Four genera of rattan palms, represented by 20 species, occur in West and Central Africa. In common with their Asian relatives, the rattans of Africa form an integral part of subsistence strategies for many rural populations as well as providing the basis of a thriving cottage industry. Although many of the African rattan species are used locally for a multiplicity of purposes, the commercial trade concentrates on the bulk harvest of only a few widespread and relatively common species.
African rattans have long been recognised by donor agencies and national governments as having a potential role to play on the world market as well as a great role within the regional Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP) sector of Africa.
In: New research on African rattans. Proceedings No. 9. Sunderland, T.C.H. and Profizi, J.P. (Eds.). African Rattan Research Programme. Limbe, Cameroon. International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR). ISBN:962-85124-201-8.