all the four regions of the country, comparatively, slightly vary from one region to the other. In the Eastern part of the country vis-à-vis Mid-West, traditionally, it is the first daughter of Obi that is made the Omu. In the West, the institution of female kings is separate and distinct from that of the male. They have their own ruling houses that are separate from those of the male, and only female (princesses) from those ruling houses are permitted to contest for it. In the north, among Baatonu Baruba to be specific, the princes and the princesses are from the same ruling houses. While the princes metamorphose into Emir after stiff competition, so do the princesses metamorphose into Queens (Female Emirs), after stiff competition among princess contestants for the female throne. Thus, there is a slight similarity between the institutions of female king in the north and the east. While in the two regions male and female kings are from the same ruling houses, there is divergence in the procedure by which female kings in both regions ascend the throne. In the east, it is strictly the first daughter of the Obi; and so there is no competition. In the north on the other hand, all the princesses from the ruling houses would have to compete for the coveted throne out of which one emerges as female Emir.

IHowever, a lot of interesting observations are made between male kings and female kings institutions. First is education. Our observation reveals that male Obas, Emirs and Obis are well educated as you have among them Professors, Lawyers, Medical doctors, seasoned administrators and of course retired military officers. This combined with their wealth of bureaucratic experience and strong business connections, secured strong influence for them at all the levels of governance – Local, State and Federal (Olasupo, 2002:2). The opposite is the case with those of female kings in virtually all the regions. Apart from the female king of Akure, Obabinrin Fadahunsi, who is an economist; Dr. Marthia Dunkwu, a successful business woman from Delta State and, of course, Barrister Alu Ibiam of Unwana in Eboyin State, all others found are uneducated in western sense.

This tended to impact negatively on their social status that made them less visible. A comparison of the gender palaces show that male palaces are genuine palaces as State and Local governments regularly maintain and upgrade them. All though in the west and eastern parts of the country, female kings’ palaces predate advent of colonialism, it got neglected after the incursion and, even, departure of colonialism (Olasupo, 2010:148). Among the Baatonu Barubas of Northern Nigeria however, female Emirs convert their matrimonial houses into palaces after ascension into offices. These poverty ridden palaces are left uncared for by either the local government or state governments. The female kings themselves are so wretched to be able to carry out any meaningful renovation of their palaces.

Their salary structure is also nothing to write home about. Most of them do not receive up to one tenths (1/10) of their male counterparts’ salaries. According to the female king of Ikota, Obabinrin (female king) Celina Folorunsho, while presenting the grievances of women monarchs to Ooni of Ife, said most of them are paid stipends. She said the most highly paid among them earns five dollars ($5); some, two dollars ($2) and others a dollar ($) per month (Visit to Ooni of Ife). See picture below.  These situations are attributable to their lack of influence.

Colonial authorities contributed immensely to this relegation and total abandonment of female traditional rulers as primacy was given to male rulers only. Male rulers assisted the colonial authorities in this and, in fact, capitalized on it to appropriate female rulers’ rights and benefits. This is to the extent that most of them (male rulers) deny their (Female rulers) existence, contrary to our research findings (Ogunmodede, 2008:22). This is particularly so in communities where gender balance in traditional ruler ship is part and parcel of their cultures. Gender balance, equality, equity and fairness in not only governance but all spheres of human endeavour, which United Nations is promoting today is thus a caricature or mimicry of this African tradition. Much as the colonialism and the greedy patriarchal leaders tried to obliterate this virtue of gender balance in governance, it survived the onslaught (Olasupo, 2010: 1).

Conclusion

As part of my personal effort to call the attention of the Federal government to the serious neglect of women monarchs in the country despite proven evidence of their existence, I placed an advertisement in the Compass Newspaper of May 28, 2012, P 5 - at a personal cost of three hundred and fifty thousand naira (N350, 000.00).

References

A Report on the Implications of Globalization on Rural Development with Emphasis on Natural Forest Protection at the District of Manna, Ethiopia
Girma Defere Tegegn
Jimma Teachers  College, Social Science Stream
Jimma, Ethiopia
girmadejimma@yahoo.com.au

Acronyms and Abbreviations:
• Birr Ethiopian currency
• CSA Central Statistical Agency
• DAWLO Development Agent Workers and Local Officials
• ECX Ethiopia Commodity Exchange
• EPDRF Ethiopian People‟s Democratic Revolutionary Party
• FDRE Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
• FRA Forest Resource Assessment
• Ha Hectare
• SAPs Structural Adjustment Programs
• SPSS Statistical Package for Social Science
 

Introduction

People from different walks of life have commonly used the word globalization since 1990s (Mulinge and Munyae, 2001: 101). Its ultimate goal is to set one global economic unit (Rao, 1998 in Mulinge and Munyae, 2001: 101, 2001: 163). That implies world economic integration is at the heart of globalization.

People from different walks of life have commonly used the word globalization since 1990s (Mulinge and Munyae, 2001: 101). Its ultimate goal is to set one global economic unit (Rao, 1998 in Mulinge and Munyae, 2001: 101, 2001: 163). That implies world economic integration is at the heart of globalization

The story line reveals Obidiya (Patience Ozokwor) and Achalugo (Ngozi Ezeonu) who are co-wives but are very poor. They sell all they had to visit a Babalawo in Ijebu-Igbo in order to make money rituals. These women are initiated into a cult. The diviner makes them choose between poverty for their sons’ generations or to be so wealthy beyond human comprehension. As it is, it is case of what the devil gives with one hand, he takes with the other. The children become very rich but their mothers live in abject poverty. They could not even spend out of the ritual money because disobedience spells doom for them. All they ask from the children are two cows every six months. Rumours are rife in the village of the evil these two women have done. The children become suspicious of their mothers especially when they refuse to visit an orthodox doctor. The women endure their shame and poverty until they cannot bear it any longer. One of them, Obidiya decides to buy the required cows for the ritual from the money from the children. The witches get angry because it is a taboo for the women to spend the ritual money. The two women are struck down by lightning, a terrible disease, and snakes coming out of their festering sores. All avenues for help from other Dibias and Babalawo cannot save them. The play does not end – and we are not allowed to see whether they die in their wretchedness or not. This ambivalent end leaves the resolution to our imagination.

Nature and human beings have been coexisting since genesis. According to Berbarta (2004), the protection of natural forests has a long history. Berbarta elaborates on this and says that modern conservation attitudes and practices have evolved largely in the context of western societies. However, natural forest preservation actually has its origins in eastern countries’ customs and practices. Nevertheless, the eastern countries did not take a primary role in alleviating the problems that emanated from mindless exploitation of resources. The east was lagged behind in formulating policies that protect natural forests

The western position on conservation is in line with the Judeo-Christian view of man and nature that links two ideas: (i) the right of exploitation, and (ii) the responsibility of stewardship (Berbarta, 2004). According to the Judeo-Christian belief, nature was created to serve human beings. Hence, the exploitation of nature is legitimate and a natural pursuit. This belief permits exploitation of the environment and its inhabitants ignoring protection (Berbarta, 2004). From the Second World War onwards smallholder farmers have exploited their environmental resources to improve their living conditions (FRA, 2000). After then, forests resources faced serious and huge exploitation by human beings. The World Resource Institute Report (1999) revealed that forestland coverage continued to decline; between the years 1980 to1995 an estimated 200million hectares of forestland was deforested in developing nations. The same report indicated that between the years 1990 to1995, annual deforestation among developing nations was about 13.7 million hectares.

The report discussed that subsistence farming; conversion of forestlands for other purposes by governments in Latin America and Asia caused the deforestation. Moreover, poverty, joblessness and unfair share of land exacerbated the situation among many developing nations. Recent evidence by FAO 2010 indicated that the level of deforestation in many countries shows signs of declining; however, it continues to increase at alarming rate in other countries. FAO states that an estimated13 million hectares of forestlands have been converted for other uses or lost due to natural factors.

This is an improvement on the 1990s when 16million hectares of forestlands were lost each year (FAO, 2010). The report further stated that, South America and Africa continue to have the largest deforestation in the world.  It will remain a global challenge as total cultivated land area across tropical world is projected to increase to 10 billion ha by 2050 so as to meet global demands (Gibbs, 2010). Environmental problems have become very critical in this era of globalization as the affluent nations are not committed to reducing either their heavy consumption or compensating the poor nations. Nor are they required to promote fair trade that benefits smallholders who are the direct victims of the problems. Today about 90% of the poor people across the world depend on forests to meet their subsistence (USAID, 2006).

Study in Jimma Zone, Belete-Gera Forest area indicated that coffee production activities, expansion of farmland into forestland areas, population growth, government’s land reform and resettlement programs endangered natural forest management in the area (Cheng et al, 1998). According to this study, about 49% of the natural forest an area that was easy to get to by human beings was influenced by coffee farm activities that affected natural forest density and bio-diversity protection.  Kaba before nine years on his study about people’s perception towards forest coverage in Jimma Zone and the district of MannaKersa presently Manna, identified that 50.8% of research participants perceived that their forest was declining (Kaba, 2003).

According to him, shifting cultivation, clearing to avoid pests and charcoal production among others caused for forest degradation.  Globalization as a contemporary global issue and challenge has become a topic of discussion among policy makers, academics and people across different walks of life.

This study attempted to examine the impact of globalization on rural development focusing on people’s knowledge, attitude and practices towards natural forest protection in the coffee growing villages in the district of Manna. Hence, it tried to fill the gap on past studies conducted in and around the area.  Several studies including David and Ponte (2005) showed that poor nations are not receiving a fair percentage of the final price that the consumers in the world market are paying for their products. Lofchie argued that these nations are not in a position to run significant regulations on processing, shipping and marketing of their products. Besides, brokers and the world service sectors are mainly in the hands of the developed world. The aforementioned factors contributed a lot to the deterioration of the income of the poor nations (Lofchie, 1995: 641-42). That ultimately caused rural under impoverishments and natural forests to be threatened.

Today, in this district (Manna), because of rapid population growth, natural forest and bio-diversity protection have suffered from human beings encroachment into natural forest land areas for settlement, to expand farmlands and generate additional income to meet their subsistence needs. Accordingly, this study was undertaken in coffee growing areas of Manna District, Jimma Zone, in the Regional State Government of Oromiya.

Problem Statement

Poverty and underdevelopment remains a feature of rural areas and society. According to Anriquez and Stamoulls (2007) of the 1.2 billion people living in poverty worldwide(earning less than 1 USD per day), 75 % live in rural areas and most of them heavily depend on primary sectors, such as, agriculture, forestry, fisheries and other allied activities.

If this situation continues, millions more will be exposed to severe poverty due to climate change which hampers the effort of rural communities to come out of extreme poverty. Hence, the problem will be intensified in the process of globalization, as globalization is pro-rich.

Moreover unless extreme poverty is tackled, natural forests cannot be protected and there will be more chaotic condition with regard to global climate change and other social and political problems caused by extreme poverty.

Ethiopia is a rural nation where about 85% of the population lives in rural areas. Rural people’s livelihood is inconceivable without natural forests. As they cut trees for their subsistence needs preparing and expanding their farmland for fuel or charcoal; construction of houses development firewood and the like. The change in natural forest coverage in Ethiopia has been happening for a while. This is easy to comprehend in agrarian societies, like; Ethiopia that rapid growth in population exacerbates deforestation.

Empirical studies in Ethiopia revealed that rapid population growth has an adverse consequence on natural forest protection in particular (see Getachew, 2003; and Mulat and Bekele, 2003).

In the district of Manna, Jimma Zone, Oromiya region, natural forests seemed to be relatively well protected, as the district is one of the richest districts in the zone in coffee zone.

Despite this fact, deforestation is a major problem there. Natural forests in the district mainly serve as shade trees for the coffee estate. Coffee for the nation in general and for the district in particular is the primary source of income for the rural communities.

Previous study conducted in this district (Manna) tried to assess only the overall perception of the people about their forest coverage status. This study; however, was intended to assess the implications of globalization on rural development with especial reference to natural forest protection; to examine determinant factors that influence people’s knowledge, attitude and practices towards their natural forest protection.

This study tried to assess and answer the following research questions:

• How are the implications of globalization on natural forest protection revealed in the coffee growing district of Manna?
• What is the overall knowledge of the people in understanding natural resource protection?
• Do the people have the relative desired knowledge, attitude and practices towards natural forest protection? What are the present situation and its future prospects?
• What are the different demographic and socio-economic factors influencing people’s knowledge, attitude and practices towards natural forest protection in the district?
• How do development agency workers and local officials influence the rural communities in natural forest protection and quality coffee produce?
• What is the role of ECX as a market broker in creating an enabling market environment for smallholder farmers?

The study was based on two hypotheses: (1) globalization is challenging rural development in general, natural forest protection in particular. And (2) demographic factors and socio-economic conditions have influenced the rural communities’ relative desired level of knowledge, attitude and practices towards natural forest protection.

The general objective of this study was to assess the implication of globalization on rural development with an emphasis on natural forest protection, and to look at the link between globalization and natural forest protection in the district.

The specific objectives were:

• to deal with: to what extent globalization has influenced rural development in general and natural forest protection in particular in Manna district;
• to identify the different demographic and socio-economic factors that influenced the rural communities’ desired level of knowledge, attitude and practices towards natural forest protection;
• to examine the surveyed population, knowledge, attitude and practices of bio-diversity and natural forest protection.

Study Methods:

This study employed descriptive method that involved both quantitative and qualitative methods to explain concepts, characteristics, descriptions, and numbers to reveal the implications of the issue under research question, hypothesis and objectives. Data presented in this study obtained from primary sources were collected directly from respondents using schedule interview assign, questionnaires, in-depth-interviews, focus group discussion, group interviews and field observation. Secondary data was also collected through review of relevant literature mainly from books, journals, articles, magazines, conference papers, official documents (constitution, government proclamations), manuals and reports.

Major Findings and Ways Forward:

This study has discovered that almost all the people in the survey had no knowledge of bio-diversity protection. The relative protection of natural forest trees was mainly attributed to wanting to safeguard their coffee produce otherwise, knowledge of natural forest protection is an issue to work on. The result of multi-variants analysis indicated that marital status, income and literacy showed statistical significant variations towards natural forest protection among respondents of the study population. As far as natural forest protection practice is concerned, the results showed very low practices across different demographic and socio-economic groups. In the socio-economic factors mainly income of the people influenced their practices towards natural forest protection as the relatively income better-off of people showed pro-natural forest protection knowledge, attitude and practices. Result of focus group discussion and field observation found that rapid population growth as a major demographic threat towards natural forest and bio-diversity protection in the district. Globalization as already stated in numerous studies including this study has influenced natural forest protection as the income generated from coffee sales is not attractive enough in reaching and changing the living conditions of the smallholder farmers. Accordingly, this study found that more than half (51%) of the respondents did not satisfy by the income they earned from their coffee sale.

This study tried to indicate future directions or policy implications to cope with the existing problems and upcoming challenges:
(1) high population density is a stumbling block in protecting natural forests in the district. Hence, there should be a land reform policy so as to protect the natural forests from further depletion.
(2) Still there are many households who are marginal farmers. And there are also landless farmers though not observed in this survey. As the population number is continues to grow, the quest for farm and settlement land will be very critical. Hence there should be immediate and careful interventions.
Moreover,
(3) a lot of efforts have to be done to create alternative rural livelihood so as to reduce competition for farmland resources and to protect natural forest from depletion, which can aggravate poverty; and
(4) looking for alternative source of rural energy so as to reduce excessive dependence on firewood, for instance, encouraging bio-fuel production and its use.

Summary

Poverty and impoverishment have been seen a phenomena of the rural societies in developing countries. Globalization or world economic integration has brought both opportunities and challenges. The challenge of globalization is highly significant in developing countries. The impact of globalization on rural development is high. This has posed a threat to natural forest protection.

This study tried to assess the implications of globalization on rural development with an emphasis on the people of Manna District and their knowledge, attitude and practices towards natural forest protection. The district of Manna is one of the main districts in Jimma zone that exports huge tones of Arabica coffee to the central market.

This study attempted to examine the concerned people’s knowledge, attitude and practices towards natural forest protection and how the world coffee market in this era of globalization influenced the rural communities.

In addition, it looked at the implications of globalization on natural forest protection as the district’s main source of income is generated from coffee sales.  Empirical studies found that environmental protection in general and natural forest protection in particular, is influenced by both demographic and socio-economic factors. These are literacy status, age, gender, marital status, household, income occupation, and contact with development agent workers. Most past studies carried out in other parts of the world revealed that age as a factor to environmental protection (pro-environmental knowledge) is observed more among young people than old people. As regards gender, women tend to be more pro-environmental than males. Income as a factor showed that rich people are tending to be more pro-natural forest than poor ones.

Literacy as factor, most literate people are more pro-environmentalist than illiterate. Similarly, household size and contact with development agent workers and local officials also influenced people’s knowledge, attitude and practices.

In this study, marital status, income and literacy showed statistical significant variations. Marital status variation result showed that unlike past studies in other parts of the world that found married people have more pro-environmental knowledge, in this study, however, unmarried people showed pro-natural forest protection knowledge and attitudes. Income variations prove that those households with higher incomes showed pro-natural forest protection knowledge and attitudes. In addition, literacy status indicated that literate people had more been pro-natural forest knowledge. However, their attitudes were not necessarily pro-environmental. In the discussion with concerned bodies, population density has also found to threaten natural forest protection.

Concluding Remarks and Recommendations for Future Research

As far as natural resource protection and conservation is concerned, natural forests and bio-diversity protection in particular should be the responsibility of all concerned bodies, since the resulting problems have global implications.

Therefore:
• The world market should pay a fair price for coffee producing farmers and reduce the channel of trade transactions. Paying a fair price for smallholder farmers coffee producers has double advantages:
• it helps to alleviate rural poverty rather than communities relying on aid and
• it also enables to keep natural forests from further depletion in so doing they can play their role in mitigating climate change. Studies indicate that the capacity of natural forests in absorbing co2 emission is quite high compared with the planted trees.
• Moreover all the rural communities regardless of their age, sex, marital status and socio-economic situations should shoulder responsibility and stewardship. Advocacy and awareness raising workshops and conferences should be strengthened to conserve natural forests to build better economic future.
• Development agent workers and local officials should work more in collaboration so as to attain the desired result in natural forest protection knowledge, attitude and practices among the community. In so doing, they can maintain coffee production, and of course with better quantity and quality.
• NGOs, local administrators and faith institutions should take the initiative in teaching the wider community on how to save their money and use it properly for long term benefits. In this regard, as the district is a cash crop growing area that exports chat and outstanding tonnes of coffee, hence, there should be a strong financial institution that fits the district where smallholders could easily be encouraged to save and transact their money.
• Promoting environmental education in non-formal setting through workshops, conferences, mainly, by utilizing indigenous institutions so that the majority population will be more concerned to watch and nurture their natural forests.
• Women empowerment should be strengthened as most women in the district have pro-environmental mentality. In this respect, they should be allowed to take part in the kebele and district decision-makings hence especial attention should be given to women in accessing to economic opportunity, credit facilities and education so as to influence future generation they rear and nurture. In doing so, the socio-economic status of women can be changed and this can influence natural forest protection positively
• Promoting self-help groups to be engaged in generating environmental friendly agricultural business, like, bee keeping and strengthening farm forestry as it creates additional sources of income to serve their short-term needs.
• Looking for ways to land reform as the district has very high population density and promoting and strengthening family guidance through health extension and women empowerment through education.
• Working on creating alternative rural livelihoods that can go with the geophysical and biological environment of the district, for instance, like: dairy farming, beekeeping, poultry farming and others. In this respect, facilitating credit and saving services is vital.

Finally, the study recommends the following listed areas to be studied for future research in natural forest protection and rural development.
• Microfinance and saving habit among the people of the district
• The socio-economic status of women of the district
• The participation of people in rural development
• People’s attitude towards community protected forestland

Glossary
• “Derg”- it is a Ge‟ez word to mean committee. It served as alternative name for the military junta or the Marxist led regime ruled Ethiopia from 1974-1991.
• Afaan Oromoo- Oromo language
• “Kebele”- an Amharic name refers to the lowest administrative unit of state structure. That functions below district level.
• Zone-an administrative unit above district level and below Regional State Government.
• Negarit Gazeta- state official document in which new bills formulated by the federal parliament finally declared signed by the President for enforcement.
• “Quintal”- an Amharic word refers to unit of measurement. One “quintal” equivalent to 100 kg.
• “Villagization”- refers to a kind of collectivization life adopted during the military junta regime in which the village communities were forced to live communally being ucleated in a single village that discouraged clustered living.
 

References

 

Return to Table of Contents