Blog Post

Africa's Food Systems on Cusp of Transformation: 2023 ATOR Released

As 2025 – the deadline for the Malabo Declaration commitments – approaches, African policymakers are taking stock of the region’s progress toward the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) framework for agriculture-led growth and development and determining what CAADP implementation will look like post-Malabo. The 2023 ReSAKSS Annual Trends and Outlook Report (ATOR) examines these questions, with a particular emphasis on the future of Africa’s food systems.

Since the launch of the CAADP in 2003 and the Malabo Declaration in 2014, Africa has seen strong overall economic and agricultural growth and significant reduction in poverty and hunger. However, in more recent years, the impacts of multiple global and regional shocks – including the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and ongoing regional conflicts – have slowed progress and driven more people into poverty and food insecurity.

In addition, national, regional, and global food value chains have become increasingly complex. Ensuring that Africa’s food systems are modernized in a way that’s both productive and environmentally sustainable will be key to supporting the region’s growth and food security in the future.

To make up the ground it has lost and continue its previous trend of growth, Africa will need to design a new CAADP agenda based on up-to-date data that takes into account multiple indicators and the entire food system, the report emphasizes.

The 2023 ATOR identifies several critical issues that need to be taken into account in conversations regarding food system transformation:

  • Health, nutrition, and food safety
  • Climate change impacts and adoption of mitigation/adaptation measures
  • Gender equality
  • Data, technology, and innovation in agricultural research and development
  • Capacity-building
  • Local contexts

The report’s chapters dive in-depth into these pathways, as well as examining how the Malabo Declaration commitments have been implemented since 2014 and how current barriers to growth (including ineffective policies and weak institutions and infrastructure) can best be addressed.

Africa’s food systems stand on the cusp of significant transformation, the 2023 ATOR concludes. This transformation has the potential to spur impactful growth in the region’s agricultural sector and overall economy, but to realize that potential, efforts must be made to ensure it is inclusive and sustainable. Such transformation calls for strong political will, cohesive strategies, and continent-wide cooperation and information-sharing.