Theme: Facilitating the identification, collation and valorisation of food environment research, policy, and practice in Africa
Format: Fully virtual meeting
- Registration is OPEN.
- Abstract submission opens: OPEN
- Abstract submission closes: September 30th, 2023 (EXTENDED)
- Abstract acceptance notification: October 16th, 2023
Battling with multiple burdens of malnutrition amidst issues related to climate change (Kray et al. 2022), pandemics of obesity (WHO,2022), COVID-19, and also man-made geopolitical crises, Africa is said to be in an unstable transition. Food matters, particularly food system challenges have had an immense impact on the African continent and its people. Global Health and Nutrition Targets (Global Nutrition Report, 2022), as well as those related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been impacted also. These impacts are predicted to be even direr by 2030.
Cognizant of the gravity of the situation, and the urgency to address them, many initiatives working towards improving food systems and food environments have been valorised by the 2021 United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS). Several other regional and local initiatives exist with goals complementary to the UNFSS. One of these initiatives includes the Africa Food Environment Research Network (FERN). FERN was birthed to among other things contribute to 1) building research capacity for innovative food environment research in Africa; 2) fostering partnerships within Africa (South–South partnerships), and beyond (South–North partnerships) to stimulate robust food environment research and monitoring; and 3) sustaining dialogue and focusing priorities around current and future needs for enhanced food environment research and monitoring in Africa (Tandoh et al., 2022).
By focusing on research, partnerships and dialogues, FERN provides a platform for knowledge exchange, collaboration and capacity building. At the inaugural meeting of the FERN initiative in November 2020 (FERN2020), participants were introduced to the INFORMAS Food-EPI and Food Prices Modules to stimulate interest and capacity development. A cardinal output of this meeting was identifying research priorities and opportunities for improving research on food environments and related policies in Africa (Laar et al, 2022). The second convening of FERN – in 2021– aimed to leverage the network to transform Africa’s food systems (see details here https://www.meals4ncds.org/en/fern2021-presentations/)
In collaboration with the Food-SAMSA Project and other FERN partners, FERN2023 is envisioned to be an ‘INDABA’ that facilitates the identification, collation and valorisation of Africa-focused food environments research, policy, and practice initiatives. FERN2023 will be online and is scheduled to take place in November 2023.
The objectives of FERN2023 are:
- To facilitate the identification, collation and valorisation of Africa-focused food environment related research, policy, and practice initiatives.
- To connect researchers in the African sub-region and Global North whose work relates directly or indirectly to improving food environments in Africa
- To kindle a collaborative environment and a cross-pollination of food environments’ improvement ideas
- To stimulate capacity building, in particular among students and early career researchers.
#FERN2023 program will feature plenary discussion/keynotes of Africa-focused food environment-related research, policy, and practice initiatives. There will be abstract-driven sessions (for early career researchers only), and methodological/training workshops, along with mentorship/networking opportunities with young fellows, students, professionals, funders and policymakers.
Plenary sessions and Keynotes: Leaders of initiatives aimed at improving African food environments are invited to showcase their work.
Consider submitting an abstract and we will be in touch.
(Download template HERE)
Methodological workshops: Learn about approaches, methods and metrics used in food environments transformation
Abstract-driven session: Early career researchers are invited to present their work, particularly those relevant to initiatives/research aimed at improving African food environments
Open forum: Engage with food systems actors and policymakers to contribute suggestions/ideas on the future of African food environments
For early career researchers only
Submit original research (unpublished/published) in the form of abstracts under any of the following topical areas:
- Shaping food environments for healthy diets
- Implementation of food environment policies in Africa
- Access to healthy diets
- Costing food environment interventions
- Commercial determinants of health, corporate political activities and conflict of interest
- Environment, climate and food environments/systems
- Equity and fairness in food systems
- Food environment governance and accountability
- Food environment policies and regulations
- Food safety and quality
- Food Advertising Promotion and Marketing
- Sustainability and resilience of food systems
Other important documents
Steps to submit an abstract
- Complete the registration form (below)
- Upload your abstract
Peter Delobelle PhD.
Principal Investigator of FoodSAMSA at
Amos Laar, PhD.
Project Principal Investigator of the
FERN2023 is made possible with financial support from The Rockefeller Foundation and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC-Canada).
Content will be made available after the program