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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for 98 percent of South Africa's domestic malt beer production (South Africa,
Department of Trade and Industry, June 1998. "South African Beer: Big Lion,
Small Cage," The Economist, 12-18 August 2000). 5. There was a wide price
District annual production is estimated at roughly 12 million liters, of which over
95 percent is thought to be sold outside the district. Local farmers earn an
estimated 12 billion Ugandan shillings from the liquor industry annually (Uganda,
Percentages of the sampled teenagers and young adults who said they drank
were: Ghanaian Catholic youth, 62 percent (Yangyuoru 1987); Nigerian
secondary school students, 43 percent (Adejunmobi 1992); Botswanan
secondary school ...
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