In this video, former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan talks with the NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff about the global
food crisis and the impact that high food prices and low food supply have on people in Africa.
Annan, who was Secretary-General from 1997 to 2007, now heads the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, which aims to improve African agriculture. He describes some of the specific problems facing African farmers and addresses some of the larger scale issues that make it hard for the continent to grow food and compete in the global agriculture market.
Annan also talks about Zimbabwe leader Robert Mugabe and the controversy surrounding recent elections there. Annan says Mugabe deserves much of the blame for the crippling economic problems in the country.
“I think the average American should know that the world trading system is not fair. You take the area of agriculture. If U.S. farmers are getting huge subsidies, European farmers are getting huge subsidies and are competing on the global market with a farmer from Burkina Faso or Kenya, how do they compete?” - KOFI ANNAN
“The situation in Zimbabwe is tragic. It is a country that had so much hope, a country that was a breadbasket of the region, and today is a basket case, with historic inflation rates that has not been seen anywhere.” - KOFI ANNAN
Who is most affected by the rising price of food? Which African countries have been in the news recently? What comes to mind when you think of Africa?
Why is it so much harder to grow food in Africa than in the United States? When Annan talks about what he wants the average American to know about the situation in Africa, did it change your perception of life in Africa? Do you agree with Annan that the agricultural trade is unfair?
Who is Robert Mugabe and what is Annan blaming on him? Discuss how you think people in the United States would react to the election situation in Zimbabwe.
Do you care about what happens in Africa? Why or why not? Do you think many Americans care what happens in Africa? Why or why not? Do you care what happens in Europe, South America, Asia, the Middle East? Are some regions more important than others? Why or why not?
Transcript of this report
Relief for World Food Crisis Made More Difficult by Cyclones, Riots
Extra Story: High Food Prices Cause Concern Worldwide
Extra Story: Zimbabwe Anxiously Awaits Election Results
Lesson Plan: Life in the Sahara
Somalia’s Struggle for Stability
Crisis in Sudan