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hunger and malnutrition. If we are to succeed, it is vital that food and nutrition security strategies be both sound and able to be implemented. Ultimately, strategies deficient in either of these two areas will be ineffectual. Lessons from past strategies provide a valuable resource in the design of future strategies, yet there is a dearth of programmatic information and rigorous evaluations of the approaches used in the past. With this in mind, the authors of this 2020 discussion paper—Franz Heidhues, Achi Atsain, Hezron Nyangito, Martine Padilla, Gérard Ghersi, and Jean-Charles Le Vallée— review the multitude of approaches and strategies for achieving food and nutrition security in Africa within the context of development over the past four decades. They assess the extent to which these plans have been implemented and identify the key constraints and limitations, along with the priority investments needed for more effective design and implementation in the future. This paper was commissioned for the IFPRI 2020 Africa Conference, “Assuring Food and Nutrition Security in Africa by 2020: Prioritizing Actions, Strengthening Actors, and Facilitating Partnerships,” which was held in Kampala, Uganda, from April 1 to April 3, 2004. There, the lessons learned from decades of successes and failures in designing and implementing strategies in and for Africa contributed to an informed and informative discussion of how to improve the implementation of action to end hunger and malnutrition. We thank the authors for setting the stage for the systematic examination of these extremely important issues and hope that this paper is only the beginning of such endeavors.


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