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The 2021 Annual Trends and Outlook Report (ATOR) focuses on building resilient African food systems after COVID-19. It examines emerging data on the impacts of COVID-19 on African economies and food systems reviews the responses of African countries to the pandemic, and advances the discussion on methodologies to measure the impacts of and resilience to shocks. Although the report is centred around COVID-19, its lessons are applicable beyond the current crisis. The pandemic, a uniquely wide-ranging challenge that combined features of previous health, economic and food price shocks, reminds us of the breadth of risks and challenges that food systems must continue to withstand into the future. The report argues for a broader conceptualization of resilience that encompasses climate risks as well as the wider range of shocks that threaten progress toward transformed food systems and economies.