Market Acceptance of a Murabaha-Based Finance Structure within a Social Network of Non-Islamic Small and Medium Enterprise Owners in African Procurement
Twenty two African entrepreneurs with Small and
Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in a single social network centered
around a non-Muslim population in a smaller African country,
selected an Islamic financing structure, a form of Murabaha,
based solely on market rationale. These entrepreneurs had all won
procurement contracts from major purchasers of goods within their
country and faced difficulty arranging traditional bank financing
to support their supply-chain needs. The Murabaha-based structure
satisfied their market-driven demand and provided an attractive
alternative to the traditional bank-offered lending products. The
Murabaha-styled trade-financing structure was not promoted with any
religious implications, but solely as a market solution to the existing
problems associated with bank-related financing. This indicates the
strong market forces that draw SMEs to financing structures that are
traditionally considered within the framework of Islamic finance.
Sanitary Measures in Piggeries, Awareness and Risk Factors of African Swine Fever in Benue State, Nigeria
A study was conducted to determine the level of compliance with sanitary measures in piggeries, and awareness and risk factors of African swine fever in Benue State, Nigeria. Questionnaires were distributed to 74 respondents consisting of piggery owners and attendants in different piggeries across 12 LGAs to collect data for this study. Sanitary measures in piggeries were observed to be generally very poor, though respondents admitted being aware of ASF. Piggeries located within a 1 km radius of a slaughter slab (OR=9.2, 95% CI - 3.0-28.8), piggeries near refuse dump sites (OR=3.0, 95% CI - 1.0-9.5) and piggeries where farm workers wear their work clothes outside of the piggery premises (OR=0.2, 95% CI - 0.1-0.7) showed higher chances of ASFV infection and were significantly associated (p < 0.0001), (p < 0.05) and (p < 0.01), and were identified as potential risk factors. The study concluded that pigs in Benue State are still at risk of an ASF outbreak. Proper sanitary and hygienic practices is advocated and emphasized in piggeries, while routine surveillance for ASFV antibodies in pigs in Benue State is strongly recommended to provide a reliable reference data base to plan for the prevention of any devastating ASF outbreak.
Comparison of Automated Zone Design Census Output Areas with Existing Output Areas in South Africa
South Africa is one of the few countries that have stopped using the same Enumeration Areas (EAs) for census enumeration and dissemination. The advantage of this change is that confidentiality issue could be addressed for census dissemination as the design of geographic unit for collection is mainly to ensure that this unit is covered by one enumerator. The objective of this paper was to evaluate the performance of automated zone design output areas against non-zone design developed geographies using the 2001 census data, and 2011 census to some extent, as the main input. The comparison of the Automated Zone-design Tool (AZTool) census output areas with the Small Area Layers (SALs) and SubPlaces based on confidentiality limit, population distribution, and degree of homogeneity, as well as shape compactness, was undertaken. Further, SPSS was employed for validation of the AZTool output results. The results showed that AZTool developed output areas out-perform the existing official SAL and SubPlaces with regard to minimum population threshold, population distribution and to some extent to homogeneity. Therefore, it was concluded that AZTool program provides a new alternative to the creation of optimised census output areas for dissemination of population census data in South Africa.
Surveillance for African Swine Fever and Classical Swine Fever in Benue State, Nigeria
A serosurveillance study was conducted to detect the presence of antibodies to African swine fever virus (ASFV) and Classical swine fever virus in pigs sampled from piggeries and Makurdi central slaughter slab in Benue State, Nigeria. 416 pigs from 74 piggeries across 12 LGAs and 44 pigs at the Makurdi central slaughter slab were sampled for serum. The sera collected were analysed using Indirect Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) test kit to test for antibodies to ASFV, while competitive ELISA test kit was used to test for antibodies to CSFV. Of the 416 pigs from piggeries and 44 pigs sampled from the slaughter slab, seven (1.7%) and six (13.6%), respectively, tested positive to ASFV antibodies and was significantly associated (p < 0.0001). Out of the 12 LGAs sampled, Obi LGA had the highest ASFV antibody detection rate of (4.8%) and was significantly associated (p < 0.0001). None of the samples tested positive to CSFV antibodies. The study concluded that antibodies to CSFV were absent in the sampled pigs in piggeries and at the Makurdi central slaughter slab in Benue State, while antibodies to ASFV were present in both locations; hence, the need to keep an eye open for CSF too since both diseases may pose great risk in the study area. Further studies to characterise the ASFV circulating in Benue State and investigate the possible sources is recommended. Routine surveillance to provide a comprehensive and readily accessible data base to plan for the prevention of any fulminating outbreak is also recommended.
Behavioural-Orientation and Continuity of Informality in Ghana
The expanding informal sector in developing countries and in Ghana in particular from the 1980s has now been aggravated by the growing population and downsizing in both the public and private sectors, with displaced workers finding alternative livelihoods in the informal sector. Youth and graduate unemployment also swell the numbers and further promote the continuity of the sector. Formal workers and institutions facilitate the growth and complicate demarcations between informality within the formal and informal sectors. In spite of its growth and increasing importance, the informal economy does not feature in policy debates and has often been neglected by the Ghana government. The phenomenon has evolved with modernity into myriad unimaginable forms. Indeed, actors within the sector often clash with the interventions provided by policy makers - because neither the operatives nor the activities they perform can be clearly defined. This study uses in-depth interviews to explore the behavioural nature of the informal workers in Ghana to understand how the operatives describe and perceive the sector, and to identify the factors that influence their drive to stay within the sector. This paper concludes that the operatives clearly distinguish between the formal and informal sectors and identify the characteristics and conditions that constitute the informal sector. Other workers are trapped between formality and informality. The findings also enumerate the push and pull factors contributing to the growth of the sector.
Evaluation of South African Plants with Acaricide Activity against Ticks
Acaricides are commonly used to control ticks but are toxic, harmful to the environment and too expensive to resource-limited farmers. Traditionally, many communities in South Africa rely on a wide range of indigenous practices to keep their livestock healthy. One of these health care practices includes the use of medicinal plants and this offers an alternative to conventional medicine. An investigation was conducted at the CSIR in South Africa, and selected indigenous plants used in communities were scientifically evaluated for the management of ticks in animals. 17 plants were selected from 239 plants used traditionally in South Africa. Two different organic extracts were prepared from the 17 samples, resulting in 34 plant samples. These were tested for efficacy against two tick species, namely Rhipicephalus microplus and Rhipicephalus turanicus. The plant extracts were also screened against Vero cells and most were found to have low cytotoxicity. This study has shown that there is potential for the development of botanicals as natural acaricides against ticks that are non-toxic and environmentally benign.
Comparative Growth Rates of Treculia africana Decne: Embryo in Varied Strengths of Murashige and Skoog Basal Medium
This study provides a regeneration protocol for Treculia africana Decne (an endangered plant) through embryo culture. Mature zygotic embryos of T. africana were excised from the seeds aseptically and cultured on varied strengths (full, half and quarter) of Murashige and Skoog (MS) basal medium supplemented. All treatments experienced 100±0.00 percent sprouting except for half and quarter strengths. Plantlets in MS full strength had the highest fresh weight, leaf area, and longest shoot length when compared to other treatments. All explants in full, half, quarter strengths and control had the same number of leaves and sprout rate. Between the treatments, there was a significant difference (P>0.05) in their effect on the length of shoot and root, number of adventitious root, leaf area, and fresh weight. Full strength had the highest mean value in all the above-mentioned parameters and differed significantly (P>0.05) from others except in shoot length, number of adventitious roots, and root length where it did not differ (P<0.05) from half strength. The result of this study indicates that full strength MS basal medium offers a better option for the optimum growth for Treculia africana regeneration in vitro.
An Exploration of the Provision of Government-Subsidised Housing without Title Deeds: A Recipient’s Interpretation of Security of Tenure
Low-income households earning less than 3,500 ZAR (about 175 GBP) per month can apply to the South African government, through the National Housing Subsidy, for fully subsidised houses. An objective of this subsidy is to enable low-income households’ participation in the formal housing market; however, the beneficiaries received houses without title deeds. As such, if the beneficiaries did not have a secured tenure at the time of their death then surviving family may face possible eviction. Therefore, an aim of this research was to determine how these beneficiaries interpret tenure security. The research focused on government subsidised housing in the Dithlake settlement of a rural hamlet named Koffiefontein, in the Letsemeng Local Municipality of South Africa. Quantitative data on the beneficiaries were collected from the local municipality, while qualitative data were collected from a sample of 45 beneficiaries.
Developmental Social Work: A Derailed Post-Apartheid Development Approach in South Africa
Developmental social welfare implemented through developmental social work is being applauded internationally as an approach that facilitates social development theory and practice. However, twenty-two years into democracy, there are no tangible evidences that the much-desired developmental social welfare approach has assisted the post-apartheid macroeconomic policy frameworks in addressing poverty and inequality, thus, the derailment of the post-apartheid development approach in South Africa. Based on the implementation research theory, and the literature review technique, this paper recognizes social work as a principal role-player in social development. It recommends the redesign and implementation of an effective developmental social welfare approach with specific strategies, programs, activities and sufficient resources aligned to and appropriate in delivering on the promises of the government’s macroeconomic policy frameworks. Such approach should be implemented by skilled and dedicated developmental social workers in order to achieve transformation in South Africa.
West African Islamic Civilization: Sokoto Caliphate and Science Education
This study aims at surveying and analyzing the contribution of Sokoto scholars or Sokoto Caliphate in the development of science and technology in West Africa. Today, it is generally accepted that the 19th century Islamic revivalism in Hausaland was a very important revolution in the history of Hausa society and beyond. It is therefore, as a result of this movement or Jihad; the Hausaland (West Africa in general) witnessed several changes and transformations. These changes were in different sectors of life from politics, economy to social and religious aspect. It is these changes especially on religion that will be given considerations in this paper. The jihad resulted is the establishment of an Islamic state of Sokoto Caliphate, the revival Islam and development of learning and scholarship. During the existence of this Caliphate, a great deal of scholarship on Islamic laws were revived, written and documented by mostly, the three Jihad leaders; Usmanu Danfodiyo, his brother Abdullahi Fodiyo and his son Muhammad Bello. The trio had written more than one thousand books and made several verdicts on Islamic medicine. This study therefore, seeks to find out the contributions of these scholars or the Sokoto caliphate in the development of science in West Africa.
E-Government, China Internet Plus, and the One Belt One Road Initiative: The Africa Connection
The lack of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) infrastructure in African countries is hampering the successful adoption, development and implementation of e-government in Africa. Electronic government is the use of ICTs to modernize government public administration processes and to provide government services to citizens with a purpose to enhance efficiency, accountability, and transparency in government’s interaction with the citizenry. ICT application in public administration has the potential to modernize and create smarter government and improvement in public service delivery. China’s Internet Plus policy and One Belt One Road strategy present a golden opportunity for countries in Africa to attract the huge financial investment through Chinese IT companies to develop and close Africa’s ICT infrastructure gap. This study recommends the establishment of One Belt One Road ICT Infrastructure Fund for Africa (OBOR ICT Fund for Africa) to enable countries in Africa to source solely for the purpose of ICT infrastructure development in the public sector/government machinery which would in turn promote the adoption and development of e-government in the public sectors of respective countries in Africa.
Creating Shared Value: A Paradigm Shift from Corporate Social Responsibility to Creating Shared Value
Businesses operating in the modern business world are faced with varying challenges; amongst which is the need to ensure that they are performing their societal function of being responsible in the society in which they operate. This responsibility to society is generally termed as corporate social responsibility. For many years, the practice of corporate social responsibility (CSR) was solely philanthropic, where organizations gave ‘charity’ or ‘alms’ to society, without any link to the organization’s mission and objectives. However, there has arisen a shift in the application of CSR from an act of philanthropy to a strategy with a business model engaged in by organizations to create a win-win situation of performing their societal obligation, whilst simultaneously performing their economic obligation. In more recent times, the term has moved from CSR to creating shared value, which is simply corporate policies and practices that enhance the competitiveness of a business organization while simultaneously advancing social and economic conditions in the communities in which the company operates. Creating shared value has in more recent light found more meaning in underdeveloped countries, faced with deep societal challenges that businesses can solve whilst creating economic value. This study thus reviews literature on CSR, conceptualizing the shift to creating shared value and finally viewing its potential significance in Africa’s development.
Enforcement of Decisions of Ombudsmen and the South African Public Protector: Muzzling the Watchdogs
Ombudsmen often face the challenge of a lack of authority to have their decisions and recommendations enforced. This lack of authority may be seen as one of the major obstacles in the way of the effectiveness of the institutions of Ombudsman and also the South African Public Protector. The paper will address the current legal position in South Africa with regard to the status of the decisions and recommendations of the South African Public Protector and the enforcement thereof. In addition, the paper will compare the South African position with the experiences of other jurisdictions, including Scandinavian countries like Sweden, Denmark and Norway, but also New Zealand and Northern Ireland, with regard to the enforcement of the decisions of Ombudsmen. Finally, the paper will make recommendations with regard to the enhancement of the power and authority of Ombudsmen in order to effectively enforce their decisions. It is submitted that the creation of the office of Ombudsman, and the Public Protector in the South African system, is an essential tool to ensure the protection of society against governmental abuse of power and it is therefore imperative to ensure that these watchdogs of democracy are not muzzled by a lack of powers of enforcement.
Computing Transition Intensity Using Time-Homogeneous Markov Jump Process: Case of South African HIV/AIDS Disposition
This research provides a technical account of
estimating Transition Probability using Time-homogeneous Markov
Jump Process applying by South African HIV/AIDS data from the
Statistics South Africa. It employs Maximum Likelihood Estimator
(MLE) model to explore the possible influence of Transition
Probability of mortality cases in which case the data was based on
actual Statistics South Africa. This was conducted via an integrated
demographic and epidemiological model of South African HIV/AIDS
epidemic. The model was fitted to age-specific HIV prevalence data
and recorded death data using MLE model. Though the previous
model results suggest HIV in South Africa has declined and AIDS
mortality rates have declined since 2002 – 2013, in contrast, our
results differ evidently with the generally accepted HIV models
(Spectrum/EPP and ASSA2008) in South Africa. However, there is
the need for supplementary research to be conducted to enhance the
demographic parameters in the model and as well apply it to each of
the nine (9) provinces of South Africa.
Basic Business-Forces behind the Surviving and Sustainable Organizations: The Case of Medium Scale Contractors in South Africa
The objective of this study is to uncover the basic business-forces that necessitated the survival and sustainable performance of the medium scale contractors in the South African construction market. This study is essential as it set to contribute towards long-term strategic solutions for combating the incessant failure of start-ups construction organizations within South African. The study used a qualitative research methodology; as the most appropriate approach to elicit and understand, and uncover the phenomena that are basic business-forces for the active contractors in the market. The study also adopted a phenomenological study approach; and in-depth interviews were conducted with 20 medium scale contractors in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, between months of August to October 2015. This allowed for an in-depth understanding of the critical and basic business-forces that influenced their survival and performance beyond the first five years of business operation. Findings of the study showed that for potential contractors (startups), to survival in the competitive business environment such as construction industry, they must possess the basic business-forces. These forces are educational knowledge in construction and business management related disciplines, adequate industrial experiences, competencies and capabilities to delivery excellent services and products as well as embracing the spirit of entrepreneurship. Convincingly, it can be concluded that the strategic approach to minimize the endless failure of startups construction businesses; the potential construction contractors must endeavoring to access and acquire the basic educationally knowledge, training and qualification; need to acquire industrial experiences in collaboration with required competencies, capabilities and entrepreneurship acumen. Without these basic business-forces as been discovered in this study, the majority of the contractors gaining entrance in the market will find it difficult to develop and grow a competitive and sustainable construction organization in South Africa.
Motivational Factors Influencing Women’s Entrepreneurship: A Case Study of Female Entrepreneurship in South Africa
Globally, many women are still disadvantaged when it
comes to business opportunities. Entrepreneurship development
programs, specifically designed to assist women entrepreneurs, are
assisting in solving this problem to a certain extent. The purpose of
this study is to identify the factors that motivate females to start their
own business. Females, from three different groups (2013, 2014 and
2015), who were all enrolled in a short learning program specifically
designed for women in early start-up stage or intending to start a
business, were asked what motivated them to start a business. The
results indicated that, from all three groups, the majority of the
women wanted to start a business to be independent and have
freedom and to add towards a social goal. The results further
indicated that in general, women would enter into entrepreneurship
activity due to pull factors rather than push factors.
Student Attitude towards Entrepreneurship: A South African and Dutch Comparison
Unemployment among the youth is a significant
problem in South Africa. Large corporations and the public sector
simply cannot create enough jobs. Too many youths in South Africa
currently do not consider entrepreneurship as an option in order to
become independent. Unlike the youth of the Netherlands, South
African youth prefer to find employment in the public or private
sector. The Netherlands has a much lower unemployment rate than
South Africa and the Dutch are generally very entrepreneurial. From
early on, entrepreneurship is considered a desirable career option in
the Netherlands. The purpose of this study was to determine whether
there is a difference in the perceptions of some Dutch and South
African students in terms of unemployment and entrepreneurship.
Questionnaires were distributed to students at the North West
University's Vaal Triangle campus in Vanderbijlpark in Gauteng,
South Africa and the Technical University of Delft in the
Netherlands. A descriptive statistical analysis approach was followed
and the means for the independent questions were calculated. The
results demonstrate that the Dutch students are not as concerned
about unemployment after completion of their studies as this is not as
significant a problem as it is in South Africa. Both groups had
positive responses towards the posed questions, but the South African
group felt more strongly about the issues. Both groups of students felt
that there was a need for more practical entrepreneurship training.
The South African education system should focus on practical
entrepreneurship training from a young age.
The Evolution of Traditional Rhythms in Redefining the West African Country of Guinea
The traditional rhythms of the West African country
of Guinea have played a centuries-long role in defining the different
people groups that make up the country. Throughout their history,
before and since colonization by the French, the different ethnicities
have used their traditional music as a distinct part of their historical
identities. That is starting to change. Guinea is an impoverished
nation created in the early twentieth-century with little regard for the
history and cultures of the people who were included. The traditional
rhythms of the different people groups and their heritages have
remained. Fifteen individual traditional Guinean rhythms were
chosen to represent popular rhythms from the four geographical
regions of Guinea. Each rhythm was traced back to its native village
and video recorded on-site by as many different local performing
groups as could be located. The cyclical patterns rhythms were
transcribed via a circular, spatial design and then copied into a box
notation system where sounds happening at the same time could be
studied. These rhythms were analyzed for their consistency-overperformance
in a Fundamental Rhythm Pattern analysis so rhythms
could be compared for how they are changing through different
performances. The analysis showed that the traditional rhythm
performances of the Middle and Forest Guinea regions were the most
cohesive and showed the least evidence of change between
performances. The role of music in each of these regions is both
limited and focused. The Coastal and High Guinea regions have
much in common historically through their ethnic history and
modern-day trade connections, but the rhythm performances seem to
be less consistent and demonstrate more changes in how they are
performed today. In each of these regions the role and usage of music
is much freer and wide-spread. In spite of advances being made as a
country, different ethnic groups still frequently only respond and
participate (dance and sing) to the music of their native ethnicity.
There is some evidence that this self-imposed musical barrier is
beginning to change and evolve, partially through the development of
better roads, more access to electricity and technology, the nationwide
Ebola health crisis, and a growing self-identification as a
Development of an Adhesive from Prosopis africana Seed Endosperm (Okpeyi)
This research work is an experimental study, through
development of an adhesive from Prosopis africana endosperm. The
prosopis seed for this work were obtained from Enugu State in the
South East part of Nigeria. The seeds were prepared by separating the
endosperm from the seed coat and cotyledon. Three methods were
used to separate them, which are acidic method, roasting method and
boiling method. 20g of seed were treated with different
concentrations (25, 40, 55, 70, and 85% w/w) at 100°C and constant
time (30 minutes), under continuous stirring with magnetic stirrer.
Also 20g of seed were treated with sulphuric acid of concentrations
40% w/w at 100°C with different time (10, 15, 20, 25, 30 minutes),
under continuous stirring with magnetic stirrer. Finally, 20g of seed
were treated with sulphuric acid of concentrations 40% w/w at
different temperature (20°C, 40°C, 60°C, 80°C, and 100°C) with
constant time (30 minutes), under continuous stirring with magnetic
stirrer. The whole endosperm extracted was adhesive. The physical
properties of the adhesive were determined (appearance, odour, taste,
solubility, pH, size, and binding strength). The percentage of the
adhesive yield makes the commercialization of the seed in Nigeria
possible and profitable. The very high viscosity attained at low
concentrations makes prosopis adhesive an excellent thickener in the
Demagogues and the Challenge of Democratic Politics in Nigeria
This article interrogates the question of leadership in the context of the antidemocratic tendencies of Africa’s political leaders. The African continent has continued to struggle behind other continents of the world as a result of the failure of leadership to address the political and socio-economic challenges of the continent. Thus, bedevilled with the challenges of development, the African continent is in need of people-centred leadership. However, as the continent struggles to overcome its political and development predicaments, it is stuck in the dystopia of demagoguery that promises nothing but apocalyptic future for its teeming population. Thus, despite the enormous resources available in Africa, leadership failures have made progress difficult to achieve. At the centre of this leadership failure are demagogues: a set of leaders who have influence over a large number of people but take advantage of that influence to undermine democracy and good governance. Citing various examples across Africa, the article describes how demagogues, especially in democratic countries, have become the problem of the African continent in its quest to achieve democratic progress, development and peaceful progress.
Implementation of Renewable Energy Technologies in Rural Africa
Africa enjoys some of the best solar radiation levels in
the world averaging between 4-6 kWh/m2/day for most of the year
and the global economic and political conditions that tend to make
African countries more dependent on their own energy resources
have caused growing interest in renewable energy based
technologies. However to-date, implementation of modern Energy
Technologies in Africa is still very low especially the use of solar
conversion technologies. This paper presents literature review and
analysis relating to the techno-economic feasibility of solar
photovoltaic power generation in Africa. The literature is basically
classified into the following four main categories. Techno-economic
feasibility of solar photovoltaic power generation, design methods,
performance evaluations of various systems and policy of potential
future of technological development of photovoltaic (PV) in Africa
by exploring the impact of alternative policy instruments and
technology cost reductions on the financial viability of investing solar
photovoltaic in Africa.
Efficiency for Sustainable Growth: Evidence from the North African Countries
Improved resource efficiency of production is a key
requirement for sustainable growth, worldwide. In this regards, by
considering the energy and tourism as the extra inputs to the classical
Coub-Douglas production function, this study aims at investigating
the efficiency changes in the North African countries. To this end, the
study uses panel data for the period 1995-2010 and adopts the
Malmquist index based on the data envelopment analysis. Results
show that tourism increases technical and scale efficiencies, while it
decreases technological and total factor productivity changes. On the
other hand, when the production function is augmented by the energy
input; technical efficiency change decreases, while the technological
change, scale efficiency change and total factor productivity change
increase. Thus, in order to satisfy the needs for sustainable growth,
North African governments should take some measures for increasing
the contribution that the tourism makes to economic growth and some
others for efficient use of resources in the energy sector.
Effects of Varying Fermentation Periods on the Chemical Composition of African Yam Bean (Sphenostylis stenocarpa) and Acha (Digitaria exilis) Flour Blends and Sensory Properties of Their Products
The study evaluated the effects of varying fermentation periods on the nutrients and anti-nutrients composition of African yam bean (Sphenostylis stenocarpa) and acha (Digitaria exilis) flour blends and sensory properties of their products. The African yam bean seeds and acha grains were fermented for 24 hrs, 48 and 72 hrs, dried (sun drying) and milled into fine flour. The fermented flours were used in a ratio of 70:30 (Protein basis) to formulate composite flour for meat pie and biscuits production. Both the fermented and unfermented flours and products were analyzed for chemical composition using the standard method. The data were statistically analyzed using SPSS version 15 to determine the mean and standard deviation. The 24, 48, and 72 hrs fermentation periods increased protein (22.81, 26.15 and 24.00% respectively). The carbohydrate, ash and moisture contents of the flours were also increased as a result of fermentation (68.01-76.83, 2.26-4.88, and 8.36-13.00% respectively). The 48 hrs fermented flour blends had the highest increase in ash relative to the control (4.88%). Fermentation increased zinc, iron, magnesium and phosphorus content of the flours. Treatment drastically reduced the anti-nutrient (oxalate, saponin, tannin, phytate, and hemagglutinin) levels of the flours. Both meat pie and biscuits had increased protein relative to the control (27.36-34.28% and 23.66-25.09%). However, the protein content of the meat pie increased more than that of the biscuits. Zinc, Iron, Magnesium and phosphorus levels increased in both meat pie and biscuits. Organoleptic attributes of the products (meat pie and biscuits) were slightly lower than the control except those of the 72 hrs fermented flours.
Antioxidant Activity of Germinated African Yam Bean (Sphenostylis stenocarpa) in Alloxan Diabetic Rats
This study was conducted to investigate the effect of
the antioxidant activity of germinated African Yam Bean (AYB) on
oxidative stress markers in alloxan induced diabetic rat. Rats were
randomized into three groups; control, diabetic and germinated AYB
– treated diabetic rats. The Total phenol and flavonoid content and
DPPH radical scavenging activity before and after germination were
investigated. The glucose level, lipid peroxidation and reduced
glutathione of the animals were also determined using standard
technique for four weeks. Germination increased the total phenol,
flavonoid and antioxidant activity of AYB extract by 19.14%,
32.28% and 57.25% respectively. The diabetic rats placed on
germinated AYB diet had a significant decrease in the blood glucose
and lipid peroxidation with a corresponding increase in glutathione
(p<0.05). These results demonstrate that consumption of germinated
AYB can be a good dietary supplement in inhibiting hyperglycemia/
hyperlipidemia and the prevention of diabetic complication
associated with oxidative stress.
Inhibitory Effects of Extracts and Isolates from Kigelia africana Fruits against Pathogenic Bacteria and Yeasts
Kigelia africana (Lam.) Benth. (Bignoniaceae) is a
reputed traditional remedy for various human ailments such as skin
diseases, microbial infections, melanoma, stomach troubles,
metabolic disorders, malaria and general pains. In spite of the fruit
being widely used for purposes related to its antibacterial and
antifungal properties, the chemical constituents associated with the
activity have not been fully identified. To elucidate the active
principles, we evaluated the antimicrobial activity of fruit extracts
and purified fractions against Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus
faecalis, Moraxella catarrhalis, Escherichia coli, Candida albicans
and Candida tropicalis. Shade-dried fruits were powdered and
extracted with hydroalcoholic (1:1) mixture by soaking at room
temperature for 72 h. The crude extract was further fractionated by
column chromatography, with successive elution using hexane,
dichloromethane, ethyl acetate, acetone and methanol. The
dichloromethane and ethyl acetate fractions were combined and
subjected to column chromatography to furnish a wax and oil from
the eluates of 20% and 40% ethyl acetate in hexane, respectively. The
GC-MS and GC×GC-MS results revealed that linoleic acid, linolenic
acid, palmitic acid, arachidic acid and stearic acid were the major
constituents in both oil and wax. The crude hydroalcoholic extract
exhibited the strongest activity with MICs of 0.125-0.5 mg/mL,
followed by the ethyl acetate (MICs = 0.125-1.0 mg/mL),
dichloromethane (MICs = 0.250-2.0 mg/mL), hexane (MICs = 0.25-
2.0 mg/mL), acetone (MICs = 0.5-2.0 mg/mL) and methanol (MICs =
1.0-2.0 mg/mL), whereas the wax (MICs = 2.0-4.0 mg/mL) and oil
(MICs = 4.0-8.0 mg/mL) showed poor activity. The study concludes
that synergistic interactions of chemical constituents could be
responsible for the antimicrobial activity of K. africana fruits, which
needs a more holistic approach to understand the mechanism of its
A Study of Management Principles Incorporating Corporate Governance and Advocating Ethics to Reduce Fraud at a South African Bank
In today’s world, internal fraud remains one of the most challenging problems within companies worldwide and despite investment in controls and attention given to the problem, the instances of internal fraud has not abated. To the contrary it appears that internal fraud is on the rise especially in the wake of the economic downturn.
Leadership within companies believes that the more sophisticated the controls employed the less likely it would be for employees to pilfer. This is a very antiquated view as investment in controls may not be enough to curtail internal fraud; however, ensuring that a company drives the correct culture and behavior within the organization is likely to yield desired results.
This research aims to understand how creating a strong ethical culture and embedding the principle of good corporate governance impacts on levels of internal fraud with an organization (a South African Bank).
In vitro and in vivo Anticholinesterase Activity of the Volatile Oil of the Aerial Parts of Ocimum basilicum L. and O. africanum Lour. Growing in Egypt
In this study, the in vitro anticholinesterase activity of
the volatile oils of both O. basilicum and O. africanum was
investigated and both samples showed significant activity. The major
constituents of the two oils were isolated using several column
chromatographies. Linalool, 1,8-cineol and eugenol were isolated
from the volatile oil of O. basilicum and camphor was isolated from
the volatile oil of O. africanum. The anticholinesterase activities of
the isolated compounds were also evaluated where 1,8-cineol showed
the highest inhibitory activity followed by camphor. To confirm these
activities, learning and memory enhancing effects were tested in
mice. Memory impairment was induced by scopolamine, a
cholinergic muscarinic receptor antagonist. Anti-amnesic effects of
both volatile oils and their terpenoids were investigated by the
passive avoidance task in mice. We also examined their effects on
brain acetylcholinesterase activity. Results showed that scopolamineinduced
cognitive dysfunction was significantly attenuated by
administration of the volatile oils and their terpenoids, eugenol and
camphor, in the passive avoidance task and inhibited brain
acetylcholinesterase activity. These results suggest that O. basilicum
and O. africanum volatile oils can be good candidates for further
studies on Alzheimer’s disease via their acetylcholinesterase
Closing Africa’s Infrastructure Deficit: The Role of Gender Responsiveness in Urban Planning
Although urbanization in Africa has been characterized by fragile socio-economic successes, the sustainability of city infrastructure is now central to planning processes as a pathway to closing the deficit in terms of coverage and access. This paper builds on survey and interview data from Kampala city, to demonstrate how the principle gender responsiveness can inform improvements in urban infrastructure and service delivery. We discovered that women prefer infrastructure that combines living and working spaces for reduced labour and travel burdens between homes, markets, schools, and other urban spaces. Men’s conception of infrastructure needs on the other hand, mirrored public security and connectivity concerns along city streets and work places. However, the urban planning approach at city-level is guided by mainstream engineering and architectural designs that do not necessarily reflect the social context within which urban infrastructure influences gender roles and the attendant mobility needs. To address the challenge across cities of similar context, the paper concludes with a set of analytic steps on how the gendered influences on infrastructure-use can be considered in urban planning cycles.
Understanding ICT Behaviors among Health Workers in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Cross-Sectional Study for Laboratory Persons in Uganda
A cross-sectional survey to ascertain the capacity of laboratory persons in using ICTs was conducted in 15 Ugandan districts (July-August 2013). A self-administered questionnaire served as data collection tool, interview guide and observation checklist. 69 questionnaires were filled, 12 interviews conducted, 45 HC observed. SPSS statistics 17.0 and SAS 9.2 software were used for entry and analyses. 69.35% of participants find it difficult to access a computer at work. Of the 30.65% who find it easy to access a computer at work, a significant 21.05% spend 0 hours on a computer daily. 60% of the participants cannot access internet at work. Of the 40% who have internet at work, a significant 20% lack email address but 20% weekly read emails weekly and 48% daily. It is viable/feasible to pilot informatics projects as strategies to build bridges develop skills for e-health landscape in laboratory services with a bigger financial muscle.
Alignment of e-Government Policy Formulation with Practical Implementation: The Case of Sub-Saharan Africa
The purpose of this study is to analyze how varying alignment of e-Government policies in four countries in Sub-Saharan Africa Region, namely South Africa, Seychelles, Mauritius and Cape Verde lead to the success or failure of e-Government; and what should be done to ensure positive alignment that lead to e-Government project growth. In addition, the study aims to understand how various governments’ efforts in e-Government awareness campaign strategies, international cooperation, functional literacy and anticipated organizational change can influence implementation.
This study extensively explores contemporary research undertaken in the field of e-Government and explores the actual respective national ICT policies, strategies and implemented e-Government projects for in-depth comprehension of the status core. Data is analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively to reach a conclusion.
The study found that resounding successes in strategic e-Government alignment was achieved in Seychelles, Mauritius, South Africa and Cape Verde - (Ranked number 1 to 4 respectively).
The implications of the study is that policy makers in developing countries should put mechanisms in place for constant monitoring and evaluation of project implementation in line with ICT policies to ensure that e-Government projects reach maturity levels and do not die mid-way implementation as often noticed in many countries. The study recommends that countries within the region should make consented collaborative efforts and synergies with the private sector players and international donor agencies to achieve the implementation part of the set ICT policies.