Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most-populous continent. At about 30.3 million km² (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers six per cent of Earth's total surface area and 20.4 per cent of its total land area. With 1.1 billion people as of 2013, it accounts for about 15% of the world's human population. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, both the Suez Canal and the Red Sea along the Sinai Peninsula to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The continent includes Madagascar and various archipelagos. It contains 54 fully recognized sovereign states (countries), nine territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition. Africa's population is the youngest amongst all the continents; the median age in 2012 was 19.7, when the worldwide median age was 30.4. Algeria is Africa's largest country by area, and Nigeria by population. Africa, particularly central Eastern Africa, is widely accepted as the place of origin of humans and the Hominidae clade (great apes), as evidenced by the discovery of the earliest hominids and their ancestors, as well as later ones that have been dated to around seven million years ago, including Sahelanthropus tchadensis, Australopithecus africanus, A. afarensis, Homo erectus, H. habilis and H. ergaster – with the earliest Homo sapiens (modern human) found in Ethiopia being dated to circa 200,000 years ago. Africa straddles the equator and encompasses numerous climate areas; it is the only continent to stretch from the northern temperate to southern temperate zones. Africa hosts a large diversity of ethnicities, cultures and languages. In the late 19th century European countries colonized most of Africa. Most present states in Africa originate from a process of decolonization in the 20th century.



Meeting of JIRCAS Pres. Masa Iwanaga and AfDB Governor Akinwumi Adesina

A meeting between JIRCAS Pres. Masa Iwanaga and Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, Governor of the African Development Bank (AfDB) was held on August 30, 2019.

JIRCAS participates in the MAFF seminar on the "Power of Agriculture in Transforming Africa"

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) organized a seminar on the current status of agricultural research in Africa on August 26, 2019. The seminar was in conjunction with the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7) to be held in Yokohama on August 28-30, 2019.

Information Analysis

  • Pick Up

    25. New Coronavirus Pandemic ― Food Security Crisis in East Africa: Urbanization and Structural Transformation of Agriculture

    According to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), the East African region is currently facing the triple threat of COVID-19, floods and locusts. Although East Africa is home to only about 3% of the world's population, the region also hosts 22 percent of the world’s total number of acutely food-insecure people. It is expected that the socio-economic fallout from the pandemic will be far more devastating than the disease itself due the unemployment of people in the urban areas.

  • Pick Up

    15. New Coronavirus Pandemic ― Impact on World Trade and Developing Countries Dependent on Commodity Crop Export

    Cultivation of export commodity crops such as tea and coffee has become popular in developing countries located in the highlands of tropical and subtropical regions. Until recently, the flower and horticulture industry has also rapidly grown due to the establishment of air freight networks to major destinations, and is now integrated into the global value chain due to increased exports. The COVID-19 causes devasting economic crisis to developing countries that depend on commodity crop exports due to declining international demand and suspension of international flights. On April 8, 2020, the World Trade Organization (WTO) predicted a 13-32% drop in world trade volume in 2020, calling for unprecedented measures to protect people's lives and the need to pay close attention to the food security situation of food importing countries that rely on commodity crops for foreign currency acquisition, GDP, and job creation.

  • Pick Up

    14. New Coronavirus Pandemic ― World Bank Bulletin: The first recession in Sub-Saharan Africa in 25 years

    2The World Bank announced on April 8, 2020 that due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the economic growth rate in the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is projected to decline from 2.4 percent in 2019 to -2.1 to -5.1 percent in 2020, the first recession in the region in 25 years. Countries that depend on oil and minerals exports such as Nigeria, South Africa and Angola, and countries with strong value chain participation such as Ethiopia and Kenya, will be particularly hit hard. In addition, exports and movement regulations will also affect the agricultural production and is expected to contract between 2.6 to 7%. The World Bank, with the support of the SSA governments, has called for the need to avoid the outbreak of an African food crisis associated with COVID-19. Through the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), Japan has taken the position of strongly supporting development in Africa, the fastest-growing frontier of the 21st century, in cooperation with the public and private sectors.

  • Pick Up

    11. New Coronavirus Pandemic ― International Trade and Food Security

    The global food chain is being tested for its robustness and resilience when it comes to movement restrictions and urban blockades (lockdowns) due to the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19). In order for the international community to overcome the global food crisis, it is necessary to closely monitor the trends in international trade. The trade value of all agricultural products has tripled in face value from 2000 to 2018, and has almost doubled on a weight basis over the same period. Japan is the world’s third-largest cereal importer, and one of the reasons for a calorie-based food self-sufficiency rate of 37% is the heavy reliance on imported maize for livestock feed. The international rice trade from Asia to the Middle East and Africa is surprisingly large and the net per capita rice consumption of importing countries is even higher than Japan. In recent years, rice consumption in Africa has been increasing year by year due to urbanization and population growth, and agricultural technologies that contribute to continuous increase in yield and planted areas are the key to improving the self-sufficiency rate.


広報JIRCAS (7)

国立研究開発法人国際農林水産業研究センター, 広報JIRCAS. 7 ( )

jircas7-_-.pdf4.33 MB


国立研究開発法人国際農林水産業研究センター, JIRCAS News. 87 ( )

jircas_news-87_-.pdf2.98 MB

JIRCAS Newsletter(87)

Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences, JIRCAS Newsletter. 87 ( )

jircas_newsletter-87_-.pdf2.38 MB

熱帯農業地域における重要研究問題とその背景 : 平成2年度国際研究企画検討会資料

大野芳和, 石原修二, 牛腸英夫, 大角泰夫, 濱村邦夫, 尾和尚人, 宮重俊一, 加藤清昭, 熱研資料. 86 ( )

nekken_shiryo86-_-.pdf29.14 MB

持続的農業生産 : 国際農業に関する研究戦略

志村英二, 秡川信弘, 熱研資料. 83 ( )

nekken_shiryo83-_-.pdf33.83 MB


Research Highlights