This 5-day course discusses different aspects of food security in Africa and will focus on the potential role of trade and regional integration in addressing the issue.
The prices of several major food products have sharply increased over the last few months. While soaring global food prices affect countries differently (they generally benefit net food exporters, but hurt net food importers), there has been a growing anxiety about the impact of rising and volatile food prices on food security. This is especially true in Africa where the vast majority of countries are net-food importers.
Limited local market size, poor connection, and inefficient infrastructure coupled with rain-fed dependent, food production are very common issues leading to food insecurity in many African countries. They cannot be easily addressed at the national level. Regional integration is often believed to be a potential solution by facilitating intra-regional food trade flows (e.g., from surplus to deficit regions), increasing food availability and reducing price volatility.
Moreover, by providing supporting regional infrastructure and regulatory frameworks and encouraging coordination and collaboration, regional integration initiatives can enhance productivity and competitiveness, which not only increase output but can also increase the income of poor farmers and other vulnerable groups making them more resilient to external shocks.
Deadline for applications: April 22, 2011