Africa can feed itself. And it can make the transition from hungry importer to self-sufficiency in a single generation.
The startling assertions, in stark contrast with entrenched, gloomy perceptions of the continent, highlight a collection of studies published today that present a clear prescription for transforming Sub-Saharan Africa's agriculture and, by doing so, its economy.
The strategy calls on governments to make African agricultural expansion central to decision making about everything from transportation and communication infrastructure to post-secondary education and innovation investment.
The approach is outlined in an independent study, "The New Harvest, Agricultural Innovation in Africa," led by Harvard University professor Calestous Juma.
And it is gathering political momentum, with Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete to launch the report at a retreat of East African Community (EAC) Heads of State in Arusha, Tanzania, Thurs., Dec. 2. Following a presentation by Prof. Juma, President Kikwete will chair a discussion with Presidents Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi, Mwai Kibaki of Kenya, and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, on policies and strategies to address persistent food insecurity in the East Africa in light of climate change. (See also an EAC news release online at www.eac.int/about-eac/eacnews/520.html?task=view)
Preliminary results of the study, financed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, were adopted earlier this year by the 19-member Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the continent's largest trading bloc.
"African agriculture is at the crossroads," says Dr. Juma, a professor of international development at Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and recognized globally for his work in applying science and technology to sustainable development.
With its vast untapped resources, Africa enjoys trem
|Contact: Terry Collins|
Harvard Kennedy Schools Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs