22.214.171.124 Globalisation, trade and market reforms
There are important macro-level processes that serve to heighten vulnerability to climate variability and change across a range of scales in Africa (Sachs et al., 2004; UNDP, 2005; Ferguson, 2006). Issues of particular importance include globalisation, trade and equity (with reference to agriculture, see FAO, 2005; Schwind, 2005) and modernity and social justice (e.g., Ferguson, 2006). Numerous ‘structural’ factors are ‘driving’ and ‘shaping’ poverty and livelihoods (Hulme and Shepherd, 2003) and changing the face of rural Africa (e.g., intensification versus extensification, see Bryceson, 2004; Section 9.6.1). Structural adjustment accompanied by complex market reforms and market liberalisation (e.g., access to credit and subsidy arrangements) has aggravated the vulnerability of many in Africa, particularly those engaged in agriculture (see, e.g., Eriksen, 2004; Kherallah et al., 2004). Fertiliser prices, for example, have risen in response to subsidy removal, resulting in some mixed responses to agricultural reforms (Kherallah et al., 2004; Institute of Development Studies, 2005). Market-related and structural issues can thus serve to reduce people’s agricultural productivity and reduce resilience to further agricultural stresses associated with climate change.
126.96.36.199 Governance and institutions
Complex institutional dimensions are often exposed during periods of climate stress. Public service delivery is hampered by poor policy environments in some sectors which provide critical obstacles to economic performance (Tiffen, 2003). Africa is also characterised by institutional and legal frameworks that are, in some cases, insufficient to deal with environmental degradation and disaster risks (Sokona and Denton, 2001; Beg et al., 2002). Various actors, structures and networks are therefore required to reconfigure innovation processes in Africa (e.g., in agriculture) to improve responses to climate variability and change in both rural and urban contexts (Tiffen, 2003; Scoones, 2005; Reid and Vogel, 2006; see also Section 9.5).