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children in Africa
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

CAQ71How can any business pay poverty wages, knowingly use child labor, participate in funding violence, or pollute water on which communities depend?  How can any company withhold life-saving medicine for the sake of profit?  I asked this question to Emira Woods at the Institute for Policy Studies as I was preparing for the Economic Action for Africa issue of the Green American.  Her answer: “they don’t even see the people and their needs.”

My research for the Quarterly opened my eyes. I began to see the people whose lives are behind the coffee, jewelry, chocolate, rubber, and other everyday products in all our lives, and it was a revelation. Below is my recommended reading list – some of the resources I found most helpful in understanding commodities' journeys from African communities to our own communities – plus links to more articles from Green America on economic action for Africa.