Geography & Environment Publications


Precarious Balance: The Future of Environmental Degradation in Sub-Saharan Africa

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


First Page


Last Page


URL with Digital Object Identifier


This chapter examines the future of environmental degradation in Africa. While acknowledging the relative role of population growth and unsustainable agriculture practices in environmental degradation in the region, the chapter considers the role played by excess consumption, poverty and HIV/AIDS, corrupt African states and international capital in determining the future of natural resources in Africa as critical. The relationship between states and international business corporation has been particularly detrimental to the region’s environment, and will continue to present a formidable threat to natural resources, especially as the World Trade Organization becomes more influential in ensuring unrestricted movement of international capital. Alternative imagination by the New Partnership for Africa Development (NEPAD) that sees Africa’s development beyond the current economic and political order is critical for arresting future environmental degradation.


Published as a book chapter in: Environment and Health in Sub-Saharan Africa: Managing an Emerging Crisis. Isaac N. Luginaah and Ernest K. Yanful. (Eds.).

Paul Mkandawire was a PhD Candidate in the Department of Geography at The University of Western Ontario at the time of publication.