The Africa Food Environment Research Network (FERN) held an inaugural meeting via Zoom on 3-5 November, 2020.

The meeting brought together the MEALS4NCDs project team and partners, INFORMAS Network Members, researchers in the African sub-region, as well as those from the Global North, whose work relate directly or indirectly to improving food environments in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

Speakers included academic and industry representatives, including INFORMAS members Prof. Amos Laar (University of Ghana), Dr. Gershim Asiki (African Population and Health Research Center, Kenya), Prof. Adama Diouf (University Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar, Senegal).

There was a focus on providing capacity building on the INFORMAS modules on healthy food environment policy index (Food-EPI) and Food Prices, through presentations given by Dr. Stefanie Vandevijvere, Prof. Amanda Lee and Dr. Sally Mackay.

Participants shared experiences, best practices, methodologies used, challenges and opportunities for improving research on food environments and related policy in LMICs.

The meeting also served as a regional platform for food, nutrition and health policy experts, academia, governments, civil society, non-governmental organizations and health-promoting private sector to foster collaboration towards healthier food environments in the African sub-region.

We look forward to seeing more great events from FERN in the future!