Africa Human Development Report 2012: Towards a Food Secure Future
Published on 15 May 2012
Document Summary
The 2012 Human Development Report for Africa explores why dehumanizing hunger remains pervasive in the region, despite abundant agricultural resources, a favorable growing climate, and rapid economic growth rates. It also emphasizes that food security – the ability to consistently acquire enough calories and nutrients for a healthy and productive life - is essential for human development.  
To boost food security, it argues for action in four interrelated areas: agricultural productivity, nutrition, access to food, and empowerment of the rural poor. It asserts that increasing agricultural productivity in sustainable ways can bolster food production and economic opportunities, thereby improving food availability and increasing purchasing power. Effective nutrition policies can create conditions for the proper use and absorption of calories and nutrients. Finally, empowering the rural poor - especially women - and harnessing the power of information, innovation, and markets can promote equitable allocation of food and resources within families and across communities.
Highlights
Sub-Saharan Africa’s population, 856 million in 2010, is projected to exceed 2 billion shortly after 2050.
More than one in four Africans - close to 218 million people - is undernourished.
Two major biases – towards towns rather than rural areas and towards men, not women – have been principal factors in explaining Africa’s food insecurity.
African governments spend between 5-10% of their budgets on agriculture, well below the 20% average that Asian governments devoted to the sector during the green revolution there.
Women are significant food producers, but their control of land in sub-Saharan Africa is less than in any other region.
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Africa Human Development Report 2012: Towards a Food Secure Future

Published on 15 May 2012

Document Summary

The 2012 Human Development Report for Africa explores why dehumanizing hunger remains pervasive in the region, despite abundant agricultural resources, a favorable growing climate, and rapid economic growth rates. It also emphasizes that food security – the ability to consistently acquire enough calories and nutrients for a healthy and productive life - is essential for human development.  

To boost food security, it argues for action in four interrelated areas: agricultural productivity, nutrition, access to food, and empowerment of the rural poor. It asserts that increasing agricultural productivity in sustainable ways can bolster food production and economic opportunities, thereby improving food availability and increasing purchasing power. Effective nutrition policies can create conditions for the proper use and absorption of calories and nutrients. Finally, empowering the rural poor - especially women - and harnessing the power of information, innovation, and markets can promote equitable allocation of food and resources within families and across communities.

Highlights

  • Sub-Saharan Africa’s population, 856 million in 2010, is projected to exceed 2 billion shortly after 2050.
  • More than one in four Africans - close to 218 million people - is undernourished.
  • Two major biases – towards towns rather than rural areas and towards men, not women – have been principal factors in explaining Africa’s food insecurity.
  • African governments spend between 5-10% of their budgets on agriculture, well below the 20% average that Asian governments devoted to the sector during the green revolution there.
  • Women are significant food producers, but their control of land in sub-Saharan Africa is less than in any other region.

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OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR The Future We Want By BAN KI-MOON Published: May 23, 2012

Twenty years ago, there was the Earth Summit. Gathering in Rio de Janiero, world leaders agreed on an ambitious blueprint for a more secure future. They sought to balance the imperatives of robust economic growth and the needs of a growing population against the ecological necessity to conserve our planet’s most precious resources — land, air and water. And they agreed that the only way to do this was to break with the old economic model and invent a new one. They called it sustainable development.

Two decades later […]

Bioenergy for Sustainable Development and International Competitiveness
The Role of Sugar Cane in Africa
Edited by Francis X. Johnson, Vikram Seebaluck
Published March 12th 2012 by Routledge – 444 pages
Growing concerns about the impacts of climate change and dependence on fossil fuels have intensified interest in bioenergy from sugar cane and other crops, highlighting important links between energy, environment and development goals. Sub-Saharan Africa is characterized by severe poverty; the possibility to exploit a renewable energy resource offers valuable avenues for sustainable development and could support a more dynamic and competitive economy. This book describes how the bioenergy expansion will improve rural livelihoods, reduce costly energy imports, reduce GHG emissions, and offer new development paths.
Drawing on international experience, it is shown that harnessing this potential will require significant increases in investment, technology transfer, and international cooperation. Because of its high efficiency, the authors argue that sugar cane should be viewed as a global resource for sustainable development and should command much greater focus and concerted policy action. Through an analysis of the agronomy, land suitability and industrial processing of sugar cane and its co-products, along with an assessment of the energy, economic and environmental implications, this volume demonstrates that sugar cane offers a competitive and environmentally beneficial resource for Africa’s economic development and energy security.
With fourty-four authors representing thirty organisations in sixteen countries, the book offers a truly international and interdisciplinary perspective by combining technical and economic principles with social, political and environmental assessment and policy analysis.
Bioenergy for Sustainable Development and International Competitiveness The Role of Sugar Cane in Africa Edited by Francis X. JohnsonVikram Seebaluck

Published March 12th 2012 by Routledge – 444 pages

Growing concerns about the impacts of climate change and dependence on fossil fuels have intensified interest in bioenergy from sugar cane and other crops, highlighting important links between energy, environment and development goals. Sub-Saharan Africa is characterized by severe poverty; the possibility to exploit a renewable energy resource offers valuable avenues for sustainable development and could support a more dynamic and competitive economy. This book describes how the bioenergy expansion will improve rural livelihoods, reduce costly energy imports, reduce GHG emissions, and offer new development paths.

Drawing on international experience, it is shown that harnessing this potential will require significant increases in investment, technology transfer, and international cooperation. Because of its high efficiency, the authors argue that sugar cane should be viewed as a global resource for sustainable development and should command much greater focus and concerted policy action. Through an analysis of the agronomy, land suitability and industrial processing of sugar cane and its co-products, along with an assessment of the energy, economic and environmental implications, this volume demonstrates that sugar cane offers a competitive and environmentally beneficial resource for Africa’s economic development and energy security.

With fourty-four authors representing thirty organisations in sixteen countries, the book offers a truly international and interdisciplinary perspective by combining technical and economic principles with social, political and environmental assessment and policy analysis.

Columbia > Transboundary Water Management and Law in Africa

Date: Wednesday, March 7
Time: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Location: Faculty House second floor
Organized by The Legal, Economic, Social and Environmental Issues Seminar

Jonathan Lautze, Water Advisor at USAID/International Water Management
Institute, will give a talk about transboundary water management and transboundary water law in Africa, focusing on a few case study basins.

Jonathan Lautze has been involved in a range of applied research projects focused on water governance, water security, integrated water resources management, transboundary water management, climate change and water, and water and health. He has published about 20 peer-reviewed articles in journals and books, and has lived and worked in Benin, Ethiopia, South Africa and Sri Lanka. He holds a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School, Tufts University and a PhD from Tufts Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.