Ready, set, innovate!

29 Nov 2016 by Marc Lepage, Innovation and Knowledge Management Specialist, UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa

UNDP AfricaPhoto: Aude Rossignol/UNDP Burundi
At present, in all countries throughout the African continent, “innovation hubs” are being set up with support from UNDP. Such hubs target young people who want to change the world by testing out new approaches and solutions. Innovation can only exist in an environment that encourages new ideas to blossom. … Read more

Stopping Violence against Women, the right and smart path to human development

25 Nov 2016 by Angela Lusigi, Strategic Advisor, UNDP Africa

More women in decision making contributes to more stable and peaceful societies. Photo: UNDP
Some countries in Africa have made notable progress in enhancing women’s access to justice and reducing the incidence of sexual and gender based violence. In partnership with UNDP, Burundi, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia and Mozambique have improved legal frameworks, response by law enforcement agencies in handling violence against women and established stronger mechanisms for providing support to survivors. In 2015 alone, helpdesks established at police stations to assist women and child victims of violence in Burundi and Mozambique have supported 1160 victims of gender based violence in Burundi and 16,000 in Mozambique.  Gambia achieved a landmark in 2015, by banning Female Genital Mutilation through the amendment of the Women Act (2010).  In addition, DRC created multipurpose community centers to promote socio-economic reintegration for victims of sexual violence and made significant inroads in the fight against the impunity of sexual violence against women.  The creation of a more conducive security environment has resulted in a decline in reported cases of sexual violence related to armed conflicts from 15,333 in 2013 to 10,882 in 2015 - a decrease of 33%[1].  Yet despite progress, much remains to be done to address the scourge of Violence against Women in Africa and around the world.  According to … Read more

Addressing radicalization and violent extremism through climate action

17 Nov 2016 by Aliou M. Dia, Team Leader, Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change, UNDP Africa

Ebola UNDP AfricaClimate action through adaptation measures can help strengthen peace and stability and remove social and economic barriers in many fragile countries of the continent.
Climate change and violent extremism will be two of the major threats to the stability of states and societies in the next decades. In many countries in the continent (Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, etc.) climate change has significantly increased instability by over-stretching the already limited capacity of governments to respond. … Read more

Sub-Saharan Africa needs next-generation weather and climate services

09 Nov 2016 by Bonizella Biagini, Manager, Programme on Climate Information for Resilient Development in Africa, UNDP

Sub-Saharan Africa needs next-generation weather and climate servicesA data collector in Uganda uses an instrument to measure sunlight hours. Every dollar invested in hydro-meteorological services generates a five-fold or greater return in economic development. Photo: UNDP Uganda
In Tanzania, a lightning strike killed a teacher and six students in 2015 – another sad example of the thousands of deaths that could be avoided with the effective deployment of modern weather and climate services, including early warnings for extreme weather events like lightning, flooding and drought. Providing these services not only saves lives but also is central to building resilience to climate change, empowering nations and strengthening livelihoods across Africa’s most vulnerable communities. As we take the mandates established in Paris and move on to the Marrakech Climate Change Conference, it becomes very clear that providing accurate, timely and reliable weather, water and climate information will be key in supporting the efforts of leaders across sub-Saharan Africa to build resilience to climate change and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. When used to improve decision making, hydro-meteorological, or hydromet, information can empower nations, save thousands of lives every year, and strengthen livelihoods across a region that has contributed the least to human-induced climate change but is among the most vulnerable to its effects. … Read more

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