UNDP manages more than a dozen regional projects and also serves as a regional knowledge facilitator on a wide range of development issues. In 2012 for instance, we produced the first Africa Human Development Report which analyses the connection between food security and sustainable development. Our regional projects are as follows:
This project aims to strengthen institutional processes and human resources in governments, civil society organizations, RECs, and the African Union Commission (AUC). Through training, knowledge management, financing and technical support, we help them to play a stronger role in promoting growth, governance and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) across the Africa region.
Millennium Development Goals and poverty reduction
We support African nations so they can accelerate progress on the MDGs, helping them to put into place development plans and poverty reduction strategies based on the Goals. As a lead advocate on the goals, we work with the AU, African Development Bank (AfDB), UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and civil society organizations, campaigning for the MDGs at the country level.
We have been training public administration officials and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) on how to adopt results-based budgets, use public funds more transparently and better evaluate the impact of their public policies. Reaching out to wider audiences, we are in the process of deploying a series of online training courses for national schools of administration and training centres. Fiscal policy and gender-sensitive budgets will be additional areas of focus in the second phase of the programme, which starts in 2014.
HIV and AIDS
Aiming to mitigate the impact of HIV and AIDS on human development across the Africa region, we encourage countries to incorporate their response to HIV and AIDS into their national development plans and projects. Another objective of the project is to help countries develop better mechanisms and cross-border responses to fight HIV and AIDS, while addressing stigma, discrimination, gender inequalities and human rights violations.
The African Facility for Inclusive Markets (AFIM) examines the conditions required to bring economic growth closer to low-income communities in Africa, focusing on how businesses can more readily include them as consumers, entrepreneurs and employees. The facility works to highlight the conditions in which these businesses can thrive. On the ground, the facility has helped create regional value chains in job creating sectors such as agribusiness, tourism, renewable energy, retailing and mining.
UNDP works with the UN ECA, the AU, and Regional Economic Communities to build responsive and effective democratic States, accelerate regional integration, build knowledge on governance in Africa, support free and fair elections and bolster gender equality and women’s empowerment across the region.
African Peer Review Mechanism
Through the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), African countries monitor each other’s compliance with a wide range of African and international treaties and standards. UNDP has supported 17 countries to conduct self-assessments, supported peer review processes and managed a multi-donor trust fund that finances the reviews. Through its network of field offices, UNDP is also helping countries to implement recommendations from the reviews and assessments.
Peace and security
Through this project, we help the Peace and Security Division of the AUC to play a central role in conflict prevention, peacebuilding and security. We do this by strengthening the management of finances and personnel within the division, in addition to helping the division programme and implement a vast continental agenda for peace and security in Africa.
Natural disasters and conflict
UNDP has been helping three RECs to integrate disaster risk management and conflict prevention in their development policies. Through this project, the RECs are also expected to work more effectively with governments and other partners to analyse risk, establish early warning mechanisms and involve communities in efforts to minimize the consequences of disasters and crises.
Access to energy
Since access to energy is central to achieving the MDGs, UNDP is helping RECs and governments to integrate energy considerations in their development plans. Through this project, we introduced hundreds of diesel and biofuel engines to rural communities, helping relieve women and girls of difficult household chores so they can go to school, pay their medical bills and create businesses of their own.
Gender equality and women’s empowerment
The project aims to boost youth and women’s political participation and representation, empower women economically, increase their productivity in agriculture and encourage African countries to integrate gender considerations in their budgets, plans and reporting systems. It promotes women’s access to knowledge and skills so they can produce quality products for export. To ensure women are elected to leadership positions, we collaborate with African networks to change perceptions on women as decision-makers. In the area of agriculture, priorities include access to information, insurance, land, credit services and regional markets.
The project has been helping African countries to manage natural resources and attract additional carbon financing by training government representatives and negotiators. The project also aimed to improve management of trans-boundary freshwater and marine resources, while unlocking the potential of protected areas and ecosystems to secure livelihoods, food, water and health and increase carbon storage and sequestration.
Used sustainably, Africa’s agricultural, mining and energy resources have the potential to boost the continent’s economic growth and pave the way for a breakthrough in human development. In collaboration with the UN ECA, the AfDB and the African Union, UNDP will help countries in Africa to ensure natural resources and extractive industries lead to economic transformation, job creation and wider human development.
Food Security in the Sahel
In four countries of the Sahel Region - Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali and Niger - UNDP is bringing together local and international development actors around a common plan to identify bottlenecks and practical solutions to dramatically reduce hunger over time, through the MDGs Acceleration Framework. Priority actions will aim to widen access to seeds and fertilizer, and decentralize the services that provide them, improve nutrition for all, expand social protection, and enhance the technical know-how of small-scale farmers.