The Power of Empowerment - Creating development in modern Zambia

Anders Jon Sørensen, Frederikke Veirum Høgsgaard & Majlinda Urban Kuci

Studenteropgave: Bachelorprojekt


Since the decolonisation of the African continent after World War II, development has been a recurring agenda for many of the countries on the continent. For many years economic growth through modernisation, industrialisation and urbanisation has been the natural way to achieve development, but recently the question of whether economic growth necessarily leads to higher quality of life has gained ground. As a response, the concept of empowerment and participation has grown to become an important buzzword within the development paradigm. By doing a case study on Zambia this report investigates the concept of development and its effects on Zambia and questions whether empowerment can be a way of creating development in a country facing great challenges. By conceptualising development through the theoretical framework of Amartya Sen we examine the project of the Global Platform in Zambia, which aims to create development through activism and empowerment. Having done a short term field study at the Global Platform in Zambia, we investigate if the creation of individual development through empowerment can create structural development by using Naila Kabeer’s conceptualisation of empowerment. Finally, Arturo Escobar’s theory on post- developmentalism will contribute to a critical discussion on whether the concept of development maintains the existence of an ‘underdeveloped world’ and if we, through this very study, engage in the creation of a Third World in need of development. This report comes to the conclusion that it is not possible to say whether or not the work of the Global Platform creates structural development, but that it does enhance the capabilities of individuals, and hereby empower them. Furthermore, we stress that the contribution to a creation of a social movement of youngsters fighting for a freer and more equal world will affect structural development in the long term.

UddannelserInternationale Studier, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) BachelorSocialvidenskab, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Bachelor
Antal sider65
VejledereSune Haugbølle