The recent turnaround in Malawi, a small nation in Southern Africa, from being a food deficit country to one producing surplus food grains and overcoming a persisting and excruciating famine is one of the most dramatic incidents in the history of the battle against hunger by the African nations. Malawi has been in the world headlines since 2002 with reports of widespread starvation deaths and hunger related diseases. The estimates of victims of hunger varied from 500 to several thousand, which compared unfavourably, even with the infamous Nyasaland famine of 1949 (said to have claimed around 200 lives) under British colonial rule. A large section of the population of this predominantly rural nation was forced to resort to eating banana stems and roots in a bid for survival. The Malawi famine is a classic example of what happens when poor countries are forced to adopt the straight-jacketed reform policies preached by the Western donor agencies. The re-emergence of food surplus in Malawi has illustrated that it is better to follow what the Western developed nations practice than to pay heed to what they preach for others. At the peak of the 2002 food crisis, while the Malawian government was suffering the results of the IMF's anti-subsidy policies and inappropriate agriculture advice, the US government passed an agriculture bill that increased subsidies to its domestic farmers. Although, it is difficult for a poor African nation to work against the will of the donor agencies, it is in their own interests to show the same resolve that the Malawian president Mutharika exhibited at the time of launching his fertilizer subsidy policy when he declared, "As long as I'm president, I don't want to be going to other capitals begging for food" (Dugger, The NY Times, Dec 2, 2007) ------------------------------ My take, when will kikwete take suit?