African Regional Coverage (ARC)
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UN Commission on Social Development Adopts resolution on NEPAD
22 February 2008: The United Nations Commission on Social Development concluded its forty-sixth session, calling on Governments to match their words with deeds in terms of eliminating poverty by ensuring decent employment for all. The Commission, which had to suspend its work at the end of last week to allow delegations more time to negotiate, approved a resolution on the social dimension of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).  The resolution Economic and Social Council welcome the progress made by African countries in fulfilling their NEPAD commitments, but also stress that further steps forward “require a favorable national and international environment for Africa’s growth and development, including measures to promote a policy environment conducive to private sector development and entrepreneurship”.  It recognizes the need for national governments and the international community to continue efforts to increase the flow of new and additional resources for development financing, and welcomes the efforts by development partners to align their financial and technical support to Africa more closely with the priorities of NEPAD. Commission on Social Development.

Source: UN, 2008
UNDP and Gates Foundation Join Forces to Mechanize Women’s Work in West Africa
22 February: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) joined forces with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in an effort to empower rural West African women with diesel engines, and, in doing so, boost their incomes. The centrepiece of the project is a diesel-run engine mounted on a chassis, called a multifunctional platform, or MFP, to which a variety of processing equipment can be attached, including a cereal mill, husker, battery charger, and joinery and carpentry equipment, according to a UNDP press release. A $19 million, four-year grant from the Gates Foundation will help establish 600 new sustainable, rural agro-enterprises based on the machine in West Africa, with at least 24 of the MFPs to be biofuel-based, according to UNDP. Source: UN News, 2008; UNDP, 2008.

Source: UN, 2008
IFAD and AfDB Sign Memorandum of Understanding to Increase Collaboration in Eradicating Rural Poverty in Africa
13 February: IFAD and the African Development Bank (AfDB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen their partnership as they work together to help poor rural people in Africa overcome poverty. The MoU was signed during the 31st Session of IFAD’s Governing Council. The MoU provides a framework for IFAD and the Tunis-based AfDB to design and implement work programmes within a number of thematic areas and sectors, including microfinance, capacity building, good governance, and post-conflict intervention. The two institutions re-affirmed their commitment to focus on efforts to mitigate climate change, protect the Congo River Basin, improve fertilizer supply; and support rural infrastructure. The MOU further identifies climate change as one of the areas of focus for this strategic partnership. According to IFAD President, Lennart Båge, the institutions will work together to support interventions in the fields of agribusiness and agro-processing, rural community empowerment, micro-enterprise development and renewable energy. Interview with IFAD President.

Sources: IFAD, 2008; AfDB, 2008
AU and EU Discuss Implementation of the Africa-EU Joint Strategy and Action Plan
5 February: In the first follow up to the Lisbon Africa- EU Summit, the African Union and the European Union met at the headquarters of the African Union, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 4 February 2008 to share their views on the way forward regarding the implementation of the Joint Strategy and the Action Plan adopted. At the meeting, both parties presented their views on the way forward regarding the implementation of the Joint Strategy and its first Action Plan. They also agreed to inform each other on the outcomes of their respective internal consultations. They underlined the necessity to closely involve Member States in the implementation process, to deliver rapid and concrete first results.

Source: African Union, 2008
Norway Commits NOK 45 million to NEPAD Special Fund
5 February: The Norwegian Government has committed NOK 45 million to the NEPAD Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF) covering the period 2007-2009.  The NEPAD-IPPF Special Fund, a programme of the Facility currently financed by Canada and Denmark, assists AfDB regional member countries, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and other regional infrastructure development institutions in preparing regional infrastructure projects in energy, trans-boundary water resources management, transportation, and ICT. In 2007, the Fund mobilized US$ 22.5 million, and it is expecting a contribution of £6 million from DFID (UK)), € 2 million from the German government in 2008 earmarked for Infrastructure development capacity building in RECs and has targeted interested countries such as Japan, China, India, and selected African nations for their contribution.

Source: AfDB, 2008
UN Secretary-General says UN System will Deliver Climate Mandates in Support of Africa
31 January: In his address to the tenth African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said “our best efforts in peace, development and human rights will be undermined if we do not effectively address the threats posed by climate change.” The Secretary-general stressed his determination that “the UN system as a whole delivers effectively on its mandates in the area of climate change, particularly in Africa.” Full Statement.
UNIDO Director-General says UN-Energy will Drive Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in Africa
31 January: In his address to the tenth African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, UNIDO Director-General Kandeh K Yumkella said that “priority must be given to all forms of renewable energy for productive use and to ensuring a high degree of energy efficiency in industrial production.” Noting that UNIDO supports such efforts in a number of African countries, he said as Chair of UN-Energy he “would drive forward the UN’s systems work in this issue.” He also announced that UNIDO with the African Union and government of Senegal will host the Conference on renewable energy in Africa in April to map out the investment opportunities and highlight critical policy issue for Africa to benefit from the ‘Green Energy Revolution.’  The Director-General’s speech is available at the African Union.

Source: UNIDO Press Release, 2008
AfDB President says Water is a Top Priority for the International Community
30 January: Speaking on the sidelines of the tenth African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, AfDB President Donald Kaberuka said the international community must include water among its top priorities.  Kaberuka, met with the Prince Willem-Alexander of Orange, Netherlands, in his capacity as the Chair of the United Nations Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation, reaffirmed the Bank Group’s determination to build its partnerships in the water sector around concrete actions aimed at producing meaningful results in the short term. 

Source: AfDB, 2008
UNDP and Cadbury Team-up for Sustainable Cocoa Farming in Ghana
28 January: Cadbury has announced the establishment of the Cadbury Cocoa Partnership, together with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Ghanaian Government, which will seek to secure the sustainable livelihoods of a million farmers in cocoa-growing communities across Ghana, India, Indonesia and the Caribbean. Cadbury is expected to invest US$ 2 million in 2008 to establish the Partnership, with annual funding levels rising to US$ 10 million by 2010. The majority of the funds will be invested in Ghana, where the Partnership is designed to help cocoa farmers increase their cocoa yields, as well as introducing new sources of rural income through microfinance and investing in community-led development ranging from schools to biodiversity protection projects. This public-private partnership will take on a bottom-up model, with farmers, non-governmental organizations, governments and UNDP working together to determine how best to turn plans into sustainable action.

Sources: UNDP News release, Linkages Update
UNECA to Establish Climate Change Center for Africa
27 January:  Speaking at the 12th Executive Council meeting of the African Union, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Secretary General, Abdoulie Janneh, disclosed plans to establish an African center for climate policy studies to deal with the problem of climate change facing the continent. The ECA Secretary- General said that the center will help Africa to tackle the problems it is facing from the effects of climate change. Janneh told the gathering of African Foreign ministers that Africa’s collective effort should remain strongly focused on mitigating the impact of climate change, adapting to its effects and obtaining the required technology to confront it. Full Speech.
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