The Covid-19 pandemic has accentuated existing food security issues in Africa and given rise to some new challenges. With an economic downturn under way, efforts to combat hunger are beingaccelerated. While short-term measures are part of the solution, the crisis has also made a powerful case for long-term change. The IMF projects that a worldwide recession will follow on the heels of the Covid-19 pandemic, resulting in a drop of around 4% in global GDP. Due to climate change and political instability, parts of Africa were already grappling with food security issues, making a recession an unwelcome addition to the mix. Net food exporters have been particularly affected by internal pressures, such as productivity slumps caused by lockdowns, and external pressures, including the disruption of international supply chains. Some governments have been unable to guarantee sufficient food supplies, a situation that has the potential to lead to broader instability and, ultimately, conflict. Nevertheless, Covid-19 is generating opportunities for meaningful change, and it is hoped that the pandemic will give rise to new approaches to food security. “The opportunities for growth in Africa reflect resilience as a primary objective,” Driss Benomar, chair of the Atlantis Center for Geostrategic and Research Studies, told OBG. “This means smoothing supply chains into effective pan-African management schemes that include regulatory frameworks; expanding and sharing capacity in the health sector; systematically investing in infrastructure, sometimes across borders; and enhancing telecommunications.” An ongoing food crisis Prior to Covid-19 some 73m people on the continent were classified as…
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Source: Nomad Africa Magazine