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AFRICA ENVIRONMENT AND WANGARI MAATHAI DAY SUCCESSFULLY CELEBRATED IN NOUAKCHOTT

AFRICA ENVIRONMENT AND WANGARI MAATHAI DAY SUCCESSFULLY CELEBRATED IN NOUAKCHOTT

On March, 3rd 2017, Nouakchott, Capital City of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania (IRM), hosted the celebrations of the Africa Environment and Wangari Maathai Day with the theme: “Environmental Protection for Present and Future Generation: Implementation of Agenda 2063. The annual AU event was celebrated between 1 and 3 March 2017 and it featured a scientific session, exhibitions, field visit and tree planting action. 

The 2017 event was attended by various participants including Government officials (Prime Minister, ministers, MPs, etc.), private sector representatives (mainly Energy and Mining industries), NGOs, Civil Societies, youth groups, women associations and International Community such as ECA, UNEP, GGWI, etc. Senegal Republic was specially represented by a delegation headed by the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development H.E. Mr Abdoulaye BALDE. AUC delegation, comprising AU SAFGRAD, was led by HE Tumisiime Rhoda Peace, Commissioner of the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture.

Africa Environment Day was designated in 2002 by the then Organization of the African Unity Council of Ministers in their meeting in Durban, South Africa, based on the recognition of the numerous environmental challenges confronting the African continent, which over the years have been further aggravated by loss of biological diversity, climate change, desertification and increased pollution and disposal of waste chemicals. In January 2012, the African Union adopted a decision calling for the joint celebrations of the African environment Day and Wangari Maathai Day. The celebration of the Wangari Maathai Day is in recognition of the work and life of the late Prof. Wangari Maathai who dedicated her life to promoting environmental conservation and sustainable development in Africa.

THE 2017 CELEBRATIONS IN NOUAKCHOTT         

The overall objective of the celebration of Africa Environment and Wangari Maathai Day was to raise awareness at regional and national levels. The commemoration of the Day offered an opportunity for reflection and stock taking on the environmental challenges and of course, opportunities for the African continent. The 2017’s theme (“Environmental Protection for Present and Future Generation: Implementation of Agenda 2063”) underpins the importance of natural resources like land, forests and biodiversity for the welfare of human society through space and time.

NATIONAL ENVIRONMENT FORUM

One of the key highlights of the commemoration of the 2017 edition of Africa Environment and Wangari Maathai Day was a two-day National Environment Forum from 1 – 2 March.  This forum is meant to strengthen collaboration between the government and the various stakeholders including the private sector to promote sustainable natural resources management. The forum organized jointly by the government of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, AU Commission, United Nations Environment Programme and other international partners was aiming at providing space for stakeholders at national level to talk about national policies and strategies and the role of the private sector, NGOs and local communities in ensuring environmental sustainability. Mr. Mamadou KOUTOU, AU SAFGRAD Senior Programme Officer has delivered during the forum an interesting presentation on the issue of “Policy dialogue on desertification in Africa”.

 OFFICIAL CELEBRATIONS ON MARCH 3rd, 2017

The ceremony of the Official campaign held March 3rd at the Palais International des Congres of Nouakchott was chaired by HE Mr. Yahya Ould Hademine, Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania and a mamouth crowd was on hand to grace the occasion. Campaign and advocacy items, made of customized T-shirts and Caps were produced and disseminated by AU SAFGRAD, an important AUC technical office in semi-arid land resilience building.

In her statement, HE Mrs. Tumissiime Rhoda Peace, DREA Commissioner and AUC representative, highlighted the important roles played by public/private partnership in environment management. “Environmental protection can no longer be the sole responsibility of the government so the fact that private sector in Mauritania is supporting the government is quite encouraging. I am particularly impressed with the measures taken by the private sector to minimize the negative impacts of mining on the environment and the general public” she stated. She also acknowledged the great effort of NGOs, civil societies, youth and women groups and the media in promoting environmental sustainability before appealing the development partners to support women and youths initiatives through capacity building and funding. Prior to that, she expressed her sincere appreciation to the government of the country for hosting the important event and the various experts and partners for the support provided. Furthermore, DREA Commissioner reemphasized the need to enable all make a better use of the collective strength. “It is imperative that we improve coordination among ourselves to promote synergies and complementarities. This will permit impactful achievements on the ground to address the challenges of environmental degradation and women empowerment” she concluded her address to the participants.

All the speeches delivered by leaders taking the floor went in the same vein. They all recognized the importance of the commemoration of such event as well as efforts being engaged by various partners, including the host country, to better manage environment matters. The Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, HE Mr. Yahya Ould Hademine, thanked particularly African Union for having selected his country to host the present ceremony.

Finally, field visits to various places surrounded Nouakchott were organized. The visiting of the coastal areas of the Capital City permitted to concretely observe the realities of environment challenges and constraints and subsequently the mitigation and adaptive actions by very resilient public and private actors. For instance, solar energy and wind power sites received the participants led by H.E. Mr. Amedi CAMARA, Mauritanian Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, his peer from Senegal HE Mr. Abdoulaye BALDE and HE Tumissiime Rhoda Peace, DREA outgoing Commissioner.

The opportunity of the field visits were also taken to plant trees on the vulnerable sandy dunes of the see borders of Nouakchott.

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MARCH 8th. HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY!

In the occasion of the International Women’s Day this March 8th, AU SAFGRAD Coordinator and the entire staff, wish a happy celebration to all.

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AU SAFGRAD Female staff posing with the Coordinator

 

PARTICIPATION OF AU-SAFGRAD TO THE OFFICIAL INAUGURATION CEREMONY OF TSETSE MASS REARING FACILITY IN BOBO DIOULASSO, BURKINA FASO. FEBRUARY 17th, 2017

On February 17th, 2017, Mr. Youssoupha MBENGUE, Senior Communications Officer participated in Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, to the official inauguration of the newly constructed Tsetse Mass Rearing Facility.

 AUC/DREA Representative, Mr. Youssoupha MBENGUE, delivering the statement of DREA Director

As Representative of AU SAFGRAD Coordinator, he has delivered a speech in French, on the behalf of DREA Director, Dr Godfrey BAHIIGWA,.

The official inauguration of the Tsetse Mass Rearing Facility, IBD (Insectarium de Bobo Dioulasso in French, the country official language) was indeed a great and solemn ceremony attended by various stakeholders. The participants included :

- International institutions such as African Development Bank (AfDB), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAAE) and African Union Commission (AUC);

- Governmental bodies (Livestock Ministry, Scientific Research Ministry, etc.),

- National Farmers Organizations, Livestock Associations, and

- Crowd public comprised of various local communities.

Not less than of a dozen of ministers took part to the ceremony that originally supposed to be chaired by the Prime Minister of Burkina Faso but finally be represented by an important delegation headed by the Minister of Scientific Research.

The programme of the ceremony could be summarized as follows:

- Welcome address from the Mayor of the City of BoboDioulasso;

- Statement of the three main partner institutions (IAEA, AUC and Government of Burkina Faso);

- Presentation of the coordination team of the infrastructure;

- Official inauguration with the traditional cutting of symbolic ribbon and a guided tour of the newly constructed premises with their very advanced technologies.

All the statements delivered during the event have saluted the relevance of the construction of Tsetse Mass Rearing Facility as well as the fruitful partnership that had led to its realization. The leadership of African Union commission has been recognized. Nevertheless, they have also appealed for an efficient and sustainable management with regard to its priceless role and the important the cost of the investment (more than six billion FCFA).

- Statement of DREA Director (delivered in French) ;

- Pictures of the ceremony.

 

AS DEAN OF INTER-AFRICAN ORGANISATIONS, AU SAFGRAD COORDINATOR PRESENTED NEW YEAR’S GREETINGS TO THE PRESIDENT OF BURKINA FASO ON BEHALF OF HIS PEERS

 

AS DEAN OF INTER-AFRICAN ORGANISATIONS, AU SAFGRAD COORDINATOR PRESENTED NEW YEAR’S GREETINGS TO THE PRESIDENT OF BURKINA FASO ON BEHALF OF HIS PEERS

 

Ouagadougou, BURKINA FASO - 06 January 2017. The traditional ceremony of annual wishes to the President of Burkina Faso by the international organizations, inter-African institutions and embassies in Burkina Faso took place this Friday at the Presidential Palace. At this occasion, Dr Ahmed ELMEKASS, AU SAFGRAD Coordinator, as now Dean of Inter-African institutions delivered a statement on behalf of his peers to HE Roch Marc Christian KABORE, President of Burkina Faso Republic.

Voeux 2017

Group Photo of Inter-African Institutions with HE Rock Mark Christian KABORE, President of Burkina Faso in company with Foreign Affairs Minister    (at the left) and Minister of Regional Cooperation (at the right)

In his speech, the AU SAFGRAD head, after thanking the government and people of Burkina Faso for all the facilities offered to inter-African organizations, has highlighted the high quality of the cooperation with the hosting country. He also raised main relevant issues in the various fields during the outgoing year 2016.

 In the field of Politics, AU SAFGRAD Coordinator has recalled the democratic process in 2015 that has leaded to the election of the current President in 2016. This process has been recognized by the International Community as a peaceful and an exemplary model for all African Countries.

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 Dr Ahmed ELMEKASS greeting H.E. Roch Marc Christian KABORE, President of Burkina Faso, at the end of his statement

In the field of Security, the AU SAFGRAD representative, focused on the multiple threats facing by Burkina Faso and other African Countries mainly in the Sahel Region. A moment of great emotion occurred when Dr ELMEKASS requested from H.E the President a minute of silence for all the victims of recent tragic events, notably brave military who lost their life with terrorist attacks. 

In the area of Economy, he focused on the numerous challenges faced by the whole world among which Burkina Faso with the other African Countries. Nevertheless, he recognized the huge efforts done by the Burkinabe Government under the leadership of the President. He seized the opportunity to congratulate the Country after the recent success of his new Development Plan called PNDES (Economic and Social National Development Plan) that has succeeded to receive massive support for his funding from development partners. Dr ELMEKASS has also mentioned in his statement the integration of AGENDA 2063 of African Union as well as SDGs in the national development strategies. He particularly stressed the dedication by African Union of this year 2017 to Youth Empowerment in Africa by harnessing the Demographic dividend through investment in Youth.  

Finally, on behalf of his peers, he presented to the President wishes of happy New Year after reaffirming the strong will of the Inter-African Organizations to continue to accompany the Government and the People of Burkina Faso in their efforts for development.  

In his response, the President of Burkina Faso, after thanking Inter-African, International organizations and embassies for their support to the country. Moreover he raised the main issues marking 2016 in Burkina Faso, Africa and the World in general. He notably reiterated his willing for 2017, with the support of international partners, to continue addressing threats and challenges faced by his Country, among which violent terrorism.

To conclude, H.E KABORE presented in return his best wishes of Happy New Year to all, including families.

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REPRESENTING AUC/DREA, AU SAFGRAD ACTIVELY PARTICIPATES TO THE FORUM ON WOMEN’S ACCESS TO PRODUCTIVE RESOURCES IN FOUR MAIN AFRICAN COUNTRIES PRODUCING COTTON

 REPRESENTING AUC/DREA, AU SAFGRAD ACTIVELY PARTICIPATES TO THE FORUM ON WOMEN’S ACCESS TO PRODUCTIVE RESOURCES IN FOUR  MAIN AFRICAN COUNTRIES PRODUCING COTTON

Bamako, Mali – 22 November 2016. The opening ceremony was chaired by Mrs SANGARE Oumou BA , Malian Minister for Women, Children and Family Affairs, The 4day (22-25) Forum hosts over a hundred participants drawn from women cotton producers’ organizations, representatives of civil society groups and government officials from the four countries (Benin, Burkina, Chad and Mali).The Forum is discussing and sharing experiences on women cotton (and rotational crops) farmers’ access to productive resources, and it is aimed at promoting the economic and social empowerment of women producers and processors. 

The Forum is held in collaboration with the African Union (AU) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).  African Union Commission is represented by AU-SAFGRAD, the specialized technical office under DREA in charge of research coordination and facilitation towards building resilience of livelihoods in the Semi-Arid zone of Africa.

At the opening ceremony, H.E Mrs SANGARE highlighted the important role being played by Cotton in Malian economy as a major source of income and livelihood as well as for food security (food crops in cotton rotation). She pointed out the massive involvement of women farmers in the cotton value chain in Mali. However, she reported that “Small scale producers, notably Women, are facing many constraints most often based on gender issue such as access to land, financial services, access to inputs (seeds, fertilizers, equipment, etc.)”

The representative of AUC/DREA, Dr Mure Agbonlahor, in his address highlighted the commitment of AU and its Commission towards promoting women’s social and economic empowerment in the continent. He reiterated that the issue of gender mainstreaming and women empowerment is paramount in the DREA’s projects and very dear in the heart of the Chairperson as enunciated in Agenda 2063. He expressed the Commission’s support for the objective of the C4CP project of enhancing the social economic development of women, and observed the need to out-scale the project to other cotton producing Member States. A presentation on AU’ initiatives towards promoting women’s access to farm implement and equipment was made by AU-SAFGRAD at the plenary.

Dr Michael Simsik, Chief of Party, USAID-IFDC C4CP project advanced the progress recorded by the project and reported that the USD14.8 million project is expected to run for four years (2014-2018) with the aim to improve food security in the target areas.

He reported that sub-Saharan Africa is the fifth biggest exporter of cotton in the world and cotton is the main economic activity for more than two million male and female producers in the four biggest cotton producing countries called the C4 (Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali and Chad). The agricultural production system that is practiced is an integrated and dynamic one taking into account cereals (maize, millet…) and vegetables (beans, peanuts, soybeans) in rotation with cotton. Therefore, cotton plays a very important role in the fight against poverty and brings a major contribution to the food security of the cotton producing households.

However, small scale male and female producers have not always been able to fully use this potential to improve their means of livelihood, because they are confronted with many challenges. In addition, women in the C4 countries are facing specific challenges such as their non-recognition as cotton producers and their lack of memberships in cotton producers’ associations.

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Group photo at the openning ceremony

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Dr Mure Agbonlahor of AU-SAFGRAD delevering the message of AUC/DREA

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Mrs SANGARE Oumou BA , Malian Minister for Women, Children and Family Affairs, delelivering her speech at the Opening ceremony

For more information, please contact:

Mr. Youssoupha MBENGUE, Senior Communications Officer, AU SAFGRAD. Email: Cette adresse e-mail est protégée contre les robots spammeurs. Vous devez activer le JavaScript pour la visualiser.

Download here the Press Release in pdf

 

USAID-IFDC C4CP TEAM VISITS AU SAFGRAD OFFICE ON FRIDAY 12th OF NOVEMBER 2016

USAID-IFDC C4CP TEAM VISITS AU SAFGRAD OFFICE ON FRIDAY 12th OF NOVEMBER 2016

During the visit, the team, included Dr Micheal SIMSIK (Chief of Party USAID C4CP) and Mr Abey Woldesenbet Meharka (Project’ Gender Consultant), held a work session with AU SAFGRAD staff.

The "Partnership for Cotton in the C-4 countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali and Chad)" project commonly referred to as USAID C4CP is among the USAID funded projects. The project is mobilizing arround USD14.8million for four years (2014-2018) with the goal to improve food security in the targeted areas of C-4 countries while the strategic objective is to increase the incomes of male and female producers and processors of cotton and rotation crops in the targeted areas. The project is implemented in colloboration with about forty (40) regional and national implementation partners, the main partners include the direct actors of the regional cotton value chain at the national and local levels.

In a bid to ensure the sustainability of its achievements, and also to expand its lessons learnt at regional level in order to influence policy work, the project, through its community of practice, is working with African Union and other key partners to organize a forum on women's access to productive resources such as land, credit, inputs and equipment.

The team informed that they called to finalize AU participation and strengthen collaboration with AU-SAFGRAD as the AU interest group in the C4CP project and future advocacy.

AU-SAFGRAD is expected to make an opening presentation  (Day1) on AU’ initiatives on Women’s’ Access to Agricultural inputs and equipment in the forthcoming Forum.

About 60 participants drawn from the Government of the 4 countries, members of the community of practice, AU, ECA and female producers and processors are expected to take part to the forum in Bamako, Mali from November 22 to 25, 2016.

C4 Team visit

Mr Abey Woldesenbet Meharka (Project’ Gender Consultant) and Dr Micheal SIMSIK (Chief of Party USAID C4CP) (at the center) posing at the end of their visit with two AU SAFGRAD staff members

 

 

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