G-20 food security in Africa: measures to strengthen the G-20 agenda

G-20 food security in Africa: measures to strengthen the G-20 agenda

Africa is the continent where most of the world’s food insecure people live. Yet, when South Africa became the first African country to join the G-20, there were hopes that this might lead to stronger representation of Africa’s interests on an influential global platform.

The current brief clarifies that although the G-20 food security discourse has focused on the developing world and is generally aligned with food security concerns on the African continent, the G-20 food security agenda so far has had little success in alleviating the plight of food insecure populations in developing countries in general and Africa in particular.

The author deems that further measures can be taken to strengthen the impact of G-20 food security policies in Africa. In this context, South African membership of the G-20 presents an important opportunity for influencing the G-20 food security agenda to ensure that it is more responsive to African food security concerns.

The South African government should call for:

  • the implementation of proposed regulatory reforms within G-20 member states, in particular those aimed at regulating speculation on financial and commodity markets to reduce food price volatility
  • the elimination of restrictive and often uneven agricultural trade practices, including subsidies
  • the G-20 to make more substantial commitments of funds towards much-needed investment in African agriculture
  • greater attention to be given to reforms called for by independent research, including reforms in market-distorting biofuel policies
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