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Armed Conflict and Food Security in West Africa: Socioeconomic Perspective

Augustine Ujunwa (Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of Nigeria, Abuja, Nigeria)
Chinwe Okoyeuzu (Department of Banking and Finance, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Enugu, Nigeria)
Ebere Ume Kalu (Department of Banking and Finance, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Enugu, Nigeria)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Article publication date: 11 February 2019

Issue publication date: 11 February 2019




West Africa represents a very good case of a sub-region currently plagued with the problem of food insecurity. Traditional theories have attributed the increasing food insecurity in the region to problems of poor governance, corruption and climate change. In view of the persistent and increasing nature of armed conflict in the sub-region, the purpose of this paper is to examine the effect of increasing armed conflict on food security in Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) member countries.


The study utilized the dynamic generalized method of moments (GMM) to investigate the effect of conflict intensity on food security in the 14 member states of the ECOWAS using annualized panel data from 2005 to 2015.


The findings reveal that armed conflict is a significant predictor of food security in West Africa.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of the study bring to fore, the urgent need to rethink global initiative for combating food insecurity. The effort must also identify the causes of armed conflicts and design sound strategies for de-escalating the armed conflicts. Resolving the escalating armed conflict entails developing a conflict resolution framework that is extremely sensitive to the causes of conflict in Africa and adopting localized ex ante institutional diagnostics that would help in understanding the nature of the conflicts.


Traditional theory perceives climate change, social injustices, property right, food insecurity, religious extremism and bad governance as the predictors of armed conflicts. In this study, the authors departed from the traditional theory by demonstrating that the nature and trend of armed conflict could also pose a serious threat to food security.



The authors of this paper have not made their research data set openly available. Any enquiries regarding the data set can be directed to the corresponding author.


Ujunwa, A., Okoyeuzu, C. and Kalu, E.U. (2019), "Armed Conflict and Food Security in West Africa: Socioeconomic Perspective", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 46 No. 2, pp. 182-198.



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