ARUA Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Food Systems


The African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Food Systems (formerly ACoE in Food Security) was established in 2018 and is one of 13 ARUA Centres of Excellence (CoEs). These CoEs form a network of universities from around the world, all undertaking collaborative research in priority thematic areas to find solutions to the development problems of Africa.

ARUA-SFS was established in 2018 through a partnership between the host institution – University of Pretoria – and collaborating partner institutions – University of Ghana and University of Nairobi.

ARUA-SFS aims to connect Africa’s talented researchers with each other and the global academic community to collaboratively identify solutions to the food systems challenges of our time as articulated in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want



ARUA-SFS intends its work to catalyse positive changes (impact) in Africa’s food systems so that they can be transformed into sustainable, resilient systems that support livelihoods, provide nutritious, safe food and protect the planet. Focusing on the future food system, ARUA-SFS intentionally aims to take advantage of advances in digital technologies and data science to offer solutions to the continent’s complex food systems challenges.

ARUA-SFS focuses its research efforts on transformative research to achieve its intended impact.

As a Centre hosted at the University of Pretoria’s Future Africa Institute, ARUA-SFS aligns its approach with Future Africa’s understanding of transformative research. Transformative research should address Africa’s complex challenges by adopting an integrative (interdisciplinary), engaged (transdisciplinary) and holistic (systems-focused) approach.

ARUA-SFS has identified impact areas where it focuses its research and work to catalyse impact in African food systems. These impact areas are:

  1. food, nutrition and health
  2. jobs, poverty and livelihoods
  3. climate and environment
  4. policy for food systems transformation
  5. digital technologies and data science
  6. inclusive food systems 



The vision of the ARUA Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Food Systems is to:

“Harness partnerships in research and innovation to drive agricultural and food system transformation to ensure sustainable food security and nutrition in Africa.”



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