The Africa south of the Sahara Food Security Portal was presented on September 1 at a side event during the 2015 ReSAKSS Conference. The event focused on “Providing Timely Data and Analysis to Improve Food Security in Africa.”
Maximo Torero, Director of IFPRI's Markets, Trade and Institutions Division, presented the FSP-SSA, including the history and objectives of the project and plans moving forward. He presented the contents available on the FSP, like the interactive maps, the price volatility tools, and the thematic blogs, and highlighted the advances made by the project so far in identifying and filling data gaps. In particular, Torero discussed the role and opportunities for network partners to participate in food and nutrition security research and policy-related dialogues.
Dr. Assefa Adamassie (Principal Research Fellow at the Ethiopian Economic Policy Research Institute) discussed work being done on Food Price Dynamics Information and Analysis Hub, as well as effiorts to understand and fill knowledge gaps through small research grants.
Dr. Greenwell Matchaya (Economist at IWMI and coordinator of ReSAKSS-Southern Africa) discussed the need for data collection under CAADP, confirmed in the 2014 Malabo declaration. He noted the importance of timely and specific data to be able to track performance in terms of indicators and targets under CAADP, and the challenges faced in collecting this data.
Balaji Subbaraman (Knoema) discussed the weekly retail price data being collected over all African countries over a range of commodities. He noted the difficulty of collecting this data, including the variety in units and languages used. Their data will be available to the public and will soon be hosted on the FSP-SSA.
Summer Allen, IFPRI Research Coordinator, organized and moderated the event. In the discussion that followed the presentations, it became clear that there is strong demand for regional data and that more joint efforts are needed.
The 2015 ReSAKSS Conference brings together policymakers, researchers, advocacy groups, farmers’ organizations, the private sector, development partners, and other key stakeholders from within and outside of Africa. The theme of the 2015 conference, organized by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in partnership with the African Union Commission (AUC), is “Beyond a Middle Income Africa: Transforming African Economies for Sustained Growth with Rising Employment and Incomes.” The 2015 Conference is being hosted by AUC at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 1- 3 September 2015.