- The lake-side city will be playing host to the key conference that will be deliberating how to enhance food and nutrition security and address environmental concerns in the city.
- The AfriFOODlinks project consortium meeting is funded by the European Union and will take place at the Grand Royal Swiss Hotel.
Mayors from 65 cities in Africa and Europe are amongst the delegates expected to land in Kisumu for a five-day food security conference that kicks off tomorrow ( Monday).
The lake-side city will be playing host to the key conference that will be deliberating how to enhance food and nutrition security and address environmental concerns in the city.
The AfriFOODlinks project consortium meeting is funded by the European Union and will take place at the Grand Royal Swiss Hotel.
Alongside other four African hub cities, Kisumu has been identified to serve as a focal point for direct urban food system changes.
On Sunday, Kisumu City manager Abala Wanga told a press conference that Kisumu has undergone rapid population growth that has put a strain on its food system.
“The city authorities, in partnership with relevant departments of the county government of Kisumu is working not only on food production but on a broader urban food chain including markets, informal vendors, transportation, and storage facilities, among others,” he said.
He said that being one of the hub cities, Kisumu will have the opportunity to spearhead a mutual learning journey involving 15 African and five European sharing cities.
“The sharing cities will be able to showcase their innovative food system, and collaborate on designing specific pilot projects for implementation in each city,” Abala said.
According to the city manager, a team of researchers has been picked from the 20 participating local governments to help the cities identify food system challenges.
"The researchers will also come up with authentic approaches that can help to improve access to healthy and nutritious food," he said.
For Kisumu, researchers from Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology and Africa Population Health Research Centre will closely work with relevant county and city departments in the implementation of this initiative.
"This initiative is being coordinated by ICLEI Africa which targets to accelerate innovative, women and youth-led agri-food businesses to support local value addition and inclusive economic participation," Abala noted.
ICLEA associate director for Urban Systems, Paul Currie noted that the project is aimed at promoting inclusive multi-actor governance to empower public officials.
"The project further targets small businesses and communities with ownership and agency to shape their food systems," he said.
He noted that Cities could learn best from each other whenever there exist partnerships.
"They share their experiences and challenges with all other participating cities and invite them to adopt and adapt successful strategies for their contexts,” Currie said.
He reiterated AfriFOODlinks’ commitment to contribute systemically to the realisation of fair, equitable, healthy and environmentally friendly urban food systems from primary production to consumption.
He added that there is a need to improve business innovation, infrastructure investment and shaping cultural preferences.
“Urban food environments are the key area for improving nutrition and reducing environmental impact in African cities because this is where residents make choices about the food they eat,” added Mr Currie.
Kisumu was selected by AfriFOODlinks as the host for the conference during the Zero Waste Tolerance meeting that was organized by the UMI Fund in Accra, Ghana.