UN Women and BNP Paribas signed a partnership to develop climate-resilient agriculture and women’s entrepreneurship in Northern Senegal. Access to land, market & value chain addition remain critical for rural women in Senegal. This partnership will help Nbeye Gaye, Ndeye Seye & 30000 other women address those challenges.
Investing in the sustainable development of Agriculture in Africa will alleviate poverty and put Africa back on track towards achieving the millennium development goals.
One in three people living in sub-Saharan Africa are undernourished. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), approximately thirty percent or more of people in Africa face hunger - the highest percentage of any region worldwide - almost half the continent is unable to obtain food on a regular basis.
Hunger is one of the most common reasons why people flee their homelands. Politicians repeatedly say that the causes behind so many people leaving Africa for Europe have to be addressed. Can the development aid work performed by private companies bring about the desired change? The United Nations has set itself ambitious goals: eradicating poverty and hunger around the world by 2030. To achieve this, state development agencies are increasingly joining forces with the private sector.
The African Union has set a target to “eliminate hunger and food insecurity by 2025.” Both Agenda 2063 and the African Union Summit decision on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation have reaffirmed this commitment (African Union, 2014, 2015). Unfortunately, Africa is not currently on track to meet these targets. Immediate, mutually reinforcing interventions are required to bring the continent closer to eliminating hunger and food insecurity. The purposes of this report are (1) to describe the path that Africa has been on with respect to reducing hunger and pursuing food security, (2) to show where that path would likely lead in the coming years without significant change in policy, and (3) to outline the conditions and actions necessary to put Africa on track to eliminating hunger and food insecurity as soon as possible.
The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) defines hunger, or undernourishment, as an inability to acquire enough food to satisfy dietary energy requirements. Food security is a situation where all people at all times have access to food and is composed of four dimensions: food availability, economic and physical access to food, food utilization, and stability over time. This report will mainly focus on the prevalence of undernourishment and net dependence on imports as the two indicators of hunger and food security, respectively. Nearly one in five people living in Africa is hungry. That rate has decreased steadily since the mid- 1990s, with the fastest decline in West Africa and the lowest undernourishment rate in Northern Africa. Unfortunately, the total number of undernourished Africans has climbed since 1991, largely driven by increasing population. East Africa has the highest levels of hunger in terms of both prevalence and absolute numbers—about half of the total undernourished population of the continent can be found in the Easter Region.
On the supply side, Africa was not producing enough food to feed its own population adequately in the early 1990s, but its exports and imports of agricultural goods were both relatively small and in balance. Imports have since grown to be over four times the level of exports (in tons), and net imports are now about 14 percent of total agricultural demand. To analyze whether or not Africa is on track to eliminate hunger and food insecurity by 2025, this research uses the International Futures (IFs) forecasting system. IFs, and this research, draws heavily on data from the FAO and other international sources. The Base Case scenario of IFs considers historical patterns to explore the dynamic future path of Africa. Looking at the path going forward, without substantial change in the dynamics of demand and supply, the portion of Africans who are undernourished will fall from about 17 percent in 2015 to about 12 percent in 2025. Over the same period, the import dependence of Africa will rise from 14 percent of total demand to 25 percent. Learn more about ending hunger in 2025
Achieving FAO's goals to end hunger and poverty is a challenging and complex task. Today, thanks to major changes in how we do business, FAO is a fitter, flatter and more flexible organization, whose activities are driven by five strategic objectives. The new and improved FAO has a real chance to win the battle against hunger, malnutrition and rural poverty.
African leaders describe initiatives to help the continent harness its potential to secure its future. African institutions—particularly the African Union, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the African Development Bank, and regional economic communities—are already unveiling strategies to tackle the continent’s challenges more effectively. Indeed, 2018 is the year in which Africa can unleash its inner strengths.
On January 17, AGI hosted a Foresight Africa event featuring a panel of leading Africa experts where panelists offered insights on important regional trends along with recommendations for national governments, regional organizations, multilateral institutions, and civil society actors as they forge ahead in 2018.
Our planet faces multiple and complex challenges in the 21st century. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development commits the international community to act together to overcome them and transform our world for present and future generations. Focusing on food and agriculture, investing in rural people and transforming the rural sector - actions associated with the holistic vision of SDG2 - can speed progress towards all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This infographic identifies a number of trends, challenges and priority actions along a path towards Zero Hunger by 2030. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), are new global objectives that succeeded the Millennium Development Goals on 1 January 2016. The SDGs will shape national development plans over the next 15 years. From ending poverty and hunger to responding to climate change and sustaining our natural resources, food and agriculture lies at the heart of the 2030 Agenda.
The 2030 Agenda has set in place a global reporting structure that includes inputs at local, national and regional levels, and culminates in the UN High-Level Political Forum, an annual intergovernmental meeting that provides guidance and recommendations, identifies progress.
Check out this great videoCities in Africa are growing rapidly and have a critical role to play in their countries’ economic growth. Improving conditions for people and businesses in African cities by aggressively investing in infrastructure and reforming land markets is the key to accelerating economic growth, adding jobs, and improving city competitiveness.
The challenge confronting Africa is to accelerate structural transformation by harnessing the rapid urban transition to promote economic diversification, with a special focus on industrialization that will create jobs, enhance access to basic services and reduce inequality and poverty. The links between urbanization and industrialization have generally been weak or absent in Africa, underlining the urgent need to connect urban and industrial development given their interdependence and growth impacts.
The John L. Thornton China Center and the Africa Growth Initiative (AGI) at Brookings launched Senior Fellow David Dollar’s new report, “China’s Engagement in Africa: From Natural Resources to Human Resources.”
China has become, by far, the largest source of bilateral loans, accounting for about 14 percent of stock of total debt contracted by sub- Saharan African countries, excluding South Africa. Africa has forged close economic ties with China over the past 20 years. There are two main channels of economic engagement between Africa and China. The main channel, by far, has been through trade, having risen more than 40-fold over the period. Most sub-Saharan African exports to China are fuels, metals, or mineral products. On the other hand, imports from China to sub-Saharan African countries comprise mostly manufactured goods, followed by machinery. The second main channel of engagement between Africa and China is through Chinese lending. China has become, by far, the largest source of bilateral loans, accounting for about 14 percent of stock of total debt contracted by sub- Saharan African countries, excluding South Africa. Contrary to popular perception, Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) in Africa remains small—accounting for only a little over 5 percent of the total FDI flow in 2015.
Amid raving economic forecasts that Africa will be the next big emerging market, chronic food shortages remain stubbornly immune to solutions. The African Union is aware of this weak link and is working to convince its members to boost investments in agriculture. To empha- size the central role of agriculture in Africa’s economic growth, the regional body has declared 2014 as the Year of Agriculture and Food Security.
Queen Maxima of the Netherlands talks about the importance of financial inclusion to achieve zero hunger. She also highlights the role of partnerships with the UN World Food Programme and others to reach this goal. Queen Maxima is the UN Secretary-General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development.
Digitizing payments within the agricultural sector presents enormous potential to promote broader financial inclusion in rural areas. The estimated $2.2 billion in annual payments from businesses and governments to rural individuals engaged in agricultural value chains are an attractive entry point for many digital financial services (DFS) beyond payments. Yet cash still dominates all rural money transactions. CGAP’s nationally representative surveys in six countries show that while 67 percent of smallholders own a mobile phone, just 17 percent have a mobile money account – and only 4 percent have received digital payments for their crops.
Despite the impact of the financial service industry in enabling digital access, mobile financial services and digital financial services for millions of people, sixty six percent or more of people in Africa lack access to formal financial services. e-Money is helping bridge this gap and can provide a platform for small holder farmers to access mobile payments for micro loans, credit, insurance, better savings and payments mechanisms, reduced transaction times and costs, lower vulnerability to theft and loss. However, e-money lacks certain characteristics intrinsic to paper currency including interoperability between various e-money schemes and requiring intermediaries such as commercial banks to participate in the settlement process.
Governments across Africa can leverage the latest regulatory technology providing central banks with the capability to transform paper currency into a Digital Fiat Currency - issued by governments, distributed across all payment systems and accessible from any mobile device. Creating a Digital Fiat Currency will unleash the full potential of paper currency in the digital realm by providing interoperability, instant settlement, trust, and higher security standards. This technology will also make it more effective for regulators, financial authorities and governments to enforce e-money regulations, seamlessly gather data in real time on all transactions flows and improve their capacity to monitor, secure & regulate the financial ecosystem.
The days of overstuffed wallets in your pocket or purse might soon come to an end. By 2020, mobile wallets on our smartphones are expected to surpass the use of credit and debit cards in the United States. But that has already happened in China. Can Africa go cashless?
Digital innovations offer an unprecedented opportunity to address many of the pain points faced by value chain actors and FSPs by reducing information asymmetries and transaction costs. For example, aggregation and analysis of digital data related to sales, payments, and seasonality of cash flows among value chain actors promise to overcome barriers to providing credit not only to smallholders, but also to traders, processors, and retailers. Additionally, branchless banking and the rise of mobile devices are making payments to and from smallholders more efficient, while reducing barriers to collecting deposits and offering affordable insurance products.
Smallholder households, estimated at about 500 million globally in low- and middle-income countries, are the largest segment by livelihood of those living under $2 a day. Traditionally excluded from formal financial services, digital financial services represent an opportunity to deepen financial inclusion amongst this segment. One avenue to facilitating this is to digitize the agriculture value chains that some smallholders are a part of. Although just 7% of smallholders are in tight agriculture value chains, digitizing these holds significant benefits for the buyers that smallholders are dependent on, creating a strong incentive that doesn’t exist for non-commercial smallholders or those in loose value chains.
The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) and Harvesting Inc., a California-based financial technology firm, are partnering to develop a new credit scoring mechanism for smallholder farmers in Uganda to improve their access to loans. Smallholder families are the single largest group by livelihood in extreme poverty, living on less than $2 a day. Without access to credit to buy inputs such as seeds and fertilizer, they have limited ability to improve their output and raise their incomes. An estimated 475 million farmers worldwide live on smallholdings of less than 2 hectares, and they are central to efforts in financial inclusion.
Agriculture is the mainstay of Ghana's economy, but many farmers lack access to financial services making it difficult for them to grow their businesses. Learn how the Feed the Future Ghana ADVANCE project uses digital financial services to increase farmers' resilience and help them grow their businesses.
In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on America's food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government's regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. The USA's food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. Will African Agriculture be any different?
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