The African Climate Foundation in partnership with the Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development hosted a two-part food systems webinar. In the first session, the links between high food prices and climate change were explored.
Food security remains one of the most significant challenges facing African people. This year, world food prices hit record highs, the third global food price crisis in the last 15 years. This has had devastating impacts on food insecure countries and people and has again laid bare the persistent underlying flaws and fragilities on which our food systems are based.
Heavy reliance on food imports, excessive commodity speculation and the continued domination of a handful of global multinationals is resulting in households in some African countries spending 40% or more of their monthly budgets on food. Climate change is impacting production systems across the continent, but its impacts have largely been overshadowed by the Russia-Ukraine crisis. Food prices spiked even higher in East Africa due to climate change and governments’ belated action to source regionally. Kenya, because of the shortages, is now opening to maize imports and facilitating trade to support its own food security.
There is an urgent need to make primary agriculture across the continent more adaptive to the impacts of climate change and to address the structural issues that underly Africa’s food system vulnerabilities to build resilient regional food value chains.