"There is another Africa today," says Father Nzamujo Godfrey Ugwuegmulam, director of the Songhai Project in Benin. "This Africa is not yet known by the mass media. But there are a growing number of communities and nongovernmental organizations and ass ociations that refuse to accept a gloomy picture of the future of Africa....It is our duty to create the human capabilities for solving both the social and economic problems of our African communities. We have no right to decry what is happening in Africa and stop there. The only way to get out of our problems is to build another Africa--our Africa, where we can be recognized as human beings." (African Farmer, January 1994, p. 41)
The resource materials in this chapter describe some of the food- and agriculture-related issues that Africans face in building "another Africa." These include control of seeds, distribution of land, export-oriented cash crops, water, sustainable farmi ng techniques, food shortages and war, unavoidable natural phenomena (drought, locusts), the role of foreign agencies in disaster relief, agricultural policies sponsored by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) , foreign trade and aid, and so forth. The resources also emphasize Africa's accomplishments--the successful projects, the creativity and resiliency of people determined to be self-reliant, the sense of community responsibility for the provision of food and other economic necessities , and the role of women in agricultural production.
Seed and Surplus: An Illustrated Guide to the World Food System (Delpeuch 1994), co-published by the Catholic Institute for International Relations (London) and Farmers' Link (Norwich), is another introductory guide that presents the workings of the world food system in readable terms and superlative illustrations (more than 50 full-page illustrations in all).
The annual reviews published by the Bread for the World Institute (BFWI) are noteworthy for their analytical essays and their clearly presented charts and tables of statistical data. See
The 11 essays in The Color of Hunger: Race and Hunger in National and International Perspective (Shields 1995) probe for reasons why hunger is concentrated among people of color, both in industrialized and emerging nations. Africa-related essays include Tshenuwani Simon Farisani's "Hunger Amidst Plenty: A South African Perspective" and Mutombo Mpanya's "Stereotypes of Africa in U.S. Hunger Appeals."
The pros and cons of World Bank and IMF involvement in African agriculture are laid out in Aid to African Agriculture: Lessons from Two Decades of Donors' Experience (Lele 1992) and A Blighted Harvest: The World Bank and African Agriculture i n the 1980s (Gibbon et al. 1993).
The following books are particularly useful for delineating the causes for African agricultural crises:
The following studies feature case studies of initiatives that are being implemented in Africa to encourage agricultural self-sufficiency:
Cameroon: Chapter 8 in Institutional Sustainability in Agriculture and Rural Development: A Global Perspective (Brinkerhoff and Goldsmith 1990): "Policy reform as institutional change."
Cape Verde: History and Hunger in West Africa: Food Production and Entitlement in Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde (Bigman 1993).
Côte d'Ivoire: An End to Hunger? The Social Origins of Food Strategies (Barraclough 1991).
Egypt: Sustainable Agriculture in Egypt (Faris and Khan 1993).
Ethiopia: Ethiopia: Failure of Land Reform and Agricultural Crisis (Mengisteab 1990); Environment, Famine, and Politics in Ethiopia: A View from the Village (Dejene 1990).
Guinea Bissau: History and Hunger in West Africa: Food Production and Entitlement in Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde (Bigman 1993).
Kenya: Intervention in Child Nutrition: Evaluation Studies in Kenya (Hoorweg and Niemeijer 1989).
Morocco: Chapter 9 in Institutional Sustainability in Agriculture and Rural Development: A Global Perspective (Brinkerhoff and Goldsmith 1990): "The Three Phases of Sustainability in Morocco's Institut Agronomique et Veterinaire Hassan II."
Senegal: Gender, Class and Rural Transition: Agribusiness and the Food Crisis in Senegal (Mackintosh 1989).
Sudan: To Cure All Hunger: Food Policy and Food Security in Sudan (Maxwell 1991).
Tanzania: Liberalizing Tanzania's Food Trade: Public and Private Faces of Urban Marketing Policy, 1939-1988 (Bryceson 1993); Chapter 5, "Ujamaa: The Failure of a Non-coercive Agricultural Policy in Tanzania," in Famine in East Africa: Foo d Production and Food Policies (Seavoy 1989); Food Insecurity and the Social Division of Labour in Tanzania, 1919-85 (Bryceson 1990).
Zimbabwe: Seeds for African Peasants: Peasants' Needs and Agricultural Research. The Case of Zimbabwe (Friis-Hansen 1995); Zimbabwe's Agricultural Revolution (Rukuni and Eicher 1994); Government and Agriculture in Zimbabwe (Mas ters 1994).
"I grew up in a village of 1,000 people in Tshikapa, Zaire. There were no soldiers, policemen, prisons, or criminals. Everyone had enough food to eat; there were no beggars. Children, elders, and sick people were all taken care of by their families. Pe ople grew their own food, built their own homes, and created their own arts and entertainment. Of course, my village was not Korem in Ethiopia [center of the Ethiopian famine in the mid-1980s], or any other village, but this image of peace and self-suffic iency is as valid and real an image of Africa as any other."
--Mutombo Mpanya, "Stereotypes of Africa in U.S. Hunger Appeals," The Color of Hunger: Race and Hunger in National and International Perspective (Shields 1995), p. 32