This is an interactive project.
For much of the project, you'll navigate with two kinds of buttons. The first is the white buttons immediately below each chunk of text. These will take you straight through the project. If you're interested in going back, you can click the paper-clip below each white button. These will take you to the previous chunk (there's no paper-clip for this chunk). Additionally, you can go to any page by clicking the menu button at the top left of the screen.
This project tells two stories.
We'll start with the fairy-tale.
So begins the tale of Malawi's
Malawi was an impoverished nation
when it was liberated. Beforehand, it
had been exploited for cash crops which
were sent abroad.
But, this gave it the infrastructure to
take control of production. Malawi could
use cash crop farming, particularly
tobacco farming, to improve its future.
As the country invested in tobacco, things started to get better.
Health and wealth were gained.
Nowadays, because the tobacco
industry has done so well, Malawians
Altria, one of the cigarette companies
involved in Malawi, is literally the most
successful company in the world.
Their success has aided the country.
This is an inspiring story of development.
But it's just a fairy-tale.
Fact from Fiction
While Malawi is more invested in tobacco per person than any other country, it is also the 3rd poorest nation globally.
What's Malawi's real
Since its independence in 1964, Malawi's tobacco industry has grown massively.
This growth has been in terms of number of farmers with little productivity gain.
With its potential, many have claimed it
will do Malawi good. These groups
promote the fairy-tale of development
to justify growing tobacco.
Here's what they've written:
The Altria quote is not directly from the company but is given in a policy (TLC) which Altria promises for Malawian tobacco here.
(The quote for the US is a justification of its policy on and purchase of cheap tobacco from African nations (the book links to that policy). This policy's impact on Malawian tobacco is discussed here.