A deep sense of concern about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the lives and livelihoods of Africa’s people has inspired the writing of this contribution. As members of the Task Force Rural Africa (TFRA), we produced a report in March 2019 on what we thought was needed to transform Africa’s agriculture and rural economy. Less than one year later, COVID-19 struck Africa and the rest of the world with devastating effect.
Another important change since March 2019 has been the shift on climate policy, represented by the EU Commission proposal in December 2019 of the European Green Deal (EGD). This ambitious vision, aimed at making Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, will have implications for Africa – Europe relations.
The combination of COVID-19’s impact on Africa and the EU’s climate policy change has led us to re-examine the analysis and the recommendations in our original report. We have drawn one central conclusion from our work: that food and nutrition security has become of such fundamental political, economic and social importance that it must be at the centre of all future policy and planning. We have built our report on this conclusion and produced a set of short and long-term recommendations we believe are relevant to the new world shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic.