Editor's Note [Volume 20 No. 5 (2020)]

Telling Africa’s Story needs resources to keep retelling it

Sustaining the journal is very important for us right now. At any one time, we have about 300 papers in circulation. That was before the pandemic. Now during the pandemic, there are 50% more manuscripts coming in, which tells us that scholars are sitting at home and writing fairly prolifically.

Thank God, though, we have a lot of scholars who are willing to serve as reviewers as well. We welcome them and appreciate them. Our journal sounded different when we first started 20 years ago. We were even criticized for not being focused enough. But now look, we are in a pandemic that is forcing people to sit back and reflect. Universities are closed, many people, at least where we are in Kenya, do not want to visit the hospital for other ailments (should they catch “CORONA” or are diagnosed with it).

Eight months into the virus, people know they need to stay healthy, they need to eat well, and even though there is some misinformation about what is good, most people know what is good for them.

Consumers also need to understand that indigenous foods, which are authentic and foods that we are familiar with, are good for us. Such foods are at the core of our nutrition and overall wellbeing.

Nonetheless, most young people who have been urbanized may not have this information, and such information may not be found on google. This is the best time to do research and collect information real-time. This is the time to share such information and to interrogate it. We are still in COVD-19, now feeling the real impacts both economically and socially. People are still losing jobs, savings are running out, while the virus is not yet giving us any indication as to where it is headed. As a journal, we have a lot to put out there, but we need resources to be able to do so effectively.

My team is working very actively from home. I am also working from home too since I am in that vulnerable age bracket for the virus. More and more interns, mostly fresh masters’ graduates and doctoral students are keen to learn from what we do. We need to organize training for them. Involving and maintaining interns and junior reviewers too needs financial resources. These are the ones who will manage this and other journals when some of us have left the scene. They need to be prepared for such a huge and noble task.

The journal has gained great recognition internationally and is in SCOPUS and SCIMAGO. Many scientists need an avenue to share their work. The quality of our work speaks for itself; the reach is global.

So, we need help and are appealing to well-wishers to support our cause. Maybe your program focuses on youth; or capacity building; or knowledge management; or knowledge sharing; or you support research or development programs that address livelihoods or hunger; malnutrition; agro-enterprises; women and feeding families; gender in agriculture; agricultural policies; food science and technology; food and agriculture policies; related programmes, education and training; food and the environment and now COVID-19 food and health related issues, and food cushions for the vulnerable in our society. Some organizations wish to be known for what they do. This is the time. Please contact us. Let us do this together.

Many institutions will probably fold up, never to resurrect after COVID-19, but others with an assured source of funds can do some good by supporting our efforts or can have us work on a SPECIAL ISSUE for them. You could even be an individual who wishes to donate. Through our sister organization, Rural Outreach Africa, we are mobilizing resources to help the most vulnerable. Our work has always focused on poverty and hunger eradication. We wish to extend our deep-felt appreciation to those who have supported us so far. On our website, you can see what we do, addressing those in dire need.

Like our Guest Editor for this issue, Dr. Vinash Prakash says, FOOD and especially indigenous food in every community, is the best vaccine against CORONA.

This issue has 16 peer-reviewed articles, an update on predator publishing by our Assistant Editor Ms. Mary Njeri Karanu and a call for papers on COVID-19 impacts from an African perspective related to the theme of AJFAND. We also have an invitation for articles. We have also highlighted the achievements of our interns. We are proud to provide a mentoring opportunity to young people.

Enjoy reading.

The papers are:

Ruth K. Oniang'o
Editor-in-Chief, AJFAND


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