publications

Publication Series

Perspectives is a publication series of the Africa offices of the Heinrich Böll Foundation. With this series, we intend to let experts from Africa express their views about current political issues in their region. Perspectives focuses on Southern- , East- and West Africa where the foundation has established offices.

Democracy & Human Rights

Activists, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and social movements across the world are facing verbal hostility from politicians, new laws and regulations that curtail their ability to operate, and outright violence. Africa is no exception.

In this edition of our newsletter we report on the decaying state of governance in our Makana Municipality in Grahamstown.

When you write about Africa, make sure to always include sad and starving characters, advises Kenyan author Binyavanga Wainana in his famously ironic essay “How to write about Africa”, which takes aim at Western prejudices. In the same way that everyday laughter has been excluded from all-too-familiar depictions of the continent, African humour and satire as a form of social and political engagement remains underexplored.

On the afternoon of Wednesday, 21 October, xenophobic attacks broke out in Grahamstown. Foreign nationals as well as South African citizens from other parts of the country were attacked, and their shops looted. The Unemployed People's Movement warned police of rising tensions in the community, and convened a community meeting on October 12 to discuss matters with the police. 

This publication sets out to provide a critical assessment of South Africa's Expanded Public Works Programme from the perspective of those most vulnerable: impoverished women.

Gender & Sexual Diversity

With this edition of Perspectives, the Heinrich Böll Foundation seeks to unpack some of the underlying tensions and challenges facing the promotion of sexual and reproductive rights on Africa.

This publication documents an exchange project undertaken by the India and South Africa offices of the Heinrich Böll Foundation on sexual violence between 2013 and 2015. The project sought to analyse and raise debates on what drives and sustains sexual violence against women in these two countries and to determine whether strategies to prevent and redress this are working. A documentary based on the project is also available for viewing.

This report is a follow-up to the preliminary report produced by the Women’s Trust (TWT) and the Research and Advocacy Unit (RAU) in early 2014 on the effectiveness of the SiMuka! Zimbabwe, Woman, Get Counted! Register to Vote! in getting women to register to vote and to vote. This report goes further to note that whilst it is encouraging to see women turn out to vote in elections, and even more gratifying to see that the turn out can be strongly increased by woman to woman advocacy, there is always need to conduct a reality check on the actual process of the election and its outcome. This report investigates whether what happened before, during and after the elections affects women’s views of the elections and whether this differs for women in urban areas as for women in rural areas.

This review of the national budget for 2014, as delivered by finance minister Pravin Gordhan on 26 February 2014, gauges the extent to which government invests in what it has identified as priorities for the country and assesses the impact of government spending choices for the 2014/15 financial on women.

This booklet aims to help parents, families and friends of young lesbians to better understand and overcome their fears and prejudices so that they can give them the respect, love and support they need and deserve.

Sustainable Development

This booklet briefly examines alternative energy technologies and associated energy sources available in the market that are cleaner, appropriate, applicable and sustainable relative to those that are currently available and used by informal households for their domestic energy requirements.

This guide looks at citizen engagement with local government regarding service provision, what those services are and what role ordinary citizens can play in greening their cities.

This report summarises the discussions at the "African Civil Society Winter School on the 2015 Climate Agreement: Re-strategizing and Re-thinking African Climate Action" which was hosted jointly by the Heinrich Böll Stiftung and Pan African Climate and Environmental Justice Alliance in September 2015.

This study aims to assess the proposed dams under the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) and their prospects for success, and to inform discussions about how best to allocate scarce development funds.

This publication provides a snapshot of some of the challenges African CSOs have faced over the years in advocating and lobbying for urgent and enhanced action to address the climate change crisis on the continent in line with countries’ development priorities.

Resource Politics

This paper discusses the ways in which community protocols can be an effective tool for communities to respond to extractive industry projects in their area. It provides an overview of what has taken place over the last three years in four pilot community protocol processes and captures lessons that can be applied to future processes.

In their very first newsletter WoMin updates us on their work to build an African women-led women’s rights grassroots driven campaign addressing fossil fuels, energy and climate justice.

With this edition of Perspectives, the Heinrich Böll Foundation explores some of the approaches and instruments that communities and their NGO partners have developed to create room for community-centred stakeholder participation, and to champion community interests and rights.

How could a just and democratic resource politics look like that respects both planetary boundaries and human rights? The Memorandum “Resource Politics for a Fair Future” is the outcome of a two-year international dialogue process of the Heinrich Böll Foundation.

International Politics

Informed by the discussions at an international conference jointly organised by the German Development Institute, the Heinrich Böll Foundation and Stanford University on “Emerging Power or Fading Star? South Africa’s Role on the Continent and Beyond”, held 12–14 July 2016 in Cape Town, the articles gathered in this edition of Perspectives shed light on some of the nuances and challenges that define South Africa’s place in the world today.

For decades, the world of development banking was dominated by a few multilateral actors, foremost the World Bank Group as well as regional development banks. In recent years, some established banks have much expanded their scope of operation, while new actors and interests are moving in. A number of national development banks, for example from China and Brazil, have entered the international arena in a big way, often operating far outside of their respective home countries and becoming truly global actors.

Some claim that the biggest obstacle to boosting investment levels and reviving the global economy as the absence of regional "pipelines of bankable projects". In this paper, Nora Rohde describes the "solution" --Project Preparation Facilities (PPFs) to accelerate the launch of (mega)projects.

Dr. Mzukisi Qobo describes PIDA's plan to double levels of investment in energy, water, and transportation mega-projects in Africa and the opportunities and risks these projects present for infrastructure investors and, especially, for Africans.  He cites six categories of risk (political; social and environmental; fiscal; security; institutional; and technical) and asks the big question: will PIDA accelerate the colonial patterns of resource extraction or foster the economic diversification required for Africa to prosper and expand job opportunities.