Global Policy Forum

G8's New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in Africa - Whose Alliance?


CIDSE, an alliance of 17 Catholic development agencies, recently published a briefing about its concerns around the G8’s "New Alliance of Food Security and Nutrition in Africa". The New Alliance aims at enhancing food security by increasing private investments in the agricultural sector and market orientation. Even as it welcomes the New Alliances efforts to alleviate hunger, CIDSE expresses concerns about the vision and approach behind the G8 agenda. In the article “Whose Alliance? The G8 and the Emergence of a Global Corporate Regime for Agriculture” CIDSE raises questions about the coherence, sustainability, legitimacy and inclusiveness of the New Alliance policies.


May 2013

Executive Summary

On 17th and 18th June 2013 the UK will host the next G8 Summit in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland. A food and nutrition summit will be held the week before. This is an opportunity to put Food and Nutrition Security (FNS) at the forefront of global priorities and achieve policy coherence by linking with the initiatives of the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS), the foremost inclusive global platform on food and nutrition security.

According to David Cameron, the UK Prime Minister and host of the Summit, Lough Erne represents an opportunity for the G8 to continue to build on earlier pledges to eradicate hunger by “unleashing the power of the private sector.” On the agenda are items such as advancing trade, ensuring tax compliance and promoting greater transparency, as well as the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in Africa. Whilst welcoming the Alliance’s target of “helping lift 50 million people in sub-Saharan Africa out of poverty in the next 10 years”, civil society organisations (CSOs) and social movements harbour grave concerns regarding the approach of the New Alliance, which is being promoted as a “commitment by G8 nations, African countries, and private sector partners to support agricultural development.” While acknowledging that the private sector has a role to play in development, especially through small-scale enterprises (SMEs) that support local, national and regional food security strategies, we at CIDSE and the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (EAA) – which together represent almost one hundred Christian development organisations working for social justice and the realisation of the right to food – are concerned that the main purpose of this Alliance is to create reliable conditions for corporate investment in Africa’s agricultural sector. We are concerned that the New Alliance risks serving primarily as a vehicle for market access by multinational companies, paving the way for them to extend their reach into African markets and exert control over African resources.

We are deeply concerned about the New Alliance’s vision and approach which enshrines food security in a market orientation, rather than as a human right. We believe the initiative falls short of what is needed to eradicate hunger and could potentially undermine progress towards that end. This briefing outlines what we consider to be some of the major problems and risks with the New Alliance, as well as key recommendations. The analysis and recommendations are structured around three central themes: 1) Coherence, 2) Vision, and 3) Process. [...]

CIDSE: Whose Alliance? The G8 and the Emergence of a Global Corporate Regime for Agriculture. CIDSE ans EAA Recommendations.


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