Laureate representatives discuss alternative development pathways in Africa

On Wednesday, July 3, representatives of ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’-awarded organisations and RLC Campuses spoke about alternative development pathways in Botswana, Kenya, and Nigeria, at a public RLC panel, hosted by the Adult Education Center (VHS) in Bonn.

Dr. Amudavi, Director of Biovision Africa Trust (’Alternative Nobel Prize’ 2013) informed about his actions to improve livelihood and technology transfer among smallholder farmers in Kenya and beyond and said: “Ecological organic agriculture, which is based on agro-ecology, balancing what people do with the environment and the society, is the most appropriate model to peruse for sustainable development.”

In addition, Kenyan researcher Dr. Juliet Wanjiku, RLC Campus Bonn PhD Alumna, talked about her research findings on productivity and sustainability of Ecological Organic Agriculture Systems in Kenya, which she conducted in cooperation with Biovision Africa Trust. “Organic agriculture in Kenya is not organic agriculture in Germany. Not using synthetic fertilizers does not make small-scale farming ‘organic by default’.”

Jumanta Gakelebone, representing the Bushmen’s organization First People of the Kalahari (’Alternative Nobel Prize’ 2005) in Botswana, reported on the consequences of “development” and “modernisation” to his people, urging to include local communities in modernisation processes in all African countries. “When our people are being relocated by the government, they live on government handouts. They now see a new way of life they don’t understand. Development should be a choice.” 

Dr. Fidelis Allen, Acting Director of the Centre for Conflict and Gender Studies and Coordinator of the RLC Campus at University of Port Harcourt, in Nigeria described the various environmental, political, and social impacts of oil extraction in the Niger Delta: “In Nigeria, there is no adequate preparation for alternative means of income for the government. The government is intensifying the effort in oil exploration. There are more than twenty oil-producing countries in Africa with huge proven oil reserves, which they hope to assess so they have more growth and more money.”  

The evening was moderated by Dr. Joe Hill, former Senior Researcher at ZEF.

Watch the full panel here:

With financial support of the Foundation for International Dialogue of the Savings Bank in Bonn