Sustaining African Cities


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This research focuses on the drivers, dimensions, and links between rapid urbanization, sustainability, and food security, drawing on examples from East Africa. By 2030 Africa will have a larger urban than rural population and already in the large cities of East Africa roughly 50% of urban residents live below the poverty line, where malnutrition is higher than in rural areas. Over the past decade, various levels of government in Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda, with support from international donors, have introduced policy to respond to urbanization, most of which notes the importance of a sustainable focus. Yet this policy fails to identify urban food security as a concern, beyond some limited attention to urban agriculture. Failure to address this challenge poses humanitarian and security risks, already evident in statistical measures of urban poverty and malnutrition as well as urban food riots. Urban hunger needs to be part of the equation of a sustainable response to the challenges of rapid urbanization and inclusive growth before appropriate policy interventions can respond.