Famine is a problem the world is yet to overcome. Persisting mainly in Africa, famine has inhibited the growth and development of many African nations. Famine in Africa has a long history, closely entwined with the colonial past. It is therefore key to acknowledge and study the role of colonialism in past famines to understand the legacies and impacts that still persist today. This study will show the ways in which colonial governance heightened famine
vulnerability though the imposition of economic policies. These policies undermined the coping systems of the indigenous populations whilst also causing widespread change to the economy and to society itself. These factors increased indigenous people’s susceptibility to famine and, when combined with the inadequate response measures of the colonial government, frequently resulted in devastation. It is not only the lasting impact of these historic famines that is important, but the understanding of how contemporary famine relief efforts can still perpetuate colonial thinking and ideas. It hoped this dissertation can help to inform future studies of famine and famine relief.
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