Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Africa must end hunger, says UN

15 May 2012, 14:26 Katy Migiro

Nairobi - Africa needs to boost agricultural productivity and address the debilitating hunger that affects 27% of its population if it is to sustain its economic boom, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) said on Tuesday.

African economies grew at an average of more than 5% during the past decade with many countries benefiting from surging commodity prices, as well as growth in services, construction and agriculture.

But the character of the growth has done little to reduce extreme poverty and hunger. More than 40% of African children under five are malnourished, which means they suffer irreversible mental and physical disabilities, the UNDP said.

"The situation is quite bleak," said Sebastian Levine, a UNDP policy adviser for Africa. "This economic resurgence that we have seen has not really had the impact that we would expect."

Africa is the second fastest growing region after Asia, yet 48% of people were found to be living in poverty in 2008, compared to just 14% in East Asia and the Pacific.

Africa continues to be a net importer of food despite an abundance of fertile land and water.

In its first Africa Human Development Report, "Towards a Food Secure Future", the UNDP called for more investment in agriculture to ensure sustained growth and poverty reduction.

"If you don't address food security, you'll not be able to sustain this [growth]," Pedro Conceicao, UNDP's chief economist for Africa, told AlertNet.

Poverty and hunger

"In the long run, you will need populations that are healthy, that are educated, and that are able to be productive."

Ghana became the first Sub-Saharan African country to achieve the Millennium Development Goal of halving hunger by 2015 partly by focusing on policies that encouraged smallholder cocoa farmers to boost output, the report said.

It also recommended policies that boost nutrition, such as school feeding programmes and fortification of food with vitamins and iodine, and increase people's ability to withstand shocks such as drought.

The report said investment in agricultural productivity was important not only for reducing hunger but also in creating jobs for Africa's rapidly growing population, which is predicted to double to 2 billion by 2050.

"The demographic dynamics in Africa present a huge opportunity for the continent. We have seen in many countries that this usually results in more rapid rates of economic growth," said Conceicao.

Agriculture could provide jobs for many young people.

"If agriculture becomes much more effective and much more interesting in terms of utilising and drawing on the skills of youth in new technologies, it will attract a whole new generation of youth and it will create job opportunities," Levine said.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Cyril Mike Odhiz
Kenyans furious on young lady aft...

A young Kenyan woman is the talk of town after she posted a photo with her elderly lover after a round of steamy sex, or so the photo suggested.  Read more...

Submitted by
Kiplangat langat
Uhuru could be a one term Presid...

Bomet governor Isaac Ruto has said that President Uhuru Kenyatta could be a one term President if he fails to increase allocations to the counties. Read more...

Submitted by
Mody Sammy
35 year old farmer a new milliona...

A 35 year old farmer from Mpeketoni Lamu county has become the latest millionaire in town as she became winner in the ongoing ‘Shinda Mamili na Story Ibambe’. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Leave your past relationship bagg...

Leave your past relationship baggage at the door when you start a new relationship. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Advice from a young married Kenya...

I was just going to get water in the office kitchen and thought a simple hi was fine until I ended up in an hour long conversation with someone. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Helping you find the type of man ...

To put it simply, you can’t go looking for fish in a meat market; you have to go to a fish market. Read more...