Vol. 42, No. 1, Spring/Summer 2004- "The Pennsylvania Geographer"


AFRICA'S UNEQUALED GEOGRAPHIC MISFORTUNES


H. J. de Blij

Michigan State University



Abstract


The globalizing world still divides functionally into a dozen geographic realms among which Subsaharan Africa by most objective criteria is the poorest and least connected to the mainstreams of social and economic change. At a time when the economies of Pacific-Rim countries are growing vigorously and India is forging ahead, Africa struggles. This realm's persistent problems, it is argued, derive from a combination of geographic circumstances, ranging from the environmental to the historical, that are unmatched on the planet. As a result, Africa ranks low among the priorities of the "international community," and notably so in the United States. But there are urgent reasons, altruistic as well as strategic, why American interest in Africa should be revived.


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