Understanding the evolution and tenacity of particular ways of envisaging economic growth and development for Africa requires a form of analytical history that examines how conceptual structures function over the longue durée. Such an approach is more than simply empirical analysis through time or a set of abstractions based on the self-understandings of historical agents. It involves the development of a hypothetical analytic structure which through its own forms of transformation eventually comes to play a role in shaping the lived world of participants, including researchers, policymakers and ordinary citizens. This article uses research from Kenya and Zambia to demonstrate how a long-running – but temporally and spatially variable – focus on agricultural productivity has shaped the character of rural life in Africa, and why it has consistently failed to deliver enlarged forms of prosperity based on quality of life and ecological well-being.
Using GDP alone to determine prosperity is inadequate and misleading, leading policy makers to draw faulty conclusions about levels of prosperity and appropriate interventions. But this new index is based on the theory that by sharing knowledge and trying radical new approaches, more innovative policy options that are targeted to specific local communities and effective at improving quality of life will open up...Read More
Recent research shows that Lebanon could witness an increase of 1.2 to 3.2 degrees in temperatures in areas that are already very arid and suffer from water shortage. An increase in temperature and a decrease in precipitation will have particular impact on the electricity sector - a higher cooling demand in summer and increased consumption for electricity. Rising sea levels and water scarcity in Lebanon could lead to internal climate migration and mass displacement from rural to coastal regions affecting agricultural output, jobs and livelihoods. The economic situation in the cities that are already prone to poverty, illiteracy and unemployment could become worse.Read More