Conversation Series

Food Systems in Africa: The Role of Food Sovereignty in Promoting Sustainable Development

TOKYO: On 28 November, UNU will host a conversation with Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki, former Prime Minister of the Republic of Niger.

On 28 November 2023, UNU will host "Food Systems in Africa: The Role of Food Sovereignty in Promoting Sustainable Development" a conversation with Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki, African Union Special Envoy for Food Systems and former Prime Minister of the Republic of Niger. This event will start at 18:30 in the 2F Reception Hall at UNU Headquarters in Tokyo.

Given Africa’s projected population growth to 2.6 billion inhabitants by 2050, with half expected to reside in urban areas, there is an urgent imperative to reduce Africa’s reliance on food imports and boost agricultural productivity. The strategies developed to achieve these objectives are comprehensive, spanning policies related to agriculture, climate adaptation, land tenure and infrastructure development. Central to these strategies is the crucial concept of food sovereignty.

Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki will join UNU Chief of Staff Michael Baldock to discuss the pressing matter of food security in Africa. The conversation will aim to define the concept of food sovereignty and examine the influence of private sector investment on African food systems. Additionally, the discussion will explore strategies for empowering small-scale farmers to enhance their productivity.

The UNU Conversation Series aims to foster audience participation; you are encouraged to engage with the speakers during the conversation and at the reception that will follow, where all event attendees are invited to enjoy hors d’oeuvres and drinks while exchanging ideas and making new contacts.

Please note that this event will be in English. Advance registration (by 27 November) is required. Please click on the REGISTER button above to access the online registration page.

Please be prepared to present identification at check-in.

About the speaker

Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki of the Republic of Niger is the African Union Special Envoy for Food Systems. He is the former Chief Executive Officer of the African Union Development Agency. He held this position from 2009 to April 2022.

A former Prime Minister of Niger, from 1997 to 2000, Dr. Mayaki has a Master’s degree from the National School of Public Administration, Quebec, Canada, and a PhD in Administrative Sciences from the University of Paris I, France.

He worked as a Professor of Public Administration in Niger and Venezuela. From 1996 to 1997, he was appointed Minister in charge of African Integration and Cooperation and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Niger.

In August 2000, he set up the Analysis Centre for Public Policy in Niger. From 2000 to 2004, Dr. Mayaki was a guest Professor at the University of Paris XI, where he lectured on international relations. He also led research at the Research Centre on Europe and the Contemporary World within that university.

In 2004, he served as Executive Director of the Platform in Support of Rural Development in West and Central Africa, the Rural Hub, based in Dakar, Senegal.