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ItemOpen Access
Fiscal space, governance quality and inclusive growth: evidence from Africa
(Emerald, 2023) Katuka, Blessing; Mudzingiri, Calvin; Ozili, Peterson K.
𝗣𝘂𝗿𝗽𝗼𝘀𝗲 This study aims to examine the impact of fiscal space and governance quality on inclusive growth in African countries. 𝗗𝗲𝘀𝗶𝗴𝗻/𝗺𝗲𝘁𝗵𝗼𝗱𝗼𝗹𝗼𝗴𝘆/𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗮𝗰𝗵 In total, 28 African countries were analyzed from 2000 to 2020 using the generalized method of moment regression method. An inclusive growth index was developed using the principal component analysis (PCA) method. The PCA-derived index incorporates factors such as poverty, income inequality, economic participation and per capita income. 𝗙𝗶𝗻𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀 The main findings suggest that fiscal space availability (de facto fiscal space and fiscal balance) promotes inclusive growth. The study also showed that lagged inclusive growth, digitalization and governance indicators positively influence inclusive growth. The study concludes that fiscal space availability fosters inclusive growth, but this effect is mediated by governance quality in Africa. 𝗢𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘆/𝘃𝗮𝗹𝘂𝗲 Several studies examined the role of fiscal policy on inclusive growth. However, it is crucial to assess the fiscal space, that is, the financial capacity of the government to implement its fiscal policy without harming its financial stability. This paper, therefore, contributes to the existing literature by using de facto fiscal space indicator to comprehend fiscal dynamics contributing to inclusive growth. In addition, the paper uniquely constructs an inclusive growth index by including poverty severity, which considers both the incidence and depth of poverty and inequality in society.
ItemOpen Access
Reversal of mitochondrial permeability transition pore and pancreas degeneration by chloroform fraction of Ocimum gratissimum (L.) leaf extract in type 2 diabetic rat model
(Frontiers Media, 2023) Salemcity, A. J.; Olanlokun, John Oludele; Olowofolahan, A. O.; Olojo, F. O.; Adegoke, Ayodeji Mathias; Olorunsogo, O. O.
𝗜𝗻𝘁𝗿𝗼𝗱𝘂𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻: Unmanaged Diabetes Mellitus (DM) usually results to tissue wastage because of mitochondrial dysfunction. Adverse effects of some drugs used in the management of DM necessitates the search for alternative therapy from plant origin with less or no side effects. Ocimum gratissimum (L.) (OG) has been folklorically used in the management of DM. However, the mechanism used by this plant is not fully understood. This study was designed to investigate the effects of chloroform fraction of OG leaf (CFOG) in the reversal of tissue wastage in DM via inhibition of mitochondrial-mediated cell death in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic male Wistar rats. 𝗠𝗲𝘁𝗵𝗼𝗱𝘀: Air-dried OG leaves were extracted with methanol and partitioned successively between n-hexane, chloroform, ethylacetate and methanol to obtain their fractions while CFOG was further used because of its activity. Diabetes was induced in fifteen male Wistar rats, previously fed with high fat diet (28 days), via a single intraperitoneal administration of STZ (35 mg/kg). Diabetes was confirmed after 72 h. Another five fed rats were used as the normal control, treated with corn oil (group 1). The diabetic animals were grouped (n = 5) and treated for 28 days as follows: group 2 (diabetic control: DC) received corn oil (10 mL/kg), groups 3 and 4 were administered 400 mg/kg CFOG and 5 mg/kg glibenclamide, respectively. Body weight and Fasting Blood Glucose (FBG) were determined while Homeostasis Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR) and beta cell (HOMA-β), and pancreatic tissue regenerating potential by CFOG were assessed. Activity-guided purification and characterization of the most active principle in CFOG was done using chromatographic and NMR techniques. The animals were sacrificed after 28 days, blood samples were collected and serum was obtained. Liver mitochondria were isolated and mitochondrial permeability transition (mPT) was investigated by spectrophotometry. 𝗥𝗲𝘀𝘂𝗹𝘁𝘀: CFOG reversed diabetic-induced mPT pore opening, inhibited ATPase activity and lipid peroxidation. CFOG reduced HOMA-IR but enhanced HOMA-β and caused regeneration of pancreatic cells relative to DC. Lupanol was a major metabolite of CFOG. 𝗗𝗶𝘀𝗰𝘂𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻: Normoglycemic effect of CFOG, coupled with reversal of mPT, reduced HOMA-IR and improved HOMA-β showed the probable antidiabetic mechanism and tissue regenerating potentials of OG.
ItemOpen Access
An analysis of municipality management key performance indicator (KPI) and its relation to municipal manager (MM) turnover: comparison between municipalities in Gauteng and Limpopo provinces
(University of the Free State, 2022) Mashashane, Ndangano Banyana; Cloete, Pringle
Effective public administration and municipal management are vital for developmental states' functioning, such as South Africa. Without efficient and effective municipal managers committed to clearly outlined and systematically implemented development plans, South Africa may struggle to live up to its developmental objectives. As such, good governance of municipal managers needs to be regularly checked through project management appraisal systems. However, it is due to the goal of good governance, which is consistently checked through regular project management appraisals, that we observe a high staff turnover in local municipalities. Staff turnover can be costly if it results in the loss of human capital investment and intellectual capital, exacerbated by costs to replacing management and a loss of productivity (Mzezewa and Raushai, 2019:5). Hattingh (2020:3) notes that the South African local government invests in the human capital and intellectual development of their senior managers through offering training and other capacity building initiatives while also providing financial assistance to further qualifications while under contract. However, a recent financial audit claims that more than half of the local municipalities are currently labelled as financially distressed, which adds to the high employee turnover rate in municipal management positions. According to the Department of Cooperative Governance, of those employees suspended, 21 were municipal managers (Hattingh, 2020:33). As a response to the current problem, the government has allocated R6.6-billion to support municipalities through building capacity and strengthening municipal administrations (Hattingh, 2020:4; Polity, 2021). Based on the implications of managerialism, this dissertation hopes to add a body of knowledge on any trends of accomplishments, or any entry requirements met, which may predict the capability of good governance of municipal managers and to increase staff retention to prevent further loss of capital. The problem, however, is that a shortage of research exists on trends of which municipal manager KPI's (competencies), skills and experiences lead to completion of their contractual term and not suspension. This study therefore aimed to identify which Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and core managerial competencies (CMCs) are present amongst municipal managers who complete their contractual terms while also performing well within the human resource management retention theory of job fit. In other words, the objective of this study is to explore and compare descriptively the municipal management turnover and any trends in the managers (MM's) KPI's and experiences that promote completion of managerial contract with the local government. The study is a cross-sectional descriptive quantitative exploration of municipality managers' performance challenges, preventing them from completing their full contractual term as a municipal manager. Information came from multiple sources, including Curriculum Vitae (CVs), KPI, CMCs, audits and exit reviews of managers. Secondary data was thematically categorised into the core competencies and KPI categories required by local government, and lastly, data was analysed and interpreted. This analysis will ultimately assist in the development of guidelines towards determining minimum requirements of managerial positions in municipalities to facilitate greater staff retention.
ItemOpen Access
Birds of a feather flock together: a dataset for Clock and Adcyap1 genes from migration genetics studies
(Nature Research, 2023) Le Clercq, Louis-Stéphane; Bazzi, Gaia; Obiol, Joan Ferrer; Cecere, Jacopo G.; Gianfranceschi, Luca; Grobler, J. Paul; Kotzé, Antoinette; Riutort León, Marta; González-Solís, Jacob; Rubolini, Diego; Liedvogel, Miriam; Dalton, Desiré Lee
Birds in seasonal habitats rely on intricate strategies for optimal timing of migrations. This is governed by environmental cues, including photoperiod. Genetic factors affecting intrinsic timekeeping mechanisms, such as circadian clock genes, have been explored, yielding inconsistent findings with potential lineage-dependency. To clarify this evidence, a systematic review and phylogenetic reanalysis was done. This descriptor outlines the methodology for sourcing, screening, and processing relevant literature and data. PRISMA guidelines were followed, ultimately including 66 studies, with 34 focusing on candidate genes at the genotype-phenotype interface. Studies were clustered using bibliographic coupling and citation network analysis, alongside scientometric analyses by publication year and location. Data was retrieved for allele data from databases, article supplements, and direct author communications. The dataset, version 1.0.2, encompasses data from 52 species, with 46 species for the Clock gene and 43 for the Adcyap1 gene. This dataset, featuring data from over 8000 birds, constitutes the most extensive cross-species collection for these candidate genes, used in studies investigating gene polymorphisms and seasonal bird migration.
ItemOpen Access
Employing the Ubuntu approach as a lens to enhance risk management skills at a municipality
(ASSADPAM, 2023) Choane, M. P.
In South African cities, the approach to risk management skills training has relied heavily on positivist research approaches. However, such professional research models tend to restrict employees’ input on risk mitigation. Consequently, despite the existence of rich African philosophical approaches, such as Ubuntu, the methods of teaching and learning risk management in municipalities are ineffective. Some ineffectiveness is the result of ignorance of utilising the Ubuntu philosophy for the identification, assessment and mitigation of risks with a view to enhancing the internal operations of an organisation. The practice of Ubuntu in teaching and learning, with specific reference to risk management, encourages a culture of group solidarity in the research environment that embraces brotherhood and sisterhood for survival. The question this article seeks to answer is: How can the use of the Ubuntu philosophy as a lens enhance the risk management skills of municipal officials? A single case study was conducted at Xhariep District Municipality in the Free State. Data was collected from municipal officials through participatory action research. The article recommends a culture of integrated teamwork driven by Ubuntu principles. Such a culture will contribute to human resource development, which will improve employees’ competency and self-esteem for the provision of better and higher-quality services to the Xhariep communities.
ItemOpen Access
The protective roles of citrus flavonoids, naringenin, and naringin on endothelial cell dysfunction in diseases
(Elsevier, 2023) Adetunji, Joy A.; Fasae, Kehinde D.; Awe, Ayobami I.; Paimo, Oluwatomiwa K.; Adegoke, Ayodeji M.; Akintunde, Jacob K.; Sekhoacha, Mamello P.
The endothelial cells (ECs) make up the inner lining of blood vessels, acting as a barrier separating the blood and the tissues in several organs. ECs maintain endothelium integrity by controlling the constriction and relaxation of the vasculature, blood fluidity, adhesion, and migration. These actions of ECs are efficiently coordinated via an intricate signaling network connecting receptors, and a wide range of cellular macromolecules. ECs are naturally quiescent i.e.; they are not stimulated and do not proliferate. Upon infection or disease, ECs become activated, and this alteration is pivotal in the pathogenesis of a spectrum of human neurological, cardiovascular, diabetic, cancerous, and viral diseases. Considering the central position that ECs play in disease pathogenesis, therapeutic options have been targeted at improving ECs integrity, assembly, functioning, and health. The dietary intake of flavonoids present in citrus fruits has been associated with a reduced risk of endothelium dysfunction. Naringenin (NGN) and Naringin (NAR), major flavonoids in grapefruit, tomatoes, and oranges possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidant properties, and cell survival potentials, which improve the health of the vascular endothelium. In this review, we provide a comprehensive summary and present the advances in understanding of the mechanisms through which NGN and NAR modulate the biomarkers of vascular dysfunction and protect the endothelium against unresolved inflammation, oxidative stress, atherosclerosis, and angiogenesis. We also provide perspectives and suggest further studies that will help assess the efficacy of citrus flavonoids in the therapeutics of human vascular diseases.
ItemOpen Access
Green synthesis of Iron oxide and Iron dioxide nanoparticles using Euphorbia tirucalli: characterization and antiproliferative evaluation against three breast cancer cell lines
(Taylor and Francis Group, 2023) Kgosiemang, Ipeleng Kopano Rosinah; Adegoke, Ayodeji Mathias; Mashele, Samson Sitheni; Sekhoacha, Mamello Patience
Researchers have become increasingly interested in nanoparticles made from plants because of their stability and large surface area. In the current study, iron oxide and iron dioxide nanoparticles were synthesized using aerial parts of the E. tirucalli as a reducing agent. The nanoparticles were analyzed using various techniques, including Ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffractometer, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy, Scanning electron Microscopy, and Transmission Electron Microscopy. The nanoparticles were then investigated for their antiproliferative effect against MCF-7, SK-BR-3, MDA-MB231, and Vero cell lines. The results confirmed the formation of FeO and FeO2 nanoparticles by color change and a UV absorbance peak between 220–390 nm. EDS analysis showed traces of Fe and O, while TEM confirmed the nanoparticle size of 100 nm. FTIR showed a peak at 514 nm. The FeO-RT NPs demonstrated over 80% antiproliferative activity against the MCF-7 cell line at a concentration of 10 μg/mL. while doxorubicin, FeO-RT NPs, and DCM extract showed similar activity against the MDA-MB231 cell line at 10 and 1 g/mL concentrations. However, Vero and SK-BR-3 cell lines showed decreased antiproliferative activity. This study highlights the environmentally friendly use and safe application of iron oxide NPs in cancer therapy.
ItemOpen Access
The vanishing of the primary emission region in PKS 1510–089
(American Astronomical Society, 2023) Aharonian, F.; Ait Benkhali, F.; Aschersleben, J.; Ashkar, H.; Backes, M.; Barbosa Martins, V.; Barnard, J.; Batzofin, R.; Becherini, Y.; Berge, D.; Bernlohr, K.; Bi, B.; de Bony de Lavergne, M.; Bottcher, M.; Boisson, C.; Bolmont, J.; Borowska, J.; Bouyahiaoui, M; Bradascio, F.; Breuhaus, M.; Brose, R.; Brown, A. M.; Brun, F.; Bruno, B.; Bulik, T.; Burger-Scheidlin, C.; Caroff, S.; Casanova, S.; Cecil, R.; Celic, J.; Cerruti, M.; Chand, T.; Chandra, S.; Chen, A.; Chibueze, J.; Chibueze, O.; Cotter, G.; Damascene Mbarubucyeye, J.; Davids, I. D.; Djannati-Atai, A.; Dmytriiev, A.; Doroshenko, V.; Egberts, K.; Einecke, S.; Ernenwein, J.-P.; Fegan, S.; Fontaine, G.; Fussling, M.; Funk, S.; Gabici, S.; Ghafourizadeh, S.; Giavitto, G.; Glawion, D.; Glicenstein, J. F.; Goswami, P.; Grolleron, G.; Haerer, L.; Hofmann, W.; Holch, T. L.; Holler, M.; Horns, D.; Jamrozy, M.; Jankowsky, F.; Joshi, V.; Jung-Richardt, I.; Kasai, E.; Katarzynski, K.; Khatoon, R.; Khelifi, B.; Kluzniak, W.; Komin, N.; Kosack, K.; Kostunin, D.; Lang, R. G.; Le Stum, S.; Leitl, F.; Lemiere, A.; Lenain, J.-P.; Leuschner, F.; Luashvili, A.; Mackey, J.; Marandon, V.; Marchegiani, P.; Marti-Devesa, G.; Marx, R.; Mehta, A.; Meyer, M.; Mitchell, A.; Moderski, R.; Mohrmann, L.; Montanari, A.; Moulin, E.; de Naurois, M.; Niemiec, J.; Priyana Noel, A.; O'Brien, P.; Ohm, S.; Olivera-Nieto, L.; de Ona Wilhelmi, E.; Ostrowski, M.; Panny, S.; Panter, M.; Peron, G.; Prokhorov, D. A.; Ren, H.; Rieger, F.; Rowell, G.; Rudak, B.; Rueda Ricarte, H.; Ruiz-Velasco, E.; Sahakian, V.; Salzmann, H.; Sanchez, D. A.; Santangelo, A.; Sasaki, M.; Schussler, F.; Schutte, H. M.; Schwanke, U.; Shapopi, J. N. S.; Sol, H.; Specovius, A.; Spencer, S.; Stawarz, K.; Steenkamp, R.; Steinmassl, S.; Steppa, C.; Sushch, I.; Suzuki, H.; Takahashi, T.; Tanaka, T.; Terrier, R.; Tsuji, N.; van Eldik, C.; van Soelen, B.; Vecchi, M.; Veh, J.; Vink, J.; Wach, T.; Wagner, S. J.; Wierzcholska, A.; Zacharias, M.; Zargaryan, D.; Zdziarski, A. A.; Zech, A.; Zouari, S.; Zywucka, N.; Buckley, D. A. H.; Cooper, J.; Groenewald, D.; H.E.S.S., Collaboration
In 2021 July, PKS 1510−089 exhibited a significant flux drop in the high-energy γ-ray (by a factor 10) and optical (by a factor 5) bands and remained in this low state throughout 2022. Similarly, the optical polarization in the source vanished, resulting in the optical spectrum being fully explained through the steady flux of the accretion disk and the broad-line region. Unlike the aforementioned bands, the very-high-energy γ-ray and X-ray fluxes did not exhibit a significant flux drop from year to year. This suggests that the steady-state very-high-energy γ-ray and X-ray fluxes originate from a different emission region than the vanished parts of the high-energy γ-ray and optical jet fluxes. The latter component has disappeared through either a swing of the jet away from the line of sight or a significant drop in the photon production efficiency of the jet close to the black hole. Either change could become visible in high-resolution radio images.
ItemOpen Access
Moringa oleifera: a review on the antiproliferative potential in breast cancer cells
(MDPI, 2023) Moremane, Malebogo M.; Abrahams, Beynon; Tiloke, Charlette
The global burden of female breast cancer and associated deaths has become a major concern. Many chemotherapeutic agents, such as doxorubicin, have been shown to have adverse side effects. The development of multi-drug resistance is a common occurrence, contributing to chemotherapeutic failure. The resistance of breast cancer cells to drug treatment leads to a decline in the treatment efficacy and an increase in cancer recurrence. Therefore, action is required to produce alternative drug therapies, such as herbal drugs. Herbal drugs have been proven to be beneficial in treating illnesses, including cancer. This review aims to highlight the antiproliferative potential of Moringa oleifera (MO), a medicinal tree native to India and indigenous to Africa, in breast cancer cells. Although MO is not yet considered a commercial chemopreventive drug, previous studies have indicated that it could become a chemotherapeutic agent. The possible antiproliferative potential of MO aqueous leaf extract has been previously proven through its antioxidant potential as well as its ability to induce apoptosis. This review will provide an increased understanding of the effect that MO aqueous leaf extract could potentially have against breast cancer.
ItemOpen Access
Pedagogical implications on curriculum support for learner progression: policy promises and outcomes
(OpenED Network, 2023) Mogale, Makobo Lydia
Part of enabling progressed learners’ successes is provision of adequate curriculum support to bridge content gap. Learner progression was introduced as an intervention for retention and to minimise school dropout. Dynamics around education policy implementation gaps seems to be obstacle between progression policy promises and outcomes. This is visible through the national grade 12 results which continue to decline amid learner progression. Within debates of progression policy derailing quality education, Covid19 disruptions unleashed inequalities in the education sector. For instance, learning losses and in turn pedagogical implications for progressed learners’ extended learning opportunities. This paper reports on curriculum support provided to progressed learners reflecting on Covid19 disruptions using Bandura’ Social Learning Theoretical lens. The study adopted a qualitative research approach placed within interpretivism paradigm and employed exploratory case study design. Six teachers were purposively selected from three secondary school in one district of the Limpopo Province, South Africa. Thus, two grade twelve teachers per school whose subjects were directly affected by progression policy because the study focuses on progression from grade eleven to twelve. Data were collected through document analysis and interviews. Thematic analysis was used for data analysis. Findings revealed limitations to reach out to progressed learners’ due catch-up plans because of lockdown and rotational models. This study concluded on a fair compliance on policy stipulations yet limited specific intervention strategies. The unique contribution of this study is the reflection on three implementation gaps which had implications for progression policy outcomes.