La politique etrangere du Cameroun (Cameroon's foreign policy)
By Narcisse Mouelle Kombi. Pub. L'Harmattan, Collection
«Points de vue» (5-7, rue de l'Ecole Polytechnique, F-75005 Paris).
1996. 238 pp. ISBN 2-73843701-X.
Cameroon belongs to the zone formerly called the 'Third World'
which is nowadays labelled the 'South'. This region of great diversity currently
faces major socio-economic and political conflict, and receives 'multiform' and
'tied' aid from the developed countries.
This does not, however, prevent it from having a degree of
freedom of action in diplomatic terms.
The author, who is a specialist in international law, believes
that as a player on the world scene, Cameroon puts its foreign-policy skills to
good advantage and has acquired a certain respect in international relations and
in global institutions.
He argues that Yaounde is attempting to implement a realistic
and pragmatic foreign policy, reflecting its own sovereign status and the
imperatives of development.
At the same time, the country is endeavouring to implement the
changes forced upon it by modern circumstances.
Le developpement institutionnel - Les organisations a l'epreuve
de la specificite et de la concurrence (Institutional development -
Organisations based on specificity and competition)
By Arturo Israel. Translated from the English by Alain Claisse.
Pub. L'Harmattan (5-7, me de l'Ecole Polytechnique, F-75005 Paris). 1996. 235
pp. 140 FF. ISBN 2-73844322-2.
A graduate of the University of Chile and the London School of
Economics, the author has devoted most of his career (particularly within the
World Bank) to examining the problems of economic and social development.
He has been one of the pioneers of institutional development, a
field which is nowadays seen as essential to all development strategies.
He argues that institutional development requires not
bureaucratisation but the promotion and recognition of two principles in both
public and private organisations. These are competition and specificity.
The former induces those involved to improve the quality of
their work, whilst forcing them to listen to the 'consumer'. The latter involves
qualifications, specialisation and a precise definition of objectives, tasks,
resources and results.
After a critical review of assessment reports produced over a
15-year period by the World Bank in the field of institutional development,
Arturo Israel tells us why such development is one of the keys to success in
development projects. He demonstrates that a good project being implemented in
an unfavourable institutional environment has little chance of achieving
positive long-term effects.
La justice internationale face au drame rwandais (International
justice confronted by the Rwandan crisis)
Under the direction of Jean-Franse Dupaquier, with William
Bourdon, Pierre-Serge Heger, Frederic Mutagwera, Fran,cois-Xavier Nsanzuwera,
Rakiya Omaar, William A. Schabas and Anne-Marie Swartenbroekx. Pub. Karthala
(22-24, boulevard Arago, F-75013, Paris). 1996. 248 pp. FF 130. BF. 715. ISBN
It is two years since the genocide and political massacres which
resulted in the death of a million people in Rwanda. In this work, the authors
describe and analyse the progress made in various legal proceedings in Rwanda
itself, in the international arena and in the jurisdictions of Belgium, France,
Canada and Switzerland.
Some countries have been slow and apparently reluctant to fulfil
their international obligations and this has resulted in disappointment and
impatience on the part of the victims' families, jurists and human rights
Given the example of the Nuremberg trials, the authors suggest
there are good grounds for concluding that international human rights have
become less important over the last 50 years. This work allows one to reach a
considered opinion. Modern legal instruments provide for the punishment of those
responsible for the appalling tragedy in Rwanda. These instruments could be seen
as a significant advance in the recognition of human rights by the international
community. But what is missing at the moment is the political will (and public
pressure) to implement them.
Methodologies d'analyse de la mortalite des enfants -
Applications au Cameroun (Analytical methodologies in child mortality as applied
By Amadou Noumbissi. Pub. Braylant-Academia (25, Grand Rue,
B-134B Louvainla-Neuve) and L'Harmattan (5-7, rue de l'Ecole Polytechnique,
F-75005 Paris). 1996. 305 pp. ISBN 2-87209389-3 (Academia-Braylant) and ISBN
Child mortality, always very high in sub-Saharan Africa, varies
according to social class, habitat and region. The identification of the social,
economic and cultural factors which influence the survival of children depends
on the quality of data, and on the relevance of the indicators and statistical
With the aid of specific examples, this work attempts to
demonstrate the origin of a number of sources of bias in so-called classical
approaches and the distortion of the truth which a poor choice or detrimental
manipulation of statistical models can give rise to.
A teacher and researcher at the Demographic Institute of the
Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium), the author proposes methods to take
account of the interdependence and synergy which exist between the factors which
affect the risk of mortality. He applies these methods to the data gained in two
national surveys which were carried out in Cameroon in 1978 and 1991.
Revue Region et Developpement (Region and Development Journal)
Pub. L'Harmattan (5-7, rue de l'Ecole Polytechnique, F75005
Paris). 1995. 238 pp. ISBN 2-7384-4125-4
This half-yearly journal, first launched in 1995, deals with the
various socio-economic aspects of regional development. The second issue
contains articles which may be of interest to our readers, including:
'Regionalisation, globalisation and polarisation of the world economy: is there
room for developing countries?', and 'Housing models in developing countries'.
Structural adjustment and ethnicity in Nigeria
By Eghosa E. Osaghae. Pub. The Nordic Africa Institute (P.O. Box
1703, S-751 47 Uppsala, Sweden). 1995. 66 pp. ISBN 91-7106373-0.
The author is a lecturer who heads the politics department at
the University of Transkei in South Africa. A significant conclusion from his
study, undertaken at the Nordic Africa Institute, is that from the ethnic
standpoint, the implementation of structural adjustment (with its corollary of
reduced state involvement in public life), has had positive effects in Nigeria.
This contrasts with the usual perception of the structural adjustment process.
The migration experience in Africa
Collection prepared under the direction of Jonathan Baker and
Tade Akin Aina. Pub. The Nordic Africa Institute (P.O. Box 1703, S-751 47
Uppsala, Sweden). 1995. 353 pp. ISBN-91-7106366-8.
This volume aims to take stock of migration in Africa. The
causes of the phenomenon are varied and complex, and the authors have chosen an
approach which illustrates the diversity of the theories, and methodological and
analytical trends involved.
The book offers an empirical assessment of migration in
contemporary Africa, focusing particularly on the problem of women migrants.
Migration is an important element in the wider development equation and this
work fills a gap in the literature.
Challenges to the Nation-State in Africa
Collection prepared under the direction of Adebayo O. Olukoshi
and Liisa Laakso. Pub. The Nordic Africa Institute (P.O. Box 1703, S-751 47
Uppsala, Sweden) in collaboration with the Institute of Development Studies,
University of Helsinki. 1996. 213 pp. ISBN 91-7106381-1.
The challenge confronting the nation state in contemporary
Africa are of great interest to specialists attempting to understand how
deconstruction and recomposition of the political identity of populations
affects the post-colonial unitarian project. The studies offered in this volume
show that this process has often taken ethno-regionalist, religious or
separatist forms - reinforced by economic crisis and the negative effects of
structural adjustment, not to mention the legacy of years of political
authoritarianism and exclusion dating from the colonial period.
The authors believe that in order to promote national unity and
a sense of citizenship in Africa, priority should be given, inter alia, to more
representative forms of government, power-sharing and decentralisation,
multi-party elections, the reinvention of the post-colonial social contract and
cultural autonomy for minority groups.
Agenda for Africa's economic renewal
Collection prepared under the direction of Benno Ndulu and
Nicolas van de Walle. Pub. Overseas Department Council (1875 Connecticut Avenue,
NW, Suite 1012, Washington, DC 20009, USA). 1996. 246 pp. ISBN 1-56000900-4.
For 20 years, sub-Saharan Africa has been experiencing a severe
economic crisis. Growth has been stagnant and the result has been reduced living
standards for much of the population, and ever-increasing pressure on the
continent's political structures. Structural adjustment, advocated by
international organisations in an attempt to restore growth in Africa, has not
had the anticipated results and has given rise to a number of disputes.
In this book, 10 African, US and European experts attempt to
look beyond the immediate horizon and identify strategies which could be
implemented to give renewed vigour to the African economy. They analyse the
choices which should be made in key areas such as agriculture, trade and
industry, the role of the state and the social