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Blogs Address Food Security, African Agriculture In Anticipation Of High-Level Meetings In Washington

Several blogs recently have published posts in anticipation of a symposium on food security taking place in Washington on Friday, at which President Barack Obama is expected to speak, and the G8 summit at Camp David in Maryland on Friday and Saturday, both of which will focus on food security and agriculture in Africa.

  • Rev. David Beckmann, Chicago Council On Global Affairs’ “Global Food for Thought” blog: On Friday, “President Barack Obama will deliver a historic address on hunger at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ Symposium on Global Agriculture and Food Security,” Beckmann, a Lutheran pastor and economist, writes, adding, “We have not seen political leadership like this on the issue of global hunger in a long time — if ever. I hope President Obama’s speech is a rallying cry to the American people that ending hunger as we know it is feasible — and in our lifetime” (5/17).
  • Laurie Goering, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog: Goering, editor of AlertNet Climate, highlights the speaker line-up for Friday’s summit on food security, and writes, “With the right kind of long-term investment, Africa could triple the amount of food it produces, experts say, helping improve not only its own fragile food security but the world’s.” She provides a link to “Solutions for a Hungry World,” a multimedia package of stories published by AlertNet on Thursday (5/17).
  • Jennifer James, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog: “This week the United Nations Development Programme released the African Human Development Report 2012 [.pdf] that tackles the perpetual problem of food security, malnutrition and hunger in Africa,” James, founder of Mom Bloggers for Social Good, writes, adding, “As it stands, sub-Saharan Africa has massive challenges to overcome to completely feed itself. As the UNDP report reveals, women will feed the continent, [but] they just need a chance to do it” (5/17).
  • Michele McNabb, Chicago Council On Global Affairs’ “Global Food for Thought” blog: The G8’s focus on food security “comes at a fortuitous time,” McNabb, president of the Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa, writes, adding, “The African continent has reached a turning point, and it is imperative that donor mindsets and approaches evolve to match the times. … It is critical that leaders at both the Chicago Council’s Symposium and the 2012 G8 Summit take a long-term look forward: Africa is urbanizing and increasingly wealthy; there is rising demand for more nutritious and processed foods, including animal-sourced foods; and there is a growing need for scalable agricultural solutions that benefit African smallholders and private investors alike” (5/18).
  • Lucy Martinez Sullivan, Chicago Council On Global Affairs’ “Global Food for Thought” blog: “Aside from the developmental impact that food insecurity can have on future generations, one of the most dramatic effects of the food price crisis is an increase in infant mortality, especially in low-income countries, as the World Bank recently pointed out,” Sullivan, executive director of 1,000 Days, which promotes nutrition during the 1,000 days between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s second birthday, writes, noting, “This is where investments in food security and agriculture can truly be life-saving investments” (5/17).