Foresight Capability for Food Systems Transformation

Pilot Studies in Ghana and Uganda

About the Project

The University of Oxford has secured funding from the Open Society Foundations to support pilot foresight work in Ghana and Uganda during 2021 as part of the Foresight4Food initiative. This work will be developed in partnership with the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), coordinated by the Africa Foresight Academy (AFA) under the auspices of the CAADPXP4 Institutions (FARA, AFAAS and sub-regional organisations: CORAF, CCARDESA and ASARECA) as well as the African Union Commission (AUC) and African Union Development Agency (AUDA).

The project is being led by the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford, which also hosts Foresight4Food. The project will work closely with the University of Ghana and Makerere University, Uganda to help build capacity and capability for the future in teaching and research. The project will work closely with national stakeholders including government, research institutions, business, and civil society. It is anticipated that the project could support national level preparation for and follow up to the UN Food System Summit 2021 and align with any national level Food Systems Summit Dialogues, including FARA’s food systems dialogues on Forgotten Foods that will be held in the first and second quarter of 2021. The work builds on initial work on foresight and food systems analysis already undertaken in both countries with local stakeholders.


The research project is part of Foresight4Food’s wider programme of activities for enhancing foresight capacities and scenario analysis to support food systems transformation. As signaled by the UN Food Systems Summit 2021, a food systems transformation is needed to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and to ensure that for the long-term food is consumed and produced in ways that are nutritious, sustainable and equitable. This is aligned to African Union Agenda 2063 in the contexts of STISA and CAADP.

To adequately respond, there is a need to take a longer-term overall food systems perspective that better integrates issues of agricultural production, changing consumption patterns, trade, and nutrition. There are policy trade-offs to be managed in balancing rural economic prosperity, urban food security, environmental sustainability, and growth in the agri-food sectors. Effectively managing these trade-offs requires better system-wide understanding and futures-oriented analysis. Foresight and scenario processes integrated with national and local dialogue can significantly help to develop robust, future-proofed strategies, and policies.

Project Report

The project report contains an explanation of the foresight method employed, and detailed food system and scenario reports from Ghana and Uganda. [Download Report (pdf) – file opens in new tab]