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Transforming Food Systems in African Secondary Cities Workshop

May 13, 2021 @ 8:00 am - May 14, 2021 @ 11:00 am

Transforming Food Systems in African Secondary Cities responds to the fact that countries across Africa are rapidly transitioning from rural to urban societies. The UN projects that 60% of people living in Africa will be in urban areas by 2050, with the urban population on the continent tripling over the next 50 years. The challenge of building inclusive and sustainable cities in the context of rapid urbanization is arguably the critical development issue of the 21st Century. Creating food secure cities is key to promoting health, prosperity, equity, and ecological sustainability. The expansion of Africa’s urban population is taking place largely in secondary cities: these are broadly defined as cities with fewer than half a million people that are not national political or economic centres. The implications of secondary urbanization have recently been described by the Cities Alliance as “a real knowledge gap”, requiring much additional research not least because they pose new intellectual challenges for academic researchers and governance challenges for policy-makers.

International researchers coming from multiple points of view including food studies, urban studies, sustainability studies, and global governance are starting to heed the call for further research into the implications for food security of rapidly growing secondary cities in Africa. The workshop will convene these researchers to observe broad trends and compare case studies from eleven countries (Senegal, Ghana, Cameroon, Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Zambia). The workshop will consist of interdisciplinary presentations by scholars, faculty, post-doctoral fellows and graduate students that elucidate the past, present and future dimensions of transforming food systems in Africa’s secondary cities and how household food security is shaped by these systems.

This workshop takes place over two days, 8.00 – 11.00 EST (Toronto, New York) / 14.00 – 17.00 CAT (Cape Town, Lilongwe, Maputo, Windhoek)

Periodic Market at Dschang Cameroon

Photo credit: Liam Riley/BSIA


May 13, 2021 @ 8:00 am
May 14, 2021 @ 11:00 am


Balsillie School of International Affairs, 67 Erb Street West
Waterloo, ON Canada
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