COP 27 “Climate Change” Will Reduce Economic Growth in African Nations-Causing Increased Death Rates

In my interview above with Rogue News- roguenews.com, I explain why COP 27 demands for African nations not to exploit their own natural resources, is beyond hypocritical; it is evil. African nations should have the right to utilize every bit of their fossil fuels to generate energy while providing a transition to a nuclear energy platform. African nations must have abundant and accessible energy to power industrialized economies. Failure is not an option, if we are to prevent unnecessary deaths from hunger, poverty, and disease.

Read my earlier post: “Climate Change” A Weapon to Prevent Industrialization of African Economies: Expect Push-Back at COP 27 in Egypt

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

Nigerian Water Minister Promotes Transaqua–A Water Project to Save Lake Chad & Transform Africa

The drying up of Lake Chad would be catastrophic for Africa. The disappearance of this body of water in the Sahel would not only affect the tens of millions of Africans living on and around the lake and the nations of the Lake Chad Basin, but the entirety of the continent. The lake has shrunk over the last six decades to 90% of its original area of 25,000 square kilometers.

Suleiman Adamu, Nigeria’s Minister of Water Resources, under President Mahammadu Buhari, has called for recharging Lake Chad, as reported in environewsnigeria.com, (excerpted below). Although Minister Adamu does not mention its name, the transformative water infrastructure project to save Lake Chad that he refers to is, Transaqua. It was first proposed by engineer Marcello Vichi in 1980.

Transaqua, was adopted as the preferred solution to restore Lake Chad to its earlier size, at the International Conference to Save Lake Chad, held in Abuja, Nigeria from February 26-28, 2018. I was a prominent speaker at this conference. Read: The Time is Now For TRANSAQUA-to Save Lake Chad and Transform Africa,

Essentially, Dr. Vichi’s proposal called for constructing a 2,400 kilometer canal from the southeast section of the Democratic Republic of the Congo that would flow by gravity northwest to the Central African Republic. There, this navigable canal would connect to the Chari River, the primary contributor of water to Lake Chad. By utilizing a small percentage of water from the Congo River, this canal would conduit an up to one hundred billion cubic meters of water to refurbish Lake Chad. Through human intervention, water is being transferred from the moist Congo River Basin to the arid Lake Chad Basin.

Dr. Vichi recently wrote:

“TRANSAQUA is the only project capable of transforming about 25% of the surface of the African continent by producing agricultural and livestock products sufficient for the domestic market and for export; to stop the advance of the Sahara and save Lake Chad; to produce large production of hydroelectric energy in the heart of Africa with the possibility of industrialization of economic activities; to create a river and road axis of about 2400 km capable of activating a collateral road network for the development of all types of activities; and much more.

“It has been calculated that the TRANSAQUA project could produce in the heart of the African continent, around 30 billion kw/h per year using only 6-8% of the water of the Congo River subtracted from dispersion in the ocean.”

For more information on the transformative impact of Transaqua for Africa, read: Save Lake Chad With Transaqua: Franklin Roosevelt and Kwame Nkrumah Would Concur

U.S. Rebuffs Transaqua

Despite all the ballyhoo and so called concern on the effects of climate change on the African continent, the U.S. has done nothing to address the crippling conditions of poverty and lack of energy. United Nations Envoy, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, typifies the Biden Administration’s deeply flawed outlook when it comes to assisting Africa. Speaking at the UN Security Council  on October 12, Ambassador Greenfield laments the effects of hotter dryer weather in Africa including on Lake Chad, “…we’ve watched Lake Chad as it diminishes in size. And we all wonder when Lake Chad will be no more.”

What rubbish. There is no reason for Lake Chad to disappear. There is a solution. It is called Transaqua. The U.S. has shown zero interest in saving Lake Chad. For decades, I have been the lone American voice advocating vociferously for saving Lake Chad. As Minister Adamu discussed, all that is required to start the project is three million dollars for a feasibility study, which no U.S. government has ever considered. While tens of billions of dollars have been promised to fight climate change in Africa, a tiny fraction of those funds could be spent to initiate Transaqua, a project that can save the lake and transform almost a third of the continent of Africa. Why hasn’t the U.S. allocated this small amount of money for a feasibility study of Transaqua?

The U.S. rejects Transaqua because it rejects development. The U.S. refuses to build infrastructure in Africa, the single most crucial element to address Africa’s massive energy and transportation needs, and create economic growth. Since the death of President John Kennedy, the concept of development has vanished from our thinking-from our culture. For over half a century, American elected officials have failed to demonstrate even a modicum of understanding of how to assist African nations to develop into industrialized economies.

The author advocating for Transaqua at the United Nations, August 2019

Excerpts from remarks by Minister Adamu follow:

Nigeria’s Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, has called for more funding and understanding from international partners to save the fast drying Lake Chad from disappearing totally.

Part of the plan to revive the Lake Chad includes inter-basin water transfer from the River Congo to the Chad Basin.

“Although we don’t need $50 billion for Lake Chad but, at least with that kind of fund, the inter-basin water transfer has another angle that you can create a roadway and canals for river navigation.

“You can create many dams and hydropower schemes that will benefit countries like the Central African Republic.

“We can even have a highway from Lagos to Nairobi to Mombasa, from West Coast to the East Coast. It’s all part of the grand plan. But these things, you have to take those systematically.

“So, now we’re waiting to sign the MoU with the AfDB, So, once we’re able to sign that, we hope that we can get some funding, about 2 million to 3 million dollars to do the feasibility study,” Adamu said.

“We had a successful conference in February 2018. In that conference, we achieved two things.

“Number one, we achieved consensus. There is an international consensus, not only an African consensus, an international consensus that the Lake Chad has to be saved.

“Secondly, the consensus we had among us African countries was that the inter-basin water transfer should be given a shot at as the best way for the long term sustainability of the lake,” Adamu said.

“I’m worried that in the next 50 years we may wake up one day and there’s no Lake Chad,” the minister warned.

Read the entire article: Nigerian Minister Calls for International Funding to Revive Lake Chad

Read my earlier posts:

United Nations Conference: The Lake Chad Basin Should not be ‘Managed’; it Should be ‘Transformed.’

Water Transfer With Transaqua Will Bring Peace & Development to Lake Chad Basin

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

South Africa Energy Minister Rejects Western Dictates & Hypocrisy Against Africa’s Use of Energy Resources

Fossil fuels kill, but hunger kills faster, Mantashe tells conference

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister, Gwede Mantashe

The paucity of energy in sub-Saharan Africa is killing Africans every day. South Africa Energy Minister Mantashe has continually rejected demands by Western nations and their political-financial institutions for African nations not to exploit their own natural resources. To improve the living conditions of their citizens, African nations must industrialize their economies, which necessitates exploiting every resource available. Not only are these dictates an infringement on the sovereignty of African nations, but those in the West, who are trying to prevent Africa’s energy utilization, are contributing to poverty, hunger, and loss of life.

Reported on October 4, from news24.com

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe says the African continent should not be dictated to when it comes to the pace of its energy transition. This as a R150 billion funding deal from rich countries to help fund South Africa’s transition from coal hangs in the balance.

In an address to the 2022 Africa Oil Week in Cape Town on Tuesday, Mantashe said the war in Ukraine has hit developing economies with high energy costs, along with increasing food prices and interest rates.

He said the climate change question “sits uncomfortably with energy poverty”, adding that the pressure on African economies to decarbonize quickly will expose it to the risk that its people will not have access to reliable and affordable energy if handled with haste.

“Africa must determine its pathway from high carbon emissions to low carbon emissions. It must take into account our developmental needs, & must not be dictated to by anybody else who is at a different level of development.”

“I see the protests outside this venue that said ‘fossil fuels a killer’, but I can tell you that hunger kills faster”.

“We have seen the increase of coal purchasing from us to EU growing eightfold, 780%. As they take our coal, they at the same time tell us to move out of it quickly. That is a contradiction that Africa must look at,” he said.

Read entire article here from news24.com

Originally posted below by africanagenda.net

Read below earlier posts from my website on this subject:

South Africa and China Articulate Principles for Global Development at United Nations

Nigerian VP: Osinbajo “Climate Justice Must Include Ending Energy Poverty” Especially for Sub-Saharan Africa

African Nations Desperately Need Energy for Economic Growth

South African Activist Campaigns for Nuclear Energy For Africa: Essential for Industrialization

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

South Africa and China Articulate Principles for Global Development at United Nations

Minister Naledi Pandor of South Africa speaking before the UNGA (courtesy of voaafrica.com),

September 27, 2022

In her address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 21, Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation for South Africa, made an invaluable contribution. While many speakers at the assembly discussed important topics, she, along with Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, identified economic development as the crucial principle that the UNGA has to address. (See excerpts of their remarks below).

Unfortunately, the majority of leaders throughout the world have failed to understand the essentiality of promoting economic development as a strategic solution to war, and insecurity, and the only pathway to achieving lasting peace. Leaders of the West, especially from the U.S. , have failed to grasp this elementary concept elaborated by John Paul VI, when he wrote, development is the new name for peace. (1)

Unlike the last four generations of U.S. presidents, Franklin Roosevelt, did understand that the policy of promoting economic development is a strategic means of obtaining peace in the world. President Roosevelt organized for the creation of the United Nations (UN) as an integral component of his post war Grand Design, which most emphatically included the dismantling of the British empire. His proposed composition of nations to lead the UN, (U.S. Russia, China, and Great Britain) was an attempt to isolate the British and their imperialist policies. President Roosevelt discussed with his son, his vision for the UN, which was coherent with his intent of the Atlantic Charter and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. To wit: improving conditions of life in underdeveloped nations by fostering economic growth. He said to Elliott,

“These great powers will have to assume the task of bringing education, raising the standards of living, improving health conditions—of all the backward depressed areas of the world.”

Tragically for the world, President Roosevelt died before the inauguration of the UN, and the small minded, easily manipulated, Harry Truman, became U.S. President. In a brief time after assuming office, President Truman, embracing the diseased British geopolitical mindset, negated President Roosevelt’s vision to construct a better world with all nations participating in progress and prosperity. Civilization has paid dearly for the reversal of President Roosevelt’s paradigm.

Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill discussing the Atlantics Charter at the Argentia conference.

Minister Pandor Echoes Roosevelt

In her presentation before the UNGA, Minister Pandor said:

“The COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Eastern Europe shape our attitudes today; however, for South Africa, the real inflection point will be the world attending fully to the needs of the marginalized  and forgotten.

Our greatest global challenges are poverty, inequality, joblessness and feeling excluded… addressing poverty and underdevelopment will be the beginnings of the real inflection point in human history.

Global solidarity is also required to meet other pressing challenges such as energy and food insecurity, climate change and the devastation caused by conflicts, including the existential threat of nuclear weapons.

Instead of working collectively to address these challenges, we have grown further apart as geopolitical tensions and mistrust permeate our relations.

We should, however, move forward in solidarity, united in efforts to address our common global challenges to ensure sustainable peace and development.” (Emphasis added).

To read full transcript on Minister Pandor’s presentation at the UNGA: Click here.

Eliminate Poverty

In his address before the UNGA on September 24, Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, echoed the theme of peace through development, highlighting the importance of eliminating poverty. He told the assembly,

“We must pursue development and eliminate poverty.

Development holds the key to resolving difficult issues and delivering a happy life to our people. We should place development at the center of the international agenda, build international consensus on promoting development, and uphold all countries’ legitimate right to development. We should foster new drivers for global development, forge a global development partnership, and see that everyone in every country benefits more from the fruits of development in a more equitable way.

China has been a contributor to global development…China is a pacesetter in implementing the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It has met the poverty reduction goal ten years ahead of the envisioned timeframe and accounts for 70 percent of the gains in global poverty reduction. It has provided development aid to more than 160 countries in need, and extended more debt-service payments owed by developing countries than any other G20 member state.” (Emphasis added).

To read the full transcript of Minister Wang Yi: Click here

(1) Encyclical , Populorium progressio, March 26, 1967.

Read my earlier posts:

British Colonial Legacy Still Plaguing African Nations Today

Roosevelt: Last Great American Statesman With A Grand Vision for Africa

For the Development of Africa: Know and Apply Franklin Roosevelt’s Credit Policy

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

Is Democracy Being Weaponized Against Russia and China in new US-Africa Strategy?

September 2, 2022

Please watch my provocative interview (click above) on the Lambom Show, conducted by Lambert Mbom, on the subject of the the new US-Africa Strategy, released by U.S. State Department on August 8, 2022. In our hour long discussion, we go into depth about the implications of President Biden’s policy for the lives of Africans. My contention is that the U.S. strategy is seriously flawed because it focus on imposing western democracy does not serve the interest of Africans, who desperately need assistance in improving their abysmal conditions of life. This will require billions of dollars of investment credits in infrastructure to facilitate the development of industrialized African nations, which is not part of this strategy. Unfortunately, rather than addressing seriously the requirements for economic development, Biden’s strategy for Africa, like that of his predecessors, is couched in the geopolitical framework of maligning Russia and China. Lambert and I agreed that a renaissance of new ideas for the development of Africa is needed.

Read my earlier post: Blinken Implores for West’s “Rules Based Order”-South Africa & Rwanda Push Back

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

Freeman Interview: “Living Conditions in Africa Today Are Morally, Politically, and Economically Unacceptable”

Listen to my 45 minute radio interview: TNT Interview With Lawrence Freeman July 13, 2022, beginning at 5 minutes 50 seconds

July 16, 2022

I discussed the following subjects concerning Africa:

*Unacceptable living conditions in Africa today

*Fraud of the “green transition” to prevent industrialization

*Importance of China’s infrastructure investment in Africa

*Lack of U.S. development policy for Africa

*Current destabilization of Ethiopia using ethnicity

*Potential of BRICS plus

Listen to 45 minute discussion on TNT Radio Interview With Lawrence Freeman July 13, 2022

Read my earlier posts:

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

Time to End Clap-Trap About ‘Debt-Trap Diplomacy’ in Africa!

While China is Africa’s biggest bilateral creditor, most of the continent’s debt is due to private Western holders of African debt, according to a new study. Photo: PowerChina

June 14, 2022

Africa’s Bigger Worry Is Western Bondholders-Study Finds, an article in the South China Morning Post (see below), is yet another refutation of the baseless ‘debt-trap diplomacy.’ Western propaganda accuses China of  deliberately driving African nations into debt, in order to seize their assets upon default on their loans. These charges have been disproved again, and again, including by the China-Africa Research Institute-CARI, Johns Hopkins University Washington DC. Not to overlooked: not one African asset or project involving China has been seized!

“Contrary to the debt-trap narrative, if a wave of African defaults materializes in the near future, as IFI officials have been fearing since at least 2015, it will be catalyzed more by private-sector maneuvering and intransigence than by Chinese scheming,” the study said

These false allegations against China and its Belt and Road Initiative, have been repeated without a scintilla of evidence, by leaders of  Western governments including several U.S. Presidents, members of Congress, and State Department officials. The motivation for the mindless repetition of what is a blatant falsehood, is the perverted geopolitical doctrine. The followers of this geopolitical mindset insist that for the U.S. led West, to maintain their supremacy in the world, they must suppress and weaken other superpowers, to prevent them from challenging the U.S.-West hegemonic status. Sadly, from the ideology of western geopolitics, the African continent is seen as a mere chess board with African nations as mere chess pieces to counter China’s emergence. To China’s credit they have collaborated with African nations to build vitally necessary infrastructure, while for the last fifty years, the West has refused to make these long term investments.

 As I have documented on this website for years, Africa’s infrastructure is so huge, that the demand for capital investment cannot be satisfied by one nation alone.

There is a harmony of interest for the U.S. and China to cooperate with African nations to eliminate poverty and hunger, which I know can be done within one generation. Let us jettison the relic of geopolitics and adopt a mission that is in the shared-common interest of humankind.

Africa’s Bigger Worry Is Western Bondholders-Study Finds

Chinese debt traps in Africa? The bigger worry is bondholders, study finds

•China is the continent’s biggest bilateral creditor but most of the debt is due to private Western holders of African debt, according to a new report

•Private-sector manoeuvring rather than Chinese scheming more likely to induce a wave of defaults, researchers say

Jevans Nyabiage, June 6, 2022

The rise in African debt due to Chinese lending pales in comparison with the debt burden created by private creditors in the last decade, according to a new report taking aim at accusations that Beijing engages in “debt-trap diplomacy” on the continent.

The study – by Harry Verhoeven from the Centre on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University, and Nicolas Lippolis from the department of politics and international relations at the University of Oxford – says the debt-trap narrative is a function of China-US strategic and ideological rivalry rather than a reflection of African realities or perspectives.

“What keeps African leaders awake at night is not Chinese debt traps. It is the whims of the bond market,” the report says.

Debt-trap diplomacy involves extending loans to countries and taking control of key assets if the debtor defaults on repayments.

While China is the continent’s biggest bilateral creditor, most of the debt is due to private Western holders of African debt, according to the researchers. Capital, in the form of debt repayments, thus continued to flow from Africa to Europe and North America, the study said.

Verhoeven said the percentage of African debt owed to China was less compared to that borrowed from private creditors.

“[Chinese debt] is not the most rapidly growing segment of debt. Other credit lines have grown a lot more in recent years, especially those towards commercial creditors,” said Verhoeven, co-author of the report “Politics by Default: China and the Global Governance of African Debt”.

“These are bondholders, people from London, Frankfurt and New York who are buying African debt. That segment in the last couple of years has grown much faster than any liabilities that African states owe other creditors.”

The report cited confidential estimates of international financial institutions (IFIs) that showed sub-Saharan Africa’s government debts to Chinese entities at the end of 2019 totaled around US$78 billion. This was about 8 per cent of the region’s total debt of US$954 billion and 18 per cent of Africa’s external debt.

Continue reading the entire article: Africa’s Bigger Worry Is Western Bondholders-Study Finds

Read my earlier posts:

Africa’s ‘poverty trap’ more dangerous than so-called debt trap

Chinese ‘Debt Trap” is a Myth-Biden Would be Wise Not to Continue Trump’s Attacks on China in Africa 

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is the creator of the 0blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

African Nations Desperately Need Energy for Economic Growth

June 7,2022

My colleague, PD Lawton, creator of: africanagenda.net, has authored an excellent article on the energy needs of Africa, and South Africa in particular, published by ESI-Africa-(see above). She makes an excellent case for African nations to utilize all forms of energy as a transition to developing a nuclear powered industrialized economy.

As I shall be discussing in future articles, the objective of the dictates of the now “all-popular” green ideology is to prevent Africa nations from exploiting their natural hydro-carbon resources. The intention is to obstruct the industrialization of African. Without a platform of energy dense manufacturing and agricultural industries, African economies will not grow, thus
allowing the conditions for poverty, hunger, and death to continue.

As a physical economist, I know that by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton, we can eliminate abject poverty and starvation. This will require abundant supplies of cheap, accessible energy. Western nations grew their economies through the consumption of gas, coal, and oil, much of it extracted from the African continent. Who gave the Western governments and financial institutions the authority, the right to disallow Africans from exploiting their own energy resources for their own people? African  nations have the sovereign right and obligation to provide for the general welfare of their citizens, free from external decrees.

Excerpts from Lawton’s’ article:

“Electricity means life is better. And 80% of that better life in South Africa is from coal. So, when Europeans impose green energy policies on Africa, they do it with total ignorance of the Sleeping Giant. And by their total ignorance of condemning coal and nuclear energy, they condemn 1,4 billion people to a future of poverty when the majority of those 1,4 billion people do not use so much as one light bulb’s worth of electricity.

“Every human being wants to breathe clean air and drink pure water. Most human beings want to protect the natural kingdom which is our God-given role. No one wants to live in creativity-crippling, futureless poverty. Only creative human innovation can bring solutions.

“Nuclear power technology fulfils all the requirements of clean energy. And until nuclear energy can power African cities and industries, let fossil fuels, hydro, gas, solar and wind reduce sub-Saharan Africa’s energy deficit. Africans are tired of living in the dark and they are tired of Eurocentric energy policies.”

Read the entire article: Putting coal into the African perspective

Read my earlier posts:

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is the creator of the 0blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

South African Activist Campaigns for Nuclear Energy For Africa: Essential for Industrialization

May 22, 2022

Africa4Nuclear

The post below is provided by my colleague, PD Lawton, creator of the website: africanagenda.net

It is abundantly clear that African nations must become economically sovereign republics, and that is not possible without becoming industrialized economies with advanced agricultural and economic sectors. . For this transformation to occur, massive amounts of additional reliable, powerful energy is required. My estimations is that a minimum of 1,000 gigawatts of additional power is required. Without doubt, this will require the construction of nuclear energy plants across the continent. Listen to Princy Mthombeni, founder Africa4Nuclear

Read my earlier posts on this subject.

Nuclear Energy Challenges Western Colonial Mind-Set: Cheikh Anta Diop & John Kennedy Would Concur

Nuclear Power A Necessity for Africa’s Economic Growth

Mozambique is Obligated to Exploit Its Resources For the Development of Its Economy

Nigerian VP: Osinbajo “Climate Justice Must Include Ending Energy Poverty” Especially for Sub-Saharan Africa

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

Why Has Fighting in Ukraine Led to Food Emergencies in Africa?

A Somalian girl carries her sibling along land left dry by persistent drought.
A Somalian girl carries her sibling along land left dry by persistent drought.
Getty Image, News24

Lawrence Freeman

May 17, 2022

In recent months there have been an abundance of reports on how the conflict in Ukraine is exacerbating food scarcity in Africa. The argument is that Ukraine, ordinarily a large exporter of wheat, is not shipping food to the rest of the world. This includes African nations, some of which are large importers of Ukrainian wheat, resulting in shortages of food, and higher prices, contributing to Africa’s food insecurity.

Food Crisis Staggering in Africa

According to Global Report on Food Crisis 2022, eight of the countries facing the most severe food shortages are in Africa, affecting over 81 million Africans. The breakdown is:

DRC 25.9 million people, Afghanistan 22.8 million, Nigeria 19.5 million, Yemen 19 million, Ethiopia between 14-15 million, South Sudan 7.7 million, Somalia 6 million, Sudan 6 million, Pakistan 4.7 million, Haiti 4.5 million, Niger 4.4 million and, lastly, Kenya 3.4 million, as reported by News24

These nations have been given an Integrated Phase Classification 3 (IPC3), which is defined as households that have either:

Food consumption gaps that are reflected by high or above-usual acute malnutrition; OR  Are marginally able to meet minimum food needs but only by depleting essential livelihood assets or through crisis-coping strategies. 

News24 also reports that according to the Food and Agriculture Organization, in 2020, “approximately 323.3 million people in Africa or 29.5% of the population ran out of food or went without eating that year.”

The United Nations-(UN News) reports that “276 million people around the globe were already facing hunger at the beginning of the year. That number could rise by 47 million if the war continues according to the WFP (World Food Pogramme), with the steepest rise in Sub-Saharan Africa.” (emphasis added)

Industrialization to End Hunger

With abundant hect-acres of fertile soil and arable land, coupled with many water systems, African nations should have already achieved food self-sufficiency. Ironically, sadly, most nations are farther away from being able to feed their populations through their own production of food than they were during the 1960 and 1970s.

African nations are undermining their own economies by importing large amounts of food. According to President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, “Africa’s annual food import bill of $35 billion, estimated to rise to $110 billion by 2025, weakens African economies, decimates its agriculture and exports jobs from the continent.”  

In reality, Africa’s huge import bill is hindering nations from developing the capacity to eliminate poverty and hunger. Nations using their precious foreign exchange to buy food that they can grow themselves is more than counter-productive. What is needed to end food insecurity is for Africa nations to build their own robust agricultural and manufacturing sectors. There are oligarchical financial interests, steeped in the colonial mind-set, who do not want Africa nations to develop, to become industrialized. There are others, even well-meaning, who believe that African nations should remain agrarian societies. As an expert in physical economics, I can assure you that this approach will fail, and will only lead to more poverty and death.

President George Washington’s brilliant Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, fortunately won the battle against Thomas Jefferson and the slaved based agrarian South, to create a manufacturing industry in the newly established United states. Africa must do the same

With sixty percent of the world’s arable land that remains uncultivated, it is obvious that Africa can significantly increase food production in the short term. However, this does not obviate the need for rapid expansion of industry, beyond those businesses devoted only to the extraction of resources. Instead of spending tens of billions of dollars for imported wheat and rice that can be grown indigenously, that money should be investmented in infrastructure, and on valued-added production.

David Beasley, the head of the World Food Program, visiting Sanaa, Yemen, September 2018, where the world’s worst hunger crisis continues to unfold. (courtesy WFP/Marco Frattini, September 2018)

Aid is Insufficient

David Beasley, Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme, told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee Wednesday, May 11, that $5 billion is needed to avoid famine and migration due to COVID-19 and the loss of food from Ukraine. He told the Senators, “ If you do not respond now, we will see destabilization, mass starvation, and migration on an unprecedented scale, and at a far greater cost. A massive influx of refugees to Western countries could soon become a reality.”

Morally we are compelled to acquiesce to Beasley’s legitimate request, although it is doubtful that the nations of the advanced sector will actually come up with the money.

How many hundreds of billions of dollars have been expended on providing aid to countries in need? What would be the results if an equivalent amount of money were spent on development. Emergency aid is required to prevent our fellow human beings from perishing. However, emergency aid does not contribute to creating durable economic transformation that would eliminate the conditions that are the cause for food deprivation. Aid does not increase the productive powers of labor; it does not increase the productivity of the economy. While we can do no less than be the Good-Samaritan, what is the tangible long term effect of exclusively delivering aid?

Share of population access to electricity in Africa

Infrastructure Crucial

Deficits in critical categories of hard infrastructure, especially roads, railroads, and electricity, is depriving nations of precisely those elements of physical economy required to increase the production of real wealth. Why don’t the G7 and European donor nations “grant” an equivalent amount of “aid money” for investment in infrastructure and building nascent industries? Disbursing money either through outright endowments or long-term low interest loans for development has the potential to change the dynamics of poverty and hunger plaguing African nations.

For example, consider irrigation. Bringing water to farmland would substantially increase food production. Most African nations irrigate 5% or less of their land. Worse, many nations still depend on backward modes of subsistence farming. What would be required to double or triple irrigation? Primarily, energy to pump the water is essential, but African nations are energy starved. Pipes to transport the water. Advanced machinery would be required to harvest the increased yields. Roads and railroads would be needed to transport the crops to markets.

Given Africa’s untapped agricultural potential, with investments in these basic classifications of infrastructure; hunger could be eliminated.

In October 2020, in response to an earlier food crisis, I delineated the following necessary actions (below) that should have been taken. These measures are still valid today, and should be implemented now, without delay.

Emergency Action Required

  1. We must urgently deliver food to starving people. One single human being dying from starvation is intolerable. Every creative soul that perishes is a loss to the human race.
  2. Nations producing food surpluses must allocate food shipments to feed starving people.
  3. Logistics for delivery will have to done in a military fashion or directly by qualified military personnel supported by governments.
  4. Roads, railways, and bridges constructed for emergency food delivery can serve as an initial platform for expansion to a higher plateau of infrastructure required for economic growth.
  5. Debts must be suspended to enable nations to direct money away from onerous payments of debt service to growing and distributing food.
  6. A new financial architecture-a New Bretton Woods must be established with a facility to issue credit to finance critical categories of infrastructure necessary for economic growth and food production.

Read my earlier posts:

Famine in Africa: More Than Humanitarian Aid Required

COVID-19 Tragedy Compels Revamping Globalization and Food Production 

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.