Megatrends Transforming Africa’s Food Systems


Wayne Gretzky quipped that a good hockey player plays where the puck is, but a great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be. Policymakers can be game changers too by anticipating and proactively skating to where the economic puck will be. As the global economy becomes more complex and changes rapidly, African governments and development partners are seeking to better anticipate future opportunities and emerging challenges, so that they can respond proactively rather than being whipsawed by them.

This article identifies seven near-term trends likely to fundamentally influence Africa’s economies over the next decade. Rather than accept these “megatrends” as faits accomplis, we argue that most current trends are not inevitable. Just as the current trends and transformations being observed in African food systems are the outcomes of policies and public investment patterns of prior decades, the future will be shaped by today’s policy decisions—either those taken proactively or those taken passively as a result of no action. Enlightened public action can “bend” many of these trends in socially desirable directions if properly anticipated.

Publication Author(s): Jayne, T.S. and Lulama Ndibongo Traub

Publication Date: February 15, 2016

Citation: Foreign Affairs

Publication Link: See Here