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Africa in Crisis
The Causes, The Cures of Environmental Bankruptcy

Timberlake, Lloyd
Publisher:  Earthscan
Resource Type:  Book

Abstract:  Africa in Crisis looks at the causes of African famine and how it is a symbol of a much deeper crisis. African droughts and famines are not just the results of a lack of rain but the end result of a long deterioration in the ability of Africans to feed themselves caused by mistakes made by governments both inside and outside the continent. Timberlake explains how this catastrophic situation got this way and what can be done to fix it. He catalogues the human activities that have led to environmental disaster: over cultivation of land, overgrazing ranchlands and deforestation, policies that favour the urban population, promoting low food prices and profits going from agriculture to urban based companies, international experts giving the wrong advice, the failure of funded programs-water, ranch, agriculture that did not incorporate the knowledge, skills and goals of the indigenous populace and the problem of donor countries using up their surplus agricultural production by giving it to African countries for free which in turn devalues the price of local food so there is no incentive for African farmers to farm. He sees hope for Africa if those responsible for the current crisis admit mistakes, reevaluate programs and look to Africans with some judicious help from outsiders to solve their own problems.

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