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

A Guide to Local Government Budget Advocacy
Read this step by step guide to understanding and analyzing a local government budget with a focus on a specific service delivery issue. The guide was a collaborative effort with the International Budget Partnership-South Africa and the Accounting for Basic Services project.

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.

FOCUS UPM Newsletter - August 2015

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.

FOCUS UPM Newsletter - November 2015

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. 

Gender & Sexual Diversity

Conversations on violence against women

More than twenty years into democracy acts of violence against women have not visibly decreased in South Africa. This publication unpacks the many inter-related factors that continuously contribute to high levels of violence against women and hopes to contribute to more strategic and collaborative action.

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.

African Woman: Sexualised Violence in the National Debate

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.

Rural Women in Zimbabwe

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.

Eye on the Money: Women and Government Priorities in South Africa

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.

Sustainable Development

The SDGs in the context of South Africa's exclusive economy

On 25 September 2015, the member states of the United Nations agreed on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will be the cornerstone of the Post-2015 Development Agenda[1]. The SDGs are acknowledged as a great achievement that amalgamates the sustainability agenda with the development agenda.[2] The South African government has unreservedly endorsed the SDGs, noting that the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality that they address is also the primary focus of the country. As such, the SDGs are conceptually aligned to South Africa's National Development Plan.

Africa’s Energy Future Project

This report presents an update on the current state of energy poverty in South African cities. It explores the energy poverty-gender nexus in the urban environment, an aspect that is largely overlooked.

Township Household Technologies

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.

Green City

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.

African CSO Winter School on the ADP Final Report

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.

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.

Women Stand their Ground Against Big Coal

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.

Resource Politics for a Fair Future

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.

Development Finance in BRICS Countries

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.

 "Assembly Lines" for Project Development: The Role of Infrastructure Project Preparation Facilities (PPFs)

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.

Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa

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.