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Call for papers: AU ECHO 2022 Edition

Call for papers: AU ECHO 2022 Edition

November 18, 2021 to December 20, 2021


As part of the long-term vision set out in Agenda 2063, the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union has adopted common African aspirations, drawing on the potential of its populations, in particular, a human capital of well-nourished and healthy citizens, with particular emphasis on women, adolescents and children. Human capital is key for development as it leads to improved lives for individuals, higher earnings and improved incomes for countries.

Aspiration 1 of Agenda 2063 envisions “A prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development.” To achieve this ambition, one of the key goals for Africa is to ensure that its citizens are healthy and well-nourished and that adequate levels of investment are made to expand access to quality health care services for all people.

Africa was estimated to have a population of 1.25 billion in 2018 and is the fastest urbanizing continent, with a growth rate of more than 2.6 percent. The large youth population presents a potential demographic dividend that, if adequately leveraged with the right investments, could contribute to accelerating sustainable and equitable development. Over the years, the under-5 mortality has reduced by more than 50 percent; and fertility rates have declined from 6 to 4 children per woman. However, compared to the rest of the world, the malnutrition remains high on the continent and undernutrition is an underlying cause of almost half of child deaths.

Data from the findings of the Continental Accountability Scorecard launched by the African Union and the Africa Leaders for Nutrition (ALN) in 2019, shows that on the African continent:

  • Out of 150.8 million children under 5 years who are stunted, 58.7 million are in Africa.
  • Only seven (7) AU member states have stunting rates below 19 percent.
  • Fifteen (15) member states have child wasting prevalence below 5 percent.
  • Thirty-eight (38) countries have women’s anaemia prevalence rates of more than 30 percent.
  • Eighteen (18) member states have at least 50 percent of infants exclusively breastfed.
  • Twenty (20) member states have more than 70 percent prevalence rates for vitamin A supplementation.

The Africa Regional Nutrition Strategy (ARNS) that covers the period 2015 – 2025 has six clear and achievable targets to be attained by 2025. These include

  1. 40% reduction of stunting among children under 5 years;
  2. 50% reduction of anaemia among women of child-bearing age;
  3. 30% reduction of low birth weights;
  4. No increase of overweight in children under 5 years of age and women;
  5. 50% increase in exclusive breast-feeding during the first six months of life;
  6. Reduce and maintain wasting among children under 5 to less than 5%.

To guide Member States to achieve these targets, the strategy provides a menu of evidence based interventions, and it reminds us of the importance of continuing to place nutrition high on Africa’s development agenda, with a further call for strong political commitment and leadership, as well as increased resources for nutrition. Notably, the ARNS 2015-2025 calls on all AU Member States to put together multi-sectoral nutrition action plans, budgets and expenditure tracking systems for effective implementation and monitoring of nutrition interventions.

In recognition of the importance of Nutrition and Food Systems in promoting the objectives of Agenda 2063 to achieve sustainable economic growth and development, the AU Heads of State and Government declared the Year 2022 as THE YEAR OF NUTRITION under the theme, “Building Resilience in Nutrition on the African Continent: Accelerate the Human Capital, Social and Economic Development ".

The Declaration reaffirmed the continued importance of nutrition, especially child nutrition, as a major pillar in human capital development and social and economic transformation of Africa; and calls on all member states to continue prioritizing nutrition through the implementation of the priorities outlined in the 2022 of the year action plan.


Referencing the various African Union Charters, policy instruments and strategies  relevant to the sector as well as other documented pronouncements and actions by the African Union, and in line with the theme of the year, interested parties are hereby called upon to submit for the 2022 Edition of the AU Echo, incisive and evidence based articles on the potential and progress made in the various sectors as well as innovative initiatives that are being undertaken at institutional, country and continental level to promote nutrition, based on the AU’s decisions. Such articles should be based on the implementation of AU decisions, regarding nutrition and or its relevance to accelerating human capital and social development.

The following AU decisions, resolutions and policy documents should serve as reference for the articles.

  1. Resolution on the African Regional Food and Nutrition Strategy
  2. Decision on the Commemoration of Africa Day for Food and Nutrition Security
  3. Decision on the African Leaders for Nutrition (ALN) Initiative
  4. Decision on the Continental Scorecard for Nutrition
  5. Declaration on Nutrition Security for Inclusive Economic Growth and Sustainable Development in Africa
  6. Health, Sanitation and Nutrition- The Summit Conference of Independent African States Meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 22 to 25 May 1963
  7. OAU/FAO/WHO Regional Food Nutrition Commission for Africa
  8. Resolution on Preliminary Assessment of Nutritional Status in Member States
  9. Resolution on the Establishment of an OAU Inter-African Centre for Food Science, Technology and Nutrition
  10. Resolution on the Joint FAO/WHO/OAU Regional Food and Nutrition Commission for Africa, Second and Third Sessions
  11. Resolution on the Launching of a Programme for the Establishment of African Centres of Excellence of Technology in Food Processing Biotechnology and Nutrition and Health
  12. Decision on the Revised African Regional Nutrition Strategy (RARNS) 2005 – 2015 Doc. Ex.Cl/225 (Viii)
  13. Decision on the item proposed by the Republic of Malawi on “A Medium Term Policy Framework and Strategy for a Food Secure Africa and Commemoration of “Africa Food and Nutrition Security Day” Doc. Ex.Cl/615(Xvii)Add. 8
  14. Decision on the Report of the Sixth Session of the Conference of African Union Ministers of Health and Report of the Fifth Meeting of the African Task Force on Food and Nutrition Development Doc.Ex.Cl/810(Xxiv)
  15. Africa Regional Nutrition Strategy 2015–2025

View previous editions of the AU ECHO here


  • Contributions will be accepted from institutions, organs and employees of the African Union, AU member states, African academic institutions, think tanks, civil society organisations and representative groups (e.g. women, youth), industry experts and the wider public. The editors reserve the right to reject papers they deem to be inconsistent with the guidelines outlined in this call for papers.
  • Languages: Articles for publication may be submitted in any of the AU working languages i.e. English, French, Portuguese, Arabic and Spanish.
  • Word count: Not more than 2000 words per article.
  • Images: Photographs and other illustrations that enhance the article are welcome, although these must be original to the author and/or under a creative commons license. Authors must confirm their ownership of such illustrations and captions must be provided.
  • All submissions must contain the full name and contact of the sender, his/her organization / job title (if applicable).
  • Submissions will only be accepted through email which must be titled as given below and can only be submitted through the email accounts listed below for consideration.
    • Manuscripts must be received before or by 17.00 East African Time (GMT+3) on 20th December 2021

About the AU ECHO

The AU ECHO provides a platform for the 55 Member States of the African Union, and African citizens to profile the successes of Africa, and to impart knowledge and experiences borne from African led initiatives, based on the instruments and decisions of the African Union. It is published on an annual basis by the Directorate of Information and Communication of the AUC with content largely related to the AU’s Theme of the Year.

The AU ECHO is distributed to AU Heads of State and Government, Ministers, senior policy makers delegates, and media during the AU Summits and other substantive meetings and conferences as well as to offices of the African Union. Distribution is also made to development partner organisations and Consulates / Embassies in Addis Ababa. Soft copies are posted online on



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