05 July 2012 - Private sector-led agribusiness brings with it opportunities but also dangers.
The G8 summit last May ended with a pledge to end hunger in Africa and a plan to inject $3 billion into African agriculture with the aim of “catalysing private sector investment in African agriculture”. This record investment, derived entirely from the private sector, appears to stem from a realisation that previous aid commitments have failed, as well as perhaps an assessment of government priorities in an environment of Western austerity.
The G8’s position represents a significant leap of faith in market-friendly agriculture four years after the 2008 global food crisis when increasing food prices led to unrest in a number of developing countries. For its alleged ability to promote business opportunities in low income markets, offer inputs and links to markets for small-scale producers, agribusiness was recently elevated by the International Fund for Agriculture and Development as a key driver of hunger reduction. The primary objective of the G8’s New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition is a shared commitment to increase investment into African agriculture, luring investors to Africa’s food markets on the premise of favourable returns and low tax rates. It will initially be launched in Ethiopia, Ghana, and Tanzania.
For the complete article, please see ThinkAfricaPress.
Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan are currently engaged in vital talks over the dispute relating to the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Nile River. While non-African actors are increasingly present in the negotiations, the African Union (AU) is playing a marginal role.
Climate change was more central than ever at this year’s Munich Security Conference (MSC), the leading international forum for senior military, security and foreign policy leaders. The release of the inaugural “World Climate and Security Report 2020” (WCSR 2020) by the Expert Group of the International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS) should help policymakers take effective action.
The mission of the Munich Security Conference is to “address the world’s most pressing security concerns”. These days, that means climate security: climate change is the ultimate threat multiplier, and anyone discussing food security, political instability, migration, or competition over resources should be aware of the climate change pressures that are so often at the root of security problems.
The European Green Deal has made the environment and climate change the focus of EU action. Indeed, climate change impacts are already increasing the pressure on states and societies; however, it is not yet clear how the EU can engage on climate security and environmental peacemaking. In this light, and in the run-up to the German EU Council Presidency, adelphi and its partners are organising a roundtable series on “Climate, environment, peace: Priorities for EU external action in the decade ahead”.