In pursuit of a benchmark for optimal food security and nutrition guidelines: a critical analysis of the policy of Regional Economic Communities in East and West Africa
Kotzé, M. C.
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One of the most important aspects, in the interest of communities, countries and continents can be considered being food security and nutritional aspects affecting those communities. The United Nations and the African Union have been involved and at the forefront of the research and development of programmes which focus on specifically achieving food security and nutrition across the globe. With particular reference to developing countries on the African Continent the importance of food security and nutrition is apparent. The evolution and progress of the these terms and the programmes aimed at achieving these objectives are evident from the history of food security and nutrition. Africa, as a developing country, has been divided up into several regional economic communities in terms of international law, which finds its purpose in dividing the continent up into smaller, more managable regions, being East, West, North, Central and South. Each of these Regional Economic Communities have their own governing treaties, policies and programmes to be adhered to by each of their member states. In terms of these policies, several of the objectives set by the United Nations and the African Union are to be attained by the Regional Economic Communities. One of these objectives, is the attainment of zero hunger or, in other words, food security and nutrition. Although some guidelines are available, no single benchmark exists for Regional Economic Communities to serve as a basis for the effective attainment and implementation of these objectives. Critically analysing the different policy documents and programmes from Regional Economic Communities in East and West Africa, in order to extract similar principles and objectives which correlate with those of the United Nations and the African Union, would therefore create an opportunity to establish such a benchmark. This benchmark would serve as a tool with which the progress of reaching food security and nutrition could be improved while continuing to implement those aspects which are already applied succesfully. In providing the Regional Economic Communities with such a tool or benchmark for best practice, more time would be available to the Regional Economic Communities to implement these tools rather that time spent on more research before such implementation would be a possibility.
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