UNDP Africa launches AfHDR 2016 in New York

Nov 16, 2016

UNDP Regional Director for Africa Mr. Abdoulaye Mr Dieye presents the AfHDR 2016 Report flanked by H.E. Ambassador Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee, Permanent Representative of Ghana (left); Shahra Razavi, UN Women Chief for Research and Data; and HDRO Director Selim Jehan (right). Photo: UNDP

New York, 15 November 2016. UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Africa held the New York launch of its 2016 Africa Human Development Report (AfHDR) on “Accelerating Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Africa” on Tuesday 15 November 2016.  

The presentation followed the recent launch of the Spanish version of the report on 2 November 2016 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, by UNDP Administrator Helen Clark and Prime Minister Francisco Pascual Obama Asue of Equatorial Guinea, on the margins of UNDP Africa’s Annual Meeting.

The New York event, which was hosted by the African Union Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations, was paired with a panel discussion on “Accelerating Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment for Agenda 2030 and the Africa We Want” aimed at discussing the report’s key findings and showcasing gender-friendly initiatives and policies on the continent.

The panel was moderated by UNDP Africa Director Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, and attended by H.E. Ambassador Valentine Rugwabiza, Permanent Representative of Rwanda; H.E. Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee, Permanent Representative of Ghana; and Dr. Selim Jahan, Director of UNDP’s Human Development Report Office.

Also present at the launch were H.E. Ambassador C.T. Ntwaage, Permanent Representative of Botswana and President of the African Ambassadors Group for the month; Shahra Razavi, UN Women’s Chief for Research and Data; and H.E. Ambassador Hiroshi Minami of the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations.

Stressing the need for a paradigm shift in the way gender inequality is approached, UNDP Africa Director said: “When we work symbiotically in the areas of economic policy and political economy, we will find a path to human and sustainable development that is also just and balanced.”

Urging a similar novel approach, Dr. Selim Jehan added:  “We always frame gender inequality in terms of income. We have to look at inequality in terms of human development outcome and indicators. As poverty is multidimensional, so too inequality”.

Speaking to topic of the discussion, the panelists all underscored the fact that gender inequality should be treated as cross-cutting issue by policymakers and treated as a key priority in order to further the Sustainable Development Goals and African Union's Agenda 2063. 

Since its global launch in late August 2016 on the margins of TICAD VI in Nairobi, the AfDHR has generated a great deal of interest among media, policymakers and academia, particularly its key finding that gender gap-related annual economic losses on the labour market alone cost sub-Saharan African an average $95 billion per year, i.e. 6 percent of the its GDP.

The report has since then been launched in Uganda, Mauritania, Ethiopia, Madagascar, and South Africa. Tanzania is expected to launch the report on 21 November, and should be followed by Malawi, Sierra Leone, and Zambia by year’s end.

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