n Africa Insight - The enduring food crisis in Africa and the state of responses

Volume 37, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


One of the most enduring challenges to the achievement of lofty social development goals in Africa is the recurrent food crisis. In part, it is fundamentally an artefact of the failure of the agricultural systems to produce and supply sufficient food to those who need it. Each year this age-old agrarian crisis manifests itself in a new manner and increasingly spreads to more areas. The Horn, East and Southern Africa have consistently been worse hit by food crises. However, of late West Africa has also suffered from increasing drought and desertification, resulting in food crises such as that exhibited by the food calamity in the Niger in late 2005. These crises have defied numerous short-term and long-term interventions. They are likely to aggravate and spread through the continent in the foreseeable future if decisive, concerted and correct action is not taken at local / national, regional / continental and international level. This is the case especially as the debilitating twin factors of erratic climate and the decline of the agrarian economy intensify. This article assesses the nature of the problem in 2005-06 and teases out emerging responses to it.

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