The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have established that Africa could eliminate hunger by 2025, if countries embraced effective policies on job creation, political stability and social protection.
James Tefft, a senior policy officer with the FAO, stated: “Countries in Africa are making significant progress (towards ending hunger), there is a high level of political commitment”
Africa, home to seven of the planet’s 10 fastest growing economies, has the youngest population of any continent. The FAO asserts that progress is being made in many countries, but violence, poor governance and political instability are holding others back.
“We tend to see the hunger and food security situation as factors that drive and propel complex crises….parts of Somalia and Uganda, areas where violence has hit food production, have seen improvements recently. Governments need to improve aid to conflict-hit regions to try to stimulate production and employment and help defuse bouts of violence. Most of Africa’s food is grown by small farmers, and improving their access to credit and inputs like fertilizers is crucial for boosting local production and creating jobs”- James Tefft added.
A significant group of African states have met the U.N. Millennium Development Goal of halving the proportion of hungry people compared with 1990, including: Algeria, Benin, Egypt, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Malawi, Mauritania, South Africa and Togo.
Others, including Ghana, Cameroon and Mali have done even better, reducing the absolute number of hungry people by 50 percent or more.
These relative improvements, however, mask large challenges; FAO data shows that rising populations mean the absolute number of hungry people across the continent rose from 217 million in 1990 to 227 million in 2014.
One in four people across sub-Saharan Africa are still undernourished, the highest proportion of any region on earth. According to the FAO’s 2014 report State of Food Insecurity in the World.
To meet these targets on reducing hunger, African leaders signed the Malabo Declaration last year, setting a series of goals including: targeting 10 percent of public spending on agriculture, doubling farm productivity, growing farm economies by at least 6 percent annually, and tripling inter-African trade in agricultural goods and services.