Food insecurity had been worsening significantly in Africa even before Russia´s invasion of Ukraine. Climate shocks, the COVID-19 pandemic and regional conflicts were disrupting food production and distribution resulting in rising costs for agricultural commodities on the continent. The war in Ukraine exacerbated the situation, pushing food and fertiliser prices even higher.
Innovation for the energy transition is given a prominent role in the green recovery action plan for Africa and the European Union’s Green Deal, with both continents seeking the transformation of their economies to tackle both climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic impacts while improving wellbeing of the population. There are many points of overlap between the two continents’ official agendas. But there are also many open questions and potential tensions especially around: access to energy for sustainable and inclusive industrial development; maintaining competitive value chain; addressing trade barriers; promoting knowledge transfer while protecting intellectual property rights; using gas, and promoting hydrogen. If well-managed, innovation for the energy transition can act as catalyst for a shared prosperity for the two continents. This blogpost was written by the members of the Ukama Platform’s steering committee ahead of the European Union-Africa Union Summit.
In this policy brief, the authors are setting the frame to think about the pandemic’s impacts on food security by summarising evidence on the hypothesised causal links.
The European Union stands at a critical junction in the international scramble to establish Europe–Africa commercial corridors. Morocco, Algeria
The global Covid-19 pandemic has had an enormous impact on trade across the world. Value chains and trade have slowed down, or even been brought to a halt, via several channels. This paper investigates the impacts of the pandemic on trade and value chains in Africa, with a special focus on Ethiopia and Kenya. It also makes specific policy recommendations regarding the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement in the light of Covid-19.
The management of the coronavirus pandemic has been considerably impaired by a dearth of essential medical and pharmaceutical products. Disruptions in supply chains for healthcare goods have caused shortages and tight inventories. The reliance of many countries, particularly in Europe and Africa, on products imported from a few international suppliers is largely the result of the process of globalisation in the past decades. In conjunction with the lack of preparedness of health and civil protection systems, interdependencies in healthcare sectors, notably between Europe and Asia, made them vulnerable to a crisis affecting both exporters and importers.
Because of COVID-19, many European companies are understandably focusing on their financial figures and the safety and wellbeing of their direct employees. Given the gravity of the crisis, the larger supply chain and the human rights and environmental due diligence therein risks falling off their agenda. But do these difficult times absolve companies from their due diligence responsibilities?
The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered important debates about technological and industrial sovereignty in Europe. The lack of essential equipment such as respiratory devices and protective gear underscored the weaknesses of supply chains largely dependent on Chinese producers.
Watch the video from the DEVCO Infopoint event in cooperation with ETTG and IDDRI for the Sustainability in the cocoa sector.
Cities and agriculture? urban planning and sustainable food systems? Daniele Fattibene explores these almost forgotten linkages.