Monday, 4 June 2012

Climate change: The European Union´s efforts in Africa are beginning to bear fruit

Global warming/climate change, the centerpiece of the European Union´s foreign policy in Africa is finally beginning to bear fruit. The efforts of  visiting EU leaders and the vast network of EU embassies in Africa have not been in vain: African politicians have learned to hide their own mistakes by blaming their own failures on global warming, created by the "rich" industrialized countries. Here is one recent example: 

“While Africa is not the major contributor to environmental problems, it has nevertheless suffered most from the impacts of climate change, and this has severely affected our efforts towards increasing agricultural productivity,” the Speaker of Parliament Kadaga Rebecca told participants from several African Parliaments.

It is of course true that yield levels of many food commodities produced in Africa are below international averages. Here are some of the real reasons for the backwardness, which the "participants from several African Parliaments" chose not to discuss:  

– lack of knowledge of up-to-date technologies and practices,
– low use of improved seed,
– low use of fertiliser,
– inadequate irrigation and
– lack of incentives for farmers in the absence of remunerative markets.
In many places, these sector-specific problems are compounded by overarching issues, including
– political instability and violent conflict,
– weak institutions of governance and ineffective policies or
rural people’s poor health.  

And the European teachings are not applicable only to economic activities. Now even a fourth of all deaths in Africa seem to be caused by global warming (of western origin):

About twenty three percent of the deaths recorded in Africa are linked to environmental factors according to statistics recorded by African Parliamentarians meeting in Kampala. 

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