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For the past 15 years, Africa has seen remarkable change. New energies, new experiences, a burst of creativity, and a courage defying explanation are being manifested by millions of people. Especially in the villages, a silent revolution is underway that is changing the continent's developmental landscape. In tropical Africa, literally millions of farmers have moved to take the future into their own hands and to reclaim the self-reliance that was theirs until the disruption of colonial occupation and the post-independence era of rapid modernization. As a result of the tens of thousands of small village projects that they have initiated, these farmers are improving their living conditions.
Because most people outside Africa know little of these changes, Pradervand has written of a grassroots revolution which could be the greatest sign of hope for Africa today. This unique study, the outgrowth of his four and one-half month, 14,000 kilometer trip through 111 villages in Senegal, Mali, Burkina, Faso, Zimbawe, and Kenya topples many stereotypes and offers a hopeful view of African development. It describes the numerous self-help projects initiated by peasant farmers including the creating of original savings schemes, the invention of new food storage systems, the distribution of family planning information, the setting up of barter exchanges, the organization of centers for traditional medicine, and the building of indigenous farmers organizations. The book also lays great emphasis on the cultural dimensions of development and how peasant-farmers are stressing the need to return to their own cultural roots.
"We are the ones who have turned this country into a desert"
Facing the challenges: Economic, agricultural, and structural
The New Africa on the Move
Peasant power: Village groups in the making
From Aid to partnership
A new future in the making
"M'bathakins" (Let's pull together)
Creating opportunity--or when ants carry elephants
Son and daughter mills: The African farmer as inventor
"Nothing is impossible" or the end of hunger by the year 2000
Towards another development
Post scriptum: Learning from Africa