Hometown Associations: Indigenous Knowledge and Development in Nigeria

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Rex Honey, Stanley I. Okafor
Intermediate Technology Publications, 1998 - Social Science - 168 pages
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There is a growing recognition of the role of indigenous knowledge systems and resources, as shown by the role of local organizations in the development process. These organizations have been responsible for significant local development achievements in a number of developing countries, and they play a central role in the process of building sustained and participatory development.

This book focuses on one such type of organization: the Nigerian hometown association (HTA). HTAs are based on ties of kinship and ancestry, but are products of migrations and urbanization and are therefore of contemporary vintage. Associational life was, and remains, an important part of Nigerian social structure, and hometown associations have evolved into the most visible form of that associational life. Though they vary in many respects, HTAs have a few common properties, a crucial one being that they have significance both at "home" and "abroad." At home, the focus is on improvement, though the specifics of what is to be improved and who decides is the subject of struggle. Abroad, the focus is dual -- maintaining connections with home but also providing a supportive environment for people in a place where they are regarded as strangers.

These studies illuminate the vitality of a fast-developing society.

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About the author (1998)

Rex Honey (1945-2010) Rex was a co-founder of the UI Center for Human Rights and helped to launch its new certificate program; he served as the Center's associate director from 1999 to 2006. He also served as director of the UI's Crossing Borders Graduate Training Program (2006-10), the African Studies Program, and the Global Studies Program (now the BA Program in International Studies).

Stanley I. Okafor is a professor in the Department of Geography. His teaching and research interests include Political Geography, Medical Geography, Regional Development, Urban Geography and Geographic Thought. At the time of writing, his research includes the impact of neoliberal reforms on health care provision and the role of hometown associations in promoting development.

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