Dear friends, colleagues, supporters and collaborators,
Starting the last year of the CRC's first funding phase, we want to take the chance to send you an update of the activities over the last six months. 2020 has been a truly unreal and troublesome year for everyone. The impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic could be felt in almost every aspect of daily lives, and has affected the work of the CRC as well. While most of the research activities of our members and partners were about to be completed when the first wave of disease outbreaks hit in March, the effects nonetheless led us to rethink our approach to empirical work. With most planes being grounded worldwide, and international travel reduced to a minimum, it is hardly possible to carry out research abroad. The pandemic leads us to engage with new, internet- and phone-based research techniques, and has deepened the collaboration with our partners in Africa.But the pandemic forces us not only to try out new approaches with regard to empirical research, it also demands a reconceptualization of futuring. In a forthcoming article on African futures after COVID-19, the CRC's spokesperson Detlef Müller-Mahn, together with our partner Eric Kioko express this poignantly:
"COVID-19 took the world by surprise. By disrupting today’s living conditions, the pandemic challenges the teleology of imagined futures. It painfully reminds us that futures may turn out quite differently from what had been imagined. It realigns temporal orientations from far to near horizons, from long-term predictable trends to sudden unexpected events, and from visionary planning to coping with the immediate. As Ghanaian scholar Epifania Amoo-Adare (2020) truly remarks, “Covid-19 is very much about the abrupt encounter of our ‘extended present’ with an ‘unthought future’”. The unprecedented emergency indicates that ‘futuring’, i.e. the way individuals and societies think about and act upon their futures, inevitably involves an element of uncertainty. Futuring connects “future presents” and “present futures” (Luhmann 1992: 142), but not in a linear way." (Müller-Mahn & Kioko, 2020)
In light of this, we have asked our members and partners to reflect on their experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic, and to share findings from their research projects, as well as first insights on the effects that the pandemic has on communities in rural Africa. We are happy to share these accounts with you below.

Furthermore, this newsletter contains a brief report of the workshop on the conceptualization of North-South research partnerships, that was held in October this year. Now more than ever, international research depends on strong academic partnership and collaboration. The workshop provided an opportunity to analyze academic collaboration through the lens of critical and postcolonial studies. Lastly, we are pleased to share with you the latest publications of our members and colleagues. To stay up to date, we invite you to keep an eye on our website and follow us on Twitter.
We wish you all a successful and most of all healthy year! While we will likely have to deal with the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic for a while still, we do hope to be able to continue doing research in person and to see you again sometime in 2021.
With best wishes on behalf of the entire CRC,
Matian van Soest
Research during a global  Pandemic
From a state of uncertainty, unrest, to adjusting and adopting. In brief anecdotes, CRC researchers reflect on their experiences of doing research during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more
'If it pays it stays' :COVID-19 puts the financial stability of communal conservancies in Namibia at risk.
Community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) in Namibia is often told as a success story, and indeed the numbers are impressive..Read more

Voices of rural communities 

Recently, UNAM and Bath Spa University (BSU) embarked on a rapid research project to document the voices of local communities living in conservancies talking about the effects of COVID-19 on communal-based conservation and tourism in Namibia.. Read more

From health crisis to hunger crisis?

As the Sars-CoV-2 pandemic has fundamentally re-scrambled what is deemed essential vis-à-vis what can be sacrificed...One popular example is the fear that today’s health crisis might quickly develop into a ravaging food crisis. Read more


CRC Covid-19 Research in Brief

Argelander grant funds Covid-19 research in rural Africa


This research seeks to investigate how African countries are reacting to the shocks caused by the pandemic, focusing on the effects of (mis)information on reinforcing preventive measures and access to other healthcare services and needs in rural and urban Kenya, as well as rural Namibia, Tanzania, and Zambia. Read more

Study on ‘willingness to pay’ for a COVID-19 vaccine


The research studies the willingness to accept taking the COVID vaccine in five countries in East Africa, namely; Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Ethiopia, and secondly, it assesses the willingness to pay for the vaccine when it is available. . Read more


Project Update in Brief

Reflections on Global North - South partnerships 
Triggered by the worldwide protests against police violence and the related debates against structural forms of discrimination...members of the CRC started a discussion on academic partnerships in the context of North-South research projects. Read more
Summer School 2020
This year’s Summer School was particularly unique, with the workshops being delivered in both physical and virtual forums. Under the thematic topic, African Rural Futures: Theories, Debates, and Challenges..  Read more


Latest Podcast Episode

Covid-19 shocks in rural Africa
In this particular episode, we discuss the preliminary results of our current COVID-19 research being carried out in Tanzania, Kenya, Namibia and Zambia. Measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 infections, such as lockdowns, curfews, travel restrictions have had immense effects to social relations. Click here to listen to the episode.


Latest Publications (Sept - Dec 2020)

Bollig, M. & Vehrs, H.-P. (2020): Abundant herds: Accumulation, herd management, and land-use patterns in a conservation area. Pastoralism 10, article no. 20. Access Link.

Gargallo, E., Kalvelage, L. (2020): Integrating social-ecological systems and global production networks: Local effects of trophy hunting in Namibian conservancies. Development Southern Africa. Access link

Hulke, C., Kairu, Kariuki, J., Diez, Revilla, J. (2020): Development visions, livelihoods – how conservation shapes agricultural value chains in the Zambezi region, Namibia. Development Southern Africa. Access Link.

Klagge, B., Greiner, C., Greven, D., Nweke-Eze, C. (2020): Cross-Scale Linkages of Centralized Electricity Generation: Geothermal Development and Investor-Community Relations in Kenya. Politics and Governance, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 211-222. Access Link.

Meyer, M., Klingelhoeffer, E., Naidoo, R., Wingate, V., Börner, J., (2020): Tourism opportunities drive woodland and wildlife conservation outcomes of community-based conservation in Namibia's Zambezi region. Ecological Economics, vol. 180, article no. 106863. Access Link.

Müller-Mahn, D., Moure, M. & Gebreyes, M. (2020): Climate change, the politics of anticipation and future riskscapes in Africa. Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, vol. 13, no.2, pp. 343-362. Access Link.

Willkomm, M., Follmann, A., Dannenberg, P. (2020): Between Replacement and Intensification: Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Different Land Use Types of Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture under Rapid Urban Growth in Nakuru, Kenya. The professional Geographer. Access Link 
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