Food Science and Technology Curricula in Africa: Meeting Africa’s New Challenges

Publication Date Jan 1, 2017


Africa is changing rapidly. Across the continent, sustained economic growth now averages 4 % per annum, and by 2030 more than 50 % of Africans will live in cities. Africa is now in a “Nutrition Transition.” This transition to an energy-dense but nutrient-poor diet in conjunction with a sedentary lifestyle threatens an epidemic of noncommunicable, the so-called Western lifestyle diseases, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Food science and technology (FST) in Africa has a critical role to drive economic development and improve people’s diet and health. However, a snapshot survey of FST curricula in African universities revealed that there is insufficient non-degree extension training and nutrition education is very deficient. A four pronged FST strategy is proposed for Africa, involving advocacy to inform public health officials and food industry executives of nutrition and health challenges, reform of university food science and technology curricula, reform of peri-urban agriculture and horticulture markets, and technology support of small enterprise food processing entrepreneurs.


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