Africa and the green economy: Crucial conversations

Citizen participation in talks over climate change and green economy issues has been very limited due to legal, scientific and technical language that is explicit to scientists, government delegates and experts and in the subject. In preparation for the COP17, to be held in Durban in December 2011, Idasa’s Smallholder Agriculture project held the first of its seminar series on 16 August with key policy-makers, business, civil society, academics, researchers and smallholder farmers. The aim of the seminar was to create awareness among different stakeholders and to provide a platform for concerned citizens to voice their concerns and opinions on climate change and the transition to a green economy. Read more here.

Climate change and socio-economic development in Africa

Climate change is presently a dilemma that has put policy makers, scientists, and governments in a state of anxiety. The African continent has been targeted by policy makers and researchers for the implementation of reforms and policies to ameliorate, mitigate and adapt to climate change. This paper outlines some of the literature to convey the consequences of climate change on Africa’s socio-economic development as a continent, taking into consideration the fact that climate change predicaments may not be the same for all the nations. Read more here.
Oluwole Akiyode and Adedeji Daramola

Climate change framework does not accommodate agriculture fully

Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Assistant Secretary General, Stephen Karangizi, says the existing framework for climate change does not explicitly provide for agriculture in the region. Sustained support to agriculture, including conservation agriculture, and other issues must be discussed by member states. COMESA is going to review regional food security situation and measures that could be put in place to increase agricultural productivity. According to Karangizi, it is imperative that climate change issues be addressed the soonest as they had a negative effect on agriculture.  Read more here.
Nomthandazo Nkambule

Land policy: Key to food security in Africa

Land policy and food security in Africa are of particular relevance. 35 countries in Africa are net importers of food. There are many challenges and risks; and it is not only a consequence of environmental change, but also due to a lack of state structures. Recent investments in land could also be a great opportunity for Africa, enabling it to attract capital, create jobs, modernise its infrastructure and adopt more efficient agricultural technology. But this has been creating some problems related to agricultural land grabbing from small-scale farmers. Thus, it is important to create the link between land purchases and food security activities. Read more here.
Gunter Nooke

Gendered Terrain: Women’s Rights and Access to Land in Africa

IDRC is hosting a policy symposium, “Gendered Terrain: Women’s Rights and Access to Land in Africa” in Nairobi, Kenya on 14-16 September 2010. The event will provide a forum for researchers from across Africa to share their findings and policy recommendations, engage with policy makers to facilitate policy influence, and promote the development of sub-regional networks. It will enable researchers to share their findings with relevant African stakeholders including key government policy makers, civil society activists, and regional and international agencies. Read more here.

Africa not spending enough on food

Africa is now facing the same type of long-term food deficit problem that India faced in the early 1960s, says a paper by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), a US-based think-tank. Read more here.

Global security depends on tackling world hunger

A comprehensive framework for action on global food security is being updated. This includes a set of policy and action recommendations first developed in 2008 for responding to the food price crisis that year. That crisis pushed millions of people into hunger and sparked riots in more than 30 countries. Ireland and the US are building a strategic partnership to tackle ongoing world hunger, a foreign policy priority of both governments. Read more here.

International Academic Conference on ‘Global Land Grabbing’ 6 – 8 April 2011

The Journal of Peasant Studies, in collaboration with the Land Deal Politics Initiative (LDPI) is organizing an international academic workshop on ‘Global Land Grabbing’ to be held on 6-8 April 2011 at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) in the UK. The focus of the conference will be on the politics of global land grabbing and agrarian change. Papers are expected to address some of the most urgent and strategic questions around global land grab. Read more here.

Sub-Saharan Africans want governments to focus on agriculture and jobs

As the United Nations prepares for its September summit on the Millennium Development Goals, Gallup surveys in sub-Saharan Africa finds that residents are most likely to spontaneously mention agriculture (20%) and jobs (19%) as the most important issues their governments should address in the next 12 months. A median of 14% across 18 countries surveyed name poverty and 10% mention the economy in general. Read more here.

Agriculture and rural development key to African economies – evaluation of assistance

Agriculture and rural development are key elements in African economies and provide an important route towards achievement of the critical development goals of promoting growth and reducing poverty in Africa. Yet the sector presents a challenging development agenda. This report presents the main findings, conclusions and recommendations of a major evaluation of assistance to agriculture and rural development (ARD) in Africa provided by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Read more here.