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Towards Food Security in Africa: Challenges, Policies, and the Role of the African Development Bank

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Adeleke Salami, Zuzana Brixiova, Hesham Kandil and Albert Mafusire

I – Background

The world today has sufficient global food supplies, yet 925 million people were undernourished in 2010; of this 239 million were in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Moreover, the number of undernourished people in developing countries, including in Africa, has steadily risen since the mid-1990s. Large inequities in the distribution of land and income across and within countries, especially in Africa’s low income countries, contributed to these trends. Due to conflicts, natural disasters, crop failures, and other factors, thirty countries globally, and twenty in Africa, needed external assistance with food supply in 2010.

In Africa, where more than 1/3 of people live on less than $1 per day, food security is linked to poverty and food prices. This brief thus first provides an update on the food situation in Africa as well as global trends in food prices. It then addresses the policy actions that African policymakers can take to improve their regional, national and local situations.