Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 4

Southern Africa Related Abstracts

4 Zimbabwe's Foreign Policy in Southern Africa, 1980-2013

Authors: Dylan Yanano Mangani, Theodore Nkadimeng Mahosi


Soon after independence on 18th April 1980, Zimbabwe’s foreign policy was shaped by the realities on the ground, which saw the country managing a sound relationship with both the Capitalist West and the Communist Eastern blocs. The post-independence foreign policy was therefore premised on security concerns illuminated by the Cold War era. This was one the reasons President Robert Mugabe adopted a policy of reconciliation and this earned his government recognition on the international platform. However, in Southern Africa apartheid South Africa was still the vanguard of capitalism and oppression such that she posed a serious threat to the newly born Zimbabwean nation which necessitated that Zimbabwe position herself both in the region and the continent to counter potential internal stability from within. Irrespective of how the international community viewed the country’s foreign policy Zimbabwe has continued to influence regional, continental and world geo-politics, especially on behalf of the developing nations. This raises a question why as a result of its foreign policy the country is now regarded a pariah state, especially some Western countries which used to applaud its political economic policies immediately after independence. Therefore, this study argues that the political economy of Zimbabwe had a far-reaching bearing on its foreign policy. For this reason, the problem necessitates the investigation of Zimbabwe’s foreign policy perspectives in Southern Africa since the turn of the 1990s. Two main theories which are Realism, Afro-centrism inform the study as an attempt to understand Zimbabwe’s foreign policy paradigm shift and perhaps provide answers to the objectives raised. The research therefore employs a qualitative approach where the conceptual nature of the study into the foreign policy of Zimbabwe is largely desktop research. However, the nature of the study will also require that oral interviews are conducted to substantiate some of the arguments advanced.

Keywords: Foreign Policy, Zimbabwe, look east policy, cold war set up, pan-africanism, post 2000 period, Southern Africa

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3 Bipolar Reduction and Lithic Miniaturization: Experimental Results and Archaeological Implications

Authors: Justin Pargeter, Metin Eren


Lithic miniaturization, the systematic production and use of small tools from small cores, was a consequential development in Pleistocene lithic technology. The bipolar reduction is an important, but often overlooked and misidentified, strategy for lithic miniaturization. This experiment addresses the role of axial bipolar reduction in processes of lithic miniaturization. The experiments answer two questions: what benefits does axial bipolar reduction provide, and can we distinguish axial bipolar reduction from freehand reduction? Our experiments demonstrate the numerous advantages of bipolar reduction in contexts of lithic miniaturization. Bipolar reduction produces more cutting edge per gram and is more economical than freehand reduction. Our cutting edge to mass values exceeds even those obtained with pressure blade production on high-quality obsidian. The experimental results show that bipolar reduction produces cutting edge quicker and is more efficient than freehand reduction. We show that bipolar reduction can be distinguished from freehand reduction with a high degree of confidence using the quantitative criteria in these experiments. These observations overturn long-held perceptions about bipolar reduction. We conclude by discussing the role of bipolar reduction in lithic miniaturization and Stone Age economics more broadly.

Keywords: Southern Africa, lithic miniaturization, bipolar reduction, late Pleistocene

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2 Development and Implementation of E-Disease Surveillance Systems for Public Health Southern Africa: A Critical Review

Authors: Taurai T. Chikotie, Bruce W. Watson


The manifestation of ‘new’ infectious diseases and the re-emergence of ‘old’ infectious diseases now present global problems and Southern Africa has not been spared from such calamity. Although having an organized public health system, countries in this region have failed to leverage on the proliferation in use of Information and Communication Technologies to promote effective disease surveillance. Objective: The objective of this study was to critically review and analyse the crucial variables to consider in the development and implementation of electronic disease surveillance systems in public health within the context of Southern Africa. Methodology: A critical review of literature published in English using, Google Scholar, EBSCOHOST, Science Direct, databases from the Centre for Disease Control (CDC and articles from the World Health Organisation (WHO) was undertaken. Manual reference and grey literature searches were also conducted. Results: Little has been done towards harnessing the potential of information technologies towards disease surveillance and this has been due to several challenges that include, lack of funding, lack of health informatics experts, poor supporting infrastructure, an unstable socio-political and socio-economic ecosystem in the region and archaic policies towards integration of information technologies in public health governance. Conclusion: The Southern African region stands to achieve better health outcomes if they adopt the use of e-disease surveillance systems in public health. However, the dynamics and complexities of the socio-economic, socio-political and technical variables would need addressing to ensure the successful development and implementation of e-disease surveillance systems in the region.

Keywords: Disease surveillance, Public Health Informatics, Southern Africa, critical review

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1 Environmental Management Accounting Practices and Policies within the Higher Education Sector: An Exploratory Study of the University of KwaZulu Natal

Authors: Kiran Baldavoo, Mishelle Doorasamy


Universities have a role to play in the preservation of the environment, and the study attempted to evaluate the environmental management accounting (EMA) processes at UKZN. UKZN, a South African university, generates the same direct and indirect environmental impacts as the higher education sector worldwide. This is significant within the context of the South African environment which is constantly plagued by having to effectively manage the already scarce resources of water and energy, evident through the imposition of water and energy restrictions over the recent years. The study’s aim is to increase awareness of having a structured approach to environmental management in order to achieve the strategic environmental goals of the university. The research studied the experiences of key managers within UKZN, with the purpose of exploring the potential factors which influence the decision to adopt and apply EMA within the higher education sector. The study comprised two objectives, namely understanding the current state of accounting practices for managing major environmental costs and identifying factors influencing EMA adoption within the university. The study adopted a case study approach, comprising semi-structured interviews of key personnel involved in Management Accounting, Environmental Management, and Academic Schools within the university. Content analysis was performed on the transcribed interview data. A Theoretical Framework derived from literature was adopted to guide data collection and focus the study. Contingency and Institutional theory was the resultant basis of the derived framework. The findings of the first objective revealed that there was a distinct lack of EMA utilization within the university. There was no distinct policy on EMA, resulting in minimal environmental cost information being brought to the attention of senior management. The university embraced the principles of environmental sustainability; however, efforts to improve internal environmental accountability primarily from an accounting perspective was absent. The findings of the second objective revealed that five key barriers contributed to the lack of EMA utilization within the university. The barriers being attitudinal, informational, institutional, technological, and lack of incentives (financial). The results and findings of this study supported the use and application of EMA within the higher education sector. Participants concurred that EMA was underutilized and if implemented, would realize significant benefits for both the university and environment. Environmental management accounting is being widely acknowledged as a key management tool that can facilitate improved financial and environmental performance via the concept of enhanced environmental accountability. Historically research has been concentrated primarily on the manufacturing industry, due to it generating the greatest proportion of environmental impacts. Service industries are also an integral component of environmental management as they contribute significant environmental impacts, both direct and indirect. Educational institutions such as universities form part of the service sector and directly impact on the environment through the consumption of paper, energy, and water and solid waste generated, with the associated demands.

Keywords: Higher Education, Environmental Impacts, environmental management accounting, Southern Africa

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