People in Africa argue that natural resources are a blessing; it is the way these are plundered and used that can turn them into a curse. The continent has plenty of experience of such plunder. Rich in resources, Africa is a net supplier of energy and raw materials to the North. The climate crisis confronting the world today is rooted mainly in the wealthy economies' abuse of fossil fuels, indigenous forests and global commercial agriculture. But, without agreement about how to tackle this reality, the question often becomes what can be done about Africa. Or, sometimes, for Africa.
To Cook a Continent looks at what has been done to Africa and how Africans should respond for the good of all. Bassey examines the oil industry in Africa, probes the roots of global warming, warns of its insidious impacts and explores false 'solutions'. Crucially, his intelligent and wide-ranging approach demonstrates that the issues around natural resource exploitation, corporate profiteering and climate change must be considered together if we are to save ourselves. What can Africa do? And can the rest of the world act in solidarity? If not, will we continue on the path laid out by elites that brings us ever closer to the brink? Many live in denial even as ecological and social disasters increase, but this is not inevitable and Bassey suggests how Africa can overcome the crises of environment and global warming.
"A provocative critique of contemporary resource extraction (perhaps more properly, resource exploitation) in sub-Saharan Africa. In his convincing, and at times searing, analysis, Bassey presents an engaging and comprehensive critique of Africa's social and environmental crisis."
– Chatham House
"Africa and their environment. His refreshing style makes his insights extremely accessible. His sweeping analysis of the continent's challenges, coming from one of Africa's foremost environmentalists, is an inspiration to action."
– David Fig, Chair of Biowatch South Africa and author of Staking Their Claims
"An extremely insightful and eloquent book about what Africa can do to stop the new forms of colonisation that are being exaggerated by the chaos of climate change."
– Pablo Solon, former Bolivian ambassador to the United Nations
"For those who are still skeptical of the effects of climate change, this will leave you not only bothered and troubled, but also fired up to do something about it."
– Nigerian Compass
"From slaves to diamonds to oil, overconsuming countries have taken what they want from Africa for too long. Bassey lays out this history in rich detail and makes clear what Africa wants: Justice. Read it and join Bassey's call."
– Annie Leonard, author of The Story of Stuff
"This powerful indictment of greed and ravaging of Africa's riches yet offers prospects for hope."
– Camilla Toulmin, Chair of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)