Removing cultural, political and other barriers between the receivers and donors is a precondition for effective international transfer of knowledge and technical assistance for development. Eliminating such barriers means laying grounds for better understanding of, and responding to, the needs of the developing countries, and should contribute to the strengthening of their human resource and institutional capacities.
In this context, the Bibliography presented here is an attempt at providing additional grounds for the implementation of the FAO/UNFPA TSS in parts of Africa that still tend to remain behind communication barriers.
FAO and UNFPA have been jointly providing technical assistance to countries with quite different cultural, economic and political backgrounds, and the Country Support Teams (CSTs) established collaboration with, and strengthened the capacity of, African academic and other institutions, NGOs and Governments through many programmes and projects. However, in this process of international cultural integration around population activities, one group of African countries has been lagging behind, namely the group of Lusophone countries: Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique and São Tomé e Príncipe. These countries, their institutions and individual experts, have not been as intensively integrated in the implementation of FAO/UNFPA TSS as those from the majority of countries belonging to the Anglophone and Francophone parts of Africa.
The reasons for a lower participation of Lusophone countries - officially addressing themselves as the PALOPs (Países Africanos de Língua Official Portuguesa) - are to be found in their cultural isolation from international communication and co-operation for development due to:
· language, i.e., scholars and institutions communicating in Portuguese have virtually been unknown in the mainstream, internationally accepted, and English dominated, evolution of concepts and practices in Population and Development in Africa;
· politics, i.e., the PALOPs were the last to achieve independence from the colonial rule, initially adhered to the ideologically biased co-operation with the East, and have till recently suffered from civil wars and political strives; and
· underdevelopment, i.e., by all socio-economic and demographic standards, the PALOPs are among the least developed countries. The nature and dimensions of poverty- and war-provoked emergency situations have prompted sizable influxes of international humanitarian aid to them, while true technical assistance for development only recently emerged as more important.
The largest portion of world literature on population/development-related issues in the PALOPs has been realized by European (especially French, German and Swedish), as well as by Canadian scholars and institutions. The titles in Portuguese are very few. Population issues per se do not figure high on the agenda of academic or policy research in the PALOPs themselves, nor in Master theses and Doctoral dissertations of students from the PALOPs at Universities in Portugal.
Human resource and institutional bases needed for continuous data collection, research and interpretations of population dynamics, and their translation into development programmes and projects, have yet to be consolidated in the PALOPs.
However, there is an important portion of sociological, anthropological, economic, political science and other research in the PALOPs themselves, as well as on the PALOPs realized in Portugal, that does address many aspects of population/development issues and dilemmas in these countries. It is probably the very weight of the population problem in the PALOPs that is making "population" a non-avoidable, and indeed motivating topic in development-related research outside of Population Studies. In particular, sociological and economic literature devoted to food and agricultural production and rural development issues in the PALOPs frequently bears important references to major population issues, such as, natural increase and spatial distribution versus natural resource base, age and sex ratios, cultural and micro-economics contexts of reproductive behavior and family formation, rural exodus, international migration, human labour requirements versus farming technology, etc.
This Bibliography attempts at presenting and assessing the available literature in Portuguese on population, agriculture and rural development in the PALOPs from the perspective of the sensibility and competence of authors for one particular, pressing, and strategically crucial issue: gender-relations in the rural setting. In view of the traditional and new gender-asymmetries against women in Africa, as well as of the key role African women play in subsistence agriculture and management of family resources, no wonder that literature on population, agriculture and rural development in the PALOPs addresses the status and role of women and gender-relations from the perspective of various disciplines.
Through annotations of nearly one hundred selected references, this Bibliography thus intends to shed more light on the manner in which the theme of Women, Population and Development (WPD) figures in the main focus, or as part of broader interpretations of agriculture and rural development issues in the PALOPs.