The COVID-19 pandemic is set to radically increase food insecurity in Africa, exacerbating an issue that has only worsened in recent years. The World Bank warns Africa is heading from a health crisis into a food crisis, and the United Nations predicts the rate of chronic malnutrition over the next twelve months could double.
Decisive lockdowns, imposed by many African governments to prevent the virus’ spread, have disrupted the continent’s supply chains and led to rising unemployment. At the same time, huge locust swarms continue to devastate crops across East Africa and, in the continent’s southern region, years of drought have led to repeated crop failures. African countries have quickly become more reliant on externally sourced food at a time when international markets are experiencing unprecedented changes.
Government and international interventions are already in motion, but questions remain about the scale and nature of their delivery. This is especially the case for people living in conflict-affected regions, where humanitarian food aid is harder to deliver.
What can be done to address the upcoming emergency? If regional or global collaboration is needed, how and when can this be delivered for those most in need?
Join our event as experts discuss the outlook for the continent’s food security, and what measures should be taken.
The event will be recorded and uploaded to our Facebook and YouTube pages shortly after.
Dr Miltone Ayieko is the Executive Director, Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development, Egerton University. He holds a doctorate degree in Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics from Michigan State University, with specialization in agricultural markets, policy analysis and international development. Miltone is a seasoned agricultural policy researcher, focusing on rural livelihoods, market development, technology adoption, seed systems and agricultural value chain analysis. He has held various positions including being the Regional Coordinator of the Integrated Seed Sector Development in Africa (ISSD Africa). He has also served in various ministerial task forces and committees. He is the current Vice Chair of the Regional Network of Agricultural Policy Research Institutes (ReNAPRI)
Rachel Bezner Kerr is a Professor of Development Sociology at Cornell University. She is the Soils, Food and Healthy Communities Research Coordinator and Project Director of the Malawi Farmer to Farmer Agroecology project. Her research focuses on historical, political and social roots of the food system in northern Malawi; sustainable agriculture, food security and social processes in rural Africa; social relations linked to health and nutritional outcomes; and local knowledge and climate change adaptation.
Leena Koni Hoffmann
Dr Hoffmann is an associate fellow of the Africa Programme at Chatham House, and the Nigeria country lead for the Africa Programme’s Social Norms and Accountable Governance Project (SNAG). She is also a technical advisor on food security and agricultural policy to the Permanent Inter-State Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS) and a member of the International Advisory Board of SOS SAHEL.
Declan Conway is a Professorial Research Fellow at LSE's Grantham Research Institute. His research cuts across water, climate and society, with a strong focus on adaptation and international development. Originally a geographer, Declan draws on insights from different disciplines to pursue problem focused research. He has over 20 years experience working in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia (particularly China). He is the chair of the Programme Executive Board of UPGro; Unlocking the Potential for Groundwater in sub-Saharan Africa; member of the international editorial board of Global Environmental Change; project Lead on UMFULA (Uncertainty reduction in Models For Understanding Development Applications); and the economic impact of El Niño related floods and drought on small and medium enterprises in Botswana, Kenya and Zambia.
Photo: Kate Holt/Africa Practice
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