Developing the Rivers of East and West Africa An Environmental History

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-11-07
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic

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How did rivers contribute to the economic and political development of modern Africa? How did African and European notions of nature's value and meaning differ? And how have these evaluations of Africa's rivers changed between 1850 and the present day? Drawing upon examples from across the African continent, Developing the Rivers of East and West Africa explores the role African waterways played in the continent's economic, social, and political development and provides the first historical study of the key themes in African river history. Rivers acted as more than important transportation byways; their waters were central to both colonial and postcolonial economic development efforts. This book synthesizes the available research on African rivers with new evidence to offer students of African and environmental history a narrative of how people have used and engaged the continent's water resources. It analyzes key themes in Africa's modern history - European exploration, establishment of colonial rule, economic development, 'green' politics - and each case study provides a lens with which to view social, economic and ecological change in Africa.

Author Biography

Heather J. Hoag is Associate Professor of History at the University of San Francisco, USA. Her specialisms are in the fields of African environmental history with an emphasis in river history and hydropower development. She is one of the founding editors for the International Water History Association's journal, Water History.

Table of Contents

Introduction - The Role of Water in Global History / 1. Where the Waters Flow - African Waterscapes / 2. Mapping a Continent - European Exploration of Africa's Rivers / 3. Greening the Fields - Agricultural Development During the Colonial Period / 4. Electrifying the Empire - British Debates about Power Production in Africa / 5. The Damming of Africa - Converting African Water to Hydropower / 6. Thirsty Cities - Urbanization and the Changing Value of African Rivers / Epilogue - Managing Africa's Rivers in the 21st Century.

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