To Cook a Continent

Destructive Extraction and the Climate Crisis in Africa

, by Pambazuka

By Nnimmo Bassey,, Pambazuka Press, £14.95

People in Africa argue that natural resources are a blessing; it is the way these are plundered and used that can turn them into a curse. The continent has plenty of experience of such plunder. Rich in resources, Africa is a net supplier of energy and raw materials to the North.

The climate crisis confronting the world today is rooted mainly in the wealthy economies’ abuse of fossil fuels, indigenous forests and global commercial agriculture. But, without agreement about how to tackle this reality, the question often becomes what can be done about Africa. Or, sometimes, for Africa. This book looks at what has been done to Africa and how Africans should respond for the good of all.

Bassey examines the oil industry in Africa, probes the roots of global warming, warns of its insidious impacts and explores false ’solutions’. Crucially, his intelligent and wide-ranging approach demonstrates that the issues around natural resource exploitation, corporate profiteering and climate change must be considered together if we are to save ourselves. What can Africa do? And can the rest of the world act in solidarity? If not, will we continue on the path laid out by elites that brings us ever closer to the brink? Many live in denial even as ecological and social disasters increase, but this is not inevitable and Bassey suggests how Africa can overcome the crises of environment and global warming.

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