Top > African Study Monographs > ASM Back Number > Vol.27 (2006) No.1
pp. 1-13

Henry Kam KAH
University of Buea, Cameroon

A PRICELESS COMMODITY: THE POLITICS OF SALT PRODUCTION AND COMMERCIALISATION IN THE CROSS RIVER BASIN OF CAMEROON 1916-1961

ABSTRACT
In the Cross River Basin of Cameroon like in other West African territories, the production and sale of salt in the precolonial era was a vibrant industry involving numerous people and trading communities. The exploitation and/or sale of precious salt in some areas was regulated by the village authorities. The British eventually assumed control of this region of Cameroon after the First World War, and instead of supporting this industry, they embarked upon importing salt from other colonial possessions and Europe. Even when World War II affected the supply of salt from these external sources, the British colonial government did not develop the local industry. By 1961, when British rule terminated, this indigenous industry had declined to the extent that the once flourishing brine springs were abandoned in the wild.

Key Words: Salt; Commodity; Production; Commercialisation.

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pp. 15-26

Bishikwabo KASEREKA
Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature
Jean-Berckmans B. MUHIGWA
Université Officielle de Bukavu (U.O.B.)
Chantal SHALUKOMA
Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature
John M. KAHEKWA
Polepole Foundation (POPOF)

VULNERABILITY OF HABITUATED GRAUER'S GORILLA TO POACHING IN THE KAHUZI-BIEGA NATIONAL PARK, DRC

ABSTRACT
Kahuzi gorillas lived without any major disturbances since their habituation started in 1970. The wars from October 1996 to May 1997 and from August 1998 to June 2003 in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo led to a large-scale slaughter of gorillas. The results of this study based on interviews with ex-poachers suggest that when habituated and non-habituated gorillas are exposed to similar poaching-pressures, the habituated gorillas are more likely to be killed than the non-habituated. The estimated ratio of killed habituated gorillas was as high as 71% vs. 42% for non-habituated gorillas. Habituated gorillas were 1.6 times more susceptible to poaching than their non-habituated counterparts. It is recommended that habituation should not be expanded, although already habituated families should be maintained as such.

Key Words: Gorilla g. graueri; Habituation; Vulnerability; War; Kahuzi-Biega National Park.

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pp. 27-38

Makoto KAKEYA
Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies, Kyoto University
Yuko SUGIYAMA
Faculty of Humanities, Hirosaki University
Shuichi OYAMA
Department of Geography, Tokyo Metropolitan University

THE CITEMENE SYSTEM, SOCIAL LEVELING MECHANISM, AND AGRARIAN CHANGES IN THE BEMBA VILLAGES OF NORTHERN ZAMBIA: AN OVERVIEW OF 23 YEARS OF "FIXED-POINT" RESEARCH

ABSTRACT
This article examines the social processes and mechanisms of agrarian changes based on a 23-year (1983?2006) case study of Bemba villages in northern Zambia. The Bemba have engaged in a unique shifting cultivation system called the "citemene" system in miombo woodlands. Villagers have sustained a citemene system that does not greatly exceed the amount required for subsistence. They have also maintained a leveling mechanism of distribution and consumption that promotes equity among the people, which could at times deter innovative changes. Beginning in the mid-1980s, semi-permanent maize cultivation with the use of chemical fertilizers quickly spread and expanded in the villages due to agricultural policies. However, in the mid-1990s, market liberalization led by the Structural Adjustment Program brought about a decline in maize production, and villagers returned to depend more on the citemene system. Around 2000, the Resettlement Project implemented by the government expelled villagers and citemene cultivation from parts of the miombo woodland. The villagers are currently searching for a new livelihood strategy. We classify these rapid changes in the villages into five periods and argue that the leveling mechanism could in fact promote agrarian change under some circumstances.

Key Words: Bemba; Citemene system; Agrarian change; Leveling mechanism; Zambia.

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