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Book chapter Book chapter Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Sahel: drought, desertification and man-made problems
Authors:Mitra, Soumya
Ali, Shanti Sadiq
Book title:Africa: dimensions of the economic crisis: an analysis of the problems and constraints of development / ed. by Shanti Sadiq Ali, Anirudha Gupta. - New Delhi [etc.]: Sterling Publishers
Geographic term:Sahel
Subjects:economic dependence
Abstract:In their study of the crisis confronting the Sahel - Cape Verde, Chad, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Burkina Faso - the authors draw attention to ecological degradation and the menace of the advancing desert. This is also a region in Africa which is least endowed with cultivable land and mineral resources. Policy failures, however, have arguably played the bigger part in bringing about the crisis. These include the neglect of agriculture and the rural areas, including the peasant farmer, which has, in turn, speeded migration to the urban centres, paralleled by a marked tendency in all the countries concerned to appease the urban populations. Over and above, and in spite of some attempts at innovations to reconstruct development in Niger and in Burkina Faso in particular, the countries of the region have preserved a 'grafted culture' and an 'extroverted economy' which 'for all practical purposes exists primarily to service a foreign (French) economy'. This neocolonial relationship can only be weakened if the dominated countries of the Sahel build up direct horizontal contacts among themselves, particularly through trade. Institutions such as the CILSS and the Club du Sahel, however, are hardly constituted to play such a role. Notes, ref.