The big question
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CTA. 2005. The big question. Spore 117. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/47949
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore117.pdf
Professor Ajaga Nji spent more than 25 years travelling to some of the most under-privileged corners of the world to ask the question that has been puzzling him ever since he was a young man in Cameroon: why do poor people remain poor?
Professor Ajaga Nji spent more than 25 years travelling to some of the most under-privileged corners of the world to ask the question that has been puzzling him ever since he was a young man in Cameroon: why do poor people remain poor? His travels took him to most parts of his native Africa, as well Why Poor People Remain Poor: Key Elements for Poverty Alleviation and Sustainable Developmentas to Asia, Europe and the United States of America. Wherever he went, he spoke to poor people, and painstakingly recorded his conversations and interviews as he went. Over the years, a pattern began to emerge. Whether he was talking to farmers in Machacos, Kenya, or to herders in Sabongari, in the North West Province of Cameroon, a common thread of injustice, poor access to natural resources and lack of opportunities and education ran through the picture. Given that it took the author quarter of a century to investigate this vast subject, it would be absurd to try to synthesise the answers here. In one chapter, he comes up with 26 reasons why poor people remain just that. One clue, however, comes with the account of a poor fisherman he met in Cameroon, distraught because his old canoe leaked badly and because his net only caught a few young fish. This book is written for the fisherman, who might come to understand[ ]that he is poor because the rich, deep-sea fishermen use their wealth, greater resources and larger vessels to catch the big fish, pushing only the fries to the shores into his net, writes the author, many years after that encounter. But this is not a book of despair. The author is Professor of Rural Sociology and Technology Issues at the University of Dschang, Cameroon and has long experience of practical ways of alleviating poverty, many of which he outlines in his book. He concludes with the conviction that while poverty can probably never be eliminated altogether, it can be reduced in good measure through focused, targeted, anti-poverty programs based on a commitment to justice, peace, good governance, democracy and sustainable development. Why Poor People Remain Poor: Key Elements for Poverty Alleviation and Sustainable Development By A Nji DeScholar Press 2004. 240 pp. ISBN 9956 401 05 6 US$20 15 Ajaga Nji & Associates PO Box 138 Dschang Cameroon Fax: + 237 345 19 55 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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