Food Security and Sovereignty in Africa: Issues, Policy Challenges and Opportunities

The last few decades have seen food insecurity as an emerging crisis that has bedeviled many African countries. While many post-colonial African governments have widely recognized the role of agriculture in national development and capacity development efforts for education and skills have been ongoing for several years, progress to attain food security has been slow. This is partly due to the adoption of approaches which have not been long-term and institutions that do not have supporting mechanisms to use the capacities generated. This paper is therefore an examination of the causes of Africa's food insecurity, the consequences of food insecurity, the policy challenges, and the necessary interventions that can address the varying challenges that have contributed to this food insecurity. It is argued that putting in place appropriate capacity development initiatives can help alleviate the problem of food insecurity in Africa. In addition, food security efforts in African countries need to be complemented by food sovereignty principles that have at their core citizen participation, agrarian reforms, the promotion of property rights for local people, access by smallscale farmers to local and regional markets, and the putting of producers and consumers at the centre of decision-making process on food issues.