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Studies In African Livelihoods: Current Issues And Future Prospects

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Chapter Summary

In the 1990s, the analysis of poverty in Africa became susceptible to a livelihood approach, with an actor-oriented perspective of putting people at the centre and pointing out their agency in order to explore opportunities and to cope with constraints. The origin of modern livelihood policy studies can be traced to Chambers and Conway, who saw livelihood as the means of gaining a living, including livelihood capabilities, and tangible and intangible assets. This chapter shows that the approach's popularity is partly due to its enactment by policy circles but also to its roots in various scientific disciplines. It discusses two issues, namely issues of power and multi-local dynamics, which merit particular attention if the approach is to contribute to the understanding of contemporary African livelihoods.

Keywords: African multi-local livelihood dynamics; Chambers; contemporary African livelihoods; Conway



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