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Promoting an Open and Equitable Global Food System

IPCSpecial Events

Promoting Regional Integration and Food Security in Africa

March 2, 2010

Washington, DC

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,

September 2009

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 SpeakerThe 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

Related Publications

August 2009

February 2010


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