A generation ago, there were about 1 billion affluent people in the world. A generation ahead there are around 5 billion forecasted. The world needs to produce more food to fuel this demand but how will this happen and where will this come from? African food security is set to play a major role, says a new report by PwC called Food Security in Africa – Water on Oil.
Countries in sub-Sahara Africa are suffering significantly from commodity price cycles, depreciating currencies and diminishing foreign reserves. Dutch disease and the inability to tax expanding sectors such as services have left African governments reliant on oil and mining revenues. The current macroeconomic climate can and should act as a catalyst for governments to accelerate the diversification of their economies beyond their traditional patterns of dependence on the hard commodity markets to agribusiness.
Indeed, all roads may lead to Africa, where the PwC Food Security in Africa report outlines how the collapse in global oil prices, a US$35bn continent-wide, structural food deficit and huge potential to lift output and productivity, have forced food security and agricultural development to the top of the political and economic agenda worldwide.
The report considers food security across Africa with particular emphasis on the policies of nine African countries: Nigeria, Ghana, Angola, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Sierra Leone.