Beyond COVID-19: A Long-Term Vision for African Food Systems

Research event
16 September 2020 — 1:00PM TO 3:00PM

COVID-19 has drawn widespread attention to the fragility of food systems in high-, middle- and low-income countries around the world. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the pandemic has heightened existing pressures on food production and food access, from ongoing conflicts and climate-driven droughts to the desert locust infestations seen in East Africa. It has also added further to myriad unknowns around how our future economies and societies will evolve: Will we experience increased globalization or deglobalization? Can we expect to see greater global instability or stability? Will our populations grow exponentially or shrink? Will climate change be impossible to navigate or manageable?

Recovering from the impacts of COVID-19 in Sub-Saharan Africa while strengthening the capacity of the region’s food systems to deliver nutritious food for all in a changing climate and an increasingly uncertain and unstable world will depend on robust decision-making that accounts for a range of plausible ‘futures’. This roundtable will provide an opportunity to consider the nature of those plausible futures and the policies, investments and collaborations needed today in order to steer us towards food systems in the region that are sustainable, nutrition-supporting, resilient, and sensitive to the role and needs of smallholders - however the uncertainties facing us play out.

Panellists will share their visions for Sub-Saharan African food systems and their thoughts on how to ensure effective decision-making under the major uncertainties that will shape the future of the region’s societies and economies. There will then follow a facilitated discussion between participants on what they believe to be the key elements of a successful food-system transformation agenda for the region, and priority actions for the coming year.

This event is by invitation only.

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