bulletin of the AFRICA PROGRESS PANELVolume 3, Issue 15 — 10 December 2010
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Getting in sync with development
As 2010 comes to an end, we celebrate the second anniversary of our Bulletin with a special publication entitled ‘The APP Editor’s Diary’. It provides a narrative view of the issues we have been discussing for the past two years.
Had everything gone as we wished in 2010, today’s editorial would be a wrap up of a year that began with the post-Copenhagen disappointment and ended with Cancun’s unexpected success. Unfortunately, this is not the case. And as Secretary General Ban urges governments for an agreement, the risk now is not only failing to make progress on climate change negotiations but to lose overall credibility and fuel cynicism on the issue and the multilateral process.
This is not the only disappointment. Over the last year we have again sought to put the spotlight on key issues in need of more attention and in some cases –like around the World Cup with our ‘Scoring for Africa’ guide and with the Africa Progress Report – actually succeeded. But as we compare our priorities with global interest, as reflected by Google searches (see chart), we realize that still far too few capture the attention we would like to see.
Women’s empowerment, ODA, poverty, agriculture, governance, elections, and independence anniversaries in Africa may all be high on our list but they pale next to the likes of Wikileaks and the engagement of Prince William. However juicy these stories may be, we need to ask ourselves why the global fight against poverty and hunger cannot achieve a fraction of the attention they create and remain merely tiny smudges in the chart. We all clearly have more work to do on that front. Our New Year’s Resolution here at the APP is clear – we need to work even harder to ensure Africa receives the attention it needs and deserves. We hope you will join us.
Best wishes for 2011.
- Despite a resounding defeat at the polls, the risk of violent conflict is increasing fast as Ivory Coast Laurent Gbagbo sworn himself in as president. As mediators try to end the dispute, an analyst says, a parliamentarian regime could be a solution out of the democratic crisis (Article in French).
- With fewer than seven weeks left before the referendum in Sudan, experts warn that the perpetuation of the current stalemate between North and South Sudan over the future of the oil-producing area of Abyei could reignite war if.
- The African Union appoints outgoing Guinea junta leader General Sekouba Konate to head its standby military force after he won international praise for recently steering his country back to civilian rule after more than 50 years.
- Egypt is said to be bribing officials in Burundi in order to gain support in the dispute over the Nile. Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s has warned of the potential of this to lead to war and accuses Egypt of supporting rebel groups in Ethiopia in an attempt to destabilize his nation. Countries that share the Nile’s water have unsuccessfully attempted to reach an agreement over its use for 13 years.
- The Kenyan government says it could be losing nearly one-third of the national budget to corruption. Finance ministry officials told a parliamentary committee the losses could be nearly $4bn (£2.5bn) a year, claiming that individuals are taking huge sums meant for development projects. Analysts say many Kenyans will be surprised not by the news of the losses, but by the fact the admission has come from such senior officials.
- A new drive starts this week to inoculate tens of millions of West Africans with a vaccine against bacterial meningitis, marking what scientists hope “will be the beginning of the end of ravaging epidemics.” The aim is for this immunization campaign to bring the disease under control and save an estimated 150,000 lives by 2015.
- African nations can break dependence on food imports and produce enough to feed a growing population within a generation despite extra strains from climate change, according to a Harvard University study. The author calls on politicians to put agricultural expansion at the heart of decision-making from transport and communications to education and innovation.
- The AU receives substantial financial support from China totalling $1,320,000 for capacity building within the AUC and for AU peacekeeping mission in Somalia
- ECOWAS has suspended Côte d'Ivoire from all the bloc’s activities, and urges incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo to step down
- GAVI Alliance sets out to immunize an additional 240 million children, with the expected result of saving 4 million lives by 2015
- $131m infrastructure for sanitation and access to drinking water project in Senegal will give 100,000 inhabitants access to drinking water and improve the sanitation of 50,000 inhabitants
- IMF commits to provide ‘all the necessary support’ needed for the EAC to create its Monetary Union
- IMF will provide Kenya with $500m to support the implementation of the country’s new constitution as well as invest in its infrastructure and energy sector
- The UN issues the biggest appeal ever asking donors for $7.4 billion for humanitarian work in 2011
- UN and partners launched a climate finance tool – ‘Climate Finance Option’ that will provide developing countries, access to information on existing and potential sources of financing for adaptation and mitigation
- UN survey shows the water availability is declining in Africa and only five African countries are expected to attain the target of reducing by half the proportion of population without sustainable access to basic sanitation by 2015
- Traditional light bulbs should be banned across the world as part of plans to help tackle climate change, according to a new UN report
- WFP in collaboration with the UK publishes a map showing the links between climate change and food insecurity
- The World Bank reveals its Climate Change Strategy for Africa, recognizing that Africa is the most exposed region in the world to the impacts of climate change
- The World Bank is set to launch a multi-million dollar fund in Cancun to help emerging market countries set up their own carbon markets
- Nine African countries are set to benefit from a World Bank project that will improve the energy infrastructure of the continent
In the blogs...
- Reuters Africa Blog: Ivory Coast puts African credibility on the line, 6 Dec. 2010
Ivory Coast's election has put African and UN credibility on the line and could raise concerns over whether deals to end other African post-election crises have established a new model for leaders to emerge as the winner from elections even if they lose.
- World Bank’s Africa can end poverty Blog: Kenya’s telecom revolution and the impact of mobile money, 2 Dec. 2010
Among the many uses of cell phones, the most innovative is mobile money—money that is stored and transferred by mobile phone. Kenya’s telecom revolution has put Africa in a position to export innovation and not just import it.
- Mail & Guardian: Celebrate our positive results, 7 Dec. 2010
Incredible progress has been achieved across the African continent over the past decade, says Dr Sipho Moyo, Africa Director at ONE. She calls on leaders and the global communities to maintain the progress as well scale up their efforts to fight HIV/AIDS.
- L’observateur Paalga: Une prime à l’agitation, 7 Dec. 2010
In this article, the author highlights the incongruity of double government in Côte d’Ivoire and warns that the crisis could deepen into a scenario similar to the one in Zimbabwe or Kenya. He also questions what more could be done considering diplomatic pressure on the former President to step down have been unsuccessful.
- Huffington Post: Governments should seize on business support for climate deal, 6 Dec. 2010
While the UN COP16 climate negotiations are underway, author call on governments to make use of the opportunity to “seize on business support for climate deal,” in order to avoid a backlash against climate regulation.
- Pambazuka: Key issues at the Cancun Climate Conference, 2 Dec. 2010
Low expectations about the outcomes of Cancun show how far climate change has fallen on the world's political agenda. “And that is bad indeed,” writes Martin Khor, ‘because the climate problem has got even worse.’
Let us not forget: Nature isn't waiting while we negotiate.
- Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General
- Brazil urges COP 16 participants to do more faster, including setting up a detailed framework for financing for climate change
- The Government of Canada will support skills and training programmes targeting youth, with a total contribution of $20m in Mozambique, Senegal and Tanzania
- China and the US have significantly narrowed their differences on the verification of reductions in GHG emissions, thus providing hope that Cancun can achieve modest success
- At the recently concluded 3rd Africa-EU Summit, African and European leaders adopted the Tripoli Declaration, committing to make their partnership more responsive, and the EU commits to provide €50 billion to Africa's development over the next three years
- According to the Eurobarometer, presenting the opinions of the European citizens, poverty and hunger are still the key issues in EU-Africa’s relationship
- French Minister for Cooperation states that France will keep to its commitments and reach 0.5% of its GDP on ODA in 2010
- The African Agriculture Fund - a private equity fund designed to respond to the severe food crisis on the continent in 2008 reaches $135m
- Italy and South Africa sign an agreement aimed at strengthening the countries’ scientific cooperation within several research areas
- UK PM David Cameron urges the international community to use the profit motive to get actors, including business, engaged to fight climate change
- The UK Government, through UNICEF, commits to protect nearly 5 million Ghanaians from malaria with provision of life-saving bed nets
- The UK promises to double its trade volume and bolster economic ties with South Africa by 2015
- The UK pledges to fulfil its financial commitments to capacitate the South Sudan Referendum Commission
- According to the Rural Poverty Report 2011 issued by IFAD, more than 350 million rural people have pulled themselves out of extreme poverty over the last ten years.
- A new report by the International Food Policy Research Institute titled “Food security, farming, and climate change to 2050" argues that addressing poverty is the “single best way” to help developing countries adapt to climate change.
- The Development & Trends Global Report 2010 by the International Social Security Association (ISSA) confirms the essential role of social security systems as a social and economic stabilizer.
- The Climate Vulnerability Monitor 2010 predicts that twenty more years of inaction would lead to 10 million climate deaths by 2030. The report highlights the disparity at the heart of the climate crisis, stating that ‘these discussions take time, but it’s time we may not have.'
- The Least Developed Countries Report 2010 has been launched calling for a new approach to development and charting out the New International Development Architecture (NIDA) with the aim to change and improve the current "business as usual" model
- UNEP released “Waste and Climate Change: Global Trends and Strategy Framework” – a report showing how the waste-management sector is particularly well placed to battle climate change
|10 December||International Day Against Corruption|
|11 December||Human Rights Day|
|14 December||OECD Ministerial Roundtable on Sustainable Development-Green Growth: Paris, France|
|14-15 December||Human Rights Council- Forum on Minority Issues: Geneva, Switzerland|
|14-15 December||WTO general Council: Geneva, Switzerland|
|9 January||Sudan Referendum on Southern Independence|
|24-25 January||IFAD conference on new directions for smallholder agriculture: Rome, Italy|
|25-31 January||16th AU Summit on “Towards Greater Unity and Integration through Shared Values:" Addis Ababa, Ethiopia|
|26-30 January||World Economic Forum: Davos, Switzerland|