The University of Ghana and 25 partner organizations have been awarded 12 million euros by the European Union to transform Africa’s urban food environments. The award is the culmination of a strategic collaboration with international partners across Europe and Africa. The UG/Ghana Research Lead is Prof. Amos Laar of the School of Public Health.
Code-named “AFRIFOODLINKS” (Transforming Africa’s Urban Food Environments Through Strengthening Linkages Between Food Systems Stakeholders in Cities Across the Continent and Europe) and coordinated by ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability-Africa (ICLEI Africa), this partnership aims to improve food and nutrition security within planetary boundaries. The scope includes more than sixty-five (65) cities: five (5) African Hub cities (Cape Town – South Africa; Kisumu – Kenya; Mbale – Uganda; Ouagadougou – Burkina Faso; Tunis – Tunisia); ten (10) African Sharing Cities (which includes Tamale – Ghana); five (5) European Sharing Cities; and over 30 African Network Cities (which include Accra, Kumasi, Cape Coast, and Oforikrom – Ghana). The other Network Cities include ten (10) Global South Cities and five (5) from Europe which will join the African Cities on a mutual learning journey to share their work on innovative food systems and co-design specific pilot projects.
AfriFOODLinks aims to create a thriving network of cities in Africa and beyond, in which food systems and nutrition are firmly established in the local governance agenda. AfriFOODlinks is supported and led first and foremost by African institutions allied with European institutions. It is supported by the unique convening power of ICLEI and the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact (MUFPP) that brings cities into engagement and learning with each other. It brings together the best scientific teams on the African continent, with leading food system practitioners, internationally connected advocacy organisations, and committed local governments, all of whom have been working for several decades in the urban food systems space.
To achieve this vision, AfriFOODLinks will be implemented through seven (7) Work Packages to deliver on four (4) cross-cutting objectives:
- promoting public shifts to sustainable healthy diets;
- transforming urban food environments through real-world socio-technical experiments;
- promoting inclusive multi-actor governance to empower public officials, established and informal small businesses, communities, youth and women with ownership and agency to shape their food systems; and
- accelerating innovative, women- and youth-led agri-food businesses to support local value addition and inclusive economic participation.
The University of Ghana will contribute to Work Package 1 (Knowledge validation, amplification, creation, and uptake) and Work Package 4 (Improving food environments for urban consumers, schools, and food retailers, through real-world experimentation).