Bulawayo is the second largest city in Zimbabwe. Of its over 650,000 inhabitants, more than 60 percent are aged 15 to 25, with 24 percent of people 15 and older unemployed.
The food system is fragile due to poor rainfall, and the urban population – particularly youth and women – is affected by malnutrition. Luckily, the local authorities are initiating and implementing policies for urban food governance. For example, its Urban Agriculture Policy supports activities to improve nutrition of vulnerable groups. And in 2017, Bulawayo City Council started a vocational training program on urban agriculture for young people.
Urban Futures will help re-establish the Urban Food Multi-Stakeholder Forum as a means of instituting more inclusive, climate resilient food strategies in urban areas. For example, fruit and vegetable markets that provide livelihoods for hundreds of vendors urgently need better ways to tackle food waste and post-harvest losses.
Hivos can also build on its extensive network, and past projects like the Youth Food Change Labs (2021-2022) in which the Bulawayo group is still active. In addition to local authorities, there is a plethora of relevant organizations in Bulawayo to engage with, from vendor and trader associations to youth groups.