Africa must stop begging for food - UN

2012-05-15 21:09

Nairobi - Sub-Saharan African nations will not be able to sustain their accelerated economic growth unless they eliminate hunger, the UN said in a report on Tuesday.

Many sub-Saharan economies are growing fast but the growth rates have not translated into significant hunger reduction, said UNDP Administrator Helen Clark.

Sub-Saharan Africa's growth, this year expected to be more than 5%, is accelerating faster than the rest of the world excluding China and India, according to UNDP statistics.

According to the agency's African Development Report, nearly 218 million people on the continent are undernourished and 55 million children are malnourished, a figure that is projected to rise.

The report says food security can be achieved by several means, including boosting agricultural productivity and creating resilience against natural disasters.

Tegegnework Gettu, an assistant secretary-general and regional director for the UNDP bureau in Africa, said chronic food security in sub-Saharan Africa stems from decades of poor governance.

"Regimes bent on amassing wealth absorbed the region's resources into patrimonial power structures," he said. "Self-serving elite quick to profit from graft and patronage have stood between the leaders and the people, monopolised state revenues and emptied the countryside, but they have provided neither employment nor industry."

He said Africa has the knowledge, the technology and the means to end hunger and food insecurity but lacks the political will and dedication.

"Africa must stop begging for food. That is an affront to both its dignity and its potential," he said. "If some African countries can acquire and deploy jet fighters, tanks, artillery and other means of destruction, why should they not be able to master agricultural know-how? Why should African be unable to afford technology, tractors, irrigation, seed varieties and training needed to be food secure?"

Food insecurity

The UK estimates that between 50 000 and 100 000 people died in last year's famine in Somalia and drought in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Djibouti.

More than 15 million people are currently at risk of hunger in a zone that includes some of the poorest countries in the world: Chad, Mali, Niger, Mauritania and Burkina Faso, as well as parts of northern Senegal, northern Nigeria and Cameroon.

Gettu said the international community is also responsible for food insecurity in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Developed countries maintain agricultural subsidies that benefit their producers while pushing sub-Saharan Africa's impoverished small-holder farmers to the margins, he said.

Similar sentiments were echoed by local analysts.

Economist James Shikwati, who heads the Kenyan economic think tank the Inter Region Economic Network, said in the existing global trade system which is valued at $36 trillion, Africa only contributes 3%.

"If the UN really wanted to help African farmers, the point would be to leverage on the indigenous crops and foods in Africa and have them access global markets so that farmers can also tap in to this $36 trillion global trade system." Shikwati said.

  • Popeye - 2012-05-15 21:22

    Hau, dont you know Apartheid screwed up the whole continent ?

      gwvickers - 2012-05-15 21:54

      You obviously don't know what you talking about you moron

      EricksonTL - 2012-05-15 22:15

      I suspect that may have been sarcasm...

      kayley.segal - 2012-05-15 23:44

      Productivity, partiularly in agriculture, requires hard work and a strong work ethic. This is not part of the culture. Ronald Reagan once said "They should take all the African flags and burn them and create a flag for all of Africa with the begging bowl as the coat of arms.."

      Antwahn - 2012-05-16 01:17

      @ gaGa baby, dearest imbecilic troll. Blaming whites for Africans being beggars is too daft. Ethiopia and Liberia were never ruled by whites. And yet they are complete basket cases. (Few whites like to even enter them, let alone go there to "steal") In fact the country where whites ruled most recently, and longest, happens to be also the country that was least dependant on foreign aid. (Begging) Yes, you guessed right, it's SA! But now you chaps govern, you start to do a great job of stuffing up all the fantastic chances you were given, 20 yrs ago. Keep on voting ANC. Hard truth is: you chaps are unable to match your ability to breed like rabbits, with developing a modern, well organised economy with an industrial scale agriculture. And only such a setup is able to sustain your proclivity to procreate. And in case you truly feel like believing your own lies, sorry to bother you with a fact: SA is nowadays a nett importer of maize. But a long time ago, when whites were still allowed to grow YOUR food without fear of being killed by you chaps, we produced a surplus. It's the majority of YOU guys who live off our taxes. And then you also steal all that's not bolted down. (Don't know know why I bother...)

      Rob - 2012-05-16 07:00

      Antwhan lol. I wish we could make the working class vanish for 1 month just to see what would happen to this place. Death, starvation etc. These people are quick to criticise people who are keeping the engine running its disgusting. Its the working class who keep these people alive with grants etc. F@@king parasites.

      GrootWitHaai - 2012-05-16 08:16

      Lol..even the UN is finally getting sick and tired of supporting the useless's in Africa.

  • scorpiondip - 2012-05-15 21:23

    Tell this to Prez Zuma in South Africa and the land grabbers in Zimbabwe. Do not feed those countries that have policies like that! You guys provoke the trouble we have here, with the problems we have with the WTO and free trade and subsidies you have.

      Sean - 2012-05-15 21:30

      It`s the african way , it will never change.In S.A leaders brainwash the uneducated masses to believe everything is the white man`s fault while they enrich themselves !

      Tsotsi-Baby - 2012-05-15 21:40

      @Sean what is an African way? comrade stop it #Power to the people

      Harry - 2012-05-15 21:50

      Agree with you, but remember most African countries also have economic freedom - they have all the land and own virtually everything - in reality they actually have nothing, because with all the available land and opportunities they cannot create wealth, jobs, food, etc.

      Antwahn - 2012-05-16 01:10

      African way = the wrong way. = one way to the pits of hell = way fracked-up.

  • Bennie - 2012-05-15 21:28

    '' Dont feed the ........!!!! ''

  • Tsotsi-Baby - 2012-05-15 21:32

    Its time for these Africans to work for their food. #Power to the people

      Tsotsi-Baby - 2012-05-15 21:37

      RIP to the 100 000 comrades in Somalia.

      pieter0827006294 - 2012-05-15 21:43

      "Self-serving elite quick to profit from graft and patronage have stood between the leaders and the people, monopolised state revenues and emptied the countryside, but they have provided neither employment nor industry." \Sound familiar?

      Tsotsi-Baby - 2012-05-15 21:47

      Yes comrade

      Juan - 2012-05-16 02:30

      Aaah Totsi between all your 100's of idiotic comments you finally said something that makes sense. "Its time for these Africans to work for their food". Congratulations, now please explain that to Gaby Ogaba.

  • Ken - 2012-05-15 21:46

    They have no food and no future and eventually they will all starve, and yet they will go out tonight and murder another farmer and his family just because the farmer is white!!

      Tsotsi-Baby - 2012-05-15 21:49

      True that comrade

      EricksonTL - 2012-05-15 22:16

      And they will keep popping out more children who will starve, so they can get social grants. A recipe for disaster!

  • marnalouw - 2012-05-15 21:49

    The UN will end up feeding all Zuma's wives and children. So don't complain YET UN.

      Cristina - 2012-05-16 11:01

      No way would the organization I work for...waste its resources on Zuma and his clan!!!!!

  • mrp721 - 2012-05-15 21:55

    Well they wouldn't have a hunger problem if they didn't keep procreating.. Sterilize the damn people first then worry about feeding them..

  • Rob - 2012-05-15 21:56

    tsotsi: I read into this that many Africans are working, even if ineffectually. But they are working in a feudal system (something like that being promoted by the traditional leaders in SA), and that means that they are unable to produce an economic, tradeable surplus because they are being ripped off by the big men. Sure, I over simplify, but this seems to be the general thread.

      piet.strydom - 2012-05-16 03:33

      While Africa is to blame for many of its own problems, it has also been on the receiving end of the worst that the world offers. The Americans are very proud of the fact that they donate $84bn annually to the developing world. But what they neglect to tell you is that the money that goes to food aid, goes straight back to America - Usually a condition of the aid is that the maize be bought from America. Over and above that, the West subsidizes its farmers with $365bn a year. That is $365 bn going directly to suppress the prices of mostly maize and sugar. Might not be a huge amount in world terms, but makes a significant difference in the life of 3rd world farmer trying to eke out a living.

  • Melanie - 2012-05-15 22:14

    un: a blame on you 4 giving africa productive food for africans to multiply. So, continue feeding us

  • Robin - 2012-05-15 22:21

    How long must we wait before the obvious answer is implemented? Mass involuntary birth control!

      Omo - 2012-05-15 22:42

      I actually agree with you.I am a long time advocate of iron fist population control.Coming from Nigeria with a population of 167 million ,i can only see disaster in the future of Africa if forced birth control is not controlled.All these men who are marry more than one wife have concubines must be sterilized by force.The Nigerians farmers are already struggling to feed the nation because of the explosive growth to the extent that the Nigerian Government is now persuading new graduates to go into farming.

      John - 2012-05-15 22:51

      Absolutly correct. Enforce the PR of China's response to population growth, the One Child Policy.

      dewalds3 - 2012-05-16 07:31

      The food aid programmes should have required a counter-performance on birth control. This is something that has been suggested many times to the UN. They then suggested that we are racists...

      Cristina - 2012-05-16 10:58

      Good idea..I have one child and never wanted more!!!...and with everything so expensive these days, I wonder how people manage to fed,cloth, pay schools fees etc, for 5,6,7 kids!!!

  • Michele - 2012-05-15 22:22

    Those with ears to hear, must hear. Those who have hands to use, must use them!

      brendaninsa - 2012-05-15 22:37

      They will Michele, hand outstretched saying give me more, welcome to Africa.

      koos.vandermerwe.92 - 2012-05-15 23:11

      The rest will just breed like rabbits.

  • Steve - 2012-05-15 23:02

    Dear First World We breed, you feed. Love Africa

      koos.vandermerwe.92 - 2012-05-15 23:12

      Yip. They breed like there is no tomorrow and then expect someone else to feed them.

      Juan - 2012-05-16 02:35

      Very well put Steve

      shereen.vanschoor - 2012-05-16 10:46

      Well said Steve....starvation and war but hey at least we have sex.

  • allan.kearns - 2012-05-16 00:29

    Old SQ - if you cannot feed them do not breed them

  • Ifeanyi - 2012-05-16 06:06

    Now, conveniently, all d whites on this forum are no more Africans, speaking condescendingly and in the 3rd person, regarding 'Africans'. Gotta love this country. U jus gotta.

      Antwahn - 2012-05-16 08:14

      Whites who are born here, are African. But they have largely an "overseas" mindset. Which allows them to be the butt of your screaming envy. Our (white African) mindset works at least, despite your good efforts to sabotage and milk us for all it's worth. The African mindset largely leads to aid-dependency. Therefore, it's reasonable to expect the external, aid-issue, to be deemed only addressing black Africans' problems. (How many white Africans are recipients of such aid?) Nice try, however. Mohau -why should we "defend" a fracked-up way? And how would you "defend" it? By refusing foreign aid?

      Ifeanyi - 2012-05-16 08:34

      ANTwan, are u really dis stupid, or u are being paid 2 post nonsense? Well, I guess the first 3 letters of your name depict the size o your brain!

      Ifeanyi - 2012-05-16 09:04

      Hey ANTwan the DENSE one. Food 4 thought- remember the saying \Home is where the heart/mind is\? I just wonder aloud, about that \overseas\ mindset of yours!!

      Antwahn - 2012-05-16 09:06

      Dear chap / girl / thing. Kindly enlighten us and give here where I do go wrong with my arguments? Example: if I call you guys "technically retards", I have to back this up with the fact that you have an average IQ of around 68 (on a good day, with wind in your backs.) And that this is statistically proven. I could (actually should) give you references, but there's a good chance I'd waste my time doing so because you obviously are deaf to the voice of reason and rabidly attack all that injures your (misplaced) ethnic pride. If you chaps pay me, I'll stop being nasty. If you start to stop ruining this beautiful country, I'll become nice and be "proudly Sesefrican" again. Revert to pre-Polokwane and I'll have hope for SA. Meanwhile, I do it for the love of it, for free. :-)

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-05-16 16:40

      Antwahn, Well, you certainly don't speak for me, you racist a.shole !!

  • brionyl.french - 2012-05-16 06:25

    Bwahahahaha!!! Its the mentality that the apartheid now owes so they all stand with their hand out because its way easier than becoming self substanable and grow your own food... BWahahahaha thank you UN these AFRICAN COUNTRIES NEED TO GIVE UP ON BEGGING!! and grow your own food, they have been coming here for years trying to show you idiots how to do it!!!, Yet begging still happens... its been almost 20 years and you could have had 20 years of your own food....

      Ted - 2012-05-16 06:40

      They will gro the food somewhere at the corner of your uncle's farm.

  • Johan - 2012-05-16 07:08

    Zimbabwe used to be the breadbasket of Southern Africa that fed many of the countries around them including Zambia. Since Mugabe took the farms away from the white farmers, who then took up farming on free land in Zambia, Zimbabwe imports maize from Zambia. If land is taken away from the commercial farmers is SA the same will happen here!

  • Gert - 2012-05-16 07:13

    ".....unless they eliminate hunger,"...... RATHER SAY UNLESS THEY ELIMINATE THE strange minds controlling their countries--like Zimbabwe. This royal racist in control destroyed and killed all the farms and farmers producing food. AND they have a syndrome of GIVE ME. Here at home, another pathetic give me syndrome is showing up at a certain fast food outlet where they beg a donation from you right at the till where you must pay, whilst the government in power is squandering billions and THEY could have fed the starving children. The governments are responsible for the poverty. With all the resources at their disposal africa could have been the richest continent, but only they are the richest people and their 'slaves' can starve. (Again refer to Mugabe).

      delish7564 - 2012-05-16 08:59

      I agree with you, it is the Government's responsibility to manage the budget and look after those who most need it, BUT, everyone must share in the responsibility. By that I don't mean that everyone in SA should give a hand out to those begging, but the truth of the matter is the planet cannot sustain this many people, therefore it is critical to keep numbers down or everyone will suffer. In Europe, people cannot afford large families so don't have them, hence the population is decreasing. These are the same countries that are perceived as wealthy and successful but that comes at a cost, so yes in agreeing with other posts, if you can't afford to feed your family, don't keep having more.

  • Mark - 2012-05-16 07:29

    Maybe it is time for some " tough love"? Instead of feeding and aid programs, it might be time for the UN ( read the West) to stop all these programs....let africa really see what the face of hunger and starvaton really looks like. Maybe then, the idea will settle in that farmers are a group to be valued and encouraged, that political elites focussed on only enriching themselves will be removed and sustainable food, democracy, and civil rights will take hold. Otherwise, africa will always be viewed as backward, corruptable, and lacking the means to move forward.

      Gert - 2012-05-16 08:15

      Yes it should be tried but the problem is that the West unlike africa is a group of civilized compassionate people with their hearts that will cry out seeing starving innocent children on tv shots and they will GIVE again. You are right of course, the lesson can be seen on our street corners. They will beg and if you give they are back at the same street corner the next day,- doesn't matter if they could find another solution for their situation. It is easy money and so it is with the monetary UN aid. Surely millions of the aid given creep into the pockets of the criminal unethical leaders. But then look at the Swazi king--his poverty stricken slaves must give him their last cattle so that he can have a big braai and party and then he buys jets for family members, and his aid was cut off.?????Most of Africa seems to be lost.

  • Dianne - 2012-05-16 07:43

    Can someone please tell Bono. He seems to think that starving Africa is the worlds problem.

  • Martin - 2012-05-16 08:24

    Just stop giving un, simple, a begger cant beg if noone gives hand outs

  • Edmund - 2012-05-16 08:32

    If 80% of your population is uneducated and does not really know how to build the nation. Would it be wise to let them choose the right person to lead the country? All they do is pick the one that gets the mob excited, has nothing to do with what they can do for the country. That has been the problem since people came to Africa. They were met with a majority of uneducated people and instead of trying to make it better they made it worse. We are still stuck with a majority of uneducated people. The uneducated people, even if well intended are steering SA in the wrong directions.

      Antwahn - 2012-05-16 09:08

      Deemocracy, she work not good in Afrika.

  • godfrey.melamu - 2012-05-16 08:34

    this is pathetic to see africa starving whilst endowed with arable remaining unused or underutilised.We should hold political leader responsible for all this malace.The instigate political violence when their political fiefdoms are seen to be threaten.We should cut on war expense.Who are fighting other than our folks for political power.We must and shoud stop this barberic acts,FINISK AND KLAAR.

  • Jason - 2012-05-16 09:01

    We'll stop begging for food on the day you stop raping our continent.

      Antwahn - 2012-05-16 09:14

      But it's not rape! We pay you for it. So stop being whores, grow a brain, then use it. Become industrialized, process the mineral wealth that your goats just happened to graze above. Be like China and lend money to the poor USA!

      Dianne - 2012-05-16 09:31

      And who exactly is raping Africa? Its not the UN its the un educated morons that thrive on handouts.

      shereen.vanschoor - 2012-05-16 10:52

      Jayded King....I think we all allow them to "rape the continent". You can rape all you want if the ones who benefit are the ones in power. Black Diamonds was a perfect illustration of that. You give us weapons and we'll give you minerals at next to nothing. Just think about all the wars going on within countries. Not country against country. Its tribe against tribe. CRAZY!!!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-05-16 19:42

      Antwahn, your comments are dispicable and SICKENING. You are plain RUBBISH !!!

      Edmund - 2012-05-16 20:15

      @AnthonyfromAfrica, he is not rubbish as you state, he is just speaking way beyond your comprehension

  • philschalkwyk - 2012-05-16 09:19

    Allow nature to take it's course. The world is threatened by over population, so why keep alive those who will merely breed more and suffer the same fate. Sorry guys I know this sounds over the top. How else would we stop the population growth apart from creating wars?

  • Carolyn - 2012-05-16 09:54

    I get that some countries are poor but population explosion and governments who spend money on arms and wars do not help, if there was an easy solution I think it would have been found by now, how do you feed billions of people on nothing???

  • H9005 - 2012-05-16 09:59

    Even though many non-african nations have plundered africa on the continent's history it does not mean African nations cannot make attempts to recover and learn from this. Many African countries have ended up in disastrous situations due to corruption, overpopulation and disease. Again, whilst it is easy to blame the rest of the world, we as Africans need to start looking after ourselves. Blaming someone else will not resolve the problem. The problem is that we expect handouts from other nations because many of us are too lazy to actually do something about the problem. We need assistance, yes - but we need to use that assistance in a positive way so that we will not need that always in the future. Not just fatten the elite and royalty of the continent.

  • shereen.vanschoor - 2012-05-16 10:45

    It's a case of GREED and believing that they deserve to take take and take some more because of what????? Africa has soooo much potential, so much minerals and resources. And I agree if you have guns and missile tanks why the hell can't you produce your own food??? It's actually BS and I fully understand why the UN feels this way.

  • pieter.raubenheimer - 2012-05-16 21:39


  • diamondlil1947 - 2012-05-20 17:45

    This is what democratic liberals do to a country. Thinks they are helping them when all that has been happening is enabling them to do nothing to better themselves. Teach a man to fish not give them a fish.

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