Alcohol in Africa: Mixing Business, Pleasure, and Politics
Alcohol in Sub-Saharan Africa has historically been a conduit for religious and political expression controlled by male elders. Over the past century and especially during the last two crisis-ridden decades, alcohol's ceremonial role has been largely displaced. Rapid income differentiation and economic marginalization have spurred production and consumption of alcohol. In many localities, expanding supply has led to drinking patterns that impinge on general social welfare. These circumstances coincide with the continent-wide implementation of structural adjustment and economic liberalization policies. One might ask, have those policies driven people to drink?
Currently, alcohol is a taboo subject for donors and African governments alike, yet it is at the nexus of many of the continent's most pressing problems. Agricultural sector decline, large-scale labor redundancy, household instability, and AIDS have cause or effect linkages to changing alcohol usage. This edited collection explores the economic, political, and social meanings of alcohol usage. The material is contextualized within a review of existing anthropological, social history, and social welfare literature on alcohol, and a broad historical overview of the continental trends in alcohol production and consumption. Both the pleasure and the pain of alcohol usage emerge, providing insight into the ambiguity of alcohol in Africa today.
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Female village-scale brewing is vital to a woman's function in the rural economy
and society.2 The brewing economy has economic multiplier effects by providing
opportunities for women and increasingly men to be employed by the female ...
... of Usangu 1992 female brewers • 2nd highest source of household income
Tanga Region 1994 (after agriculture as a whole) Zambia • 60% of households
brew regularly • most common income source for women • 77% of respondents
... 117, 120-135, 140, 165, 168, 234-37, 245, 283; churchgoers, 123, 254;
drinking intake (See Drinking: female); female heads of households, 48, 55, 134,
280; female identity, 6; general, 7, 13, 36; income earning, 14-15, 39, 47, 62-63,
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