The Center for Technology and National Security Policy
National Defense University
Thursday, March 8 2012
"Horn of Africa Food Security Crisis: Implications for United States Africa Command"
Drawing on experience and expertise from a variety of fields, the Horn of Africa Food Security Crisis: Implications for the United States Command conference brought together representatives from the military, US government, NGO, and academic communities to address the ongoing relationship between food security and human security in a one day conference held on March 8, 2012 at National Defense University.
The conference was organized into five panels on subjects ranging from: "political and security issues in the Horn of Africa (HOA)"; "Environmental Issues; Open Information Sharing"; "the role of Non-Governmental and International Organizations"; and "USAFRICOM's role". The discussions were primarily organized around defining key issues and challenges and then following up with proposed ways forward and/or lessons learned from previously similar complex humanitarian emergencies.
The recent Horn of African food security crisis in 2011 was not an isolated incident but rather, representative of the complex challenges facing Africa on both the development and security fronts. As General Carter Ham, and several subsequent speakers reiterated, food and security are related and the destabilizing effect from food security result in conflict over scarce resources. Conversely, the presence of protracted armed conflict disrupts normal life for the millions of Africans who would otherwise be working in agriculture, thus furthering structural food deficits. The Horn of Africa is currently the most food insecure region in the world (with the Sahel region expected to follow) and all of the civil conflicts in recent history in the region have been over food, land and water.
For more photos of the event, please go to the Africa Center for Strategic Studies' flickr page. A video of General Ham's remarks can be viewed here.