Monday, 21 May 2012

KNOTS blogger

KNOTS blogger

A new alliance for food security, or a two-track Africa?

Posted: 21 May 2012 04:20 AM PDT


The latest international initiative to combat food insecurity, hunger and malnutrition was launched by G8 leaders with the usual fanfare in Chicago last week. President Obama, Hillary Clinton, three African heads of state and a long list of business leaders, along with Andrew Mitchell, the UK's own Secretary of State. Leaders pledged to banish food insecurity for 50 million people through mobilising the private sector through a 'New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition'. But will the initiative really deal with the underlying political economic conditions that keep people poor? Or will it create a two-track Africa instead, dividing those able to benefit from private investment and neoliberal policy from those who lose out? The sort of technical-economic fix offered by the G8 clearly fails to address the wider political and institutional questions and the needs and priorities of many of the region's people, an issue long emphasised by the work of the Future Agricultures Consortium.