Regional Integration and Food Security in Africa | World Bank Institute (WBI)

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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

Register here

This 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.  It will address issues related to the facilitation of intra-regional trade flows in food and agriculture. The different mechanisms available for improving strategic coordination/cooperation amongst all regional stakeholders will also be covered.  

Other topics include: Overview of regional integration initiatives for food security in Africa; Implications of a common agricultural market; The role of commodity exchanges and grain institutions in ensuring food security; standards and SPS; GMO and food security; agriculture and development strategies for food security; and climate change.

The main purpose of this course is to strengthen the capacity of African trainers and analysts and policymakers in enhancing and strengthening the regional frameworks and solution approaches towards food security. It will be designed to:

  • Enhance participants conceptualization of food security, how it relates (or not) to food self sufficiency, and how it relates to international trade,
  • Improve the participants understanding of the recent trends and developments in the food and agricultural sectors and how they influence poverty and food security,
  • Enhance the participants ability to identify the main challenges and critique national and regional policy responses to external food price shocks.
  • Enhance participants’ conceptualization of the role and implications of the various potential regional instruments and existing African initiatives designed to promote food security. 
  • Develop analytical capacity and comprehension of the potential roles that regional economic communities could play in facilitating regional food trade, mitigating food security risks, and providing regional public goods. 


trapca Campus (Trade Policy Training Centre in Africa), Eastern & Southern African Management Institute Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania

Important dates
Deadline for applications: April 22, 2011
[Interested applicants are encouraged to apply early, as admission decisions will be made on a rolling basis.]

Selected participants notified: May 6, 2011

Course dates: May 30-June 3, 2011

The course will be conducted entirely in English.

Interested applicants should apply online at: