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Politecnico di Milano (2019)

Afrika Mandela ranch. Un insediamento agro-culturale nel paesaggio dunale senegalese


Titre : Afrika Mandela ranch. Un insediamento agro-culturale nel paesaggio dunale senegalese


Université de soutenance : Politecnico di Milano

Grade : Laurea Magistrale 2019

Résumé partiel
Afrika Mandela Ranch is a local scale project that responds to problems on a continental scale. The multiscale nature of the research, its analyzes and its strategies ensure the project a methodological coherence which is indispensable managing such a complex and rapidly changing reality as the Sahelian one. The Sahel, defined as the climatic zone of the African continent between the 20th and 12th parallels, has been considered for centuries, and until a few years ago, as a filter zone which guaranteed a mild climate between the extreme humidity of the Guinean area and the aridity of the Sahara. Today the climate changes are the main threat to an area of 2.5 million km2, and they cause the extension of the "vulnerability line" of the Sahel even further south ; at the same time, the annual amount of precipitation are decreasing. This implies the expansion of the Saharan area and the narrowing of the area where the climatic conditions would allow agriculture, the primary source of sustenance. The advance of desertification, therefore, causes massive migrations and consequent conflicts, so the already precarious conditions of these lands are getting worse. Therefore within this context various adaptation strategies have been sought at a continental level ; among them the most ambitious is the “Green Wall” project : it was meant to plant of an area of 17600 km, crossings Africa from east to west. The enormous size of the area and above all the lack of funds have forced a downsizing of the original project, which is being carried out today in small-scale projects. Afrika Mandela Ranch is part of this process by proposing a solid basis on which the intentions of the adaptation strategy can be put into practice. Opposing to several European projects imported into Africa in recent decades and imposed from above without a real involvement of the local populations, Afrika Mandela Ranch delegates to the natives the task and the pleasure of defending their territory, rekindling the lost conscience and identities due to the colonial past that is still a painful wound. As suggested by the word itself, the adaptation strategies have to familiarize to the context in which they are applied : in the case of Afrika Mandela Ranch the area taken into account is the agri-ecological region of Niayes, in northern Senegal. This is the area in the sahelian belt in which the lowering of the vulnerability line is now in place and, therefore, more visible.


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