Pesticide Politics in Africa

The current economic boom in many sub-Saharan countries is accompanied by an unprecedented increase in noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) due to industrial pollution, including pesticides. While local and international mobilizations call for more stringent pesticide control measures, African governments often refrain from adopting and enforcing strict regulations – considered as potential obstacles to “development”. This interdisciplinary conference aims at laying the foundations for a long-term scientific cooperation between African and European scholars on the management of pesticide-related occupational and environmental health hazards in Africa. It aims at exploring the trade-offs between production and prevention that underlie the expansion of chemical-intensive agriculture on the continent, to understand the relations between technique, knowledge and power that condition the inclusion of African populations in the globalized economy, and to grasp the resulting health and environmental inequalities.

As in other areas with intensive use and poor regulation and/or implementation, pesticide-related health risks are exacerbated in Africa by the inadequacy of regulatory frameworks and the weakness, or inexistence, of surveillance and control systems. As a result, the import, production, trade and use of pesticides take place without the legal safeguards and institutional counterweights ensuring that public health concerns receive adequate attention in a political context where “development”, narrowly defined as economic growth, and “food security”, with a single dominant focus on increased agricultural production, are the overriding priorities. Facing strong activism denouncing the adverse effects of industrial agriculture and corporate influence over pesticide-related public policy making, some European governments have started to backpedal at home – at least in their declarations of political intent. African governments and Western development agencies are less challenged, however, when – backed by private foundations and transnational corporations – they are calling for an “African Green Revolution”, still essentially based on the much-contested model of chemical-intensive agriculture, with pesticides as the cornerstone. In parallel, foreign agro-companies and governments are making large-scale land acquisitions in a new “scramble for Africa”, transforming the continent into the new frontier of global agro-industrial expansion.

Event Name : Pesticide Politics in Africa

Date : 29 - 31 May 2019

Venue : Tropical Pesticide Research Institute (TPRI), Arusha, Tanzania

Contact on below addresses for stall booking:

Karima Guenfoud

Directrice Adjointe

74 rue Marcel Cachin 93017 Bobigny Cedex

Phone : 33 (0)1 48 38 88 63

Email :

Website :

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