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ANT/AAS 431G: People and Cultures of Africa  

Guide to support Assignment 2: African Commodity Chain Analysis.
Last Updated: May 27, 2014 URL: http://libguides.uky.edu/ANT431G Print Guide Email Alerts

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Useful Information

This guide was created based on your African Commodity Chain Analysis Assignment.  It is designed to get to to the correct body of literature to answer your question.  The key to this assignment is find a commodity and then doing back ground research on that commodity. That will give you the information you need to proceed with the other parts of the assignment.

 

Assignment Road Map

Searching tips to finding information for the key nodes in your analysis are below the node in red.      

  Regional availability of the resource - where (specific places) can this resource be acquired?

  • Use the Commodity Information tab to find a list of commodities and country information on your commodity.
  • 

   Social context of extracting/acquiring the resource: what goes on at the LOCAL level for the people living near, and often doing the work of, extraction sites? What are the socio-political-economic dynamics of extraction/access of the raw material in this location?

·         What businesses/corporations/elite manage the extraction?

·         Where does the raw material go after it’s extracted/accessed, and who/what entity manages that first step in the chain? If possible, identify the names of businesses/corporations (and their parent companies if applicable).

·         What are the steps the product follows to the point of manufacturing/processing/packaging for sale as a “commodity” in a new (typically western or industrialized) location?

·         What IS the manufactured product? (fancy chocolate or coffee? cell phones? diamond jewelry, diamond components in industry? copper in new technologies? food dye to make egg yokes yellow (really! marigolds grown in Zambia are used for chicken feed in Europe), etc.).

·         Who/what entities market the product, and how? (e.g.,  is it marketed as “fair trade coffee” (from Kenya), organically grown flowers (from South Africa), animal feed to give “healthy color” to European eggs, etc.?)

·         Who buys the product and what is the social context of this product? (Are socially conscious consumers buying fair trade coffee? Does the whole cell phone culture around the world depend on coltan? Does U.S. daily life depend heavily on technologies using copper and other minerals from Africa? Etc.).

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