Search Blog Posts
As Ethiopia’s population has become increasingly urbanized over the past decade, more and more households have come to rely on markets, rather than their own farms, for their daily food needs. This dependence means that well-functioning agri-food value chains have become increasingly vital to food security for much of the population.
With the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting livelihoods, and the new African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) now beginning to influence food flows, agricultural trade in Africa is in a state of flux, with both challenges and opportunities. While AfCFTA implementation has begun, some crucial negotiations remain to be completed, and the full scope of its impact is not yet clear.
Prevalence of hunger and food insecurity have been on the rise in Africa south of the Sahara (SSA) in recent years after a long period of decline. In 2020, an estimated one in five people in the region faced hunger, more than double the proportion of any other region worldwide. The period 2019-2020 in SSA saw the strongest increase in annual undernourishment ever recorded. In 2020, estimated prevalence of undernourishment ranged from 10.1 percent in southern Africa to 31.8 percent in Central Africa.
Increasing urbanization plays a major role in shifting patterns of food supply and demand and thus in transforming food systems. These transformations carry significant implications for the livelihoods of rural populations, presenting both challenges and opportunities. A new paper published in Food Security examines some of these impacts in Africa south of the Sahara (SSA) and South Asia, as well as the enabling environments needed to help rural communities benefit from the changes.
As the world continues to grapple with the ongoing presence of COVID-19, it has become clear that the pandemic’s impacts extend far beyond human health. Economic growth, markets and supply chains, poverty, and food security have all experienced ripple effects from the pandemic itself and the measures taken to stop the spread of the deadly virus. In Africa, the outbreak of COVID-19 coincided with the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), leading to concerns about the potential negative impacts on free trade targets in the region.