Fighting "Afro-pessimism"

A great opinion piece in the Christian Science Monitor by G. Pascal Zachary hits the nail right on the head:

"Friends of Africa around the world make matters no easier by paying insufficient attention to the potential adaptations that Africans on the ground can make in response to new climate patterns. Some of these adaptations are occuring for other reasons. 

"...the movement of people from rural areas to cities is having the effect of improving the relative quality of those farmers who remain, for the logical reason that the most successful farmers are staying put, and even gaining control of more land and thus improving their farm productivity through brute-force scale effects. The growing quality of African farmers, who have been profiting, if unevenly, from rising commodity prices, also should mean that rural Africans possess a growing capacity to make useful adaptations to climate change.

"One excellent example lies in water usage. Irrigation is virtually absent from the African farm landscape. Even ground water is rarely used to feed plants. Yet starting to shift away from rain-fed farming can be done relatively inexpensively in most parts of Africa simply because the “low hanging fruit” has yet to be picked. Untold thousands of easy irrigation projects can be launched in Africa, quickly and at little cost, taking advantage of the reality that the first gains will be the easiest. "

Read the full article here.