Investing in Urban African Food Systems (FS-Invest)
Facilitating the engagement of local governments, local partners, investors, financiers and food system stakeholders for investment in urban food systems programmes.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the related lockdown restrictions have emphasized the importance of a food systems perspective especially in addressing the issue of urban food insecurity. In the context of growing global attention on food systems perspectives, the pandemic and associated government responses, demonstrated to local governments and many urban food system actors, how entangled food is with other urban systems, and how many urban development objectives can be supported through a lens of food systems. Local governments are also attempting to understand their role in supporting sustainable food systems and have articulated the need for inter- and intra-city learning, as well as the identification of investment opportunities for system-wide food security outcomes. ICLEI has been engaging local governments around food and has been on a learning journey around urban food systems governance approaches. To continue supporting local governments on this learning journey, ICLEI Africa implemented Investing in Urban African Food Systems, supported by FAO.

Project Location

Arusha, Cape Town, Lilongwe

Project Duration


Project Highlights

  • Project outcomes 2020/21

    Key investment opportunities were identified for improving the resilience and nutritional outcomes of food systems in five project cities: Arusha, Cape Town, Lilongwe, Lusaka, and Maputo. An investment case was developed for one of the prioritized investment opportunities in the cities in a scoping process which took place from 1 October 2020 to 30 November 2020. 

    Project locations 2020

    Arusha, Cape Town, Lilongwe, Lusaka, Maputo

  • Project activities 2021

    Five African cities were identified for food systems engagements- Arusha, Cape Town, Lilongwe, Lusaka and Maputo. The engagements took place in five selected local governments and contributed to the selection of investment opportunities (one investment opportunity per city) that have the most potential to improve the resilience and nutritional outcomes of the food systems of the cities. ICLEI ran a month long Food Systems Campaign to promote nutritious and resilient food systems perspectives 

  • Project activities 2022


    Matchmaking Event: Investment Opportunities in Africa’s Urban Food Systems

    This session aims to bring together local government officials, urban food system actors and investors/ funders to explore investment opportunities in Africa’s urban food systems, deep dive into identified city specific investment cases as well as match make with potential funders/ partners for the realisation of the identified interventions. Moreover, the session will identify what an enabling environment for driving urban food systems investment looks like.

    Date: 7 July 2022

    Time: 10h00-12h30 (SAST)

    Register here. 

Project aims

Investing in Urban African Food Systems (FS-Invest) Phase 2: The second phase of FS-Invest builds upon the work of the “Opportunities for investment in African urban food systems” project, undertaken by ICLEI Africa and FAO in 2020 to facilitate the engagement of local governments, local partners, investors, financiers and food system stakeholders for investment in urban food systems programmes in the five project cities. 

Project location(s) in 2022: Arusha, Cape Town, Lilongwe

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Funded By

Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations

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Related Publications

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    African CITYFOOD Month 2020 Event Report

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    Three lenses for approaching food system change in cities

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    Drivers of food system outcomes

Main Contact

Solophina Nekesa