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The Dimensions of Urban Food Insecurity in Gaborone, Botswana


Research on food security in Botswana has mainly focused on the country’s rural areas. Much less is known about the extent and nature of food insecurity in the country’s cities and towns. This makes it difficult for development practitioners and policymakers to quantify the challenge and to make plans to reduce the food gap that exists in urban areas. In an effort to understand the extent and determinants of food insecurity in Gaborone, African Food Security Urban Network (AFSUN)’s local partner, the University of Botswana, undertook a baseline study of 400 households drawn from Old Naledi, White City/Bontleng and Broadhurst. Levels of food insecurity in these areas of Gaborone were high and, despite the economic health of Botswana compared to other Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, no better than in many other cities. Only 12 % of households were completely food secure, while 62 % were severely food insecure. Food insecurity is endemic in the poorer parts of Gaborone, and Botswana’s ‘economic miracle’ is clearly not reaching many of these households.

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We wish to thank the Canadian Government for funding the AFSUN baseline survey in Gaborone.

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Correspondence to Alexander Legwegoh.

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Acquah, B., Kapunda, S. & Legwegoh, A. The Dimensions of Urban Food Insecurity in Gaborone, Botswana. Urban Forum 25, 217–226 (2014).

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