Every year, the themes chosen for Africa Day — honoured on May 25 — either highlight the most pressing issues facing the continent, or spotlight the hopes that the continent has for its future. This is to remind Africa’s leaders (and world leaders) of the things that need to be taken care of in order for Africa and her people to freely be able to celebrate the day without barriers.
The theme is designed so that there can be a sense of proactiveness towards solving some of the continent’s biggest challenges, and it also helps to boost initiative across the continent in order to strive for an incredibly bright future.
The African Union announced the theme for 2022 as: Strengthening Resilience in Nutrition and Food Security on the African Continent. This year’s theme is a direct response to one of the biggest challenges Africa is facing today. Hunger levels have risen significantly, with aid agencies estimating that 346 million people in Africa are experiencing high rates of food insecurity. This is a sharp rise from 286 million in 2021, and is reported to be the worst food crisis since 2017.
Africa’s countries have been facing a significant rise in food insecurity as a result of climate change, the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and conflict seen across some regions. The state of food security is also predicted to worsen in view of Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine, as a great deal of cereals imported to help alleviate hunger in the Northern parts of the African continent come from both Russia and Ukraine.
The situation is serious and threatens millions of lives and livelihoods. Celebrating Africa Day also means making sure to take part in helping tackle some of Africa’s biggest challenges. In fact, helping to ensure the continent moves further and further away from severe hunger should be a proactive way to celebrate Africa every day, not just in May.
We have a few easy ways that you can take action with us right now to help make Africa’s rising hunger levels a thing of the past.
1. Share a Meal With Us: Show Us You're African Without Telling Us You're African
Let’s kick things off with a celebration of African food, shall we? Home to 54 countries and a plethora of cultures, no person on earth could ever possibly be bored of Africa’s incredible array of foods. From fresh seafood caught off the west coast, to sensational spices that define the east, and don’t get us started on the never-ending creative uses our African mothers have found for common grains like maize, barley, samp, rice, and wheat — we want to celebrate it all!
Food is what brings people together, it’s a tool for true unity that cultures across the continent share with pride. In order to understand why we should call for its sources to be protected, we need to highlight all the incredible things that we can do with food. That’s why we’re calling on Global Citizens to share their favourite African meals with us.
Take a photo of your meal, let us know why you love it so much, and we’ll compile the best ones in a social media reel to show how African Global Citizens connect through food.
Take action here.
2. Pledge to Become a Food Champion
Climate change is undeniably one of the biggest monsters devouring Africa’s food. Droughts in East, Central, and North have impacted crop growth; floods and cyclones in Southern Africa have ravaged food sources; and locust swarms have feasted on harvests meant for Africa’s people.
Farmers are on the front line of this crisis and we need to help support them in order to boost food production and security. We also need to make sure that we make better choices to help defend the planet and curb the climate crisis.
You can do that by taking our pledge to become a food champion. This pledge is to commit to making small but sustainable changes so that you can help protect the environment and alleviate food insecurity. These changes include:
- Buying food that is locally grown from local farmers
- Starting a garden or growing some of your own food
- Becoming an advocate for sustainable food and agriculture
Take the pledge with us here.
3. Take This Quiz About How Climate Change Is Impacting Africa
It cannot be said enough that Africa has contributed the least to the climate crisis, and yet it is unjustly experiencing the worst of its impacts. Climate vulnerability is the reason why droughts that directly impact the growth of Africa’s crops are lasting longer, and storm seasons that have the potential to destroy harvests are becoming more frequent.
In order to tackle the issue head on, we all need to understand just how significant an impact climate change is already having on the African continent.
Take action with us here to find out more.
4. Sign This Open Letter to Avert a Global Food Crisis
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is predicted to have a huge impact on the global food supply — with Ukraine being known as the breadbasket of the world due to its significant wheat exports. In fact, the ongoing conflict is already worsening global hunger. The rising fuel prices, rising fertiliser prices, and rising prices for food imports that come as a result of the war, are directly impacting food insecurity rates in North Africa, and around the world.
Access to these grains has become a lot more difficult as a result of the war, harming African countries that are reliant on imported grains to feed their people, countries like Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Libya, and Algeria.
What’s more, the World Food Programme, which aids citizens around the world who are facing severe hunger crises, gets 50% of its grain aid from the Russia-Ukraine region.
Join us by signing our open letter to raise awareness about the impending global food crisis and urge leaders of the G7 — who are meeting in June — to take urgent action to prevent it.
Add your name to the open letter here.
5. Take This Quiz to Find Out Why Women Farmers Are the Future
Women are crucial to Africa’s (and the world’s) food supply as their roles across food value chains make up 43% of the African agricultural labour force. It’s safe to say that women are a large part of why you had something to eat for breakfast this morning, and why you can sleep with a comfortably full belly at night.
Yet, women in the food supply chain are not nearly as supported or respected as they should be. They face great challenges such as gender-based discrimination, unequal pay, lack of access to financial services, and so much more. If we want to be serious about increasing and protecting Africa’s food security, we need to be serious about protecting and uplifting women farmers.
Learn more about why they are the key to alleviating hunger by taking our quiz here.