YASN Conference 2015: Family, Community and Livelihoods: Perspectives from Africa

Recent years have seen impressive levels of economic growth in many parts of Africa, with a new discourse of ‘Africa Rising’ coming to displace the widespread pessimism of the late twentieth century. 2015 is also the year in which countries across the continent will be scrutinised regarding their achievements or failures in relation to the ‘Milliennium Development Goals’. In this one-day conference, we seek to go beyond statistics and national indicators to understand contemporary African societies in rich detail and at the local level. In particular, the conference will explore community and neighbourhood dynamics, family relations, parent-child relations, intergenerational relations, child rearing practices, work opportunities and livelihood choices, and how these are evolving in the context of changing socio-economic and political conditions. This agenda speaks to a wide range of contemporary concerns prevalent across much of Africa, including (but not limited to) the following: job creation and unemployment, fertility rates and demographic change, ‘youth bulges’, education, gender relations, children’s rights, the changing nature of family relations, labour relations, community participation, violence and crime, and the need for improved systems for urban and neighbourhood planning.

Conference Programme

Registration/ Tea and Coffee

Welcome (Dr. Afua Twum-Danso Imoh/Dr.Thomas Goodfellow)

An Overview of YASN (YASN representative)

Pane1 1:

Dr. Kate McAlpine-‘Doing the Right Thing to Protect Children in Tanzania: An Explanatory Theory Of The Basic Psychological Process Of Doing the Right Thing’

Lydia Marshall-“‘Going to School to Become Good People’ Examining Aspirations to Respectability and Adulthood among School Children in Urban Ethiopia”

Taiwo Gbadegesin-‘Acculturation Dilemma in Childrearing Experiences of Nigerian parents in Britain: Conflicts or congruence?’

Panel 2:

John Nott-‘Hunger and Medicine in the Gold Coast: the Nutritional Effects of Colonial Rule’

Aisha Giwa-‘Contraceptive Use Among Couples in North-Central Nigeria’

Dr. Shane Doyle-‘The Meaning of the Family in East Africa’


Panel 3:

Brenda Garvey-‘The Rise and Rise of Urban Wolof: Building New communities and Identities in 21st Century Senegal’

Dr. Audrey Small-“‘Works written in French should be taken to be published in Paris’: questions of fair trade in African publishing”

Panel 4:

Sumaila I. Asuru-‘The New Philanthropy, Poverty Reduction and Rural Development: A Case Study of Alliance for a Green Revolution in Ghana’

Dr. Sarah Stevano- ‘Investing in Women to Achieve Food Security? A Study of Women’s Work and Food in northern Mozambique’

Grace Mwaura-‘Self-making and Green Livelihoods among Educated Youth in Contemporary Kenya’

Coffee and Tea Break

Panel 5:

Dr. Gina Porter-‘Youth Livelihoods in the Cell Phone Era: Perspectives from Urban Africa’

Dr. Elsbeth Robson-‘A Generation of Digital Natives: Children’s Use of Mobile Phones in Malawi’

Keynote Address

Dr. Nicola Ansell (Reader in Human Geography) ‘Young People, Assets and Access to Sustainable Livelihoods’


Closing Remarks (Dr. Thomas Goodfellow/Dr. Afua Twum-Danso Imoh)

Download the Programme