BY Joan Baxter
July 14, 2017
(This article is the second of two adapted excerpts from Seven Grains of Paradise: A Culinary Journey in Africa, available in print and Kindle edition at Amazon.ca and as an e-pub from Amazon.com and Kobo, and in print from Nimbus.)
At the beginning of the 1960s, when many African countries were becoming independent nations, freeing themselves one after another from the colonial powers, the continent was more than able to feed itself. Until 1970, it was even exporting food, more than a million tonnes a year.
Today, after more than half a century of foreign development assistance and food aid, as well as decades of economic development doctrines from the World Bank Group, International Monetary Fund, foreign “donors,” and most recently, billionaire philanthropists, the continent imports a quarter of its food.
This lands us right in the middle of the kitchen staring into the eyes of the big elephant of a question that is sitting there: Why has Africa become synonymous in many people’s minds with malnutrition, famine and hunger, and not feted for nutritious foods, diverse farms and wonderful cuisines? Continue reading Challenging some myths about Africa’s food, food security and farming