Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 18

Search results for: Gideon Mante Tetteh

18 Neighbourhood Research in the Global South: An Insight from Bibliometric Analysis

Authors: Gideon Baffoe

Abstract:

Recent evidence shows that neighbourhood research is largely under the hegemony of global north scholars. The current situation is a reflection of a privileged world of rich-country academics studying ‘first world’ built environment and varied social problems. The most difficult, dangerous and urgent neighbourhood problems, however, are found in the global south cities. The north orientation highlights a major knowledge gap in the south, which is a wakeup call for urban scholars. Until now, it remains unclear how the neighbourhood has been studied in the global south. This study aims to review the state of neighbourhood scholarship in developing countries. In particular, the study brings to the fore the scholarship growth pattern, main research focus areas, key players and methodological approaches that scholars have adopted. The review provides a direction which can form the bases for future neighbourhood research in the global south, particularly in Africa and Asia.

Keywords: neighbourhood, global south, bibliometric analysis, scholarship

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17 Intensity Analysis to Link Changes in Land-Use Pattern in the Abuakwa North and South Municipalities, Ghana, from 1986 to 2017

Authors: Isaac Kwaku Adu, Jacob Doku Tetteh, John Joseph Puthenkalam, Kwabena Effah Antwi

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The continuous increase in population implies increase in food demand. There is, therefore, the need to increase agricultural production and other forest products to ensure food security and economic development. This paper employs the three-level intensity analysis to assess the total change of land-use in two-time intervals (1986-2002 and 2002-2017), the net change and swap as well as gross gains and losses in the two intervals. The results revealed that the overall change in the 31-year period was greater in the second period (2002-2017). Agriculture and forest categories lost in the first period while the other land class gained. However, in the second period agriculture and built-up increased greatly while forest, water bodies and thick bushes/shrubland experienced loss. An assessment revealed a reduction of forest in both periods but was greater in the second period and expansion of agricultural land was recorded as population increases. The pixels gaining built-up targeted agricultural land in both intervals, it also targeted thick bushes/shrubland and waterbody in the second period only. Built-up avoided forest in both intervals as well as waterbody and thick bushes/shrubland. To help in developing the best land-use strategies/policies, a further validation of the social factors is necessary.

Keywords: agricultural land, forest, Ghana, land-use, intensity analysis, remote sensing

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16 Sustainable Management Practices of International Construction Joint Ventures: A Conceptual Model for Managing Barriers and Risks

Authors: Mershack O. Tetteh, Albert P. C. Chan, Amos Darko, Gabriel Nani

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International construction joint ventures (ICJVs) have evolved as an effective approach to sustainable development, given their myriad socio-economic and environmental benefits. Yet, they are not free of barriers and risks. In many studies, it is termed as risks for convenience’s sake. While the barriers and risks continue to affect the success of ICJVs, a systematic and reliable approach for managing them has yet to be developed. This study aims to identify and classify the barriers and risks factors affecting ICJVs through a systematic literature review. Based on a critical review of 54 papers published in peer-reviewed journals from 1990 to 2019, a conceptual framework was proposed for managing the barriers and risks in ICJV operations. The review showed that the barriers can be grouped into six including inter-organizational differences, lack of expertise and confidence, lack of effective planning and strategies, lack of knowledge of ICJV’s fundamentals, conflicts among ICJV entities, and management difficulties. The risks were also categorized into six: policy and political risks, legal risks, financial risks, management risks, project and technical risks, and market risks. The developed model would help practitioners achieve more efficient resource allocation and bring new perspectives for managerial practices in ICJVs. Moreover, it is positioned to alleviate the negligence of previous studies that combined the barriers and risks factors as one checklist.

Keywords: barriers, construction, international construction joint venture, risks, sustainable development

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15 Gariep Dam Basin Management for Satisfying Ecological Flow Requirements

Authors: Dimeji Abe, Nonso Okoye, Gideon Ikpimi, Prince Idemudia

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Multi-reservoir optimization operation has been a critical issue for river basin management. Water, as a scarce resource, is in high demand and the problems associated with the reservoir as its storage facility are enormous. The complexity in balancing the supply and demand of this prime resource has created the need to examine the best way to solve the problem using optimization techniques. The objective of this study is to evaluate the performance of the multi-objective meta-heuristic algorithm for the operation of Gariep Dam for satisfying ecological flow requirements. This study uses an evolutionary algorithm called backtrack search algorithm (BSA) to determine the best way to optimise the dam operations of hydropower production, flood control, and water supply without affecting the environmental flow requirement for the survival of aquatic bodies and sustain life downstream of the dam. To achieve this objective, the operations of the dam that corresponds to different tradeoffs between the objectives are optimized. The results indicate the best model from the algorithm that satisfies all the objectives without any constraint violation. It is expected that hydropower generation will be improved and more water will be available for ecological flow requirements with the use of the algorithm. This algorithm also provides farmers with more irrigation water as well to improve their business.

Keywords: BSA evolutionary algorithm, metaheuristics, optimization, river basin management

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14 Training Programmes at KwaZulu Natal, South Africa for Water Professionals to Enhance Water Management

Authors: Joshua Ikpimi, Dimeji Abe, Nonso Okoye, Gideon Ikpimi, Prince Idemudia

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Training programmes are integral parts of development for employees to develop themselves and also to develop the organisation. Lack of training and inadequate training adversely affect the productivity in any organisation. Lack of training in the water sector can impair development and improper management of water. Training programs are given to water professionals, especially in a developing country like South Africa, to perform well in their day to day activities. The aim of this study was to evaluate the current training program in place for water professionals at KwaZulu Natal province of South Africa. The objectives were to determine the training programs that are suitable for their job descriptions and to determine the gaps with the training programs and to make recommendations on ways to improve the training programs. This study is a quantitative study which enabled an evaluation of training programs for KwaZulu Natal water professionals. The sample population was 120 professionals across all the cities and towns in KwaZulu Natal province. The water professionals were evaluated using structured questionnaire distributed to the respondents from September to December 2017. The data was analysed using R software. The study found that province has training programs that are valuable for their water professionals. However, involvement of some professionals in administrative activities was hindered by some inappropriate training. Many areas of improvement are suggested to the province in training its water professionals. Training was found to improve performance, commitment, motivation and staff retention of water professionals in the province.

Keywords: KwaZulu Natal, performance, training, water

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13 Farmers’ Awareness of Pillars of Planting for Food and Jobs Programme in Ghana

Authors: Franklin Nantui Mabe, Gideon Danso-Abbeam, Dennis Sedem Ehiakpor

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In order for the government of Ghana through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to motivate farmers to adopt improved agricultural technologies, expand their farms and encourage youth to enter into agricultural production so as to increase crop productivity, “Planting for Food and Jobs” (PFJ) programme was launched in April 2017. The PFJ programme covers five pillars, namely, provision of subsidized and improved seeds; subsidized fertilizer; agricultural extension services; establishment of markets; and e-agriculture. This study assesses the awareness of farmers about the packages of these pillars using the Likert scale, paired t-test and Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient. The study adopted a mixed research design. A semi-structured questionnaire and checklist were used to collect data. The data collection was done using interviews and focus group discussions. The PFJ pillar farmers are much aware is a subsidy on fertilizer followed by a subsidy on improved seeds. Electronic agriculture is a pillar with the lowest level of awareness. There is a strong positive correlation between awareness of fertilizer and seed packages suggestion their complementarities. Lack of information/awareness of the packages of the programme can affect farmers’ participation in all the pillars. Farmers, in particular, should be educated for them to know what they are entitled to in each of the pillars. The programme implementation plan should also be made available to farmers as a guide.

Keywords: awareness, planting for food and jobs, programme, farmers, likert scale

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12 An Empirical Enquiry on Cultural Influence and Purchase Decision for Durable Goods in Nigeria

Authors: Bright C. Opara, Gideon C. Uboegbulam

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This study can be appreciated from the significant role culture exert in purchase decision of durable goods the world over. This study is motivated by cultural diversity in Nigeria and socio-economic changes that have taken place in the recent times. These call for the validation of similarly studies in order to formulate informed marketing strategies that will enhance purchase behaviour. This study therefore, is set out to examine the cultural influence in family purchase decision-making for durable goods in the three major ethnic groups in Nigeria (Hausa, Ibo, and Yoruba). The primary data was sourced using structured and semi-structured research questionnaire, while the secondary information was generated from existing / available relevant literature journals / periodicals. A judgmental sampling technique was used to determine the sample size of 300 households. The Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) statistical tool was used to test the hypotheses, with the aid of Statistical Packages for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 17.0. The finding showed that cultural influence on the family Purchase Decision of Durable Goods does not significantly differ in three ethnic groups, and that family Purchase Decision Making for Durable Goods does not significantly differ in the three ethnic groups. We therefore, conclude that culture do not really impact significantly on the purchase behaviour of the three ethnic groups in the Nigeria as it does in some others. However, there is need for marketers and marketing decision makers not to generalise the findings of this study. This is because of the significant role culture play in purchase behaviour which differs from one culture or country to another.

Keywords: cultural, durable goods, influence, purchase decision

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11 Commercialization of Research Outputs in Kenyan Universities

Authors: John Ayisi, Gideon M. Kivengea, George A. Ombakho

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In this emerging era of knowledge economy, universities, as major centres of learning and research, are becoming increasingly important as sources of ideas, knowledge, skills, innovation and technological advances. These ideas can be turned into new products, processes and systems needed to drive their respective national economies, and thus placing universities at the centre of the national innovation systems. Thus, commercialization of research outputs from universities to industry has become an area of strong policy interest in African countries. To assess the level of commercialization of research outputs in Kenyan universities, a standardized questionnaire covering seven sub-sections, namely: University Commercialization Environment, Management of Commercialization Activities, Commercialization Office, Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs), Early Stage Financing and Venture Capital; Industrial Linkages; and Technology Parks and Incubators was administered among a few selected public and private universities. Results show that all the universities have a strategic plan; though not all have innovation and commercialization as part of it. Half the nineteen surveyed universities indicated they have created designated offices for fostering commercialization. Majority have guidelines on IPRs which advocate IP to be co-owned by researcher/university. University-industry linkages are weak. Most universities are taking precursory steps to incentivise and encourage entrepreneurial activities among their academic staff and students, even though the level of resources devoted to them is low. It is recommended that building capacity in entrepreneurship among staff and students and committing more resources to R&D activities hold potential to increased commercialization of university research outputs.

Keywords: commercialization, knowledge, R&D, university

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10 Dishonesty and Achievement: An Experiment of Self-Revealing Individual Cheating

Authors: Gideon Yaniv, Erez Siniver, Yossef Tobol

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The extensive body of economic and psychological research correlating between students' cheating and their grade point average (GPA) consistently finds a significant negative relationship between cheating and the GPA. However, this literature is entirely based on students' responses to direct question surveys that inquire whether they have ever cheated on their academic assignments. The present paper reports the results of a two-round experiment designed to expose student cheating at the individual level and correlate it with their GPAs. The experiment involved two classes of third-year economics students incentivized by a competitive reward to answer a multiple-choice trivia quiz without consulting their electronic devices. While this forbiddance was deliberately overlooked in the first round, providing an opportunity to cheat, it was strictly enforced in the second, conducted two months later in the same classes with the same quiz. A comparison of subjects' performance in the two rounds, self-revealed a considerable extent of cheating in the first one. Regressing the individual cheating levels on subjects' gender and GPA exhibited no significant differences in cheating between males and females. However, cheating of both genders was found to significantly increase with their GPA, implying, in sharp contrast with the direct question surveys, that higher achievers are bigger cheaters. A second experiment, which allowed subjects to answer the quiz in the privacy of their own cars, reveals that when really feeling safe to cheat, many subjects would cheat maximally, challenging the literature's claim that people generally cheat modestly.

Keywords: academic achievement, cheating behavior, experimental data, grade-point average

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9 Preliminary Studies on the Potentials of Bambara nut (Voandzeia substerranea) and Pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan) as Imitation Milk

Authors: Onuoha Gideon

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The preliminary studies on the potentials of Bambara nut and pigeon pea as imitation milk were investigated. Bambara nut and Pigeon pea milk were produced from two separate unit operations; Bambara nut seed was cooked, dehulled, milled and strained to milk (BCM) and another batch was toasted at moderate temperature, dehulled, milled and strained to milk (BTM). Pigeon pea seed was cooked, dehulled, milled and strained to milk (PCM) and another batch was toasted at moderate temperature, dehulled, milled and strained to milk (PTM). The result of the proximate analysis on the milk samples on wet basis showed that the protein content ranged from 28.56 – 26.77, the crude fibre ranged from 6.28 – 1.85, the ash content ranged from 5.22 – 1.17, the fat content ranged from 2.71 – 1.12, the moisture content ranged from 95.93 – 93.83, the carbohydrate content ranged from 67.62 – 58.83. The functional analysis on the milk samples showed that emulsification capacity ranged from 43.21 – 38.66, emulsion stability ranged from 34.10 – 25.00, the specific gravity ranged from 997.50 – 945.00, the foaming capacity ranged from 3,500 to 2,250, the measurement of viscosity ranged from 0.017 – 0.007, the pH range from 5.55 – 5.25, the measurement of dispersibility range from 11.00 – 7.00, the total soluble solid ranged from 4.00 to 1.75, the total titratable acidity ranged from 0.314 – 0.328. The sensory evaluation report showed that in terms of flavor, sample BCM and PCM value were significantly different from sample BTM and PTM. In terms of colour, sample BCM showed a significant difference from samples BTM, PCM and PTM. In term of texture, sample BCM was significantly different from samples BTM, PCM and PTM. The general acceptability shows that sample BCM was significantly different from other the samples and was the most accepted. The microbial analysis indicated that the microbial load increases with time. Bacterial count ranged from 1.3 x 105 – 1.20 x 106 to 1.6 x 105 – 1.06 x 106, fungal count ranged from 4.0 x 105 – 8.0 x 105 to 4.0 x 105 – 7.0 x 105. The studies showed that BCM was the most preferred.

Keywords: imitation milk, Bambara nut, Pigeon pea, proximate composition

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8 A Gender-Based Assessment of Rural Livelihood Vulnerability: The Case of Ehiamenkyene in the Fanteakwa District of Eastern Ghana

Authors: Gideon Baffoe, Hirotaka Matsuda

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Rural livelihood systems are known to be inherently vulnerable. Attempt to reduce vulnerability is linked to developing resilience to both internal and external shocks, thereby increasing the overall sustainability of livelihood systems. The shocks and stresses could be induced by natural processes such as the climate and/or by social dynamics such as institutional failure. In this wise, livelihood vulnerability is understood as a combined effect of biophysical, economic, and social processes. However, previous empirical studies on livelihood vulnerability in the context of rural areas across the globe have tended to focus more on climate-induced vulnerability assessment with few studies empirically partially considering the multiple dimensions of livelihood vulnerability. This has left a gap in our understanding of the subject. Using the Livelihood Vulnerability Index (LVI), this study aims to comprehensively assess the livelihood vulnerability level of rural households using Ehiamenkyene, a community in the forest zone of Eastern Ghana as a case study. Though the present study adopts the LVI approach, it differs from the original framework in two respects; (1) it introduces institutional influence into the framework and (2) it appreciates the gender differences in livelihood vulnerability. The study utilized empirical data collected from 110 households’ in the community. The overall study results show a high livelihood vulnerability situation in the community with male-headed households likely to be more vulnerable than their female counterparts. Out of the seven subcomponents assessed, only two (socio-demographic profile and livelihood strategies) recorded low vulnerability scores of less than 0.5 with the remaining five (health status, food security, water accessibility, institutional influence and natural disasters and climate variability) recording scores above 0.5, with institutional influence being the component with the highest impact score. The results suggest that to improve the livelihood conditions of the people; there is the need to prioritize issues related to the operations of both internal and external institutions, health status, food security, water and climate variability in the community.

Keywords: assessment, gender, livelihood, rural, vulnerability

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7 Exploring the Rhinoceros Beetles of a Tropical Forest of Eastern Himalayas

Authors: Subhankar Kumar Sarkar

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Beetles of the subfamily Dynastinae under the family Scarabaeidae of the insect order Coleoptera are popularly known as ‘Rhinoceros beetles’ because of the characteristic horn borne by the males on their head. These horns are dedicated in mating battle against other males and have evolved as a result of phenotypic plasticity. Scarabaeidae is the largest of all families under Coleoptera and is composed of 11 subfamilies, of which the subfamily Dynastinae is represented by approximately 300 species. Some of these beetles have been reported to cause considerable damage to agriculture and forestry both in their larval and adult stages, while many of them are beneficial as they pollinate plants and recycle plant materials. Eastern Himalayas is regarded as one of the 35 biodiversity hotspot zones of the world and one of the four of India, which is exhibited by its rich and megadiverse tropical forests. However, our knowledge on the faunal diversity of these forests is very limited, particularly for the insect fauna. One such tropical forest of Eastern Himalayas is the ‘Buxa Tiger Reserve’ located between latitudes 26°30” to 26°55” North and Longitudes 89°20” to 89˚35” East of India and occupies an area of about 759.26 square kilometers. It is with this background an attempt has been made to explore the insect fauna of the forest. Insect sampling was carried out in each beat and range of Buxa Tiger Reserve in all the three seasons viz, Premonsoon, Monsoon, and Postmonsoon. Sample collections were done by sweep nets, hand picking technique and pit fall traps. UV light trap was used to collect the nocturnal insects. Morphological examinations of the collected samples were carried out with Stereozoom Binocular Microscopes (Zeiss SV6 and SV11) and were identified up to species level with the aid of relevant literature. Survey of the insect fauna of the forest resulted in the recognition of 76 scarab species, of which 8 belong to the subfamily dealt herein. Each of the 8 species represents a separate genus. The forest is dominated by the members of Xylotrupes gideon (Linnaeus) as is represented by highest number of individuals. The recorded taxa show about 12% endemism and are of mainly oriental in distribution. Premonsoon is the most favorable season for their occurrence and activity followed by Monsoon and Postmonsoon.

Keywords: Dynastinae, Scarabaeidae, diversity, Buxa Tiger Reserve

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6 The Effect of Stent Coating on the Stent Flexibility: Comparison of Covered Stent and Bare Metal Stent

Authors: Keping Zuo, Foad Kabinejadian, Gideon Praveen Kumar Vijayakumar, Fangsen Cui, Pei Ho, Hwa Liang Leo

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Carotid artery stenting (CAS) is the standard procedure for patients with severe carotid stenosis at high risk for carotid endarterectomy (CAE). A major drawback of CAS is the higher incidence of procedure-related stroke compared with traditional open surgical treatment for carotid stenosis - CEA, even with the use of the embolic protection devices (EPD). As the currently available bare metal stents cannot address this problem, our research group developed a novel preferential covered-stent for carotid artery aims to prevent friable fragments of atherosclerotic plaques from flowing into the cerebral circulation, and yet maintaining the flow of the external carotid artery. The preliminary animal studies have demonstrated the potential of this novel covered-stent design for the treatment of carotid atherosclerotic stenosis. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effect of membrane coating on the stent flexibility in order to improve the clinical performance of our novel covered stents. A total of 21 stents were evaluated in this study: 15 self expanding bare nitinol stents and 6 PTFE-covered stents. 10 of the bare stents were coated with 11%, 16% and 22% Polyurethane(PU), 4%, 6.25% and 11% EE, as well as 22% PU plus 5 μm Parylene. Different laser cutting designs were performed on 4 of the PTFE covert stents. All the stents, with or without the covered membrane, were subjected to a three-point flexural test. The stents were placed on two supports that are 30 mm apart, and the actuator is applying a force in the exact middle of the two supports with a loading pin with radius 2.5 mm. The loading pin displacement change, the force and the variation in stent shape were recorded for analysis. The flexibility of the stents was evaluated by the lumen area preservation at three displacement bending levels: 5mm, 7mm, and 10mm. All the lumen areas in all stents decreased with the increase of the displacement from 0 to 10 mm. The bare stents were able to maintain 0.864 ± 0.015, 0.740 ± 0.025 and 0.597 ± 0.031of original lumen area at 5 mm, 7 mm and 10mm displacement respectively. For covered stents, the stents with EE coating membrane showed the best lumen area preservation (0.839 ± 0.005, 0.7334 ± 0.043 and 0.559 ± 0.014), whereas, the stents with PU and Parylene coating were only 0.662, 0.439 and 0.305. Bending stiffness was also calculated and compared. These results provided optimal material information and it was crucial for enhancing clinical performance of our novel covered stents.

Keywords: carotid artery, covered stent, nonlinear, hyperelastic, stress, strain

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5 Intellectual Property Rights Reforms and the Quality of Exported Goods

Authors: Gideon Ndubuisi

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It is widely acknowledged that the quality of a country’s export matters more decisively than the quantity it exports. Hence, understanding the drivers of exported goods’ quality is a relevant policy question. Among other things, product quality upgrading is a considerable cost uncertainty venture that can be undertaken by an entrepreneur. Once a product is successfully upgraded, however, others can imitate the product, and hence, the returns to the pioneer entrepreneur are socialized. Along with this line, a government policy such as intellectual property rights (IPRs) protection which lessens the non-appropriability problem and incentivizes cost discovery investments becomes both a panacea in addressing the market failure and a sine qua non for an entrepreneur to engage in product quality upgrading. In addendum, product quality upgrading involves complex tasks which often require a lot of knowledge and technology sharing beyond the bounds of the firm thereby creating rooms for knowledge spillovers and imitations. Without an institution that protects upstream suppliers of knowledge and technology, technology masking occurs which bids up marginal production cost and product quality fall. Despite these clear associations between IPRs and product quality upgrading, the surging literature on the drivers of the quality of exported goods has proceeded almost in isolation of IPRs protection as a determinant. Consequently, the current study uses a difference-in-difference method to evaluate the effects of IPRs reforms on the quality of exported goods in 16 developing countries over the sample periods of 1984-2000. The study finds weak evidence that IPRs reforms increase the quality of all exported goods. When the industries are sorted into high and low-patent sensitive industries, however, we find strong indicative evidence that IPRs reform increases the quality of exported goods in high-patent sensitive sectors both in absolute terms and relative to the low-patent sensitive sectors in the post-reform period. We also obtain strong indicative evidence that it brought the quality of exported goods in the high-patent sensitive sectors closer to the quality frontier. Accounting for time-duration effects, these observed effects grow over time. The results are also largely consistent when we consider the sophistication and complexity of exported goods rather than just quality upgrades.

Keywords: exports, export quality, export sophistication, intellectual property rights

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4 Intelligent Indoor Localization Using WLAN Fingerprinting

Authors: Gideon C. Joseph

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The ability to localize mobile devices is quite important, as some applications may require location information of these devices to operate or deliver better services to the users. Although there are several ways of acquiring location data of mobile devices, the WLAN fingerprinting approach has been considered in this work. This approach uses the Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) measurement as a function of the position of the mobile device. RSSI is a quantitative technique of describing the radio frequency power carried by a signal. RSSI may be used to determine RF link quality and is very useful in dense traffic scenarios where interference is of major concern, for example, indoor environments. This research aims to design a system that can predict the location of a mobile device, when supplied with the mobile’s RSSIs. The developed system takes as input the RSSIs relating to the mobile device, and outputs parameters that describe the location of the device such as the longitude, latitude, floor, and building. The relationship between the Received Signal Strengths (RSSs) of mobile devices and their corresponding locations is meant to be modelled; hence, subsequent locations of mobile devices can be predicted using the developed model. It is obvious that describing mathematical relationships between the RSSIs measurements and localization parameters is one option to modelling the problem, but the complexity of such an approach is a serious turn-off. In contrast, we propose an intelligent system that can learn the mapping of such RSSIs measurements to the localization parameters to be predicted. The system is capable of upgrading its performance as more experiential knowledge is acquired. The most appealing consideration to using such a system for this task is that complicated mathematical analysis and theoretical frameworks are excluded or not needed; the intelligent system on its own learns the underlying relationship in the supplied data (RSSI levels) that corresponds to the localization parameters. These localization parameters to be predicted are of two different tasks: Longitude and latitude of mobile devices are real values (regression problem), while the floor and building of the mobile devices are of integer values or categorical (classification problem). This research work presents artificial neural network based intelligent systems to model the relationship between the RSSIs predictors and the mobile device localization parameters. The designed systems were trained and validated on the collected WLAN fingerprint database. The trained networks were then tested with another supplied database to obtain the performance of trained systems on achieved Mean Absolute Error (MAE) and error rates for the regression and classification tasks involved therein.

Keywords: indoor localization, WLAN fingerprinting, neural networks, classification, regression

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3 A Feasibility and Implementation Model of Small-Scale Hydropower Development for Rural Electrification in South Africa: Design Chart Development

Authors: Gideon J. Bonthuys, Marco van Dijk, Jay N. Bhagwan

Abstract:

Small scale hydropower used to play a very important role in the provision of energy to urban and rural areas of South Africa. The national electricity grid, however, expanded and offered cheap, coal generated electricity and a large number of hydropower systems were decommissioned. Unfortunately, large numbers of households and communities will not be connected to the national electricity grid for the foreseeable future due to high cost of transmission and distribution systems to remote communities due to the relatively low electricity demand within rural communities and the allocation of current expenditure on upgrading and constructing of new coal fired power stations. This necessitates the development of feasible alternative power generation technologies. A feasibility and implementation model was developed to assist in designing and financially evaluating small-scale hydropower (SSHP) plants. Several sites were identified using the model. The SSHP plants were designed for the selected sites and the designs for the different selected sites were priced using pricing models (civil, mechanical and electrical aspects). Following feasibility studies done on the designed and priced SSHP plants, a feasibility analysis was done and a design chart developed for future similar potential SSHP plant projects. The methodology followed in conducting the feasibility analysis for other potential sites consisted of developing cost and income/saving formulae, developing net present value (NPV) formulae, Capital Cost Comparison Ratio (CCCR) and levelised cost formulae for SSHP projects for the different types of plant installations. It included setting up a model for the development of a design chart for a SSHP, calculating the NPV, CCCR and levelised cost for the different scenarios within the model by varying different parameters within the developed formulae, setting up the design chart for the different scenarios within the model and analyzing and interpreting results. From the interpretation of the develop design charts for feasible SSHP in can be seen that turbine and distribution line cost are the major influences on the cost and feasibility of SSHP. High head, short transmission line and islanded mini-grid SSHP installations are the most feasible and that the levelised cost of SSHP is high for low power generation sites. The main conclusion from the study is that the levelised cost of SSHP projects indicate that the cost of SSHP for low energy generation is high compared to the levelised cost of grid connected electricity supply; however, the remoteness of SSHP for rural electrification and the cost of infrastructure to connect remote rural communities to the local or national electricity grid provides a low CCCR and renders SSHP for rural electrification feasible on this basis.

Keywords: cost, feasibility, rural electrification, small-scale hydropower

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2 Polyurethane Membrane Mechanical Property Study for a Novel Carotid Covered Stent

Authors: Keping Zuo, Jia Yin Chia, Gideon Praveen Kumar Vijayakumar, Foad Kabinejadian, Fangsen Cui, Pei Ho, Hwa Liang Leo

Abstract:

Carotid artery is the major vessel supplying blood to the brain. Carotid artery stenosis is one of the three major causes of stroke and the stroke is the fourth leading cause of death and the first leading cause of disability in most developed countries. Although there is an increasing interest in carotid artery stenting for treatment of cervical carotid artery bifurcation therosclerotic disease, currently available bare metal stents cannot provide an adequate protection against the detachment of the plaque fragments over diseased carotid artery, which could result in the formation of micro-emboli and subsequent stroke. Our research group has recently developed a novel preferential covered-stent for carotid artery aims to prevent friable fragments of atherosclerotic plaques from flowing into the cerebral circulation, and yet retaining the ability to preserve the flow of the external carotid artery. The preliminary animal studies have demonstrated the potential of this novel covered-stent design for the treatment of carotid therosclerotic stenosis. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the biomechanical property of PU membrane of different concentration configurations in order to refine the stent coating technique and enhance the clinical performance of our novel carotid covered stent. Results from this study also provide necessary material property information crucial for accurate simulation analysis for our stents. Method: Medical grade Polyurethane (ChronoFlex AR) was used to prepare PU membrane specimens. Different PU membrane configurations were subjected to uniaxial test: 22%, 16%, and 11% PU solution were made by mixing the original solution with proper amount of the Dimethylacetamide (DMAC). The specimens were then immersed in physiological saline solution for 24 hours before test. All specimens were moistened with saline solution before mounting and subsequent uniaxial testing. The specimens were preconditioned by loading the PU membrane sample to a peak stress of 5.5 Mpa for 10 consecutive cycles at a rate of 50 mm/min. The specimens were then stretched to failure at the same loading rate. Result: The results showed that the stress-strain response curves of all PU membrane samples exhibited nonlinear characteristic. For the ultimate failure stress, 22% PU membrane was significantly higher than 16% (p<0.05). In general, our preliminary results showed that lower concentration PU membrane is stiffer than the higher concentration one. From the perspective of mechanical properties, 22% PU membrane is a better choice for the covered stent. Interestingly, the hyperelastic Ogden model is able to accurately capture the nonlinear, isotropic stress-strain behavior of PU membrane with R2 of 0.9977 ± 0.00172. This result will be useful for future biomechanical analysis of our stent designs and will play an important role for computational modeling of our covered stent fatigue study.

Keywords: carotid artery, covered stent, nonlinear, hyperelastic, stress, strain

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1 Harnessing Renewable Energy as a Strategy to Combating Climate Change in Sub Saharan Africa

Authors: Gideon Nyuimbe Gasu

Abstract:

Sub Saharan Africa is at a critical point, experiencing rapid population growth, particularly in urban areas and young growing force. At the same time, the growing risk of catastrophic global climate change threatens to weaken food production system, increase intensity and frequency of drought, flood, and fires and undermine gains on development and poverty reduction. Although the region has the lowest per capital greenhouse gas emission level in the world, it will need to join global efforts to address climate change, including action to avoid significant increases and to encourage a green economy. Thus, there is a need for the concept of 'greening the economy' as was prescribed at Rio Summit of 1992. Renewable energy is one of the criterions to achieve this laudable goal of maintaining a green economy. There is need to address climate change while facilitating continued economic growth and social progress as energy today is critical to economic growth. Fossil fuels remain the major contributor of greenhouse gas emission. Thus, cleaner technologies such as carbon capture storage, renewable energy have emerged to be commercially competitive. This paper sets out to examine how to achieve a low carbon economy with minimal emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases which is one of the outcomes of implementing a green economy. Also, the paper examines the different renewable energy sources such as nuclear, wind, hydro, biofuel, and solar voltaic as a panacea to the looming climate change menace. Finally, the paper assesses the different renewable energy and energy efficiency as a propeller to generating new sources of income and jobs and in turn reduces carbon emission. The research shall engage qualitative, evaluative and comparative methods. The research will employ both primary and secondary sources of information. The primary sources of information shall be drawn from the sub Saharan African region and the global environmental organizations, energy legislation, policies and related industries and the judicial processes. The secondary sources will be made up of some books, journal articles, commentaries, discussions, observations, explanations, expositions, suggestions, prescriptions and other material sourced from the internet on renewable energy as a panacea to climate change. All information obtained from these sources will be subject to content analysis. The research result will show that the entire planet is warming as a result of the activities of mankind which is clear evidence that the current development is fundamentally unsustainable. Equally, the study will reveal that a low carbon development pathway in the sub Saharan African region should be embraced to minimize emission of greenhouse gases such as using renewable energy rather than coal, oil, and gas. The study concludes that until adequate strategies are devised towards the use of renewable energy the region will continue to add and worsen the current climate change menace and other adverse environmental conditions.

Keywords: carbon dioxide, climate change, legislation/law, renewable energy

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