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Investment power and protein report cover image - herding cattle

Investment, Power and Protein in sub-Saharan Africa

This report examines financial investment in protein production in sub-Saharan Africa. It argues that in order to understand the changing place of protein in sub-Saharan African diets and food systems, it is important to investigate what motivates different financial actors to invest in new food products, markets and value chains – or to withhold investment from them. To this end, it examines what role investors’ expectations about the future of protein in sub-Saharan Africa play in mobilising investment in some places, protein sources and value chains – and in deterring investment in others. It thus examines what role the power to produce authoritative visions for the future of food, and to convince investors to act upon them, might play in transforming the organisation of protein production, provisioning and consumption within the region.

Suggested citation: Brice, J., (2022) Investment, Power and Protein in sub-Saharan Africa. TABLE Reports. TABLE, University of Oxford, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Wageningen University and Research.

This research forms part of TABLE’s work theme on “Power in the food system: what’s powering the future of protein?”, which uses protein as a case study through which to explore debates about power in the food system ( This work theme examines governmental, geopolitical, and corporate power alongside the influence of its less tangible manifestations – such as cultural, moral, or educational norms – on how stakeholders think about food and what they want for the food system. This project responds to the work theme’s priorities by examining what motivates the stakeholders who have the power to grant or deny finance to particular forms of protein production, and thus to shape sub-Saharan African food systems. To this end it investigates what values, visions and expectations about the future of food influence investors’ decisions about where to invest their capital.


An executive summary is available online and as a PDF.


The full report can be dowloaded as a PDF or viewed online:

  1. Introduction
  2. Background
  3. Research Methodology 
  4. Sub-Saharan Africa’s Agricultural Investment Landscape
  5. Investor Visions
  6. National Subsidies and Global Market
  7. Conclusions 
  8. Glossary
                                                                                                                 Next: Introduction  >

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