Welcome to AFSUN

Welcome. This is the official site of the African Food Security -- Urban Network


Most research on food security in Africa focuses on rural food security... [read more]


Click here to read about our training.

AFSUN Partners

The lead African and International partners of AFSUN are the Programme in Urban Food Security (PUFS) of the African Centre for Cities (ACC) at the University of Cape Town and the Southern African Research Centre (SARC) at Queen's University, Canada Click here for details of all partner institutions and personnel

Participating Cities

The project on Urban Food Security and HIV/AIDS (funded by CIDA) is being implemented in partnership in 11 SADC cities... [more]


click here to see a list of our publically available publications


Click here to see a list of links.

AFSUN Pages  

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Program (TBA)

new Report: Jane Battersby-Lennard and Gareth Haysom, Philippi Horticultural Area: City Asset or Potential Development Node?, Cape Town, 2012.

newBelinda Dodson, Asiyati Chiweza and Liam Riley, Gender  and Food Security in Southern African Cities, AFSUN Urban Food Security Series No. 11, Cape Town, 2012. 

newJonathan Crush, Bruce Frayne and Wade Pendleton, “The Crisis of Food Insecurity in African Cities” Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition 7 (2-3) (2012): 271-92.

new Godfrey Tawodzera, “Urban Household Survival and Resilience to Food Insecurity in Crisis Conditions: The Case of Epworth in Harare, Zimbabwe” Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition 7 (2-3 (2012): 293-320.

newJane Battersby, “Beyond the Food Desert: Finding Ways to Speak About Urban F ood Security in South Africa” Geografiska Annaler: Series B  94(2) (2012): 141-59.

Bruce Frayne, Caroline Moser and Gina Ziervogel, eds, Climate Change, Assets and Food Security in Southern African Cities (London, 2012). Co-edited by AFSUN personnel and containing 7 chapters by AFSUN partners.

Jonathan Crush and Bruce Frayne, "Supermarket Expansion and the Informal Food Economy in Southern African Cities: Implications for Urban Food Security" Journal of Southern African Studies 37(4) (2011): 781-807

Godfrey Tawodzera, "Vulnerability in Crisis: Urban Household Food Insecurity in Epworth, Harare, Zimbabwe" Food Security 3(4) (2011): 503-520.

Jonathan Crush, Scott Drimie, Bruce Frayne and Mary Caesar, “The HIV and Urban Food Security Nexus in Africa” Food Security 3(3) (2011): 347-362.

Jonathan Crush and Bruce Frayne, “Urban Food Insecurity and the New International Food Security Agenda” Development Southern Africa 28(4) (2011): 527-544.

Jane Battersby, “Urban Food Insecurity in Cape Town, South Africa: An Alternative Approach to Food Access” Development Southern Africa 28(4) (2011): 545-561.

Jonathan Crush, Alice Hovorka and Daniel Tevera, "Food Security in Southern African Cities: The Place of Urban Agriculture"
Progress in Development Studies  11(4) (2011):  285-305

Jane Battersby, "Feeding Southern Africa's Cities: Interview" Perspectives 1(11) (2011):  12-16.

Gaborone Urban Food Security Workshop with University of Botswana Ministry of Agriculture and Gaborone City Council. For details see Workshop Report

Johannesburg Urban Food Security Workshop "The Johannesburg Experience of a Global Challenge" with Health Promotion Unit, University of the Witwatersrand. For details see Workshop Report and Brochure.

Swaziland Urban Food Security Workshop in Manzini with University of Swaziland and Manzini Municipal Council. For further details see Workshop Report and Brochure.

Jonathan Crush, "The Urban Poor are Going Hungry" in The Globe and Mail 19 November 2009.

AFSUN held its first regional policy conference on 10-12 June 2009 in partnership with the South African Cities Network (SACN), the Municipal Development Partnership for Eastern and Southern Africa (MDEPSA) and the Municipality of Ekurhuleni on the theme of “Urban Food Security in Southern Africa: Strategic Policy Dimensions.” See Conference Programme.

Women Feeding Cities: Mainstreaming Gender in Urban Agriculture and Food Security (RUAF and Urban Harvest) is co-edited by Alice Hovorka of Guelph University (an AFSUN partner) and includes a chapter by Percy Toriro of MDPESA on Harare. The book provides a valuable toolbox for mainstreaming gender in urban agriculture projects. For more details,click here

In New York in January 2009, a Joint Meeting of the Executive Boards of UNDP/UNFPA, UNICEF and WFP discussed the issue of Population Growth and Rapid Urbanization: Food Insecurity on the Rise in Urban Settings.  See Background Document.

The FAO`s Twenty Fifth Regional Conference for Africa in Nairobi, Kenya, June 2008  focused on the issue of Urbanization and Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa.  See Conference Report.


This website is funded by CIDA -- Photographs: Peter Mackenzie and Jonathan Crush

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AFSUN was established in 2008 as a network of African and international universities, non-governmental and community organizations, and municipal governance networks.   AFSUN aims to improve  the knowledge base on urban food security in Africa; to build African human resource capacity and expertise in food security policy and management; to  develop and advocate policy options to improve the environment within which households make decisions about food security; and to grow the capacity of community change agents to plan, implement and evaluate food security projects and programmes.

Food security in Africa is often seen primarily as a rural issue of agriculture and marketing.   In the context of rapid urbanization in Africa, AFSUN focuses on the neglected urban dimensions of food security.  Our definition of urban food security extends to all aspects of the production,  procurement, distribution and consumption of food by individuals and households in African towns and cities.  AFSUN also recognizes  the critical importance of the global food system and the links between town and countryside in affecting the food security of urban populations in Africa.  The global food crisis poses great challenges for the poor in the cities of Africa.  Food shortages, rising food prices and inflation all undermine the ability of people to secure an adequate daily supply of affordable, nutritious, hygienic and culturally-appropriate food.

AFSUN’s first funded project is entitled “Urban Food Security and HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa” and is supported by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) under its University Partners in Cooperation and Development (UPCD) Tier One Program.  The Project’s Implementation Plan was approved by CIDA in January 2008.  The project is being implemented in the cities of Blantyre, Cape Town, Durban Metro, Gaborone, Harare, Johannesburg, Lusaka, Maputo, Maseru, Manzini and Windhoek.

Please address any questions or queries about AFSUN to