African Studies Senior Integrated Projects

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This collection includes Senior Integrated Projects (SIPs, formerly known as Senior Individualized Projects) completed in the African Studies Concentration. Abstracts are generally available to the public, but PDF files are available only to current Kalamazoo College students, faculty, and staff. If you are not a current K College student, faculty, or staff member, email us at to request access to a SIP.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 11
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    Comparisons of Hunting Culture in Southwest Michigan and Southern Africa
    (2020-04-01) Kelley, Nicholas; Frost, Dennis J., 1976-; Bangura, Joseph
    Throughout much of human history, hunting has been a key practice for basic survival. However, in recent years it has taken on a different form. Although there are places across the world that still rely on hunting as their number one source of food for survival, hunting animals is now often perceived as form of tradition, or sport for many others. This project will examine two extremely different geographical locations and discuss the hunting cultures practiced in each. Even though the hunting cultures of these two areas vary and have their own unique characteristics, they both maintain mutual values that all hunters have shared throughout history. This SIP will provide evidence of the hunting techniques in both regions as well as the different animals that were harvested. One of the other main topics that this research paper will present is the underlying culture that plays into hunting in these regions. There are several cultural differences between the two that make them unique in their own regions and even subregions. The traditions that have played into hunting in both of these regions has enhanced the overall style and efficiency of hunting and has played a major role for the preservation in wildlife.
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    The International Monetary Fund and the Global South: An Analysis of International Financing and Development of the Economies Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya
    (Kalamazoo, Mich. : Kalamazoo College., 2020) DesJardin, Charles Thersie; Bangura, Joseph; Frost, Dennis J., 1976-; Johnson, Danette Ifert
    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) d (IMF) is a worldwide organization that offers financial support and economic revamping planning to countries in times of need. In some casescases, the intent of the IMF is questioned because put simply they are a failsafe for countries in debt and in crisis. The problem then becomes if the IMF should support these countries. With strict policies in place and over 24 delegates on the board of the IMF, they then decide how decides how they are going to approach each country's economic issues and where the funding is going to go.go. The role that the IMF plays in South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya varies with each country's population, Gross GDomestic Product (GDP), and debt margins. In South Africa the IMF was very prevelantprevalent during the apartheid and that showed through their monetary support. Mmuch of their support today isfor South Africa is a result of misguided support during the apartheidof the misguided attempt at support during the apartheid. In Nigeria, the population is growing at a tremendous rate and the health and education systems are extremely underfunded. This is shown in the IMF’s willingness to allocate resources to those two fields. In Kenya, they are struggling with health, education, and a devolution system put in place years prior that left the centralized government in pieces. Working from the ground up the IMF was essential in establishing economic policies for the public. The IMF also worked diligently in these countries to free up cash flow to increase foreign investment. As well asMoreover, the IMF focused on and worked working to create revenues generated from economic fields like healthcare and education, that were typically towards ranked at the bottom in these countriesthe bottom. All in all, the IMF works with countries that have strong economic and political sway in order to ensure the loans are repaid and the nation's individual economy comes out better than before.
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    Hope for the Future : Citizen Responsibilities in a Democratic Kenya
    (Kalamazoo, Mich. : Kalamazoo College., 2009-09-01) Locke, Sara; Bangura, Joseph; Owiti, Lillian; Jonyo, Fred
    Overall, this research demonstrated that citizens recognize that Kenya is currently a weak democracy. Nonetheless, many people agree that a strong democratic government will be best for Kenya. While this is the goal for many citizens, there are a lot of challenges to overcome, particularly in areas of education, poverty, unemployment and freedom of expression. Despite these challenges, citizens are growing increasingly aware of the need to become more actively involved in the consolidation of democracy. While citizens are currently participating through protests, violent demonstrations, and through vociferous opposition, more citizens need to participate using other means, such as voter education projects, grassroots organizing, and petitioning local representatives. This is important because most citizens recognize that the methods currently being used are not very effective or feel the government has not been very responsive, indicating that it may be time to try new methods. More importantly, what is most lacking is the habituation of liberal and democratic principles, which scholars cited as being key to democracy. Despite the lack of that, from what citizens, civil society leaders, and Kenyan scholars said, there is a growing awareness for the need to reject corrupt practices, and citizens are speaking out against acts of poor governance or when rights are trampled on is growing, particularly in the younger generations. In many ways this suggests almost a paradigm shift from ethnic politics and the power of wealth and heritage to a political culture based on values, democratic reforms and liberal principles. While it can be argued that there is. no democracy in the world that has completely eliminated the former or embraced the latter, many democracies today have come farther than Kenya's current state. At the same time it has taken some democracies (like the US) over a hundred years to reach that point, and Kenya has only had independence for the last 50 years or so. In that sense, it is reasonable that it should take Kenya another 50 years to become a consolidated. democracy. Also I think Kenyans need to spend more energy on developing their own unique brand of democracy to accommodate the specific needs of Kenya and its citizens rather than trying to match democratic models of the Western world. Given the distinctive history of colonialism, the Cold War and repressive regimes in Kenya and many other African countries, democracy in Kenya cannot develop as it has in the Western world. The most important conclusion is that Kenya is already making progress and has an optimistic, hopeful outlook for the future. This optimistic future relies on the actions of citizens just as much as, or even to a greater extent than, it does on the actions of government leaders.
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    A Comparative Study : Senegal and the Cote d'Ivoire
    (Kalamazoo, Mich. : Kalamazoo College., 2012-09-01) Rickard, Alyssa; Bangura, Joseph
    In surveying Senegal and the Cote d'Ivoire, it is apparent that the situation in both countries is incredibly complicated. While each state started out with a similar background as French colonies, they could not have turned out any different. Senegal has remained relatively peaceful and the Cote d'Ivoire is in the process of overcoming a civil war. There are many reasons for this, but in deducing from the research, it is clear that the main difference between the two countries is that political stability in Senegal is maintain by the practice of religion. Intermediary actors, specifically the marabouts, act as mediators between the politicians and the people and when violence occurs, the marabouts calm the people down. The Senegalese people listen to the marabouts because they believe that the marabout is their vehicle to speaking with God and essentially their guide to paradise. Religion takes priority over politics even if they are dysfunctional. In the Cote d'Ivoire, political instability arises from all arenas. The first president acted as more of an authoritarian ruler who led the way for other politicians to exploit their privileged position. There is no intermediary in the Cote d'Ivoire to mediate issues of political unrest, economic difficulties and tribal differences. When the government acts against the best interests of the people, the various leaders attempt to gain advantage which often leads to violence.
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    Gender Relations Between Child Soldiers in Africa
    (Kalamazoo, Mich. : Kalamazoo College., 2014-09-01) Burdick, Andrea C.; Bangura, Joseph
    This paper examines the subject of female child soldiers in Africa and shows that gender inequality, regardless of whether it is prevalent within or outside the bush, has tremendous weight in the life of a female child soldier. What these children experience is the violation of their most basic human rights. These violations have continued without much interference from organizations that claim to uphold human rights to the highest degree. The subject of child soldiers has been oversimplified by media and lacks a call for a more inclusive, developed international and national involvement in the reintegration process for ex-combatants. Taking all of these points, this paper will focus on the roles on children in war with particular reference to the Civil War in Sierra Leone and the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda. Other cases may be referred to to give discussion more depth. While focusing on child soldiers, female soldiers will be given a great amount of attention because they encompass every role a child can have and they consistently exhibit the most difficulty in terms of reintegration to post-war society because of their lives in the bush. This introduction with start with some background information on war in Africa to give an idea of the circumstances wherein these children fight and the role that they play in the evolution of war.
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