- They lack capital to invest in forestry industry.
- There is a problem of lacking skilled labour.
- There is a problem of poor transport.
- Most forests in Africa are now experiencing a severe problem of soil erosion.
- The gestation period of most of valuable trees is very long and this does not match with the demand for them.
- The tropical forest jungle environmental conditions threaten the life of forest workers.
- The size of trees felled in Africa is too large with great weight makes it difficult for the transportation of logs to the saw mills.
- The buttress roots which are common presents problems when felling.
- African forests contain a thick undergrowth which makes accessibility hard.
- Lack of pure stands of valuable trees.
- Lack of constant market for the tropical land wood.
The commercial exploitation of forest in Africa is mostly practised in West Africa and Central Africa where there are vast cover of thick forests.
Among the countries where commercial exploitation takes place include Gabon, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Central Africa Republic, DRC and others.
The common commercial species felled include Mahogany, Ebony, Okoume, Mvule, Musizi, Rosewood, Green heart, Camphor and the like.
Forestry is concerned about the conservation and exploitation of forest resources. Africa is endowed with thousands of square kilometres of forest land.
These forests can be categorized as tropical rainforest, savanna wood lands, Mediterranean forests, Montane forests and vast man planted forests.
The tropical rainforests are the most important.
Purposes of forests in Africa
- They are a source of fuel and building materials.
- Tropical wood land yield a lot of useful gums and resins which is used in confectionary and in the making of inks.
- Forests are source of fruits and nuts such as palm oil and kernels which are used in the making of vegetable oil.
- It is a source of raw materials for handcrafts for example piassava fibre which is used in the making of stiff brushes, kapok fibre used in the making of sleeping bags and Toquilla fibre used in the making of panama hats.
- It is a source of tinning materials.
- They are a source of drugs and medicine for example Cinchona tree which is used in the making of Quinine.
- Forests are used for wax which is used in the making of floor and furniture polishes.
- Forests help in controlling soil erosion and enriching the soil with fertility from the decaying leaves.
- Forests provide natural habitat for many hundreds of wild animals and birds which support the tourist industry.