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2 JAD POLICY ON COPYING and DISTRIBUTION of ARTICLES Because a major goal of JAD is to disseminate the research efforts of our authors and to make their work as widely available as possible to policy makers, professors, and students, JAD hereby grants blanket permission to photocopy the material it publishes if that material is to be used for nonprofit purposes. This permission covers tables, figures, charts and fulllength articles, as well as multiple copies of articles. All copies must indicate the Volume and issue of JAD from which they were copied, plus the cover page and this policy. Persons intending to photocopy JAD material for non-profit use are not required to give notice or remit copying fees. However, please note that permission is still necessary (and fees are usually charged) for JAD material that is to be published elsewhere or used for profit oriented activities by individuals or organizations. The Journal of African Development ( JAD) is an official publication of the African Finance and Economics Association in cooperation with New York University. The African Finance and Economics Association and New York University do not assume responsibility for the views expressed in this or subsequent issues of the Journal of African Development. JAD Editorial Policy and Guidelines for the preparation of manuscripts may be found at

3 JAD Journal of African Development Spring 2012 Volume 14 #1 TABLE OF CONTENTS From the Editor 9 The Effect of Trade Liberalization on Food Security: The Experience of Selected African Countries 13 Mesfin Bezuneh and Zelealem Yiheyis Women s Access to Microcredit and Children s Food Security in Rural Malawi 27 Gautam Hazarika and Basudeb Guh-Khasnobis A Co-Integration Analysis of Growth in Government Expenditure in Ghana 47 Grace Ofori-Abebrese The Perceived Success Factors and Problems of Small Business Owners in Africa 63 Cynthia Benzing and Hung M. Chu Research Note Aid and Liberty in West Africa, Cameron M. Weber Policy Perspectives Making Economic Policy Research Influential: The Case of African Research 109 Mesfin Bezuneh and Carl Mabbs-Zeno What Role for Africa After 50 Years of Independence: Provider of Natural Resources or a New Global Leader? 127 Frannie A. Léautier Book Reviews The Darfur Conflict: Geography or Institutions? by Osman Suliman 153 Ola Olsson The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa by Calestous Juma 157 William A. Amponsah 3

4 JAD: Book Reviews Journal of African Development Spring 2012 Volume 14 # 1 The Darfur Conflict: Geography or Institutions? by OSMAN SULIMAN (London: Routledge, 2011) OLA OLSSON 1 Osman Suliman s book The Darfur Conflict: Geography or Institutions? offers a broad analysis of the factors underlying the social upheaval that has plagued Sudan s Darfur region since The central hypothesis advanced in the book is that the root cause of the Darfur conflict is an institutional and governmental failure. Suliman argues that Sudan s central government has largely failed to successfully manage the transition from a traditional to a modern society. Sudan s failure is perhaps even more serious than that of other African countries since the country has been ravaged by civil war and regional insurrections all since independence in Its current president is indicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity at the ICC in the Hague. In summer 2011, the country even split in two after South Sudan s secession. There are at least two hypotheses that compete with the institutional hypothesis in the literature on the causes of the Darfur conflict: 1) That it is a result of environmental stress and land degradation. 2) That it is mainly a tribal and local conflict over natural resources that is exacerbated by poorly defined property rights to land. In roughly 200 pages, Suliman discusses the merits of the various explanations in depth. The book has twelve mainly thematic chapters, each dealing with one particular theme such as geography (chapter 2), ecology and environmental degradation (chapter 6) or land tenure issues (chapter 8). 1 School of Business, Economics & Law, University of Gothenburg, SE Göteborg. Sweden

5 JOURNAL OF AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT: BOOK REVIEWS Suliman not only relies on existing documents and reports on the Darfur conflict but also uses original data collected through focus group discussions and surveys. For the specialized reader, the book provides appendixes on items such as the main articles of the Darfur Peace Agreement In a similar vein as many other Sudan observers, Suliman thinks that the country s institutional failure became even more pronounced after the coup by NCP in The author even discusses at length the view that the NCP, led by current president Omar al-bashir, consciously destroyed the middle class through deteriorating education and purposefully exploited the peripheral parts of the country for the benefit of the Arab elite networks in the Khartoum area. (The historical marginalization of Darfur is indeed one of the key grievances stated by the rebel groups SLM and JEM). Development projects in the area were gradually allowed to disintegrate and the government offered very little help during recurring famines. In early 2003, the situation exploded in Darfur when SLM and JEM launched their first attacks against government outposts. The conflict then took a dramatic new turn in summer 2003 when the government responded to the attacks by assisting a local militia referred to as Janjaweed to launch a massive military campaign against civilian villages. Recent studies have shown that it was mainly villages with populations from the rebel tribes Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa that were attacked, resulting in the displacement of more than half of these populations in certain regions (Olsson, 2010). In total, the conflict created more than 2 million refugees and hundreds of thousands of people dead. Suliman s book is probably the most ambitious scholarly effort so far aimed at reaching a better understanding of the complex conflict in Darfur. Whereas Flint and de Waal (2005) provide a more accessible analysis that includes interviews with some of the leaders among the Arab nomads and illustrative pictures, Suliman s account is aimed at a scholarly audience and features tables rather than pictures. Another book in the genre is Prunier (2007) who focuses on Darfur s political history. For the social scientist who wants to get the facts behind the conflict, Suliman s account is more informative than either of the two existing works. Although I find the main arguments in the book about an institutional failure compelling, some parts of the argumentation struck me as being irrelevant 154

6 JOURNAL OF AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT: BOOK REVIEWS for understanding Darfur. For instance, I failed to see how the long discussion about how the government conducted the privatization of firms in Sudan, had much relevance for the main argument. Also the discussion about credit markets in chapter 7 could have been shortened. The book also has a surprising lack of information about the conflict itself. A reader interested in learning about the actual sequence of events in the war should clearly consult another source. The author further leaves out the important question of who the Janjaweed really are and how they are linked to the government. Recent and very important events for the country and the region, such as the arrest warrant against president Omar al-bashir, the secession of South Sudan, and the implications of the Arab Spring, are unfortunately not commented upon since these events happened after the completion of the manuscript. My general assessment, however, is that this is the most ambitious scholarly effort so far at reaching a broad, fact-based understanding of the conflict in Darfur. It should be a vital companion to any serious student of Darfur and Sudan. REFERENCES Flint, J. and A de Waal (2005) Darfur: A Short History of a Long War, New York: Zed Books. Olsson, O. (2010), After Janjaweed: Socioeconomic Implications of the Conflict in Darfur, World Bank Economic Review, 24(3), Prunier, G. (2007), Darfur: The Ambiguous Genocide, Cornell University Press. 155

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