Dr. Sandra Boatemaa


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Field of research

  • Population health and nutrition
  • Food systems governance
  • Noncommunicable diseases
  • Global health


Sandra Boatemaa has a PhD in Population Studies from the Regional Institute for Population Studies, University of Ghana. Her primary research area is population health and nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa. Her prior work has examined the impact of food habits on non-communicable disease prevention and management in urban poor communities in Ghana. The socio-ecological model, epidemiological transition and nutrition transition are some of the theories that she uses in her work.

Sandra’s current postdoc research is on food system governance, land use and food security in Southern Africa.  She is reviewing policies made by the national government to address food and nutrition security since 2002. She is hosted by Dr. Scott Drimie and Dr. Laura Pereira.

Description of research project

Despite South Africa’s attainment of a middle income status country and food security at the national level, the experience of food insecurity and malnutrition at the household and individual levels are immense. The South African government has committed itself to increasing food and nutrition security among its population through policy initiatives. These initiatives are informed by Section 27 of the 1996 constitution. Despite the efforts of the government, food insecurity still persist after twenty years of transformation.

To address the underlying causes of food insecurity such as poverty, gender inequalities, inadequate income, unsafe water and poor sanitation, this review examines policies and programs made by the government to address food and nutrition security in South Africa. The review focuses on policies and programs made between 2002 and 2017. The policies are examined to ascertain how they address production and access to food, and treatment of nutrition security. This study synthesises evidence from existing policies and uses population level statistics from government agencies and empirical studies to examine the current state of food and nutrition in South Africa.