The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked the most havoc in Africa. The poor and vulnerable were the worst hit by the pandemic due to their incapacity to cope with the economic consequences that jeopardized their livelihoods. As a result, the impact of the pandemic on food security in Africa has been one of the most discussed subjects since the first cases of COVID-19 in Africa was reported in February 2020. Economic, health, and food security issues have all converged to push Africa to the brink of a widespread humanitarian disaster.
Around April 2020, AFSA made a concerted effort to collect pan-African stories from the ground about the impact of COVID 19 on small-scale food producers and underprivileged segments of the community throughout local food systems to get a more in-depth understanding and build greater clarity. Accordingly, AFSA partnered with 21 journalists from 18 African countries and published AFRICA CORONAVIRUS STORIES
The stories provided a larger context for how COVID-19 has wrecked the lives of rural and urban small-scale food producers, as well as parts and components of the food system, such as urban inhabitants and consumers. It also demonstrated how various government preventative measures affected different populations along the food chain.
One critical component, however, was lacking. The narrative stories gave in-depth information on the actual issues encountered by local food producers and citizens, but they were not adequately backed by high-quality images that might have revealed and emphasized the devastating changes that the African people have experienced.
To this end, AFSA sought to portray the image of COVID-19 in Africa by producing high-quality pictures of regular citizens whose lives had been impacted by the advent of COVID-19. We sought a professional photographer to record the daily struggles of small-scale food producers and parts of local food systems. The goal is to provide a visual representation of the impact of COVID-19 on the African food system and the ensuing lifestyle transformation in diverse areas.
As a result, AFSA partnered with five talented African female photographers to capture the image, spirit, and impact of COVID-19 on local food systems, emphasizing on portraits of individuals who have been adversely affected by COVID and their protective measures.
AFSA invites you to look at the portrait pictures from Burkina Faso, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Malawi and reflect on the stories behind them.