This seminar hosted by NRI under its Food and Nutrition Security Initiative (FaNSI), provided an occasion for sharing recent thinking and research insights on the challenges and potential solutions relating to food and nutrition security in Africa.
Food and nutrition security remain major challenges in sub-Saharan Africa. The latest data (FAO, ECA and AUC 2020), show that there are 256 million undernourished people in Africa. Indications are that progress is too slow to meet the nutrition targets that form part of the Sustainable Development Goals monitoring framework. There are many issues that contribute to this, including conflict and state fragility, climate extremes and economic slowdowns and downturns.
Developing our food systems is critical to improved nutrition, protection of the environment and economic growth. Sustainable agricultural intensification and reducing food loss and waste have important roles to play. Furthermore, as FAO, ECA and AUC (2020) report, sustained economic growth is not enough; reducing inequalities, including gender-based and spatial inequalities, is essential to strengthening household resilience, contributing to inclusive growth, reducing food insecurity and tackling the multiple forms of malnutrition.
In 2019, Research England made an investment in the Natural Resources Institute of the University of Greenwich to fund its Food and Nutrition Security Initiative (FaNSI) under the Expanding Excellence in England Programme. This investment supports a food systems approach to food and nutrition security with specific emphasis on climate change, food loss and waste, sustainable agricultural intensification and food-based approaches to improved nutrition. This involves collaboration with a number of partner organisations in the UK and sub-Saharan Africa. This seminar presented recent thinking and commentary on the challenges and potential solutions to Food and Nutrition Security in Africa.
Moderator: Lord Boateng
Welcome: Professor Jane Harrington (Vice-Chancellor, University of Greenwich) Introduction: Professor Andrew Westby (Director, Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich)
Nourishing Africa: aquatic foods in food systems - Dr Shakuntala Thilsted (Research Program Leader for Value Chains and Nutrition, WorldFish & Vice-Chair, Action Track 4, 2021 UN Food Systems Summit)
Dr Jemimah Njuki (Africa Director, International Food Policy Research Institute)
Matthew Wyatt (Director of the Humanitarian Security and Migration Division, UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office)
Professor Molly Brown (Professor of Food-based Strategies for Nutrition, Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich)
Professor Nicola Lowe (Food Systems Champion, UK Research and Innovation)
Summary by Lord Boateng
Parallel Programme Session
Feedback session with reports from programme sessions and Next Steps
Programme Advisory Committee meeting
Early Career Researcher workshop - read more detail about this session (PDF)