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Credit Between CulturesFarmers, Financiers, and Misunderstanding in Africa$
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Parker Shipton

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780300116038

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300116038.001.0001

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A Golden Pendulum

(p.1) Chapter 1 Introduction
Credit Between Cultures

Parker Shipton

Yale University Press

This chapter introduces the main study of this book, which focuses on the efforts of Luo-speaking people and others in Kenya to make sense of, and cope with, foreign interventions in the form of credit. It discusses how by both insiders' and outsiders' judgments, tropical Africa, and western Kenya within it, are short of capital for agriculture and other productive uses. The chapter reveals that credit has been a standard response of international aid agencies to reports of declines in Africa's per capita agricultural production or rises in its population. It has come by itself or tied together with training, extension, marketing infrastructure, pricing interventions, conditional requirements about exchange rates, and free emergency relief. However, the philosophy, language, and career incentives of aid officials have been geared to the idea that poor people and countries must borrow.

Keywords:   Luo-speaking people, credit, tropical Africa, western Kenya, international aid agencies

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