Gambians are ready to rebuild their country

24 Mar 2017 by Ozonnia Ojielo

Poverty, inequality and exclusion in Gambia stem from limited productive natural resources; limited resilience capacities to climate change and external shocks; disproportionate distribution of growth benefits between urban and rural areas; limited jobs for youth and women; restrictive productive assets for women; limited institutional capacity for oversight; and absence of state-supported social safety nets. There is a need to mobilize resources to address these issues and to work with the government to align resources with national priorities while addressing risks to the achievement of national development objectives. … Read more

Co-Creating Partnerships to Achieve the Global Goals

01 Mar 2017 by Juergen Nagler

With the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) having significantly raised the bar regarding ambition and universality, there is agreement that we have to go well beyond business as usual. Achieving breakthrough progress in these rapidly-changing times requires a new mind-set and different behavior from all of us. "The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence; it is to act with yesterday's logic", said Management Educator, Peter Drucker. Are we ready to step up our logic? What role can each of us play to realize the future we want? As a neutral broker, UNDP increasingly takes innovative approaches to coordinating, connecting and co-creating with partners, globally and locally. Coordination in a Confusing World We live in transformational times with dynamics reinforced by globalization and technological progress causing threats and opportunities on an unprecedented scale. Within this context, multilateral processes are of critical importance for dialogue and coordination to overcome fragmentation and duplication. As UN Secretary-General António Guterres has stated, “coordination [is] a permanent must: a results-focused, people-centered and delivery-oriented coordination”. Being the chair of the UN Development Group, UNDP brings together some 30 UN entities involved in development to coordinate related efforts, globally and locally. With offices in some 170 … Read more

Tackling the crisis in the Lake Chad Basin

23 Feb 2017 by Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director, Regional Bureau for Africa and

Last May, the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations (USCFR) organized a briefing session on the situation in the Sahel. Among the invited participants, UNDP stressed the need for broad and concerted action to confront the surge in violent extremism and bring development-based solutions to the region affected by the Boko Haram insurgency that originated in Nigeria’s northeast seven years ago. We identified an “arc of instability” that stretches across the Sahel, the Horn of Africa, and the Lake Chad Basin. As UNDP and its partners gather in Oslo for the International Humanitarian Conference on 24 February, we intend to focus on the situation in Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin with heightened urgency. As a practical, field-based knowledge organization,  UNDP firmly believes that an all-encompassing response is the best way to solve the crises at hand, tailored to each country's specific needs. Viable solutions must first be informed by the recognition of the historical role played by the Lake Chad Basin as a centuries old hub along the Sahel trade routes linking the Atlantic seaboard to the Red Sea. Observers readily admit this crisis has been egregiously overlooked.  Its consequences could affect the security, economic, environmental, and institutional integrity of … Read more

Is there a better way to measure resource-dependence?

09 Feb 2017 by Degol Hailu and Chinpihoi Kipgen

Is there a better way to measure resource-dependence? High and persistent dependence on the extraction of oil, gas and minerals for export earnings and fiscal revenues are a concern for the sustainability of growth in resource-rich countries. Not so much a reliance on unexploited abundant resources in the ground, but dependency on extracted commodities for generating incomes. There are strong arguments for reducing resource-dependence − from declining terms of trade for commodity exports and volatility in their prices to potential weak governance and poor environmental and social safeguards associated with extraction. Although initial reliance on the sector is inevitable to generate income, it is the eventual moving away from this dependency through diversification into other sectors (particularly towards manufacturing) that denotes successful resource-based development. Several researchers came up with indicators to measure resource-dependency. They look at shares of resource exports in GDP or in total exports; resource revenue as a share of total government revenue and extractive value-added in GDP. These traditional measures however do not take into account the contribution of other sectors to foreign income, taxes or to domestic value addition. Dependence on resource incomes is only problematic if other sectors are relatively weaker. This is what our Index … Read more

Bringing youth together to innovate is key to development in Africa

31 Jan 2017 by Marc Lepage, Innovation and Knowledge Management Specialist, UNDP Africa

Central to the 28th African Union Summit that takes place in Ethiopia this week and to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum, to be held on 30-31 January 2017, is this question: How do we harness the dividend from the continent’s current youthful population? … Read more

Africa: To get the future we say we want, we’ve got to get rid of corruption

08 Dec 2016 by Njoya Tikum, ‎UNDP Africa Regional Anti-Corruption Advisor

One just needs to look at the newspaper headlines across Africa to see the continent’s struggle with corruption: South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, all have seen corruption and bribery rise recently. According to the latest Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index, “not a single country, anywhere in the world, is corruption-free”. But in sub-Saharan Africa, people in 40 out of 46 countries think theirs has a serious corruption problem. Africa has lost over USD 1 trillion to illicit financial flows over the last 50 years, as reported the African Union’s high level panel on illicit financial flows (IFFs), led by South Africa’s former President Thabo Mbeki. This is roughly equivalent to all the official development assistance the continent received during the same timeframe. According to the panel, companies and government officials are illegally moving as much as USD 60 billion out of Africa each year. From high-level political abuse to harassment by police officers, teachers, doctors or customs officials, corruption drains countries of resources, stifles small businesses and hampers education and healthcare. Together with lack of accountability and transparency, it is the most harmful barrier to development in Africa. … Read more