The Challenge in Africa:
Poverty, Food Security, Climate Change
Despite enormous global economic growth, wealth creation and technological advances over the last forty years, serious social, economic and environmental problems continue in much of the developing world. In many parts of Africa, poverty, weak governance, and environmental degradation lead to limited food and energy security. Compounding this, many African soils are losing soil organic matter at dramatic rates, and this has degraded soil fertility to an extent that threatens livelihoods of farmers in entire regions.
Climate change is already affecting the health, livelihoods, food productivity, water availability, and overall security of the African people. Many of the countries most at risk from climate change are in Africa.
Africa has seen a decrease in rainfall over large parts of the Sahel and Southern Africa, and an increase in parts of Central Africa. Over the past 25 years, the number of weather-related disasters, such as floods and droughts, has doubled, resulting in Africa having a higher mortality rate from droughts than any other region and leading to reductions in crop yields and livestock production.
In Africa as a whole, more than 60% of jobs are related to agriculture, the majority carried out by small farmers in communal villages. Without measures such as soil restoration that address both environmental and economic issues, the outlook for the subsistence farmers and food security of Africa is problematic, especially in light of explosive African population growth.