Addressing food security & inequality in Africa
Lebogang Ramafoko, executive director of Oxfam South Africa, is an outspoken feminist and social justice activist with an unbroken advocacy record for women and girls’ rights.
Oxfam South Africa became the first autonomous African member of the Oxfam International (OI) confederation in 2014. Oxfam South Africa works in South Africa, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique and the Union of Comoros, working with small-scale farmers, mostly women, and with coastal communities facing the onslaught of climate change.
Climate change is fueling hunger for millions of people around the world.
Extreme weather events have increased five-fold over the past 50 years, destroying homes, decimating livelihoods, fueling conflict and displacement, and deepening inequality.
Our climate isn’t just changing. It has changed. Somalia has been experiencing its worst drought for 40 years, with crops failing and livestock dying.
In the SADC region – including South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and Angola, among other countries, 58 million people are facing food insecurity or hunger.
Oxfam believes that hunger is not about charity; it’s about social justice. And will be convening a Regional Symposium On Food Security And Livelihoods in Cape Town from 25 – 26 April 2023 to address the crisis of food insecurity in Africa.
“In order to address food insecurity and inequality, we need to disrupt food value chains that continue to keep small-scale farmers in the margins,” says Ms Ramafoko.
“Most scale-scale farmers are women from the global south. Their exclusion from the food value chains is further exacerbated by climate change. Unless we build resilience of the communities most affected by climate change, all we do is pay lip service to the ideals of freedom, dignity and equality enshrined in our Constitution.”
Academics, artists, small-scale farmers, traders, activists, and innovators will gather at Oxfam’s Regional Symposium to discuss how the climate crisis is worsening food insecurity. And how food insecurity is exacerbated by a fundamentally broken food system, which is deeply unequal and unsustainable.
Oxfam’s partners, including small-scale farmers and organizations working with women on farms and supported by Oxfam, will gather to share knowledge and discuss ways to hold state and other actors accountable for the commitments to food security in Africa. The Symposium will also evaluate response plans in the SADC region to mitigate the impact of climate-related crises and rising food insecurity, and increasingly fragile livelihoods.
Oxfam’s Regional Symposium will be live-streamed on Oxfam South Africa’s Facebook page and is open to the public.
Follow our live updates from the Symposium on Twitter: @OxfamSA.