Turning Africa around

I'm sure thousands of readers will have silently thanked Edward Girardet for his splendid article ``Swiss agronomist turns Kenya into forests'' (International edition, July 6-12). At a time when pessimism and doom seem to characterize most reporting on Africa, how empowering to read such a hope-filled, clear, factual article.

How empowering to hear a man with the experience of Ren'e Haller send the prophets of gloom to their blackboards with statements such as ``It's absolutely nonsense to say that a situation is hopeless. . . . There is always a way of working with nature. . . . It need not even be expensive or complicated. One just needs a bit of imagination.''

May I add another ray of hope to your readers' information?

In 1984, agricultural production in Guinea-Bissau increased by 109 percent over the preceding year, simply because the government doubled the price paid for their produce to farmers.

There are ways out. Everywhere.

So-called ``hopeless situations'' are never really that in fact. Pierre Pradervand Lausanne, Switzerland

President Botha's proclamation of arrest without a warrant, and detention for two weeks without contact with anyone, including lawyers, is shocking. In 1960 the United Nations Security Council's resolution recognized the existence of a situation in South Africa which if continued might endanger international peace and security.

Why did the free world allow this potentially explosive problem to continue?

It was inevitable for racism to explode into violence and bloodshed. Rae Morrock Brooklyn, N.Y.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published and none individually acknowledged. All are subject to condensation. Please address letters to ``readers write.''

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