The missing element in Africa’s industrialization agenda

29 Apr 2016 by Degol Hailu

African countries are eager to industrialize rapidly. For instance, in the African Union’s Agenda 2063, Members States cannot wait to see the day “their economies are structurally transformed to create shared growth, decent jobs and economic opportunities for all”. The African Mining Vision (AMV) would like to see “a mining sector that has become a key component of a diversified, vibrant and globally competitive industrializing African economy”. The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) recently released a Report on how Africa can industrialize. The Report says: “We have a real opportunity to promote economic transformation through the industrialization process, by capitalizing on the continent’s abundant natural resources, adding value to them, while also supporting the development of infant industries.” The UNECA Report succinctly outlines the policy measures that lead to industrialization. For instance, the Report provides evidence on how today’s rich countries have used industrial policy when they were developing. How emerging countries such as Brazil and Malaysia adopted industrial polices successfully. And how developing countries such as Ethiopia and Vietnam are today pursuing vigorous industrial policies. The Report argues that, in each of the country cases, active state intervention supported the growth in manufacturing activities. The Report also emphasizes … Read more

Global Climate Finance - Will Africa Benefit After Paris?

21 Apr 2016 by Daisy Mukarakate

UNDP is supporting a number of countries to develop GCF concept notes and funding proposals and to access GCF Readiness Funds for removal of barriers to direct access.
For the first time in the 25-year history of climate diplomacy, countries concluded a universal treaty under international law – the December 2015 Paris Agreement - rekindling lost hope on a collective and genuine effort to tackle climate change. African countries, along with the rest of the world, submitted national climate pledges also known as intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs), aimed at stabilizing greenhouse gas (GHG) concentration in the atmosphere to a level that does not pose a danger to life on earth. While Africa is the lowest contributor of global emissions, it is the most vulnerable continent to climate change with majority of its population relying on the land for subsistence and economic activity. According to the 2015 UN Environment Programme’s Adaptation Gap Report, Africa could require between US$20 -30 billion dollars annually over the next 10-20 years to meet its climate change adaptation needs. As such there is a need for developed countries to ramp up financial contributions, and on the other hand, for support to African countries to access global climate finance. The Paris Agreement provides the basis for this support. Article 9 paragraph 1 states “Developed country Parties shall provide financial resources to assist developing country Parties … Read more

Navigating the bumpy road from Paris

20 Apr 2016 by Angela Lusigi and Ishmael Dodoo

The topic of this blog will be debated at the upcoming Maendeleo Africa Debates in New York. Please submit your comments and queries below or via Twitter using the hashtag #MaendeleoForum. Hemingway once said, “It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” On April 22nd 2016 in New York, over 130 nations are expected to sign the long-awaited Paris Agreement and begin the journey to limit global warming.  This agreement reinforces the global Agenda 2030 that aims to eradicate multiple dimensions of poverty and improve people’s lives, through equitable and inclusive pathways to prosperity, within the planet’s ecological boundaries.  This is the first stop on the road from Paris where in December 2015, over 200 nations agreed to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2°C (3.6°F) above pre-industrial levels. The ideal target is to keep temperature rise below 1.5°C (2.7°F). This implies significant cuts in greenhouse emission and a transformation in our global consumption and production patterns with consequences for Africa’s present and future growth trajectories. Africa’s journey is navigated by its common Africa position on climate change which was effectively used to push for a climate change … Read more

What do climate-resilient communities look like? Ask them.

06 Apr 2016 by Yuko Kurauchi

Photo: UNDP GC-REAL
As severe droughts across the Horn of Africa become more frequent and enduring, the need for at-risk communities to build resilience to natural disasters becomes more urgent. But what is resilience in the first place? Varying definitions among stakeholders and organizations result in uncoordinated implementation, as well as difficulties in monitoring, measuring and verifying the success, or failure, of resilience-building initiatives.  To help gain clarity and make these interventions relevant to target groups, UNDP, through its Global Policy Centre on Resilient Ecosystems and Desertification, created in 2010 the Community Based Resilience Analysis (CoBRA) methodology and tool, enabling relief and development actors to solicit open and frank local views and perspectives on the key contributing factors for community and household resilience. CoBRA defines people’s views and perspectives about their needs in resilience building.  It cuts out the bureaucratic and technical views that so often end up in documents only as theoretical concepts, and brings the needs and opinions of at-risk populations to the forefront of policymaking. By using non-technical open-ended questionnaires with clear references to everyday life, we enable respondents to describe in simple terms what they believe resilience to be, for example, “being able to feed my family adequately every day.” Other … Read more

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