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Vol. 3, No.1

January, 2006

United Nations Environment Programme

African Union Commission welcomes Biodiversity Convention appointment

The African Union Commission has welcomed the appointment of Dr. Ahmed Djoghlaf as the new Executive Secretary of the Montreal based Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). A goodwill message on Mr. Djoghlaf's impending assumption of office sent out on 20 December 2005 the AUC said his appointment comes at a critical time for Africa as the continent moves inexorably towards the target set for attaining the Millennium Development Goal of ensuring sustainability by reversing the loss of environmental resources. The note said Africa is acutely aware of the importance of its natural resources, particularly its significant biodiversity, and the need for their prudent and sustainable management for both current and future generations. Ahjmed Djoghalf's appointment was announced on 21 June 2005 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Klaus Topfer, the UNEP Executive Director, said then that it would be a great loss to let Ahmed Djoghlaf go from the organization's Nairobi headquarters where he had transformed UNEP's role in the Global Environmental Facility, but the loss was CBD's gain. This was in reference to Dr. Djoghlaf's directorship of the UNEP Division of the GEF since 1996. The highpoint of this contribution was the award to UNEP/GEF of the UN Capacity 21 commendation in June 2005 by the Secretary General Mr. Kofi Annan. The AUC also refereed to Mr. Djoghlaf's role as head of UNEP/GEF, noting that during his tenure UNEP gave support to African countries in their environmental priorities, programmes and projects. The note said it was perhaps no accident that two thirds of the projects of UNEP/GEF are in Africa and that financial and technical support had been provided towards the preparation and implementation of the Environmental Action Plan of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) adopted by the African Union Summit in Maputo in 2003. This programme of the African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN) is a great example of how partnership between the United Nations system and Africa can unite political will and vision with external resources to achieve a win-win situation for both the continent and global well-being, the message said in part. The AUC concluded by thanking Mr. Djoghlaf for supporting specific projects like the Fouta Djallon Project on controlling and reversing land degradation in the Sahel, and for his keenness to support the Green Wall for the Sahara project being championed by the Chairman of the AU, President Olusegun Obasanjo, and his colleagues. It hoped that this demonstrated concern for Africa's environment would continue in Mr. Djoghlaf's new job at CBD, and pledged AUC readiness to be a reliable partner. In January 2006 Dr. Djoghlaf, an Algerian national, succeeds Dr. Dr. Ahmed Djoghlaf Hamdalla Zedan of Egypt who has retired at the end of 2005 after an illustrious career. Prior to this appointment, in addition to heading the UNEP/GEF Division, Ahmed Djoghlaf was also UNEP Assistant Executive Director. (Box: Message of the Executive Secretary of CBD to Africa). Continued on page 5

Addis Ababa Highlights


African Union and International Events Disaster Risk Reduction: Africa takes steps..........................2 UN in Addis Making Africa's Power Sector Sustainable...........................3 Addis Ababa launch of "The state of the world's children, 2006"..........................................................4 Economic Report on Africa 2005: "Meeting the challenges of unemployment and poverty in Africa"..................................................................5 Addis Launch of Global Monitoring Report: "Literacy for Life"....................................................6 Remembering Africa's stranded migrants....................................................6 mi Ethiopia Activities Forum for Environment promotes public engagements on energy...............................................7

Highlights Vol.3, No.1

January, 2006

African Union/ International Events

Disaster Risk Reduction: Africa takes steps

forts and combined knowledge from all sectors, involving citizens. Disaster risk reduction is every citizen's bushiness and everyone's responsibility but governments have the primary responsibility to provide protection to its people and to ensure that the socio-economic gains are not wasted. Different topics related to disaster risk reduction were presented during this conference and some of them are the following: ·Africa Regional Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction by Mr. Foday Bojang, Head of Division, Environment and Natural Resources, AUC/DREA ·The Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: (Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters) by Dr. Olusegun E Ojo, Africa Advisory Group On DRR, The Presidency, Nigeria ·Programme of Action for Implementation of the Africa Regional Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction (2006 ­ 2010), by Foday Bojang ·National Platforms & Their Best Practices, by Maria Bilia, Deputy Director Disaster Management Department, Office of the Prime Minister, Tanzania ·Mainstreaming, Disaster Risk Reduction into Development by Dr Mohamed Abchir, Disaster Programme Specialist, Disaster Reduction Unit ·Role of International Telecommunications Union in Disaster Mitigation, by Cosmas L.Zavazava, Head, Special Program for Least Developed Countries and ITU Focal Point, Emergency Telecommunications ·Challenges and Responsibilities of NMHSs in Severe Weather: Managing Risk, by Haleh Kootval, World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Objectives of the implementation of the Africa Regional Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction are to increase political commitment to disaster risk reduction, improve identification and assessment of disaster risks, enhance knowledge management for disaster risk reduction, increase public awareness of disaster risk reduction, improve governance of disaster risk reduction institutions, and integrate disaster risk reduction in emergency response management. Dr. James Kamara (Disaster Management Unit, UNEP/ Division of Environmental Policy Implementation) spoke about the importance of this conference, `this conference is very important given the increasing frequency and severity of disasters with profound consequences not only on the lives of millions of people directly through death, injury and economic losses, but also having severe adverse impacts on human health and the environment'. He said that UNEP continues to focus on inspiring people to protect the integrity of the environmental resources and to use them in a sustainable manner through promotion and development of better policies, plans and programs for effective environmental management at the local, national, sub regional, regional and global levels which include environContinued on page 4

2 January, 2006

Photo by Ato Engida, AU Ms. Rosebud Kurwijila, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture and Dr. Abera Deressa, Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. The African Union has, by holding the first African Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, signaled its determination to prevent disasters and to minimize their impacts when they occur. The AU held this conference from 5 to 7 December 2005 at its Addis Ababa headquarters, starting with a meeting of experts on the 5th and 6th and the meeting of Ministers on 7 December. The Director of the African Union Commission's Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture, Dr. Babagana Ahmadu, welcomed all the participants and invited guests to the experts' meeting and expressed his hope that the meeting would be fruitful in contributing significantly for disaster risks reduction to African nations and communities in the 21st century and beyond. The African Union Commission assured its unwavering support during this process and in the implementation of the program after its adoption by its relevant organs. He then officially opened the first African Union Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. The African Strategy has set six strategic objectives and six strategic directions which correspond to five areas of priority set in the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters, adopted by 168 governments in January 2005, Kobe, Japan. The challenge remains on how to translate the African strategy and Hyogo Framework for action into concrete actions at national and local levels in a sustainable way, with a view to provide a safer environment for people to develop their daily lives. Disaster risk reduction is not only a development issue but also a humanitarian issue said Mr. Salvano Briceno, Director of the United Nations Inter-agency Secretariat of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR). Disaster risk reduction is an issue of great complexity and no one ministry or organization can deal with issue alone therefore there is need for collective efHighlights Vol.3, No.1

Industry and increasing numbers of domestic users in Africa depend on a reliable electricity service, and there is an unfulfilled need for power in the industrialization process and among the majority of people yet to be connected to existing but often limited power sources. This situation calls for changes in the power sector to meet greater demands, address the challenges of economic growth and poverty reduction while ensuring environmental sustainability. These issues were behind the theme for a two-day Policy Dialogue Forum: "Making the African power sector more sustainable". Held at the United Nations Conference Center in Addis Ababa 15-16 December 2005, the policy forum brought together senior officials and high-level decision-makers in the energy sector from nineteen countries and representatives of international organizations. The forum revolved around a study co-sponsored by United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in the context of UN-Energy/Africa. The background documents thus included completed draft country reports from fourteen countries and a draft regional report on the theme. The broad objective of the study was to assess the sustainability of the power sector in Africa by examining the socio-economic and environmental impacts of power sector reforms, and to use the results of the assessment to determine the extent to which reforms have made the sector in the continent sustainable, with a view to proposing options that could enhance its in Africa. The Forum was co-organized by ECA, UNEP and the UN Department Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). In the opening address of the meeting, the Director of Sustainable DeDr. Njeri Wamukonya, UNEP velopment Division at ECA, Dr. Josué Dioné, quoting projections made by the International Energy Agency (IEA), said that by 2030 electrification rates would approach 100 per cent in the Middle East, North Africa, East Asia and Latin America while half the population of sub-Saharan Africa would still be without electricity. Thus he called for the imple-

Making Africa's Power Sector Sustainable

UN in Addis

mentation of well-designed reforms in order to reverse this tendency. Some of the key topics highlighted in the presentations were: the socio-impacts of the reforms on the poor, the marginalization of local private investment in the power sector, whether or not the reforms appear to have met the objectives of turning electricity utilities into profitable entities, and the environmental impacts of the reforms. There was discussion on the development of large-scale hydropower plants and the need for their designing to take account of key socio-economic and environmental concerns as outlined in the World Commission on Dams and Development, and on the lack of commitment to get a more integrated approach to development. In a concluding statement, the participants acknowledged that while African countries are at different stages of power sector reforms, design and implementation, reforms in Sub-Saharan Africa have generally contributed to improving the financial viability of the utilities and created a more conducive climate for investment in the sector, leading to additional generating capacity. However, they noted weaknesses in expansion of access to electricity in rural areas and poor peri-urban areas. They regretted the absence of a more integrated approach to development in the power sector reforms and committed themselves to promoting measures to redress this. They also observed that the reforms have not accounted sufficiently for environmental constraints. A related observation was that African states have not been able to source financing for hydro power plants because of the strong resistance to the development of large hydropower dams, even for those with potentially little negative environmental impact. The above conclusions were assembled in a "Policy Statement" that will be used as an input to the 14th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-14).

Highlights Vol.3, No.1


January, 2006

"Every year, globally 55% of births are unregistered. In sub Saharan Africa alone 18 million births are unregistered. In the developing world 148 million children are orphaned. AIDS orphans include 15 million children were orphaned. AIDS orphans include 15 million children. In Ethiopia there is much work to be done. A joint national survey in 2004 identified the overall numbers of Ethiopian orphans to be estimated 4.6 million or 13% of all the children in Ethiopia which will rise to 14.8% of all children by 2010". These facts and figures were delivered on 14 December 2005 by Mr. Bruno Maes, OIC, UNICEF Country Office, during the launching of The state of the world's children, 2006, an annual report. The report calls attention to the issues and challenges of children's survival, safety, and growth to maturity. The 2006 report focuses on Excluded and Invisible Children. The launching took place in the United Nation Conference and was attended by Her Excellency Ms. Hirut Delebo, the Ethiopian Minister for Women's Affairs. H.E. Ms. Hirut Delebo said that any achievement towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals is an achievement towards fulfilling our children's rights. She also said that in 2002 Ethiopia has "reaffirmed its obligation to take action to promote and protect the rights of each child and its determination to respect the dignity and to secure Continued from page 2

Addis Ababa launch of "The state of the world's children, 2006"

the well-being of all children. In "The world fit for children", the Minister recounted the government's measures of revising the penal code to include new provisions representing significant strides in criminalizing harmful traditional practices and the drafting of a law dealing with vital registration.

UN in Addis

Mr. Maes said, among other things, "The consequence of these alarming figures is child misery beyond imagination, wide-scale exploitation of those who are most vulnerable and entrenchment of poverty and under development ­ a social time bomb and a shameful stain on the moral fiber of our society." He said that these children are victims of exploitation, abuse, manipulation and psychological and physical violence. In addition, he elaborately discussed the root causes of exclusion and subsequent invisibility as Discrimination, Poverty, Income Inequality, HIV/AIDS and Armed Conflict.

Disaster Risk Reduction: Africa takes steps

mental emergency prevention, preparedness, assessment, response, mitigation and early warning. The Joint UNEP/ OHCA Environmental Unit ensures an integrated United Nations emergency response mechanism for countries facing environmental impacts. In addition to its other activities, UNEP continues to develop knowledge and tools for integration of indigenous knowledge into disaster management and early warning since particularly in Africa huge amount of credible indigenous knowledge for early warning of disaster exists. The meeting of experts considered aspects of DRR in working groups, which came up with recommendations. The groups were: §Establishment of National Platforms and their Roles in DRR for sustainable development. §Means and Mechanisms for Implementing the Africa Regional Strategy for DRR. §Cooperation for Disaster Risk Reduction in Africa. §Ways to increase national, sub-regional and regional commitments for resource mobilization and allocation to DRR integration into development in Africa. §Ways and means for resource mobilization from the UN System and donor communities. Ministerial segment Member States of the African Union that participated in the Conference are: Algeria; Angola; Benin; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Cape Verde; Central African Republic; Chad; Comoros; Congo Republic; Cote D'Ivoire; Democratic Republic of Congo; Egypt; Ethiopia; Equatorial Guinea; Gabon; Gambia; Ghana; Kenya; Lesotho; Libya; Madagascar; Mali; Mauritius; Mozambique; Namibia; Niger; Nigeria; Republic of Guinea; Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic; South Africa; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Sudan; Swaziland; Tanzania; Tunisia; Uganda; Zambia and Zimbabwe. Agencies, organizations and institutions represented at the Conference were: ADB; UNECA; UNDP; UNDP/ BCPR; UNEP; WMO; ITU; WHO; WHO/WAC; FAO; UN/ ISDR; ICPAC; ECOWAS; UN/HABITAT; AAS; WFP, IFPRI; JICA; UN/OCHA; UMVOTO-Pty (South Africa) and some foreign embassies in Ethiopia. The AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, Ms. Rosebud Kurwijila, made a welcoming statement followed by Statements by representatives of ADB; UNECA; UNDP; UNEP; WMO; ITU; WHO; and FAO. The Continued on page 6

Highlights Vol.3, No.1 4 January, 2006

"Meeting the challenges of unemployment and poverty in Africa"

Poverty is significantly higher in Africa than in other developing regions in the world. This is one of the facts emerging from the 19 December 2005 media launch of Economic Report on Africa 2005 organized by the Economic and Social Policy Division (ESPD) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). The report, sub-titled "Meeting the challenges of unemployment and poverty in Africa", dwelt on Africa's economic performance and its main challenges with a special focus on the issue of employment and poverty. According to the report, poor people have very limited or no access to and control over key assets. In addition they have insufficient education and may have health problems. Many of these people depend on subsistence agriculture or on the informal sector for their day-to-day consumption, where returns to labor and capital are generally low. The share of the total population living below one dollar a day is higher today than in the 1980's and 1990's, despite the significant improvements in Africa's GDP. This shows that poverty has been irresponsive Continued from page 1

Economic Report on Africa 2005:

UN in Addis

to economic growth. The report proposes concrete approaches for decent employment-based poverty reduction programs, including structural transformation of African economies, enabling poor people to share in the benefits of growth, minimizing obstacles to private investment and improving political governance to sustain growth. In the period 1994 ­ 2000, the report shows, informal employment accounted for 72% of non-agricultural employment in sub-Saharan Africa (ILO 2002). Informal employment among women is much higher than among men in sub-Saharan Africa, showing 84% for women and 63% for men. It also points out that youth in sub-Saharan Africa are 3.5 times more likely to be unemployed than adults (ILO 2004b). Youth unemployment is partly the consequence of a mismatch between inadequate educational outcomes and skills demanded (Boateng 2002). This report can be found at

Message of Dr. Ahmed Djoghlaf the new Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity to the African People

Africa has demonstrated its commitment to the protection of its environment for the benefit of present and future generation by playing its role in relevant international environmental processes. African countries are now parties to all relevant multilateral environment conventions including the three Rio Conventions. Africa has established as early as 1985 a mechanism at ministerial level to address its environmental agenda. Indeed through its twenty years of existence, the African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN) has played a leading role in assisting the African countries to address in a coordinated manner their environmental challenges. In addition, Africa has shown to the world the way forward by adopting, for the first time in the history of any region and under the leadership of the New Partnership for Africa's Development, AMCEN and the African Union, a continental action plan for the protection of its environment. The action plan was adopted by the Heads of State at the Second Ordinary Meeting of the Assembly of the African Union held in Maputo in July 2003. At the same meeting the African Heads of State adopted also the new African Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. By doing so, African leaders have adjusted this Convention known as the Algiers convention adopted in 1968 to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, incorporating its threefold objectives including its sustainable use component as well as the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources. In my capacity as the new Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, I pledge my full commitment to African peoples and their institutions to spare no effort to assist in the implementation phase of the biodiversity component of the Action Plan of the Environment Initiative of NEPAD as well as the Algiers Convention. To this end I look forward to establishing an enhanced partnership with the Commission of the African Union, the Secretariat of NEPAD and the Secretariat of AMCEN for the benefit of the biodiversity agenda of Africa and its people. Montreal 3 January 2006

Highlights Vol.3, No.1 5 January, 2006

Addis Launch of Global Monitoring Report: "Literacy for Life"

One hundred and forty million (140m) adults in sub- Saharan Africa lack the basic learning tools to make informed decisions and participate fully in the development of their societies. This and other facts are in this year's Education for All Global Monitoring Report from the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO). Sub-titled "Literacy for Life", the report was launched in Addis Ababa on 2 December 2005, following the global launch by UNESCO Director General Dr. K. Matsuura. The report shows that primary school enrolments increased in both Sub-Saharan Africa and South and West Asia. At the global level, 47 countries have achieved universal primary education (UPE). It also shows that aid for basic education more than doubled between 1999 and 2003. It suggests that, following the G8 Summit it could rise to US$ 3.3 billion per year by 2010. Girls' primary school enrolments have also risen rapidly, especially in some of the lowest-income countries of sub-Saharan Africa and South and West Asia. A study conducted in Ethiopia by Save the Children Alliance, UNICEF and UNESCO in October 2004 noted that national gross enrolment for girls has increased from 26% to 53.8% between 1997 and 2003.

UN in Addis

Disaster Risk Reduction: Africa takes steps

Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia opened the meeting. Shifting the paradigm on disasters Mr. Jan Egeland (UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator) addressed the conference in a speech delivered on his behalf by the Director of UN/ISDR. Mr. Egeland hailed the conference as a key event in the process of shifting the paradigm from a focus on mainly responding to disasters towards a focus on reducing the risk of disasters. The major disasters that occurred during the previous twelve months such as the Indian Ocean tsunami, hurricane Katrina, Pakistan earthquake and the widespread drought in Southern Africa had clearly underlined the fact that countries, both rich and poor, are vulnerable to the increased impact of disasters. But the poor, be it a country or an individual, are most vulnerable to the impact of disasters and they suffer more and longer, he said. Africa has been saved so far from very large disasters originated by natural hazards, but the frequent impact of medium and smaller disasters created by recurrent floods and droughts, as well earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, locusts and other plagues, coupled with other threats, such as poverty, HIV/AIDS and conflicts, and the combination of all these elements, makes the African region a very vulnerable region to natural hazards. He also emphasized that a lot can and must be done before disaster strikes

Continued from page 4

Remembering Africa's stranded migrants

The fate of stranded migrants was the theme of International Migrants' Day, 18 December 2005, observance of which was led by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Addis Ababa. IOM organized an Art Exhibition on 19 December at the Italian Cultural Institute, which ran until 22 December under the theme: "Never ending journey: the humanitarian plight of stranded migrants". The exhibition was coordinated by Mr Alem Teklu, an artist and former stranded migrant, and was funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Painting by Mikiyas Shiferaw : "Sedet"/ Migration

by reducing people's vulnerability and risk to natural hazards. Policies and Regulatory Framework The Ministers - in addition to decisions on capacity building, institutional arrangements, information and knowledge manageContinued on page 8

Highlights Vol.3, No.1


January, 2006

Forum for Environment promotes public engagements on energy

ergy, the Ethiopian Network for Sustainable Energy Development, GTZ, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopian Telecommunications and Information College, private companies and other organizations and institutions. Mr. Getahun Belay of the Geological Society presented a paper on natural coal utilization for energy development while Dr. Sue Edwards of the ISD made a presentation on the status, prospects and challenges of biogas development in Ethiopia. Dr. Berhanu Gizaw from the Ministry of Mines and Energy supplemented the presentation of Mr. Getahun and also facilitated the meeting by moderating the dialogue among participants on policy alternatives. Mr. Getahun argued the importance of using coal as a way of reducing reliance on firewood for domestic energy and thus protecting trees, to slow and reverse desertification. He showed that there are different types of natural coal, differences being in the substance and in their quality and content of ash, their impact on the environment and why one type is used in households and the other in factories. These coals occur in different parts of Ethiopia. The Moye coal has low ash content and hence is more suitable for household usage while on the other hand the Delibi coal has high ash content and high chlorophic value and is best used for industries. Ethiopia has since1983 studied and explored coal sources and discovered the existence of deposits in several basins, but detailed additional study is needed to ascertain economic feasibility and use the potentials of coal. Ms Sue Edwards, an ardent supporter of biogas and its advantages and practicality, said that biogas is a "win-win technology" and, that if utilised effectively, in a matter of five years cholera, typhoid and diarrhoea could be eradicated. She gave some examples and demonstrated that the incorporation of the bio digester in the ecological farming systems has a great contribution to agriculture and hygiene. Advantages enumerated include: -Reduce the need for firewood and the laborious work of collecting it. And the absence of smoke relieves women and children from respiratory problems and eye irritations; -Improve the quality of manure fed to bio digester which in turn results in high­quality fertilizer for crops, water plants or fish cultivated in ponds; -Improve sanitary condition of the farmyard and reduce the spread of parasites and harmful bacteria; -Reduce dependence on firewood, and lessening the danger of deforestation. A forum on salient energy issues A panel discussion on salient energy issues on 29 December rounded off the thematic public forums. Five presentations formed the background for the public exchanges: Continued on page 8

7 January, 2006

Ethiopia Activities

Ato Getahun Belay, Dr. Berhanu Gizaw, Ato Negussu Aklilu, (FFE coordinator) and Ms. Sue Edwards The Ethiopian Forum for Environment (FFE) completed its 2005 series of public forums under the theme "Science and technology to save our trees" by holding the last two in Addis Ababa in December. One was at the Semien Hotel on 2 December and the last at the Global Hotel on 29 December 2005. In all, over 300 participants have participated in the forums, which have covered a wide spread of topics related to promoting alternatives to extensive reliance on biomass energy. Topics included: ·The potential, opportunities and challenges of the potential, opportunity and challenges of geothermal energy in Ethiopia ·Co-generation opportunities and challenges in Ethiopia: the case of Finchaa Sugar Factory ·Some scientific and technological innovations to improve household energy utilization and efficiency: Rural Energy Development and Promotion Centre ·Biofuel energy development in Ethiopia ·Solar and wind energy development in Ethiopia ·Natural coal utilization for energy development in Ethiopia ·Status, prospects and challenges of biogas energy development in Ethiopia. The FFE explains the choice of the 2005 theme by pointing out that an estimated 85% of energy consumed in Ethiopia derives from biomass based sources, leading to serious impacts on the country's forest resources. At the same time the country is endowed with a great potential of renewable energy alternatives besides hydroelectric power. Limited use of natural coal has also not been developed. Natural coal and biogas as alternatives The 2 December public forum at the Semien Hotel involved the Institute of Sustainable Development, the Ethiopian Geological Survey, the Ministry of Mines and En-

Highlights Vol.3, No.1

Continued from page 6

Ethiopia Activities

Continued from page 7

Disaster Risk Reduction: Africa takes steps

and management centres. To this end, they requested the African Union Commission, in collaboration with Egypt, to convene an experts' meeting of Member States to undertake further analysis and define working modalities.

Forum for Environment promotes public engagements on energy

·Mr. Gossaye Mengiste, Ministry of Mines and Energy, on "Energy policy directions and strategies of the Government of Ethiopia" . ·Mr.Samson Tolessa of the GTZ-SUN Energy Project, on "Energy and the Millennium Development Goals". ·Prof. Woldegiorgis Woldemariam of Addis Ababa University, on "Mainstreaming Energy issues in Tertiary Curricula and Research". ·Ms. Jennifer Wangeci of the African Energy Policy Research Network (AFRENPREN), on "The experiences of Kenya and other African countries in the Promotion and Development of Renewable Energy". ·Mr. Melessaw Shanko of Megen Power Ltd, on "Private Sector Involvement in the Energy Sector in Ethiopia". At the end of the open discussion there was a launching ceremony of a book resulting from an AFRENPREN study. The book, Sustainable Energy in Africa: Co-generation and Geothermal in the East and Horn of Africa - Status and Prospects (edited by Stephen Karekezi & Waeni Kithyoma), was made possible with support of the Heinrich Böll Foundation.

ment, partnerships and resource mobilization - adopted a policy and regulatory framework for disaster risk reduction, deciding to: ·Review existing policies, legislation and strategies to provide guidance and direction for mainstreaming DRR in development planning, and for defining responsibilities of all stakeholders in disaster risk reduction; ·Make integration of disaster risk reduction a development priority and address DRR in all development programmes, poverty reduction policies and strategies; ·Integrate gender concerns in the DRR processes at all levels; ·Integrate environmental dimensions into DRR so as to mitigate severity of disasters to facilitate recovery and rehabilitation after disasters; ·Establish appropriate regulatory frameworks, policies, rules and procedures at national, regional and international level for an effective use of ICT for disaster reduction taking into account special needs of the people with disabilities; ·Ensure that an early warning network is an integral part of disaster risk reduction; and; ·Create an enabling environment by providing incentives for investors interested in DRR. Egypt's Proposal for creation of a Regional Disaster Management Centre The Ministers considered the Arab Republic of Egypt's proposal to create a Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Centre and commended Egypt for the initiative. They agreed on the principle for the creation of a continental centre and further suggested the need to establish sub-regional and national disaster risk reduction

"The contents of this newsletter do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of UNEP or the editors, nor are they an official record. The designations employed and the presentation do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of UNEP concerning the legal status of any country, territory or city or its authority, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries."

Addis Ababa Highlights Team

Feedback: [email protected] Editor-in-Chief: Strike Mkandla Layout: Woudase Abebe Production: Miriam Tsegaye, Munna Sahile, M Sewit Assefaw, Tezeta Meshesha, M hesha and Woudase Abebe

Highlights Vol.3, No.1


January, 2006



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