Readout of the Secretary-General’s meeting with H.E. Mr. François Hollande, President of the French Republic

The Secretary-General met today with H.E. Mr. François Hollande, President of the French Republic.

The Secretary-General and the President discussed the situation in Western Sahara.

The Secretary-General and the President also exchanged views on the situation in Mali. The Secretary-General thanked France for its continued support to the implementation of the peace agreement in Mali, for the review of the mandate of the UN Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and for tackling issues of insecurity and the re-establishment of State authority throughout the country.

The Secretary-General thanked France for its continued support to the democratically elected Government of the Central African Republic, underlining the need to maintain international attention on the situation in the country. On the allegations of misconduct by peacekeeping troops in the Central African Republic, the Secretary-General and the President agreed on the imperative of a thorough investigation to ensure that perpetrators be brought to justice.

The Secretary-General and the President also discussed preparations for the 22 April signing ceremony of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Washington DC, 1 April 2016

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Nations – Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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Source:: Readout of the Secretary-General’s meeting with H.E. Mr. François Hollande, President of the French Republic

Categories: AFRICA

Tackling rural development is essential for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, says new OECD Development Centre report

With the number expected to increase until 2028, 3.4 billion people currently live in rural areas, with around 92% of the rural population located in developing countries. They are mainly concentrated in Asia and Africa. The situation is particularly fragile in sub-Saharan Africa, the only place where the number of poor has risen steadily in the last decade. Achieving the recently launched Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will depend heavily on designing and implementing effective policies to lift millions of rural poor out of poverty.

A New Rural Development Paradigm for the 21st Century: A toolkit for developing countries outlines the components for designing strategies to develop resilient and sustainable rural livelihoods. The OECD Development Centre report was released during the 8th OECD Global Forum on Development.

According to the authors, conditions for individuals living in rural areas across the developing world are worse than their urban counterparts by almost any development indicator, from extreme poverty to child mortality to access to electricity and sanitation. The gap is widening and migration to cities is increasing pressure on urban areas, which in some regions already are experiencing high levels of congestion and are not producing enough productive jobs to absorb rural migrants.

The rural development experience of OECD countries provides key insights for developing countries, but it does not necessarily provide an effective blueprint. Developing countries are currently facing a very different and challenging global context characterised by high demographic and environmental pressure (especially in sub-Saharan Africa), new economic actors and institutions, and evolving technologies and information tools.

The report’s analysis is based on six country case-studies: Korea, Viet Nam, Thailand, the People’s Republic of China, Côte d’Ivoire and Tanzania. Patterns in these countries help outline specific dynamics and trajectories of rural development policies to close the urban-rural divide. Korea’s Saemaul Undong, for example, offers a unique development path that saw the country go from developing status to one of the fastest-growing OECD economies in a generation. The transformation was possible due to an unprecedented industrialisation process and a multi-sectoral rural development strategy that invested in agricultural productivity, soft and hard infrastructure, and improving the living conditions of the rural population.

The report argues that a shift in the approach to rural development is paramount. Rural development strategies should be multi-sectoral, leverage rural-urban linkages, involve all levels of governments, and include such key stakeholders as the private sector, international donors, nongovernmental organisations and rural communities themselves. To keep pace with ongoing challenges, rural development strategies need to factor in climate change, demographic shifts, international competition and fast-moving technological change.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

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Source:: Tackling rural development is essential for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, says new OECD Development Centre report

Categories: AFRICA

New positive case of Ebola virus disease confirmed in Liberia

Lab results confirm a new case of Ebola virus disease in Liberia—a 30-year-old woman who died yesterday afternoon while being transferred to a hospital in the capitol Monrovia.

Liberia’s Ministry of Health, WHO and partner agencies immediately sent a team to the community outside Monrovia where the woman lived and the clinic where she was being treated to begin case investigation and identification of individuals who may have been in contact with her.

Liberian health authorities convened an emergency meeting early this morning with key partners to coordinate and plan a rapid response.

This latest case marks Liberia’s third flare-up of Ebola virus disease since its original outbreak was declared over on 09 May 2015. The last flare-up in the country began in November 2015 and ended 14 January 2016. Neighbouring Guinea is also responding to a new cluster of Ebola cases in its southern prefecture of Nzérékoré.

Earlier this week, at the recommendation of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee, WHO declared that the Ebola epidemic in West Africa no longer represents a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. WHO said Guinea, Liberia and Sierra now have the detection and response capacities in place to effectively manage ongoing flare-ups of Ebola, pointing to the swift response and rapid containment of recent small outbreaks.

But WHO reiterated that additional flare-ups of the disease are expected in the months to come, largely due to virus persistence in some survivors, and that the three countries must remain on high alert and ready to respond. WHO has maintained close to 1,000 experienced staff in the region who are ready to contribute to emergency response operations if needed, while working to recover and strengthen health systems in the three countries.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of World Health Organization (WHO).

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Source:: New positive case of Ebola virus disease confirmed in Liberia

Categories: AFRICA

African Union Commission (AUC), African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) Ministerial Roundtable

INVITATION TO MEDIA REPRESENTATIVES

Theme: “Addressing the Impact of Drought, Floods and Declining Commodity Prices in Africa: What Coping Strategies and Capacity are required?”

What: African Union Commission (AUC), African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) Ministerial Roundtable

When: 3RD April 2016, 09:00AM-12:30PM

Where: UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Conference Centre Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Who: African Union Commission and African Capacity Building Foundation

Participants: Ministers and representatives of member States, regional economic communities, United Nations agencies, pan-African financial institutions, African academic and research institutions, development partners and other intergovernmental organizations. Invitations will also be extended to other cooperating partners, non-governmental organizations and the private sector.

Objectives:

Sharing perspectives on the nature, depth and width of the current deteriorating financial and economic crisis facing the continent;
Sharing ideas and experiences regarding immediate, short-term and medium term policy measures and interventions aimed at containing the deteriorating financial and economic situation, mitigate adverse effects of drought and floods and ideal effectively and efficiently with the looming humanitarian situation

Expected outcomes:

A communique that summarizes main points raised on the nature and enormity of the crisis, viable interventions and pragmatic responses

Journalists are invited to cover the Ministerial roundtable discussion on Sunday 3rd April 2016, from 09:00AM – 12:30PM at the UNECA Conference Centre, immediately after a Press briefing address by the Commissioner of Economic Affairs AUC

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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Source:: African Union Commission (AUC), African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) Ministerial Roundtable

Categories: AFRICA

Seventeenth Session of the Regional Coordination Mechanism (RCM) for Africa

INVITATION TO THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE MEDIA

WHEN: 2 and 3 April 2016

WHERE: Conference Center of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

WHO: Jointly organised by the African Union Commission (AUC) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)

WHY: The sessions of RCM-Africa are an important forum for dialogue between the United Nations and the African Union on issues pertinent to the development agenda of Africa. That is why the theme for the seventeenth session is: AU-UN Partnership for the implementation of the Agenda 2063 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The session will accord the agencies of the United Nations system opportunity to contribute to finding a common strategy for the implementation of the Agenda 2063 and the SDGs.

Objective: The main objective of the seventeenth session of the Regional Coordination Mechanism for Africa is to chart the way forward on the roles and responsibilities of each agency in the implementation of the SDGs and the Agenda 2063, particularly its First Ten-Year Implementation Plan.

Specific Objectives: In addition to the reflections on the theme, participants at the seventeenth session will also deliberate on the mechanism for implementing the framework on United Nations-African Union partnership on Africa’s integration and development agenda (PAIDA) as the Ten-Year Capacity-Building Programme for the African Union expires at the end of 2016.

The session will consider the alignment of the RCM-Africa clusters to the Agenda 2063 and the SDGs. The need for alignment comes from the decision of 16th Session of the RCM-Africa that “RCM-Africa should maintain the status quo of the clusters until the June 2015 Assembly of the African Union and should hold a meeting after that Assembly to align the clusters with the 10-year implementation plan of Agenda 2063.”

Following the AU Summit Decision Assembly/AU/Dec. 565(XXIV) in June 2015, the Secretariat of the RCM-Africa will make proposals to the seventeenth session for reconfiguration and alignment of the RCM-Africa Clusters to the AU Agenda 2063 and the SDGs.

The seventeenth session will also consider other matters aimed at strengthening the RCM-Africa.

Expected outcomes: The session is expected to result in the following outcomes:

Consensus on the United Nations support to the African Union in the implementation of the SDGs and Agenda 2063;
Consensus on a mechanism for implementing the framework on United Nations-African Union partnership on Africa’s integration and development agenda (PAIDA); and
Consensus on the alignment/reconfiguration of the RCM-Africa to the Agenda 2063 and the SDGs and its operational modalities to effectively implement the goals, targets and priority areas.

Participants: Participants will include:

African Union Commission.
African Development Bank.
NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency.
African Peer Review Mechanism Secretariat.
Economic Community of West African States.
Economic Community of Central African States.
East African Community.
Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa.
Southern African Development Community.
Community of Sahel-Saharan States.
Intergovernmental Authority on Development.
Arab Maghreb Union.
All agencies and organizations of the United Nations system working in support of Africa, including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Partners and friends of RCM-Africa, including bilateral organizations.

Background:

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), through its resolution 1998/46, makes the holding of regular inter-agency meetings an imperative for all regions. Accordingly, regional coordination mechanisms (RCMs) were initiated in 2002 as frameworks for consultations among agencies, programmes, organizations, funds and offices of the United Nations working at the regional level. In the case of Africa, the RCM-Africa has evolved from serving as a consultative mechanism into holding formal, annual sessions at which organizations and agencies of the United Nations system operating in Africa share information on their respective activities and agree to coordinate their strategies for programme delivery in support of the African Union programmes.

Furthermore and based on the mandate derived from UNGA resolution 57/7, the United Nations system in Africa was called to coordinate its activities through the RCM-Africa, in line with NEPAD adopted as the overarching development framework for Africa and other priorities of the African Union and its organs and regional and subregional organizations. RCM-Africa serves as a vehicle for enhancing coordination and coherence by engaging, more and more, in the joint planning and programming of United Nations activities in order to deliver as one in response to the needs and priorities of the African Union and other regional and subregional partners.

The annual RCM-Africa sessions have become a forum for assessing effectiveness of cooperation, collaboration and coordination between the United Nations and the African Union organs and other regional and subregional organizations, with the aim of enhancing the effectiveness of United Nations support for Africa’s development. It is in the spirit of past sessions that the United Nations system working in Africa have chosen for the theme of the seventeenth session of RCM-Africa to be: AU-UN Partnership for the implementation of the Agenda 2063 and Sustainable Development Goals.

Africa’s economic performance over last decade has been very robust, growing in the last two years around 4 percent which is higher than the global average of 2.5 percent. Africa has also registered remarkable progress on several socioeconomic indicators despite low initial conditions. Despite the positive performance, much more needs to be done to increase employment for the youth, reduce poverty and improve access to health and education services.

Studies in ECA show that the relatively high level of poverty is linked to the structure of most African economies. African countries are largely dependent on commodities which are exported with little or no value added and therefore not much employment is generated. That is why Africa needs to embark on commodity-based industrialization and through that create decent job opportunities, which in tend will lead to substantial reductions in poverty and the minimization of income and wealth inequalities.

Agenda 2063 and the 10-year Implementation Plan

The Agenda 2063, a plan for Africa’s structural transformation, was agreed upon by African Heads of State at the African Union Golden Jubilee Summit of May 2013. Based on the Solemn Declaration, the Summit pledged to develop and pursue a transformational Agenda through eight key areas: (a) African identity and renaissance; (b) the struggle against colonialism and the right to self-determination of people still under colonial rule; (c) an integration agenda; (d) an agenda for social and economic development; (e) an agenda for peace and security; (f) democratic governance; (g) determining Africa’s destiny; and (h) Africa’s place in the world.

The Agenda is founded on the AU vision of “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the international arena.” The Agenda also builds on the AU Constitutive Act and Regional frameworks. In addition, the process takes cognizance of and reviewed national, regional and existing and past continental frameworks such as PIDA, CAADP and MIP, including the Monrovia Declaration, the Lagos Plan of Action, and the Abuja Treaty among others.

The Agenda is also anchored on the AU vision and is based on the seven aspirations derived from the wide consultations, namely:

A Prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development;
An Integrated Continent, Politically United, based on the ideals of Pan Africanism and the Vision of Africa’s Renaissance;
An Africa of Good Governance, Respect for Human Rights, Justice and the Rule of Law;
A Peaceful and Secure Africa;
An Africa with a strong Cultural Identity, Common Heritage, Values and Ethics;
An Africa whose development is people-driven, especially relying on the potential offered by its women and youth; and
Africa as a Strong, Resilient and Influential Global Player and Partner.

The aspirations reflect the desire of Africans for prosperity and well-being, for unity and integration, for a continent of free citizens and expanded horizons, with freedom from conflict and improved human security. They also project an Africa of strong identity, culture and values, as well as a strong and influential partner on the global stage making equal contribution to human progress and welfare – in short a different and better Africa. There are transitions to the aspirations and each milestone of the transition provides a step towards the attainment of the end goal of the aspirations by 2063.

The aspirations embed a strong desire to see a continent where women and the youth have guarantees of their fundamental freedoms and where they assume a leading role in the development of African societies. They are based on the conviction that Africa has the potential and capability to converge and catch up with other regions of the world and thus take her rightful place in the world community.

The Agenda 2063 is expected to be implemented in phases of ten years. The first phase of ten years has been crafted to cover the period 2013-2023 and addresses the following:

i. Sustainable inclusive economic growth.

ii. Human capital development.

iii. Employment creation.

iv. Social protection.

v. Gender/women development and youth empowerment.

vi. Good governance and capable institutions.

vii. Infrastructural development.

viii. Science, technology and innovation.

ix. Peace and security.

x. Culture, arts and sports.

The First Ten Year Implementation Plan of Agenda 2063 (FTYIP) calls on African countries to fast track the implementation of flagship programmes identified to have immediate positive impact on growth: the integrated high-speed train network; the Great Inga Dam project; the single aviation market; the outer space programme; the Pan-African e-Network; an annual African consultative platform; the virtual university; the African passport and the free movement of persons; the Continental Free Trade Area; silencing the guns by 2020; the development of a commodity strategy; and the establishment of the continental financial institutions, including the African Central Bank by 2030.

In addition, the implementation strategy of Agenda 2063 spells out 20 goals and 34 priority areas. The goals and priorities include: poverty reduction; the expansion of education at all levels; improved maternal and child health, water and sanitation facilities; industrialization of the African economy; greater resilience to the effects of climate change and prioritized adaptation; modernized farming methods for increased production, productivity and value-addition; better and more sustainable management of natural resources, including mineral and agricultural resources; the establishment of a continental free trade and a significantly developed intra-African trade; and a well-developed infrastructure network.

Furthermore, the observance of good governance, the rule of law and human rights, and the cessation of all intercountry and intracountry conflicts on the continent are also goals to be attained by 2023. Also to be achieved are goals in the realm of culture – full engagement with the African diaspora, the development and wider use of African languages, and the growth of the creative arts and cultural industries. The greater empowerment of women and young people is also an important goal to be pursued as is the need to increase Africa’s presence and voice in global affairs.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The UN General Assembly has adopted sustainable development goals (SDGs). The SDGs come at a time when billions of people are living in poverty and inequalities within and among countries are on the ascendance as well as enormous disparities of opportunity, wealth and power. There is also recognition of the challenge of gender inequality, rising unemployment, particularly youth unemployment, threats to global health, conflict, violent extremism, terrorism and related humanitarian crises and forced displacement of people. Natural resource depletion and climate change, especially increases in global temperature, sea level rise, and their impact on coastal areas and low-lying coastal countries, including many least developed countries and small island developing States, are among the list of challenges that continue to reverse much of the development progress made in recent decades.

The SDGs are made up of 17 goals and 169 associated targets. The goals were globally agreed upon through an inclusive process of intergovernmental negotiations and takes account of different national realities, capacities and levels of development and respecting national policies and priorities. The targets are defined as aspirational and global, with each Government setting its own national targets guided by the global level of ambition but taking into account national circumstances. Each Government will also decide how these aspirational and global targets should be incorporated into national planning processes, policies and strategies.

Africa’s input into the development of the SDGs was through the Common African Position (CAP). The CAP, which has the same tenants of the Agenda 2063, is Africa’s consensus on the continent’s challenges, priorities and aspirations, and the strategies for dealing with them. It is the view of the African Union that the Agenda 2063 is in sync with the SDGs because most of the recommendations of the CAP were taken on board by the UNGA and therefore there is an alignment between the Agenda 2063 and the SDGs.

Need for a common approach to the implementation of the Agenda 2063 and the SDGs

African countries have committed to the implementation of the SDGs as well as the Agenda 2063. The countries also have their own development plans and strategies. It is therefore important to have a common strategy for the implementation of both framework so as to achieve the goals and targets and minimize the challenges associated with implementing both agendas.

Most of the SDGs are in congruence with the goals of Agenda 2063. For example, Goal 1 of the Agenda 2063 aims at: “A High Standard of Living, Quality of Life and Well Being for All Citizens.” The achievements of SDG 1 (end poverty in all its forms everywhere), SDG 2 (end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture), SDG 6 (ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all), SDG 7 (ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all), SDG 8 (promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all), SDG 10 (reduce inequality within and among countries), and SDG 12 (ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns) is clearly consistent in achieving Goal 1 of the Agenda 2063. The alignment between most of the goals of the Agenda 2063 and the SDGs provide an opportunity to implement both within a single framework without unduly burdening policymakers with multiple development frameworks.

Equally important is a need for better coordination to ensure effective implementation and follow-up, addressing areas of convergence as well as those unique to Africa. That is why a coherent and common framework that integrates both Agenda 2063 and the SDGs into national planning framework is needed. The SDGs attempts to respond to the global dimensions of Africa’s development challenges while Agenda 2063 responds to the regional dimension. Implementation of both will therefore require: advocacy and sensitization about the details of both frameworks; strengthened capacities to integrate in a coherent fashion, such initiatives in national planning frameworks; and research to support evidence-based policymaking.

Accompanying a common framework for the implementation of Agenda 2063 and the SDGs should be a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) tools. These tools will reinforce the culture of managing for results with regards to the implementation of the common framework. An M&E framework, by setting targets / milestones, will also ensure that all parties involved work towards achieving the development goals. It also ensures that the causes of non-performance are identified and addressed through evaluation processes.

JOURNALISTS ARE INVITED TO COVER THE 17TH RCM-AFRICA ON 2nd AND 3rd APRIL 2016 AT THE UNECA CONFERENCE CENTER.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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Source:: Seventeenth Session of the Regional Coordination Mechanism (RCM) for Africa

Categories: AFRICA

Seventeenth Session of the Regional Coordination Mechanism (RCM) for Africa

INVITATION TO THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE MEDIA

WHEN: 2 and 3 April 2016

WHERE: Conference Center of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

WHO: Jointly organised by the African Union Commission (AUC) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)

WHY: The sessions of RCM-Africa are an important forum for dialogue between the United Nations and the African Union on issues pertinent to the development agenda of Africa. That is why the theme for the seventeenth session is: AU-UN Partnership for the implementation of the Agenda 2063 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The session will accord the agencies of the United Nations system opportunity to contribute to finding a common strategy for the implementation of the Agenda 2063 and the SDGs.

Objective: The main objective of the seventeenth session of the Regional Coordination Mechanism for Africa is to chart the way forward on the roles and responsibilities of each agency in the implementation of the SDGs and the Agenda 2063, particularly its First Ten-Year Implementation Plan.

Specific Objectives: In addition to the reflections on the theme, participants at the seventeenth session will also deliberate on the mechanism for implementing the framework on United Nations-African Union partnership on Africa’s integration and development agenda (PAIDA) as the Ten-Year Capacity-Building Programme for the African Union expires at the end of 2016.

The session will consider the alignment of the RCM-Africa clusters to the Agenda 2063 and the SDGs. The need for alignment comes from the decision of 16th Session of the RCM-Africa that “RCM-Africa should maintain the status quo of the clusters until the June 2015 Assembly of the African Union and should hold a meeting after that Assembly to align the clusters with the 10-year implementation plan of Agenda 2063.”

Following the AU Summit Decision Assembly/AU/Dec. 565(XXIV) in June 2015, the Secretariat of the RCM-Africa will make proposals to the seventeenth session for reconfiguration and alignment of the RCM-Africa Clusters to the AU Agenda 2063 and the SDGs.

The seventeenth session will also consider other matters aimed at strengthening the RCM-Africa.

Expected outcomes: The session is expected to result in the following outcomes:

Consensus on the United Nations support to the African Union in the implementation of the SDGs and Agenda 2063;
Consensus on a mechanism for implementing the framework on United Nations-African Union partnership on Africa’s integration and development agenda (PAIDA); and
Consensus on the alignment/reconfiguration of the RCM-Africa to the Agenda 2063 and the SDGs and its operational modalities to effectively implement the goals, targets and priority areas.

Participants: Participants will include:

African Union Commission.
African Development Bank.
NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency.
African Peer Review Mechanism Secretariat.
Economic Community of West African States.
Economic Community of Central African States.
East African Community.
Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa.
Southern African Development Community.
Community of Sahel-Saharan States.
Intergovernmental Authority on Development.
Arab Maghreb Union.
All agencies and organizations of the United Nations system working in support of Africa, including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Partners and friends of RCM-Africa, including bilateral organizations.

Background:

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), through its resolution 1998/46, makes the holding of regular inter-agency meetings an imperative for all regions. Accordingly, regional coordination mechanisms (RCMs) were initiated in 2002 as frameworks for consultations among agencies, programmes, organizations, funds and offices of the United Nations working at the regional level. In the case of Africa, the RCM-Africa has evolved from serving as a consultative mechanism into holding formal, annual sessions at which organizations and agencies of the United Nations system operating in Africa share information on their respective activities and agree to coordinate their strategies for programme delivery in support of the African Union programmes.

Furthermore and based on the mandate derived from UNGA resolution 57/7, the United Nations system in Africa was called to coordinate its activities through the RCM-Africa, in line with NEPAD adopted as the overarching development framework for Africa and other priorities of the African Union and its organs and regional and subregional organizations. RCM-Africa serves as a vehicle for enhancing coordination and coherence by engaging, more and more, in the joint planning and programming of United Nations activities in order to deliver as one in response to the needs and priorities of the African Union and other regional and subregional partners.

The annual RCM-Africa sessions have become a forum for assessing effectiveness of cooperation, collaboration and coordination between the United Nations and the African Union organs and other regional and subregional organizations, with the aim of enhancing the effectiveness of United Nations support for Africa’s development. It is in the spirit of past sessions that the United Nations system working in Africa have chosen for the theme of the seventeenth session of RCM-Africa to be: AU-UN Partnership for the implementation of the Agenda 2063 and Sustainable Development Goals.

Africa’s economic performance over last decade has been very robust, growing in the last two years around 4 percent which is higher than the global average of 2.5 percent. Africa has also registered remarkable progress on several socioeconomic indicators despite low initial conditions. Despite the positive performance, much more needs to be done to increase employment for the youth, reduce poverty and improve access to health and education services.

Studies in ECA show that the relatively high level of poverty is linked to the structure of most African economies. African countries are largely dependent on commodities which are exported with little or no value added and therefore not much employment is generated. That is why Africa needs to embark on commodity-based industrialization and through that create decent job opportunities, which in tend will lead to substantial reductions in poverty and the minimization of income and wealth inequalities.

Agenda 2063 and the 10-year Implementation Plan

The Agenda 2063, a plan for Africa’s structural transformation, was agreed upon by African Heads of State at the African Union Golden Jubilee Summit of May 2013. Based on the Solemn Declaration, the Summit pledged to develop and pursue a transformational Agenda through eight key areas: (a) African identity and renaissance; (b) the struggle against colonialism and the right to self-determination of people still under colonial rule; (c) an integration agenda; (d) an agenda for social and economic development; (e) an agenda for peace and security; (f) democratic governance; (g) determining Africa’s destiny; and (h) Africa’s place in the world.

The Agenda is founded on the AU vision of “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the international arena.” The Agenda also builds on the AU Constitutive Act and Regional frameworks. In addition, the process takes cognizance of and reviewed national, regional and existing and past continental frameworks such as PIDA, CAADP and MIP, including the Monrovia Declaration, the Lagos Plan of Action, and the Abuja Treaty among others.

The Agenda is also anchored on the AU vision and is based on the seven aspirations derived from the wide consultations, namely:

A Prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development;
An Integrated Continent, Politically United, based on the ideals of Pan Africanism and the Vision of Africa’s Renaissance;
An Africa of Good Governance, Respect for Human Rights, Justice and the Rule of Law;
A Peaceful and Secure Africa;
An Africa with a strong Cultural Identity, Common Heritage, Values and Ethics;
An Africa whose development is people-driven, especially relying on the potential offered by its women and youth; and
Africa as a Strong, Resilient and Influential Global Player and Partner.

The aspirations reflect the desire of Africans for prosperity and well-being, for unity and integration, for a continent of free citizens and expanded horizons, with freedom from conflict and improved human security. They also project an Africa of strong identity, culture and values, as well as a strong and influential partner on the global stage making equal contribution to human progress and welfare – in short a different and better Africa. There are transitions to the aspirations and each milestone of the transition provides a step towards the attainment of the end goal of the aspirations by 2063.

The aspirations embed a strong desire to see a continent where women and the youth have guarantees of their fundamental freedoms and where they assume a leading role in the development of African societies. They are based on the conviction that Africa has the potential and capability to converge and catch up with other regions of the world and thus take her rightful place in the world community.

The Agenda 2063 is expected to be implemented in phases of ten years. The first phase of ten years has been crafted to cover the period 2013-2023 and addresses the following:

i. Sustainable inclusive economic growth.

ii. Human capital development.

iii. Employment creation.

iv. Social protection.

v. Gender/women development and youth empowerment.

vi. Good governance and capable institutions.

vii. Infrastructural development.

viii. Science, technology and innovation.

ix. Peace and security.

x. Culture, arts and sports.

The First Ten Year Implementation Plan of Agenda 2063 (FTYIP) calls on African countries to fast track the implementation of flagship programmes identified to have immediate positive impact on growth: the integrated high-speed train network; the Great Inga Dam project; the single aviation market; the outer space programme; the Pan-African e-Network; an annual African consultative platform; the virtual university; the African passport and the free movement of persons; the Continental Free Trade Area; silencing the guns by 2020; the development of a commodity strategy; and the establishment of the continental financial institutions, including the African Central Bank by 2030.

In addition, the implementation strategy of Agenda 2063 spells out 20 goals and 34 priority areas. The goals and priorities include: poverty reduction; the expansion of education at all levels; improved maternal and child health, water and sanitation facilities; industrialization of the African economy; greater resilience to the effects of climate change and prioritized adaptation; modernized farming methods for increased production, productivity and value-addition; better and more sustainable management of natural resources, including mineral and agricultural resources; the establishment of a continental free trade and a significantly developed intra-African trade; and a well-developed infrastructure network.

Furthermore, the observance of good governance, the rule of law and human rights, and the cessation of all intercountry and intracountry conflicts on the continent are also goals to be attained by 2023. Also to be achieved are goals in the realm of culture – full engagement with the African diaspora, the development and wider use of African languages, and the growth of the creative arts and cultural industries. The greater empowerment of women and young people is also an important goal to be pursued as is the need to increase Africa’s presence and voice in global affairs.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The UN General Assembly has adopted sustainable development goals (SDGs). The SDGs come at a time when billions of people are living in poverty and inequalities within and among countries are on the ascendance as well as enormous disparities of opportunity, wealth and power. There is also recognition of the challenge of gender inequality, rising unemployment, particularly youth unemployment, threats to global health, conflict, violent extremism, terrorism and related humanitarian crises and forced displacement of people. Natural resource depletion and climate change, especially increases in global temperature, sea level rise, and their impact on coastal areas and low-lying coastal countries, including many least developed countries and small island developing States, are among the list of challenges that continue to reverse much of the development progress made in recent decades.

The SDGs are made up of 17 goals and 169 associated targets. The goals were globally agreed upon through an inclusive process of intergovernmental negotiations and takes account of different national realities, capacities and levels of development and respecting national policies and priorities. The targets are defined as aspirational and global, with each Government setting its own national targets guided by the global level of ambition but taking into account national circumstances. Each Government will also decide how these aspirational and global targets should be incorporated into national planning processes, policies and strategies.

Africa’s input into the development of the SDGs was through the Common African Position (CAP). The CAP, which has the same tenants of the Agenda 2063, is Africa’s consensus on the continent’s challenges, priorities and aspirations, and the strategies for dealing with them. It is the view of the African Union that the Agenda 2063 is in sync with the SDGs because most of the recommendations of the CAP were taken on board by the UNGA and therefore there is an alignment between the Agenda 2063 and the SDGs.

Need for a common approach to the implementation of the Agenda 2063 and the SDGs

African countries have committed to the implementation of the SDGs as well as the Agenda 2063. The countries also have their own development plans and strategies. It is therefore important to have a common strategy for the implementation of both framework so as to achieve the goals and targets and minimize the challenges associated with implementing both agendas.

Most of the SDGs are in congruence with the goals of Agenda 2063. For example, Goal 1 of the Agenda 2063 aims at: “A High Standard of Living, Quality of Life and Well Being for All Citizens.” The achievements of SDG 1 (end poverty in all its forms everywhere), SDG 2 (end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture), SDG 6 (ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all), SDG 7 (ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all), SDG 8 (promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all), SDG 10 (reduce inequality within and among countries), and SDG 12 (ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns) is clearly consistent in achieving Goal 1 of the Agenda 2063. The alignment between most of the goals of the Agenda 2063 and the SDGs provide an opportunity to implement both within a single framework without unduly burdening policymakers with multiple development frameworks.

Equally important is a need for better coordination to ensure effective implementation and follow-up, addressing areas of convergence as well as those unique to Africa. That is why a coherent and common framework that integrates both Agenda 2063 and the SDGs into national planning framework is needed. The SDGs attempts to respond to the global dimensions of Africa’s development challenges while Agenda 2063 responds to the regional dimension. Implementation of both will therefore require: advocacy and sensitization about the details of both frameworks; strengthened capacities to integrate in a coherent fashion, such initiatives in national planning frameworks; and research to support evidence-based policymaking.

Accompanying a common framework for the implementation of Agenda 2063 and the SDGs should be a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) tools. These tools will reinforce the culture of managing for results with regards to the implementation of the common framework. An M&E framework, by setting targets / milestones, will also ensure that all parties involved work towards achieving the development goals. It also ensures that the causes of non-performance are identified and addressed through evaluation processes.

JOURNALISTS ARE INVITED TO COVER THE 17TH RCM-AFRICA ON 2nd AND 3rd APRIL 2016 AT THE UNECA CONFERENCE CENTER.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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Source:: Seventeenth Session of the Regional Coordination Mechanism (RCM) for Africa

Categories: AFRICA

U.S. Ambassador Robert Jackson Launches New USAID Education Activity

United States Ambassador to Ghana, Robert P. Jackson, launched the “Promoting Transparency and Accountability in Education” activity at the Northern Network for Education Development (NNED) headquarters in Tamale, Ghana on April 1, 2016. At the event, Ambassador Jackson and NNED Executive Committee Chair Rosemond Kumah signed a cooperative agreement for the 18-month, $648,000 USAID activity, which will be implemented by NNED.

Through the activity, USAID will support NNED’s continuing efforts to promote greater accountability, focusing on 200 schools in 25 districts in northern Ghana. NNED is a Ghanaian non-governmental organization, which works to increase the quality of and access to education in northern Ghana through advocacy, resource mobilization, and harmonization of stakeholder efforts. NNED will draw on its large networks of educational stakeholders to facilitate greater involvement by civil society organizations and community members in the management of educational resources and to provide support and promote further accountability of 250 Ghana Education Service district managers in northern Ghana.

“NNED is a critical partner for us in our efforts here in the north,” said Ambassador Jackson at the launch. “With NNED’s extensive networks and considerable experience working to improve education here in northern Ghana, I am confident we will make great gains in ensuring every child in even the most remote villages receives the education they deserve.”

The goal of USAID/Ghana’s education program is to ensure that children are given the foundational skills to read with understanding in the early grades of primary school. USAID’s activities in Ghana improve the quality of reading instruction, strengthen the management of educational institutions, improve accountability and transparency between parents, schools and local government, and help communities contribute to student and teacher performance.

About USAID

USAID is the lead U.S. government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential. For more than 50 years, USAID has supported Ghana in increasing food security, improving basic health care, enhancing access to quality basic education, and strengthening local governance to benefit all Ghanaian people.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Embassy of the United States – Accra – Ghana.

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Source:: U.S. Ambassador Robert Jackson Launches New USAID Education Activity

Categories: AFRICA

IOM Works with Government, Partners to Train DRC Police in Community Policing

To promote better relations between the police and population in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), IOM has initiated a community policing program in Mbuji-Mayi, Kasai Oriental province, and Lubumbashi in Haut-Katanga province. The project is supported by the USA and Canada.

In Mbuji-Mayi, 400 officers from the Community Policing Police and 50 from the Mining Police will attend a five-month training at the police training school at the Domaine agroindustriel présidentiel de la N’sele in Dibindi commune from 29 March 2016 to 28 August 2016.

The training will be complemented with the construction of a police station and four sub-stations in Bipemba, which began in mid-March.

The program will also promote Local Councils for Security Proximity (CLSP) to improve relations between the police and the community. Workshops were organized on 22 and 23 March 2016 on community security in the communes of Muya and Bipemba to present the mandate of the CLSPs and their relationship with district forums.

The CLSPs, established in 2013, are responsible for collecting security information from district forums and provide a framework for dialogue between the public and representatives of civil society to find solutions to security issues.

A similar program is being implemented in Lubumbashi with the construction of a police station and four sub-stations in the commune of Kampemba. It will be complemented with a capacity building program of 400 police officers in April 2016.

The first session will last six months and will train 279 officers on community policing, 50 on border policing and 50 on mining policing. Another 279 trainees will also attend community policing training for a period of six months.

Training sessions for 40 trainers from Community, Mining and Border Police were held from 14 to 26 March 2016 at the Police Academy of Kassapa in Lubumbashi. Training of Border Police is being implemented in close cooperation with the General Directorate of Migration.

The activities are part of an IOM program funded by the United States through its Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) and the Canadian government with the aim of strengthening security in Mbuji Mayi and Lubumbashi and improving relations between the police and the population.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of International Office of Migration (IOM).

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Source:: IOM Works with Government, Partners to Train DRC Police in Community Policing

Categories: AFRICA

IOM Boosts Income Generation for Returnees in Democratic Republic of the Congo

IOM DRC has launched an income generation scheme for 573 former internally displaced people (IDPs) in Kamuronza, Muvunyi and Karuba Muvunyi-Shanga areas, with financial support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

The scheme is part of an IOM project, ”Protection and food security assistance for internally displaced persons and returnees in the North Kivu province”, which aims to offer returnees sustainable livelihood solutions in North Kivu’s Masisi territory.

IOM will pay out two thirds of the USD 120 this month that each beneficiary will receive to set up an income-generating business. The funds will be transferred in partnership with the Airtel Telecommunications Company.

Beneficiaries, who underwent biometric registration in the displacement sites, have to be former IDPs who have agreed to voluntarily return to their areas of origin. They also need to be able to show that they can generate income from their chosen activity.

In January 2016, IOM conducted a market assessment in the project areas; trained beneficiaries in income generating activities including small businesses, animal husbandry and farming; and established local support groups.

On 24th March 2016, it distributed 345 kits containing watering cans, hoes and market garden seeds to returnees in Kamuronza, following the closure of the Lac Vert and Shasha displacement sites in October 2015.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of International Office of Migration (IOM).

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Source:: IOM Boosts Income Generation for Returnees in Democratic Republic of the Congo

Categories: AFRICA

Tanzanian Health Care Gets Boost from AKU’s New Nursing/Midwifery Training Facility

Aga Khan University opened the new home of its School of Nursing and Midwifery in Dar es Salaam at Salama House. This state-of-the-art facility will educate nursing and midwifery leaders dedicated to saving lives and improving health care for the people of Tanzania.

The €1.2 million (TSh 2.95 billion) project was funded as part of a €17.2 million (TSh 42 billion) grant to AKU from the Federal Republic of Germany to improve health in East Africa by providing nurses and midwives with high-quality education and training. In addition to funding the renovation and expansion of Salama House, the grant includes funding to enable more students to attend AKU and has helped the University to develop the curriculum for its planned post-RM Bachelor of Science in Midwifery. The East African Community played an important role in making it possible for AKU to receive the funding.

The opening was presided over by Dr. Gerd Müller, German Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development; Dr. Helmut Schön, KfW Country Director for Tanzania; Dr. Richard Sezibera, Secretary General of the East African Community; Dr. Hamisi Kigwangalla, Tanzanian Deputy Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly, and Children; and Mr. Al-Karim Haji, AKU Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer.

Dr. Müller outlined “Tanzania has a fraction of the highly skilled nurses and midwives it needs. More modern facilities for nursing and midwifery education are needed,” said Mr. Al-Karim Haji, AKU Vice
President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer. “With the opening of the new home of our School of Nursing and Midwifery, we are helping to change that. The partnership between AKU, the Federal Republic of Germany and the East African Community, plus the support of the Republic of Tanzania, will give more nurses and midwives an opportunity to improve their clinical and leadership capacities.”

“Aga Khan University is playing a leading role in the EAC’s effort to harmonize and modernize nursing curricula and standards across member states,” said Dr. Richard Sezibera, Secretary General of the East African Community. “This facility is another example of AKU’s longstanding commitment to educating much-needed nurses and midwives to improve the quality of health care for East Africans, and of the Aga Khan Development Network’s broader contribution to improving the lives of East Africans.”

“The opening of this facility is a significant event in the development of nursing and midwifery in Tanzania,” said Dr. Hamisi Kigwangalla, Deputy Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender,
Elderly, and Children. “It will help Tanzania educate the kinds of nurses and midwives we need: those who can tackle complex problems and ensure that all Tanzanians get the health care they deserve. Aga Khan University, the Federal Republic of Germany, and the East African Community have our appreciation.”

AKU’s School of Nursing and Midwifery’s new home at Salama House on Urambo Street includes the resources needed to educate nursing and midwifery leaders using the latest methods: a library with new digital resources, a computer lab, modern classrooms, and a high-quality science lab and skills lab.

In addition to enhancing the quality of the School’s existing nursing programmes, the project has also increased available space, which will allow AKU to launch a new post-RM Bachelor of Science in
Midwifery programme and to train more working nurses through its professional development programmes.

About AKU’s School of Nursing and Midwifery

AKU has graduated more than 2,100 nurses in East Africa since 2004. In Tanzania it has educated more than 600 nurses including 311 who hold a Post-RN Bachelor of Science in Nursing that prepares graduates for leadership and which is held by relatively few Tanzanians. Its alumni include the country’s top nursing official, the Director of Nursing Services in the Ministry of Health, and the Chair of the Tanzania Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Aga Khan University serves Tanzanians without regard to race, gender, or religion. All of its nursing students in Dar es Salaam are Tanzanian and 80 percent come from public-sector institutions. As a nonprofit organization, it strives to make its programmes affordable and accessible. On average, nursing students pay just one-fifth of what it costs the University to educate them. To date, the University has invested US$ 60 million in Tanzania, with significant additional investment planned.

AKU is a university of and for the developing world, focused on preparing men and women to improve the quality of life in their societies. Its work reflects the vision and continuing generosity of its founder and Chancellor, His Highness the Aga Khan. The University is part of the Aga Khan Development Network, whose presence in Tanzania dates back to the establishment of the first Aga Khan Girls School in 1905.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of German Embassy in Dar es Salaam.

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Source:: Tanzanian Health Care Gets Boost from AKU’s New Nursing/Midwifery Training Facility

Categories: AFRICA

Handover Ceremony of Ambulance to Somaliland through United Nations Population Fund

On 14th March 2016, His Excellency Tatsushi Terada, Ambassador of Japan to Somalia, attended the Handover Ceremony of Ambulance to the Ministry of Health in Somaliland hosted by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Hargeisa, Somaliland. The Government of Japan has supported UNFPA’s project on reduction of maternal and neomaternal mortality of Somali mother and newborn babies through the supplementary budget.

Ambassador Terada stated that UNFPA’s project that aims to improve reproductive and maternal health fits Japanese assistance policy to Somalia and commended the Ministry of Health in Somaliland for its commitment in improving maternal health and maintaining a good working relationship with UNFPA.

Mr. Nikolai Botev, UNFPA Representative, thanked the Government of Japan for being a reliable partner in the quest to ensure that no woman and child die during birth. Mr. Botev reiterated UNFPA’s commitment to support the investments in a safer and brighter future for the Somali mothers and children and pledged to continue supporting the project.

Mr. Hassan Dahir Dimbil, Vice Minister for Health, expressed Somaliland’s gratitude to the People of Japan and UNFPA for the assistance and partnership.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Embassy of Japan in Somalia.

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Source:: Handover Ceremony of Ambulance to Somaliland through United Nations Population Fund

Categories: AFRICA

Handover Ceremony of Ambulance to Somaliland through United Nations Population Fund

On 14th March 2016, His Excellency Tatsushi Terada, Ambassador of Japan to Somalia, attended the Handover Ceremony of Ambulance to the Ministry of Health in Somaliland hosted by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Hargeisa, Somaliland. The Government of Japan has supported UNFPA’s project on reduction of maternal and neomaternal mortality of Somali mother and newborn babies through the supplementary budget.

Ambassador Terada stated that UNFPA’s project that aims to improve reproductive and maternal health fits Japanese assistance policy to Somalia and commended the Ministry of Health in Somaliland for its commitment in improving maternal health and maintaining a good working relationship with UNFPA.

Mr. Nikolai Botev, UNFPA Representative, thanked the Government of Japan for being a reliable partner in the quest to ensure that no woman and child die during birth. Mr. Botev reiterated UNFPA’s commitment to support the investments in a safer and brighter future for the Somali mothers and children and pledged to continue supporting the project.

Mr. Hassan Dahir Dimbil, Vice Minister for Health, expressed Somaliland’s gratitude to the People of Japan and UNFPA for the assistance and partnership.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Embassy of Japan in Somalia.

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Source:: Handover Ceremony of Ambulance to Somaliland through United Nations Population Fund

Categories: AFRICA