Recent Africa Food Systems Forum "pivotal moment" for Feeding: Jesuit Entity Official

Credit: Jesuit Justice and Ecology Network Africa (JENA

The 2023 Africa Food Systems Forum was an important moment for the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent to explore ways of transforming “its food systems”, an official of the Jesuit Justice and Ecology Network Africa (JENA) has said. 

In a Wednesday, September 20 report shared with ACI Africa, JENA’s Research and Policy Analyst says the September 5-8 event that took place in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, addressed "key challenges", including food security, food value chains, climate change resilience, smallholder empowerment, and youth involvement in agriculture.

"The 2023 Africa Food Systems Forum in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, marked a pivotal moment in the continent's efforts to transform its food systems," says Kevin Okoth Ouko.

Mr. Ouko says delegates at the forum acknowledged the fact that many Africans lack food "despite significant progress in recent years."

"The forum emphasized the need for comprehensive policies and strategies to ensure access to nutritious food for all," he further says, adding that during the forum, representatives of African governments expressed their commitment "to prioritize investments in agriculture, improve infrastructure, and implement targeted nutrition programs."


"These policies aim to reduce food insecurity and malnutrition across the continent," says the JENA official in the report shared with ACI Africa on September 21. 

Participants in the forum also decried the negative effects of climate change to agriculture and "emphasized the urgent need for sustainable agricultural practices and climate-resilient farming techniques," Mr. Ouko says.

Following the discussion on the effects of climate change, representatives of African governments and other stakeholders pledged to support and promote sustainable agriculture by investing in research and development, encouraging the adoption of climate-smart farming practices, and the fostering of innovation in the agricultural sector, he says. 

"These policies aim to enhance the resilience of Africa's food systems in the face of climate change," JENA’s Research and Policy Analyst says.

The forum also recognizes the importance of engaging Africa's youth in agricultural matters. 

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"Participants discussed strategies to attract young people to farming and agribusiness opportunities," he says, adding that "policy outcomes from the forum included initiatives to promote youth involvement in agriculture through mentorship programs, access to land and credit, and the creation of agribusiness incubation centers."

These policies aim to harness the innovation and energy of youths on the continent for agricultural development, the official of the department of the Jesuit Conference for Africa and Madagascar (JCAM) says.

He further says that participants acknowledged small scale farmers as the "backbone of African agriculture" and recognized the value of empowering them.

"The forum's policy outcomes included commitments to provide smallholder farmers with access to credit, training, and modern farming technologies. These policies aim to increase smallholder productivity and improve their livelihoods," he says. 

In the report, Mr. Ouko says the policies arrived at the forum “represent a significant step forward in shaping a sustainable and prosperous future for Africa's food systems, and they underscore the importance of continued collaboration and action by governments, stakeholders, and communities across the continent."


"Africa's journey towards food security and sustainability is well underway, with the 2023 forum serving as a catalyst for positive change,” the official of JENA emphasizes in the report shared with ACI Africa September 21.

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.