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

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Author: Amanda Minnaar, John R.N. Taylor, <blade@msu.edu>, John David Kabasa, Nelson K. O. Ojijo

Abstract

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
Nutrition Transition. This transition to an energy dense but nutrient poor diet in conjunction
with a sedentary lifestyle threatens an epidemic of so-called Western 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 the 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.
Keywords: African universities, Curriculum development, Food Science and Technology,
IUFoST, Nutrition Transition, Public health, SME, Urbanization.

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