Niger: Innovative reforms amid famine

"Drought has turned farmland into useless...
From 2005: “Drought has turned farmland into useless dirt…” Image via Wikipedia

An unsigned editorial from Le Pays (Ouagadougou): A quite good reflection on the educational and other restrictions coming for future governments in Niger, but tying the famine. The papers in Niamey have little mention of the small farmers and herders Tahoua, Tillaberi, Diffa, and the north, who are long out of food and fleeing their homes. It’s evidence both that patches of famine sit beside areas which had passable crops last year, and that Nigerien politics is often quite distant from the realities of most Nigeriens. The Burkinabe writer ascribes blame for the chronic malnutrition of Niger’s citizens to both past policies and horrible governance (which is only partly the case), while leaving us with the distinctly uncomfortable vision of Niamey debating constitutional clauses while elsewhere in Niger people are dying.

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