IFPRI report examines current status of nutrition in Africa, advocates dietary reforms

18 Oct 2016, 12:00 am
Financial Nigeria


The title of the report is, "Achieving a nutrition revolution for Africa: The road to healthier diets and optimal nutrition."

A dish of Nigerian fried rice meal

A new report released today by the Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAKSS) outlines how agriculture and food systems can improve food security and improve health conditions and productivity in Africa. The report was released at the ongoing 2016 ReSAKSS Annual Conference taking place in Accra, Ghana, from October 18-20.

ReSAKSS is facilitated by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and the conference is organized by IFPRI in partnership with the African Union Commission. The report series tagged, Annual Trends and Outlook Report (ATOR), examines progress in meeting Malabo nutrition targets, and emphasizes the importance of dietary quality and diversity. The title of the 2016 report is, "Achieving a nutrition revolution for Africa: The road to healthier diets and optimal nutrition."

The ATOR report says the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) – the African Union's agriculture policy framework – is having a positive impact in countries that have implemented its recommendations. The report emphasizes the importance of having nutrition indicators in national monitoring, and evaluation systems as an essential factor in holding governments accountable.

“Improving food security is not only about making sure people are consuming adequate calories, but ensuring that diets provide adequate nutrients for the healthy growth and development of Africa’s children and the health and wellbeing of all people,” said Ousmane Badiane, IFPRI Director for Africa. “This report shows that policymakers must not only monitor nutrition outcomes but set ambitious targets and design appropriate strategies to achieve these. The first step to reducing poverty and promoting economic growth in Africa is to reduce hunger and malnutrition which rob the continent of its human resource potential.”    

The report indicates the need for more concerted effort in tackling malnutrition, which is characterized by undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, and overweight and obesity. The IFPRI report also proposes a review of existing food policies (including agricultural subsidies) to improve nutritional impacts

The ATOR discusses policies related to nutrition, the economic effects of nutrition interventions, past successes in improving nutrition in Africa, the harmful effects of aflatoxins, and more.


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