“The essential thing is that our challenges are almost the same, with some minor differences – this elicits lots of ideas about the potentials in our city.”
– Rebecca Mongi, Chief Agricultural Officer, Arusha City Council, Tanzania on the value of city-to-city peer exchange
ICLEI-RUAF CITYFOOD Network in Africa
The ICLEI-RUAF CITYFOOD network is a global network for local and regional governments to develop a strategic approach to their city-region food systems. It aims to accelerate action on sustainable and resilient city-region food systems by combining networking with training, policy guidance and technical expertise. CITYFOOD Network is open to all local and regional governments, whether they are engaging with a food systems approach for the first time, or already working on improving their urban food systems.
Are you interested to discover more about the CITYFOOD Network?
CITYFOOD Projects in Africa
- Investing in Urban African Food Systems (FS-Invest)
- Understanding Innovation in Food Water Energy Nexus and Green and Blue Infrastructure (IFWEN)
- Cape Town Food System Vision
- City-to-city Food System Exchange (RF)
- Innovative Food System Governance
Every July, the annual #AfricanCITYFOODmonth campaign highlights diverse, innovative and evolving African urban food systems. The campaign provides a platform for insight, learning opportunities and support for local governments and food system stakeholders who are interested in shaping sustainable, nutritious and inclusive food systems.
We invite city leaders, food system stakeholders and urban citizens from across the continent to share your insights with us.
Share 2-5 minute videos showcasing your urban food initiatives. These can be of you speaking, or videos of projects or scenes. Share case studies, project reports and news articles which can add to the themes above.
Do you have ideas of how to improve the food systems you see around you?
Accelerating sustainable actions towards the transformation of Africa’s urban food systems.
6 July 2021 | 2pm CAT
African City Food Exchange Part 1: What have we learnt from the UNFSS independent food dialogues process in 16 cities?
This webinar will bring together food dialogue curators and food system champions to reflect on the dialogue processes and unpack transformative messages coming out of the conversations with African cities.
13 July 2021 | 12pm CAT
African City Food Exchange Part 2: A city-to-city workshop on achieving sustainable urban food systems.
This city-to-city learning exchange will bring together cities on a journey of sharing and co-learning by thinking through and workshopping on the common food system challenges as well as sharing some of the systemic approaches in achieving sustainable food systems.
20 July 2021 | 2pm CAT
Sustainable Food Cultures: How our appetites can transform our cities.
We are what we eat, and our urban areas are shaped by the decisions and actions around the food system. How we grow, make, share and consume our food has the potential to positively transform our cities.
27 July 2021 | 2pm CAT
Where Chemistry, Storytelling and Policy Collide: Lessons from the Inclusive Metabolism Project
This webinar reflects on the outcomes of the 3-year Leading Integrated Research in Africa (LIRA) 2030 project on informality and urban metabolism in African urban food systems.
29 July 2021 | 2pm CAT
Multiplicities (Menu) of entry points into urban food governance through the lenses of “Food Sensitive Urban Planning” and the “City Region Food System
Food system experts from RUAF, FAO, ICLEI, the African Centre for Cities as well as city practitioners will share some of the key processes, approaches and resources, with case studies, on how cities can identify their priorities and embark on the journey of urban food systems transformation.
Join the campaign on social media:
28 May 2020: World Hunger Day
Launch of the #AfricanCITYFOODMonth campaign on Twitter and Instagram.
Read our Director’s message here.
23 June 2020: Systems approaches to food and nutrition security and urban resilience: Lessons from Cape Town and Kumasi
As part of the Inclusive Metabolism project, researchers and city officials from Cape Town, South Africa, and Kumasi, Ghana, share their perspectives on how improving food systems can have wider socio-economic benefits for society, building resilience to shocks.
1 July 2020 – 3 July 2020: Food in our Cities
We map the components of Africa’s city region food systems: who are the stakeholders, what are the processes, policies, and actors influencing the behaviour and responsiveness of the food system? We further highlight some of the work done by key actors through a webinar, thought pieces and photography.
1 July 2020 | 2:00pm – 3:30pm CAT
Welcome to #AfricanCITYFOODmonth: How should we understand food in our cities?
6 July 2020 – 10 July 2020: Covid and Food Security
The theme reflects on the work done by FAO and city food stakeholders in defining food security and the factors affecting levels of food insecurity in Africa. It calls us to envision what a resilient and nutritious city-region food system could look like to ensure food security in African cities.
7 July 2020 | 2:00pm – 3:30pm CAT
Food, climate and COVID-19: Stories from our cities
13 July 2020 – 17 July 2020: Nourishing our Cities
About 58.6 million children experience stunting in Africa due to poor nutrition. We explore what nutrition and malnutrition are, the extent and impacts of both in African cities and how local African foods and cuisine can contribute to nutritious diets.
15 July 2020 | 2:00pm – 3:30pm CAT
Nourishing our cities
20 July 2020 – 24 July 2020: Sustainable Food Value Chains
We showcase how both formal and informal supply chains are ensuring safe and undisrupted supply of food, during and post COVID- 19, through photography, thought pieces and highlighting case studies in African cities.
21 July 2020 | 2:00pm – 3:30pm CAT
Food and the circular economy
27 July 2020 – 31 July 2020: Youth, Women, Business & Innovation in Urban Food Systems
Africa’ s agri-food sector has significant potential to meet the region’s growing demand for nutritious food. The theme unpacks FAO’s AgriInvest concept, investment opportunities in Africa’s food systems and the role of youth and women in agri-food business.
29 July 2020 | 2:00pm – 3:30pm CAT
How youth- and women-led small businesses can improve our local food systems
31 July 2020 | 2:00pm – 3:30pm CAT
Our future food systems
On #WorldFoodDay, we congratulate the #AfricanCities who have signed up to @ICLEI & @ruaf‘s #CITYFOOD network: #Antananarivo (Madagascar); #Arusha City Council (Tanzania); #Entebbe Municipality (Uganda) & #Quelimane Municipality (Mozambique).
— ICLEI Africa (@ICLEIAfrica) October 16, 2019
— ICLEI Africa (@ICLEIAfrica) June 29, 2020
Links to Articles & Resources
- FAO Framework for the Urban Food Agenda (FAO, 2019)
- Urban Food Systems Governance and Poverty in African Cities (Battersby and Watson, 2019)
- Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture
- What makes urban food policy happen? Insights from 5 Case Studies. (Hawkes and Halliday, 2017)
- 2018 Global Nutrition Report (Development Initiatives, 2018)
- An Introduction to the Basic Concepts of Food Security (FAO, 2008)
- Urban food systems and COVID-19: The role of cities and local governments in responding to the emergency (FAO, 2020)
- Investments for Healthy Food Systems (UNSCN, 2016)
- Food for Cities. What roles for local governments in the global South? (AFD, 2017)
- Food Loss and Waste in the Context of Sustainable Food Systems (HLPE, 2014)
- Sustainable Food Systems. Concepts and Frameworks (FAO, 2018)
- Collaborative Framework for Food Systems Transformation: A multistakeholder pathway for sustainable food systems (UNEP, 2019)
- Africa’s Evolving Food Systems. Drivers for change and the scope for influencing them (Jayne, Meyer and Traub, 2014)
- The State of the World’s Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture (FAO, 2019)
- AfricanCITYFOODMonth report 2021
- Localising the SDGs through an urban food lens in the global south: Lessons from the Hungry Cities Project.
“We have seen that ‘food’ demonstrates the most powerful interlinkages between our cities, our environment, our health and wellbeing, our nature and our climate, and offers vast potential for improving equity and sustainability on our planet.”