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Why is food security still a problem in Africa?

BBC Africa HYS Team | 14:06 UK time, Wednesday, 6 July 2011


People queueing for food in Mogadishu

 

The United Nations has appealed for urgent international assistance to help ten million people in the east and horn of Africa who are in need of food aid. Parts of the region are experiencing their worst drought for 60 years, despite millions of dollars in development support which have been poured into the area. 

Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Uganda and Djibouti are amongst the countries which are hardest hit. Mali, Chad and Niger also still struggle with food shortages. 

But why is food security still a problem on the continent? Climate change and conflict may be factors, but are government policies also at fault? Who is to blame for the recurring problem? Is it right that African countries are still dependent on food aid from western donors? And what is the solution to Africa's food shortage problems?

If you would like to debate this topic LIVE on air on Thursday 8 July at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published. 

 

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 3.

    One of the greatest problems for this region seems to be enormous population growth combined with the lack of arable land. Since the great famine of the mid 80s Ethiopia's population has increased from less than 40m to 82m and so the country is now even more dependent on food imports.

  • Comment number 4.

    The leaders of these countries spent billions on weapons to kill themselves, while their citizens are dying of hunger. The cost of one weapon will feed these people - what a shame. African leaders! God's kingdom will soon come, and remember there is TIME FOR EVERYTHING.

  • Comment number 5.

    If wild ants have learned to gather and store their food in anticipation of adverse weather, what excuse do our rulers have for subjecting our longsuffering people to eternal misery?

  • Comment number 6.

    Africa has enough resources to be self-sufficient. The problem is leadership. African leaders are selfish and greedy. They also squander a lot of their resources on irrelevant things and flamboyant lifestyles that would make leaders of successful countries green with envy.
    The lack of accountability is an additional boon exploited by the mindless kleptomaniacs that rule Africa.

  • Comment number 7.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 8.

    Of course, Africa can feed itself and even have surplus for exports if it employs mechanized farming on just a fraction of its vast arable land. It has become increasing obvious that man cannot control mother nature. This is evident by drought, earthquakes, sunami, flooding, hurricanes, wild fires around the world.

  • Comment number 9.

    from previous page...
    Even developed countries with all their technologies and sophistication have not been able to prevent these natural disasters. All they can do is minimize human suffering afterwards.

  • Comment number 10.

    If African governments encourage and embark on farming, they will not only feed their citizens, they will provide well needed employment for many of their youths and college graduates who are jobless.

  • Comment number 11.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 12.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 13.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 14.

    The only problem to this continent is lack of democracy.the continent have enough potential to feed her people but how we try to used it is wrong.
    finaly,not only governments of africa but also westerns are too headache to this continent.

  • Comment number 15.

    Some of the comments here are really quite nasty

  • Comment number 16.

    This is because, most affected countries have one time or the other, been needlessly shedding innocent blood for religious and political reasons. Consequently, God is angry. They need to kneel down and beg God for forgiveness. Any Country that is presently doing the same thing, should watch out.

  • Comment number 17.

    One of the reasons is provided by a metaphor attributed to the founder of modern Lesotho, the great African statesman and diplomat Morena Moshoesoe,being ignored. It is "I want peace. Peace is the rain that makes the grass grow. War is the wind that dries it up. That metaphor finds expression in Lesotho's national motto "Khotso, Pula, Nala or "Peace,Rain, Prosperity".

  • Comment number 18.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 19.

    if they stop cutting down all the trees they will get more rain take a look at the rain forest

  • Comment number 20.

    Leadership is the problem in Africa. Lack of devotion compounded by the flows of democracy is the core of Africa's progressive epilepsy. They say that when the mother chews grass, the cobs watches her mouth. That is the case with African leaders and majority of the citizens. If Africa does not produce selfless leaders, the continent and its people have no future.

  • Comment number 21.

    l think it's quite a shame that we should be talking about Food Shortage in Africa,where risa Africa is the land of the penlty.The develop nations should help us by not giving money aid to these dictators.What we need is technology,teach some one how to catch fish and he will not be hungry tommorrow.instead of giving he fish to eat.

  • Comment number 22.

    african leaders mismanage aid funds, spend more resources in conflicts than on development projects and think more of thier pockets than the plight of the masses.

  • Comment number 23.

    Africa got land to grow enough food to feed the entire world, the problem of africa is that the western countries don't give african leader time to develop this sector, due to the fact that, they are those one who brought them in power, those leaders need to pay first the bill of being brought in power, if they refuse than they'll plan war in africa. The citizen will remained anger due to that.

 

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