New Agenda Special Issue: Food Systems Transformation Policy Pathways

New Agenda Special Issue: Food Systems Transformation Policy Pathways

Deadline for manuscript submission: 15 March 2024

Special Issue editors

Prof. Julian May

Prof. Claire Quinn

Prof. Andy Dougill

Prof. Frans Swanepoel

Dr Tshilidzi Madzivhandila

Dr Melody Mentz-Coetzee

Special Issue information

The Food Systems Research Network for Africa (FSNet-Africa) invites you to submit papers for a Special Issue in the New Agenda titled “Food Systems Transformation Policy Pathways”. This Special Issue focuses on research-informed policy recommendations for transforming African food systems.

Evidence-informed policy is critical for increasing policy effectiveness, the range of policy options available to policy makers, and confidence in the selected policy options (Strydom, 2010). The rise in interest in food systems has created a demand for increased research in this area to inform policy decisions at global and continental level. The High-Level Panel of Experts defines a food system as follows: “a food system gathers all the elements (environment, people, inputs, processes, infrastructures, institutions, etc.) and activities that relate to the production, processing, distribution, preparation and consumption of food, and the output of these activities, including socio-economic and environmental outcomes” (HLPE, 2014).

While many definitions of food systems exist, the main anchoring features include drivers that influence how food systems function, and food systems components which are characterised by the interactions between food production and consumption and food systems outcomes. The drivers, components and outcomes of a food system are context-specific. Therefore, no single food systems framework can capture the varied interactions and unique aspects of different food systems.

FSNet-Africa appreciates that multiple food systems exist; however, in Africa, there are common factors that unite the continent in the context of food systems. One uniting factor is the continental commitments that inspire collective goals and actions to achieve the Africa we want. The most recent of these commitments is the African Common Position on Food Systems published by the African Union in 2021. This document identifies six game-changing solutions for transformation of Africa’s food systems:

  1. Ensuring access to safe and nutritious food for all.
  2. Shifting to sustainable consumption patterns.
  3. Boosting nature-positive production at a sufficient scale.
  4. Advancing equitable livelihoods and value distribution.
  5. Building resilience to vulnerabilities, shocks, and stress.
  6. Access to means of production.

A critical cross-cutting game-changing solution identified in the Common Position on African Food Systems is the strengthening of integrated policymaking. These game-changers are all inherently linked to the four food systems outcomes illustrated in the FSNet-Africa Food Systems Framework. Using this Framework and drawing on the aforementioned game-changers, this Special Issue will contribute to the existing body of literature by identifying and collating a series of research papers that offer concrete food systems policy recommendations grounded in research evidence. The Special Issue will draw on the recent work of the FSNet-Africa fellows and others to explore research that cuts across multiple food systems areas. Papers that address nutrition, sustainable consumption, food systems resilience, climate change, and sustainable production will be prioritised. Policy commentaries will also be accepted. Systematic literature reviews will be considered depending on the relevance to evidence-informed policy in the context of food systems.

Manuscript submission information

To submit a manuscript for the FSNet-Africa New Agenda Special Issue, authors must register on the Open Journal System at and thereafter submit the article as per the system’s instructions at Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline of 15 March 2024. All submissions that pass pre-check will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted). Research articles, policy commentaries, and systematic reviews are invited.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously nor be under consideration elsewhere. All manuscripts are refereed through a single-blind review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submitting manuscripts is available on the New Agenda website:

Funding is available to pay for articles submitted by FSNet-Africa fellows. Submissions from other researchers are welcome and will be considered for funding by FSNet-Africa depending on the number of articles received. New Agenda is an open access journal. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English.


  • Food systems
  • Transformation
  • African agriculture
  • Resilience
  • Livelihoods
  • Nutrition