Strong growth hasn’t ended Africa’s food crisis, says UN

 

“Impressive GDP growth rates in Africa have not translated into the elimination of hunger and malnutrition,” Helen Clark, administrator at the United Nations Development Programme said in a statement at the release of the report on Tuesday..

“Between 2004 and 2008 African economies grew an average of 6.5% a year, only slowing to 2.7% in 2009 in the wake of the global financial and economic crisis,” the report read.

“Sub-Saharan Africa rebounded in 2010, regaining its high growth rates (5.4% in 2010 and 5.2% in 2011),” it added, noting that African economies are likely to grow at a rate of more than 5% in 2012.

In terms of economic growth this has been “the second fastest region after developing Asia for a couple of years”, Sebastian Levine, a policy adviser at UNDP’s regional bureau for Africa told reporters.

However, with one person in four suffering from malnutrition, Sub-Saharan Africa remains the region hardest hit by food insecurity.

“The reports come at a time when yet another severe food crisis is affecting the Sahel region of West Africa,” Clark noted.

In 2011 alone, millions of people on the other side of the continent, in the Horn of Africa, were similarly struck with famine eventuating in parts of Somalia.”

“Droughts, crop failures and other disasters often trigger these crises,” she added. “But the real causes go deeper.”

UNDP advocates an increase in agricultural activity through greater – but controlled – access to fertilisers or new seeds, and more investment in irrigation.

However, “no one believes it is possible simply to distribute better seeds and more fertiliser to African farmers and then to walk away,” the report said.

“Nor will economic growth alone solve the problem … Misguided policies, weak institutions and failing markets are the deeper causes of sub-Saharan Africa’s food insecurity,” it added.

In a region of 856-million people, agricultural development has for too long been sacrificed in favour of urban development, and agriculture is still over-taxed, UNDP said, calling for more efforts in education, research and development in order to fight malnutrition.

Pedro Conceiçao, chief economist in UNDP’s Africa bureau explained it is not “just a case of producing more and more food.”

The population needs to be able to generate revenue in order to gain access to crops, he added. – Sapa-AFP

 

Advertisting

Hlophe complaint is an eerie echo

But the new complaint against the Western Cape judge president is also unprecedented

Mabuza contract grows by R10m

Eskom’s negotiators in a R100-million maintenance contract came back with a proposal to push up the costs

‘There were no marks on his neck’, Neil Aggett inquest...

The trade unionist’s partner at the time he was detained at John Vorster Square says she now believes his death was not a suicide
Advertising

Press Releases

Boosting safety for cargo and drivers

The use of a telematics system for fleet vehicles has proved to be an important tool in helping to drive down costs and improve efficiency, says MiX Telematics Africa.

Silencing the guns and firearms amnesty

Silencing the guns and firearms amnesty

Gender-based violence is an affront to our humanity

Gender-based violence is an affront to our humanity

UK-Africa investment summit 2020: Think Africa Invest SA

UK-Africa investment summit 2020: Think Africa Invest SA

MTN unveils TikTok bundles

Customised MTN TikTok data bundles are available to all prepaid customers on *136*2#.

Marketers need to reinvent themselves

Marketing is an exciting discipline, offering the perfect fit for individuals who are equally interested in business, human dynamics and strategic thinking. But the...

Upskill yourself to land your dream job in 2020

If you received admission to an IIE Higher Certificate qualification, once you have graduated, you can articulate to an IIE Diploma and then IIE Bachelor's degree at IIE Rosebank College.

South Africans unsure of what to expect in 2020

Almost half (49%) of South Africans, 15 years and older, agree or strongly agree that they view 2020 with optimism.