Monday, July 4, 2011

A reminder

Franklin Cudjoe, a man who knows considerably more about Africa, its countries, their economy and problems than our own Andrew Mitchell (no, I didn't want him either), reminded me and others this morning of an article he wrote in 2005 for the Wall Street Journal and reprinted in African Liberty in 2005 about the Nigerian famine and why African countries continue to have famines and continue to need (apparently) international aid.

As we are about to provide another £38 million in aid to Ethiopia where there is yet again famine, this article is worth re-reading and pondering over. (Oh yes, full disclosure: Franklin is a good friend.)


  1. Amartya Sen: "no substantial famine has ever occurred in any independent and democratic country with a relatively free press. We cannot find exceptions to this rule, no matter where we look: the recent famines of Ethiopia, Somalia, or other dictatorial regimes; famines in the Soviet Union in the 1930s; China's 1958-61 famine with the failure of the Great Leap Forward; or earlier still, the famines in Ireland or India under alien rule..."

  2. I wouldn't say China's famine was because of the failure of the Great Leap Forward. That and the Soviet famine of 1929-32 were man made and, unlike the Irish famine of 1846, deliberately so.