Rapid Urbanisation, Urban Food Deserts and Food Security in Africa
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This book investigates food security and the implications of hyper-urbanisation and rapid growth of urban populations in Africa. By means of a series of case studies involving African cities of various sizes, it argues that, while the concept of food security holds value, it needs to be reconfigured to fit the everyday realities and distinctive trajectory of urbanisation in the region. The book goes on to discuss the urban context, where food insecurity is more a problem of access and changing consumption patterns than of insufficient food production. In closing, it approaches food insecurity in Africa as an increasingly urban problem that requires different responses from those applied to rural populations.

Jonathan Crush was raised in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Swaziland. After completing his first degree at Cambridge University, he moved to Canada and completed his M.A. at Wilfrid Laurier University and Ph.D. at Queen’s University. The initial focus of his research was the history of the colonial and apartheid migrant labour system in Southern Africa. His research and policy work on contemporary migration and development began during the 1990s, when he and South African colleagues at the University of Cape Town, through an IDRC-funded project, pursued policy alternatives to the destructive South African mine migration system. In the mid-1990s, Canadian efforts to engage with South Africa provided new opportunities to research the policy implications of migration movements to post-apartheid South Africa with African colleagues and using funding from the CIDA, DFID and OSF.

Jane Battersby is an urban social and cultural geographer with ongoing research interests through Urban Food Security as part of the CIDA-funded AFSUN programme (AFSUN website) and the Formas-funded 'Ways of Knowing' project, which aims to use interdisciplinary approaches to reflect on the values inherent in the management of green spaces in urban areas. She is also a member of the SANPAD-funded project, "Healthy Cities for Children" with the UCT’s Children’s Institute.

She has particular interests in urban food systems and the construction of food security theory in Northern and Southern research contexts. She has an ongoing interest in the linkages between spatial transformation and identity transformation in post-apartheid urban areas - a topic she has addressed through the lenses of youth identities, education, music and land restitution.