Promoting Regional Integration and Food Security in Africa
March 2, 2010
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
6th Floor Flom Auditorium
8:30am - 1:00pm
Improved regional integration in Africa is an important requirement for overcoming food insecurities in Sub Saharan Africa, as recognized by the US government:
The small size, economic isolation, and poor infrastructure of many countries, particularly in Africa, present development challenges not easily surmounted at the national level. Integrated regional markets enable food to move from surplus to deficit areas, increasing food availability and reducing price volatility. …Regional integration connects countries, leads to improved productivity, and expands trade and competitiveness that increases incomes and ensures a more resilient food supply.
-US Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative, Consultation Document,
Our distinguished speakers addressed how governments, international financial institutions, the private sector and civil society – both inside and outside of Africa – can best promote regional integration and food security in Africa.
Agenda & Presentations
Welcome – John Sewell, Wilson Center
Keynote Speaker – The Role of Regional Integration in the US Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative: What would a Whole of Government approach in supporting regional integration entail? – Ann Tutwiler, USDA
Session I: Infrastructure
Moderator – Mima Nedelcovych, Schaeffer Global Group
Sound regional infrastructure is crucial for regional integration, but Africa’s infrastructure lags behind that of other developing countries. Speakers will address challenges and opportunities inherent in addressing this infrastructure gap.
Opportunities for regional corridor development – Paul Jourdan, South African Regional Spatial Development Program
Overcoming Africa’s infrastructure gaps – Vivien Foster, World Bank
Doing Business in Africa: Private Sector Involvement in African Infrastructure Development – Bill Lane, Caterpillar
The Role of Infrastructure in Agricultural Development and Food Security – Perspectives from the African Development Bank – Aly Abou-Sabaa, Director, Agriculture and Agro-Industry Department, African Development Bank
Session II: Trade
Moderator – Katrin Kuhlmann, German Marshall Fund of the U.S.
Regional integration also requires sound policies. On the trade front, it requires a lowering of tariffs and other non-tariff trade barriers. Equally important is a streamlining of custom procedures and other “at the border” measures. Speakers will speak on progress made on trade liberalization and trade facilitation, and on overcoming remaining barriers.
Next Steps and Closing – Julie Howard, Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa and John Sewell, Wilson Center