Research, development and capacity building for food and nutrition security in sub-Saharan Africa

Afam I. O. Jideani


This paper focuses on research, development, and capacity building in relation to food and nutrition security (FNS) in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). It looks at human capacity, education, teaching and learning, women empowerment, research, innovation and technology, research, indigenous knowledge (IK), institutional aspects, infrastructure, information and communication technologies (ICT), policies and finance. Professional bodies exist in many countries and the extent to which they engage in FNS awareness creation differs. Food and nutrition insecurity continues to affect people in Africa’s 54 nations where the population is expected to double by 2050 with the expected doubling of food production to keep pace with population growth. Within the continent there is a substantial number of human capacity professionals who are global leaders in food, nutrition and related professions. Some research organisations in the continent directly or indirectly benefit from grants administered by developed economies but a challenge exists with brain drain and ageing of qualified and experienced experts. Increasing educational need, coupled with the growing population necessitates attention to ensuring a sustained supply of highly trained, adequately equipped and qualified professionals in the relevant fields of food and nutrition sciences. Higher educational institutions exist in especially those that fall within the 500 in world universities ranking. Research activities take place in the continent along with the translation of research outputs into commercialisable products. Research towards transforming agriculture for improved livelihoods is taking place in different parts of the continent. Education, governance, gender and rural development are the key challenges. Income growth and the impacts of climate change on food production have contributed to food insecurity. ICTs can play an important role for FNS. Strengthening research, development, capacity building and industry cooperation are critical for FNS in Africa.


Research; human capacity; infrastructure; policy; food security; Africa

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