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Connecting the Dots: Policy Innovations for Food Systems Transformation in Africa

This report—Connecting the Dots: Policy Innovations for Food Systems Transformation in Africa—draws on the experience and at times visionary leadership of four African countries: Ghana, Malawi, Morocco, and Rwanda. It focuses on their policy and institutional innovations, which have moved the needle toward systems-level change and transformation.

With a view toward the UN Food Systems Summit from an African perspective, the Malabo Montpellier Panel – in collaboration with The Scientific Group of the United Nations Food Systems Summit 2021, The African Union Commission, and The Rockefeller Foundation – is convening the 8th edition of the Malabo Montpellier Forum that will see the launch of a new report on Food Systems Transformation in Africa.  

Importantly, by transforming so rapidly and continuously, Africa’s food systems generate their own imbalances— demographic, sociocultural, political, infrastructural, technological, and environmental. The need to reduce these imbalances must be placed at the center of new and innovative food systems policies, which will naturally present synergies and trade-offs.

Developing a shared understanding of the science and evidence among food systems stakeholders will be key to promoting inclusive, agile, and transparent policy processes that will benefits Africa’s rural and urban populations and create much needed employment opportunities for young people.

While 2021 can mark a turning point in the transformation of Africa’s food systems, the momentum must be maintained well beyond the UN Food Systems Summit in order to ensure follow through on the commitments and targets that are being set and on stakeholders’ shared ambitions.

The Malabo Montpellier Panel convenes 17 leading experts in agriculture, engineering, ecology, nutrition, and food security; its aim is to facilitate policy choices by African governments in order to accelerate progress toward food security and improved nutrition. The Panel identifies areas of progress and positive change across the continent and assesses what successful countries have done differently. It identifies the institutional and policy innovations and program interventions that can best be replicated and scaled by other countries. The related Malabo Montpellier Forum provides a platform to promote policy innovation; it uses the evidence produced by the Panel to facilitate dialogue among high-level decisionmakers on African agriculture, nutrition, and food security.

ABOUT: THE MALABO MONTPELLIER PANEL The core mission of the Malabo Montpellier Panel, a group of leading African and international experts from the fields of agriculture, ecology, food security, nutrition, public policy and global development, is to support evidence-based dialogue among policy makers at the highest level. The Panel’s reports seek to inform and guide policy choices to accelerate progress toward the ambitious goals of the African Union Commission’s Agenda 2063, the Malabo Declaration and the global development agenda. The Panel works with African governments and civil society organizations to provide support and evidence-based research that facilitate the identification and implementation of policies that enhance agriculture, food security and nutrition.

Now is the time to rethink and reorient African food systems

Read "Connecting the Dots: Policy Innovations for Food Systems Transformation in Africa"

Further reading on Malabo Montpellier forum reports here