Third Forum of African cities signatories of the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact (MUFPP): “Synergies for a sustainable urban food policy”

Photo credits FAO

01/07/2019 - 

From the 11 to 13 of June, African cities gathered in Niamey, Niger, for the Third Forum of African cities signatories of the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact (MUFPP) under the theme “Synergies for a sustainable urban food policy”, organized by the NGOs Acra and Africa 70, with support from the Italian Government. As FAO has a partnership with MUFPP since its establishment in 2014, the Organization has facilitated the participation of several cities in the Forum. The event gathered representatives from development institutions, civil society and twenty cities from African and European countries*, with the aim to share and exchange good practices and work on four urban strategic axes: “Governance”, “Social and economic equity”, “Support to food production” and “Food supply and distribution”.

As the world population in urban areas is increasing at an unprecedented rate – urban population is expected to reach 60% of the total world population by 2030 – there is a growing need to provide for urban resilient, healthy and sustainable food systems and policies. In particular, the urban population of sub-Saharan Africa is expected to double from 2010 to almost 600 million.According to Mr Attaher Maiga, FAO Representative in Niger, “rapid urbanization is producing many challenges that arise in terms of food security”. More than half of urban dwellers live in overcrowded slums; about 200 million of them survive on less than US $ 2 a day with inadequate access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food.

Mr Mamoudou Mouctar, President of the Special Delegation of the city of Niamey introduced the context of the capital of Niger and stated that “the City of Niamey is committed to promote agriculture in urban areas as one of the solutions to tackle food insecurity and promote social equity”.

In a tentative to address urban food challenges, the three days of policy dialogues allowed to share experiences, policies and technologies to understand if those could be replicated in other municipalities - especially through South-South and triangular cooperation exchanges. In particular, the workshop provided many potential solutions to support local food production such as “allocation and protection of urban and suburban spaces for agricultural use”, “the development of procurement and local purchase mechanisms of fresh and diversified food”, “partnership diversification”, “the creation of a label to identify local products” and “the use of instruments to monitor and control”.

In line with its commitment to support urban food actions and city-to-city learning, FAO took an active part in the Forum. It presented SSTC at FAO, OSS office and the Organization’s Framework for the Urban Food Agenda which guides its support to partnering cities around the world, and the monitoring framework of the implementation of the MUFPP used by cities like Antananarivo and Nairobi to define their food initiatives and monitor progress made. In addition, FAO representatives also facilitated a one day working group session on food system governance.

Thierry Giordano, Senior researcher at Cirad and ex-FAO expert, highlighted that “in the last three years, African cities made tremendous progress in their paths to implement urban food initiatives” in light of the wide range of case studies cities shared and discussed in Niamey.

At the Forum in Niamey, three cities (Ouagadougou, Agadez and Gaya) joined the almost 200 municipalities that already signed the MUFPP. The 4th Forum of African Cities signatories of the MUFPP will take place in Ouagadougou in 2020, while the Annual Gathering and Mayor’s Summit of the MUFPP is planned in Montpellier in October 2019 where the outcome of the Forum in Niamey will be shared.


* Antananarivo, Agadez, Bobo-Dioulasso, Dakar, Diffa, Douala, Gaya, Kisumu, Kitwe, Maputo, Milan, Montpellier, Nairobi, N’Djamena, Niamey, Ouagadougou, Praia, Tillaberi, Windhoek and Yaoundé.