CoE Articles

UNESCO Chair in African Food Systems launched at the Global Food Security Conference

Published December 13, 2017, by Mologadi Makwela

The goal of the UNESCO Chair in African Food Systems is to contribute, through research, training and innovation, towards building a sustainable food system across Africa that provides adequate, nutritious and safe food to poor and vulnerable populations

The 3rd International Conference on Global Food Security concluded in Cape Town on 6 December 2017 at the CTICC 2 –  where more than 600 delegates from across 60 countries were gathered to debate and explore a packed programme tackling various issues related to food insecurity, under the theme: Global Challenges, Local Solutions and Connected Pathways. 

The conference concluded with the launch of the UNESCO Chair in African Food Systems, awarded to Professor Julian May, director of the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security. The Chair will be inter-disciplinary with a focus on the trans-disciplinary field of food security, nutrition and food systems.

The goal of the Chair is to contribute, through research, training and innovation, towards building a sustainable food system across Africa that provides adequate, nutritious and safe food to poor and vulnerable populations

Professor Julian May

“Gender equality is key to achieving this goal due to the role of women throughout the food system. This is both through the production, distribution and preparation of food, as well as through maternal health, the care of children and the elderly, and as custodians of food cultures,” he adds.

The focus of the Chair accords with the second of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture”. As a result the Chair will directly confront critical challenges to sustainable development. The activities of the Chair are fully aligned with Goal Two of the SDGs, and correspond with most of the other Goals.  However, the work of the Chair will most closely relate to Goals Three, Five, Six, Eleven, Twelve, Fourteen and Fifteen.

WATCH: Professor May speaks on the importance of the 3rd Global Conference on Food Security being held in South Africa

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