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Africa Books

Africa Renewal
** Please note: books are not directly available from Africa Renewal, they must be obtained directly from the publishers **

Book review
West African Agriculture and Climate Change:
A Comprehensive Analysis

Edited by Abdulai Jalloh, [et al.]
International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, DC., USA, 2013

Sub-Saharan Africa’s population will skyrocket to 1.7 billion in less than 50 years, with people in West Africa making up 35% of the total. As such, the larger population will be consuming more food and depending more than ever on natural resources. However, because of climate change, more efforts will be needed in sustainable food production and food security. 

According to the book, West African Agriculture and Climate Change: A Comprehensive Analysis, edited by Abdulai Jalloh, Gerald C. Nelson, Timothy S. Thomas, Robert Zougamoré and Harold Roy-Macauley, since people in sub-Saharan African countries depend mainly on agriculture, the consequences of climate change could have a devastating impact on that sector. “Climate change, in terms of both climate means and variability, poses a great threat to farmers in the region…[including] reduced yields, lower farm incomes and reduced welfare.” As a result, the authors write, these countries have identified medium- and long-term plans to address the impact of climate change highlighted by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The book, released in December 2013, goes into great detail pointing out how extreme weather patterns will affect the agricultural yields of 11 West African countries of Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo, which together occupy almost 5 million sq. kms.

The publication is the first in a series of three that covers West Africa, East Africa and Southern Africa. With 442 pages filled with vivid, coloured graphs and charts to illustrate key points, it is a good resource for information and education for those interested in the effects that climate change will have on agriculture in West Africa. 

— Pavithra Rao