n Africa Insight - Historicising and globalising the African environmental condition

Volume 41, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


The literature dealing with African environmental issues has grown exponentially in recent years. Nevertheless, much of these scholarly debates configure environmentalism in colonial and neocolonial terms, thereby interpreting the historical roots and environmental impact of globalisation. This article, however, argues that Africa's high population, its chronic poverty and the fact that the continent is geologically old must be properly contextualised and situated within the prevailing discourses on the African environment. The paper concludes that protection of the environment is vital to the achievement of sustainable development in Africa. Thus, by providing an understanding of how local conditions are influenced by global socio-economic and technological forces, the article yields a rich harvest of reflections on the nature, causes and reactions to African environmental challenges.

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