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By: Antoine Bouet
The third annual Africa Agriculture Trade Monitor (AATM) was released last week. The report finds both good news and bad news for Africa’s trading system, as well as some important promises.
First the good news.
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the global economy hard, and in many places other factors—such as the locust invasion in East Africa and falling export commodity prices—are compounding its effects. FAO Chief Economist Maximo Torero observes that no modern economy has experienced anything like the combination of the Great Lockdown and the worst recession since the Great Depression, and that these could trigger a global food crisis—with Africa south of the Sahara especially vulnerable. He lays out a series of policy prescriptions that can help keep millions from starvation and fortify food systems for a post-pandemic world.—Johan Swinnen, series co-editor and IFPRI Director General.
In recent decades, the amount of calories available to the average Nigerian on a daily basis has increased significantly. Despite this progress, however, the country continues to battle high levels of malnutrition of varying types. According to a recent research brief , a lack of dietary diversity and dietary quality may be to blame.
This piece originally appeared on IFPRI.org
Across Africa, countries have imposed emergency border restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19. These have delayed a continental free trade agreement, are contributing to fears of a new food crisis, and disrupted cross-border trade. In this post, Antoine Bouët and David Laborde review the border measures and their impacts and provide recommendations on how to make health and trade policies more coherent in a complex environment.— Johan Swinnen , series co-editor and IFPRI Director General.