Belfer Center Home > Publications > Articles and Op-Eds > Op-Eds > The End of Economic Ideology in African Agriculture

EmailEmail   PrintPrint Bookmark and Share

 
"The End of Economic Ideology in African Agriculture"

Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, right, is recognized by UN Food Agriculture Organization General Director Jacques Diouf at a meeting titled "Brazil—Africa Dialogue on Food Security, Fight Against Hunger, & Rural Development."
AP Photo

"The End of Economic Ideology in African Agriculture"

Op-Ed, African Technology Development Forum Blog

January 20, 2011

Author: Calestous Juma, Professor of the Practice of International Development; Director, Science, Technology, and Globalization Project; Principal Investigator, Agricultural Innovation in Africa

Belfer Center Programs or Projects: Agricultural Innovation in Africa; Science, Technology, and Globalization; Science, Technology, and Public Policy

 

Africa can feed itself in a generation. It can do so by harnessing abundant technologies that are available worldwide, expanding internal regional markets and expanding rural infrastructure. But to achieve this, African leaders at the highest level possible will need to take charge of the agenda for agriculture. The continent cannot afford anymore to listen to well-meaning consultants in affluent countries that still rely on conventional and traditional approaches in dealing with the ongoing crisis. It has sufficient lessons to learn from within Africa and from other countries to draw on.

Many African countries have managed in recent years to design innovative policies and enable institutional changes that help promote agricultural innovation. The courageous leaders of these countries have realized that they should rely on tested pragmatism rather than economic ideology. For example, the recovery of Rwanda after the genocide focused on reviving agriculture. Malawi has shown that strategic support for farmers can stimulate agriculture within a short period. In both cases decisive high-level leadership on the part of heads of state and the use of existing technologies have played a major role.

These countries have learned that agricultural development can greatly benefit from the global knowledge economy if research conducted in academia, government, civil society, and private industry is effectively applied in the local private sector in accordance with a well-designed regional integration policy....

Continue reading and post a comment: http://www.atdforum.org/spip.php?article418

 

For more information about this publication please contact the Belfer Center Communications Office at 617-495-9858.

Full text of this publication is available at:
http://www.atdforum.org/spip.php?article418

For Academic Citation:

Juma, Calestous. "The End of Economic Ideology in African Agriculture." African Technology Development Forum Blog, January 20, 2011.

Bookmark and Share

SUBSCRIBE

Receive email updates on the most pressing topics in science and int'l affairs.

<em>International Security</em>

The Spring 2014 issue of the quarterly journal International Security is now available!

Events Calendar

We host a busy schedule of events throughout the fall, winter and spring. Past guests include: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former Vice President Al Gore, and former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev.