n Conflict Trends - Agriculture : a key ingredient for peace and stability in Africa

Volume 2014, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1561-9818


Agriculture is an engine for socio-economic development in Africa. The sector accounts for about 32% of the continent's gross domestic product (GDP), and more than 65% of its citizens rely directly on this sector for their livelihood. Based on these statistics, it is therefore logical to assume that any improvements in the agricultural sector would significantly contribute towards the realisation of many other developmental priorities for Africa, such as poverty eradication, industrial expansion and increased intraregional trade.

Most importantly, as argued by the African Union (AU) Commission chairperson, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, in one of her speeches to celebrate 2014 as the Year of Agriculture and Food Security, agricultural development is critical towards the attainment of Africa's longstanding vision of a united, prosperous and peaceful continent. "If we continue to have hungry stomachs, unemployed youth and poor citizens, they may end up influencing poverty-induced anger, and fuel more political conflicts in our countries. It is, therefore, imperative that for us to overcome most of these conflicts on our continent, we must invest in agriculture," Dlamini-Zuma said at a regional agricultural conference held in Durban, South Africa in March 2014.

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