Africa has the potential to feed not just itself but other regions too, according to this year’s Africa Progress Report, Grain, Fish, Money. The report argues that the continent will one day play a critical role in helping the world to meet global food demand, expected to double by 2050.
With concerns about the continent’s growing inequality, Africa’s green and blue revolutions can extend economic growth to the two thirds of Africa’s populations who depend on these sectors for their livelihoods.
Unleashing these revolutions requires that Africa’s farmers and fishing communities have better access to both financial services and to infrastructure, such as roads and storage. Financing this infrastructure will be expensive, but at least some of these costs can be covered if the plunder of Africa’s timber and fisheries is brought to an end.
Echoing the findings of last year’s Africa Progress Report, Equity in Extractives, Africa loses tens of billions of dollars every year to unethical and unsustainable business practices, including the plunder of Africa’s precious natural resources such as timber and fisheries to a few corrupt investors and officials. This loss of natural resources also has a negative impact on the livelihoods and food and nutrition security of millions throughout the region.
Impressive innovation and smart government policies are changing age-old farming ways. A handful of countries have already begun their agricultural revolutions. Now these successes must be extended to the rest of the continent.