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Domestic Politics and Drought Relief in Africa: Explaining Choices

Ngonidzashe Munemo
Domestic Politics and Drought Relief in Africa: Explaining Choices
ISBN: 978-1-935049-49-4
ISBN: 978-1-62637-102-6
2012/217 pages/LC: 2012022708
A FirstForumPress Book
"An important and valuable contribution to our understanding of food issues in Africa and, more specifically, how and why African governments choose their policy responses to famine-inducing droughts."—Michael Lofchie, University of California, Los Angeles

"Provides an important new perspective on the behavior of African political elites faced with situations of drought and famine."—Jennifer Bussell, University of Texas, Austin


Ngonidzashe Munemo challenges the conventional wisdom that African governments lack the technical capacity and political will to respond to drought and the threat of famine.

Through a comparative analysis of three politically disparate countries—Botswana, Kenya, and Zimbabwe—Munemo demonstrates that differences in the ways that governments face similar drought-induced food crisis are the result not of incompetence, but of rational political considerations. His original analysis shows why, in democracies and authoritarian regimes alike, the less effective option is so often the policy choice.


Ngonidzashe Munemo is associate professor of political science at Williams College.


  • The Domestic Politics of Drought Relief in Africa.
  • Drought in Africa and Programs for Relief.
  • Insecurity, Autocracy, and Drought Relief in Kenya.
  • The Pathologies of Drought Relief in Zimbabwe.
  • The Evolution of Drought Relief Policy in Botswana.
  • Conclusion.