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Periodical issue Periodical issue Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Special issue in honor of Jane Guyer and 'An African Niche Economy' (1997)
Editor:Barrett-Gaines, KathrynISNI
Periodical:African Economic History (ISSN 0145-2258)
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:economic theories
economic conditions
market women
salt industry
shea nuts
iron forging
festschrifts (form)
About person:Jane Isabel Mason GuyerISNI
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/i285173
Abstract:Rather than importing Western economic theory to see how African economies do or do not measure up, Jane Guyer introduced the concept of the niche economy (1997), calling for observation of actual people's actual economic behaviour as an entryway for understanding economies and economic change in Africa. This special issue of 'African Economic History' follows on from the 2003 African Studies Association roundtable 'Toward an analytics of African economic innovations and strategies: beyond the descriptive'. The case studies cover a deep expanse of time - precolonial, colonial and postcolonial - and a wide expanse of place: West, Central and East Africa. They vary also in the types of commodity and economic domain that are examined: cultural art production, Ghanaian 'fertility dolls' (Norma H. Wolff), West African shea butter production (Brenda Chalfin), Ghanaian market women (Gracia Clark), the Katwe salt industry, Uganda (Kathryn Barrett-Gaines), precolonial ironworking in the Congo basin (Colleen Kriger) and the production of tailored and embroidered robes, 'babban riga', in Zaria, Nigeria (Elisha P. Renne). Each author links their work to the niche concept and pushes it in their own direction. The work is part of a larger problematic concerning the status and direction of the study of African economies, and includes discussion and commentary (Sara Berry; E. Ann McDougall; Jane Guyer). [ASC Leiden abstract]