Currently, many regions within Africa are developing nations experiencing rapid population growth, in some cases accompanied by economic growth. The population of Africa was listed as 1 billion in 2010, a figure that is expected to double by the year 2050 (Population Reference Bureau 2010). Traditional farming practices have proven insufficient to feed the rapidly expanding population, and large-scale agriculture is on the rise, which translates into increased clearing of land for agriculture and grazing.
Overall, the continent is improving economically; between 1990 and 2003, Africa’s economies grew at an average of 2.6 percent per year (United Nations Environment Programme 2006).
This economic gain has been reflected in dietary changes. There is an established correlation between wealth and meat consumption, and Africa’s meat consumption and production is indeed on the rise. In fact, Sub-Saharan Africa, meat production is predicted to increase by 3.40% by 2020 (Gill 1999).
Another emerging trend is deforestation in order to sell firewood. While economies are slowly improving, many people in Africa are still unemployed, and so (relatively) small-scale exploitation of natural resources to generate personal income is a strategy that is gaining popularity.