AGIR, Africapolis at the European Development Days 2015

 


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Brussels, 4 June 2015

The SWAC Secretariat presented Africapolis, a comprehensive and comparable dataset on urbanisation in West Africa, at the European Development Days (EDD15) within its report lab on "Food security, resilience and structural change in West Africa". An interactive presentation engaged the audience in a discussion with policy makers working on food security and resilience, in particular on the implementation of the Global Alliance for Resilience (AGIR) - Sahel and West Africa. Some 60 people participated in the event. > press release

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Background

Settlement dynamics and regional integration are powerful drivers of agricultural transformation and structural change, which are likely to impact on the food security of millions of West Africans. Since 1950, the population of West Africa has doubled every 30 years and the region has not yet completed its demographic transition.

This strong population growth has been coupled with resettlement, mostly away from rural areas and into large metropolitan areas or into networks of small- and medium-sized cities.

The future of agricultural systems also depends on an improved functioning of the common regional food market, as well as better regional cooperation with regards to support for producers, agricultural investments and, increasingly, the management of risks and crises.

This session provided insights on how these challenges can be taken on board. Africapolis, a new database, presents comparable data on settlement and urbanisation across West Africa, providing essential information for food security and agricultural policies. The co-ordination of actors in the Global Alliance for Resilience (AGIR) or the Food Crisis Prevention Network (RPCA) constitute best practices on how regional policies for food security can be successfully implemented.

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Key questions

  • Why do we need to understand and monitor population and market dynamics to improve food security and combat chronic malnutrition?
  • In light of these structural changes and the recurrent food crises, how to rethink West Africa’s food crisis prevention and management policies? Which new policy approaches are being taken forward by West Africa and its partners? 
  • How can AGIR best address the challenges of urbanisation and need for structural change?

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