Sustaining African Cities: Urban Hunger and Sustainable Development in East Africa

International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability 2015, 11: 1-12.

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 in large cities of East Africa, roughly 50% of urban residents already 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 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. This failure poses humanitarian and security risks, already evident in urban food riots and measures of urban poverty and malnutrition. Urban hunger needs to be part of the equation of a sustainable response to the challenges of rapid urbanization and inclusive growth if policy interventions are to be effective.

Andrea Brown