Grow Markets, Fight Hunger: A Food Security Framework for US-Africa Trade Relations

March 3, 2015

By: Andrea Durkin, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Global Food and Agriculture

A new framework for US-Africa trade relations focused on agriculture and food can advance African food security while positioning US businesses to benefit from Africa’s growing food market, which is expected to reach $1 trillion by 2030. This report presents evidence that an effort by the United States focused on bolstering regional trade and harmonizing food standards and regulations across countries would drive economic growth while improving the availability and affordability of nutritious foods throughout Africa.  

Summary of Report Recommendations 

Eighty percent of Africans work in the agriculture and food sector, and one quarter of the continent’s total population is chronically undernourished. In spite of this, current US trade approaches to Africa have limited food security benefits and also do not benefit American farmers and businesses as much as they could. US trade approaches focus largely on bilateral trade in the mining and manufacturing industries, neglecting the development of harmonized standards, cohesive regulatory frameworks, and the agriculture and food sector writ-large. In 2012, only 0.6 percent of Africa’s agriculture and food exports, which totaled $52 billion, went to North America.”

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