Building Africa’s resilience for sustainable food security post-COVID-19

‘Distancing is impossible’: refugee camps race to avert coronavirus catastrophe Image: An aid worker provides protective face masks to migrants in Greece.Credit: Manolis Lagoutaris/AFP/Getty Full story:

SPARK Academy designed to help children cope after disasters

One girl called up the Piggly Wiggly logo on her cellphone as she drew a grocery store; another added a Walmart logo to her store from memory. Three girls collaborated on a house with a picket fence. Others scrawled and scribbled, many chatting excitedly. Next came an exercise that required more attention. “Put your cellphones away, take your earbuds out,” Whitaker said, and the kids complied. “We want to talk about problems.”

She posited several scenarios, such as: A child asks to cheat by looking at your test. Solutions were proposed: Tell the teacher, say no, write down wrong answers on purpose. Then they discussed the pros and cons of each approach. Children were quick to raise their hands to comment, receiving small pieces of candy in reward…


Building Africa’s resilience for sustainable food security post-COVID-19 (2)

DESPERATE SITUATIONS sometimes require desperate solutions. For Africa, the COVID-19 pandemic requires quality thinking and actions beyond the ordinary, ritualistic or business-as-usual. The pattern of spread of the pandemic, the surge, the sustained presence and severity of impacts will not be exactly the same as in more developed countries. Statistics might be a major hurdle in the handling of the affliction, its effects and the aftershock. Within the context of food security, this aftershock will vary also in magnitude, distribution and duration from one country to another, depending on the strength or weaknesses of available institutional frameworks, wealth and political leadership.

Africa is at the cusp of chaos, one which it may either manage well or very poorly. The outcome of the handling of the crisis and the quality of response to the disaster will determine whether Africa will sink or soar. For a continent that is a net importer of food, the immediate concern will revolve around food in terms of sustainability of supply, prices, access, quality and affordability. To reduce the pressure on food supply, immediate and far-reaching efforts need to be in place to ensure abundant food production. These would require all-encompassing efforts that would be suitable to specific agro-ecological zones, national requirements and global realities. These will have to take into consideration the peculiarities of the continent in demography, economy and polity…


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