Summary In 1988, the Executive Directors of the World Bank agreed to a new food security initiative for Africa. The purpose of the initiative is to reduce over time Africa’s pervasive hunger. To pave the way to do so, the Bank is working with other donors and African Governments to prepare Food security action plans for individual African states. The analytical elements to developing these action plans are: the macroeconomy; the microeconomy (households); food availability; food consumption; and market intermediation. Findings of the work so far include the following: 1) defining the food insecure is an effective way to map poverty; 2) food insecurity is more pervasive in Africa than anticipated; 3) increasing agricultural output in African remains an important goal; and 4) understanding the role of gender in household decsion?making is vital to improved food security.