Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

March 2018
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Sunday, 18 March 2018
UN Development Fund For Women Urges Embedding Gender Equality In Aid Programmes
Some 130 experts met in Belgium at a conference organized by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and the European Commission to highlight the role of gender in development assistance, as aid allocations are increasingly driven by partnerships between donor and recipient countries. “Because ‘ownership’ is central to the new aid strategies, it must include women, who are not only citizens but key stakeholders in their country’s development,” Noeleen Heyzer, the executive director of UNIFEM, said. “We need to look at how to improve women’s ‘ownership’ of the new aid instruments, and how to make governments and donors more accountable to achieving gender equality in their implementation of development programmes,” she said.
The conference follows three important events in 2005 that have linked commitments to gender equality with development cooperation goals – the 10-year review of the Beijing Platform for Action that came out of the 1995 women’s conference, the adoption of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the 2005 World Summit.
Speaking at a press conference, Koos Richelle, Director-General of the Directorate for Europe Aid Cooperation of the EC, said that the main aim of the meeting was to see how to develop new ways to embed gender equality and women’s empowerment within the new trends in development cooperation. “After 60 years of development cooperation, its time to change the way we deal with this. Earlier, we had been too focused on inputs. Now we are focusing on outputs, on targets and results because these are measurable, promises are not,” he said. Out of the recent pledge by world leaders to increase aid by $50 billion a year by 2010, he said that $37 billion of this would come from the European Union. Coordination among the donor community, and close partnership with recipient governments would be critical to ensure this aid effectively enhances development, including ensuring that gender issues are not only mentioned in the new aid mechanisms but really implemented, he added.
Much of the conference debate around accountability within the new aid architecture will draw from a publication by NGOs Eurostep and Social Watch called “Accountability Upside Down.” The report examines to what extent gender equality is being promoted within the context of international efforts to eradicate poverty, by looking at a sample of nine bilateral donors’ aid programming. “The key question of the book is how do we make national ownership a responsibility of all sectors of a society, and how do we hold not just recipient governments, but donors, accountable for their policies,” said Mirjam van Reisen, author of the report and director of Europe External Policy Advisors (EEPA). The report concludes that there are few, if any, mechanisms for tracking accountability within the new aid architecture, and even fewer where implementation of national obligations to gender equality are concerned. It argues, however, that there is potential in the new aid modalities to advance gender equality. “One area is national capacity-building. As an analogy, we all use computers today, and the more we use them the more we need IT support, not less. The same applies to gender equality — the more we progress, the more capacity we need to build,” said van Reisen.
Monday, 14 November 2005
The ACP cotton producing and exporting countries will, from now on, have a website where they can give and receive information about news in the cotton sector. The website offers content in both French and English is one of the elements making up the action plan accompanying the EU-Africa Partnership for cotton, concluded in Paris just about a year ago. At the Paris Form, held on 5th and 6th July 2004, the European Union and ACP cotton producing and exporting countries (all African) approved a partnership and adopted a joint plan of action on cotton intended to support the development of the cotton sector in Africa. The action plan takes in elements relating to marketing and the development of the Partnership. It places particular emphasis on the coordination and communication mechanisms. Th ese two essential factors should be of help in researching the optimal use of the resources made available to support the development of the partnership. It is to this end that the new site has been launched, after the first essential coordination phase which comprised the setting-up of the steering and monitoring committee (COS-Cotton) in September 2004, a permanent forum where the various people involved in the development of the sector take concerted decisions regarding the implementation of the action plan.
This new space where information can be exchanged is an access portal for all the specific initiatives developed in relation to the cotton sector, whether by region, subject or sector. Its aim is therefore clear: to allow all those active in the sector, especially those from ACP countries, quickly to identify, from a single address, the sources to which they can turn to study certain areas in greater depth, according to their requirements. The site, which has just been launched, can also act as a platform for the expression of specific concerns, discussion and interaction between all those active in the sector.
Documents relating to the Paris Forum, notably the partnership action plan, various publications grouped according to the action plan themes, the presentation of ACP participants involved in working on the cotton business, an online discussion forum, the latest developments and news from the sector, a calendar giving some of the major forthcoming events in the sector… This is some of the information available via the site.
To echo the words of Ambassador Euloge Hinvi, Ambassador for Benin and President of the ACP-EU Partnership Steering and Monitoring Committee, “it is now up to those involved to act and make good use of the new web resource being made available, so that it will work to help the development of the cotton supply line throughout the African countries of the ACP Group”.
The CTA supports the EU-Africa partnership on cotton in its information and communication programme (publications, workshops, website, e-forums, rural radio programmes).
The EU-South Africa Joint Co-operation Council was held in Brussels on 7 November 2005. Find attached summary of general discussions. To note that the EU and South Africa reaffirmed the importance of meeting the Millennium
Development Goals in Africa, and emphasised the need for all parties to deliver on the
commitments made this year in support of and by Africans, including those at the Millennium Review Summit. With the envisaged adoption of a new EU strategy for Africa in December, the EU underlined its resolve to deepen the partnership between Africa and the EU. The EU and South Africa agreed to do their utmost to strengthen African institutions and capabilities to address the many and complex challenges facing the African continent.
Sunday, 13 November 2005
The World Summit on the Information Society is held in two phases. The first phase of WSIS took place in Geneva (Switzerland) from 10 to 12 December 2003. It addressed the broad range of themes concerning the Information Society and adopted a Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action. The second phase will take place in Tunis hosted by the Government of Tunisia, from 16 to 18 November 2005. This summit should reach an international consensus on two key unresolved issues from the first phase: Internet governance and financial mechanisms for bridging the digital divide between developed and developing countries. The EU would like to build on progress made in emerging economies by backing wider access to the Internet with comprehensive strategies for developing the Information Society, including the development of creative content and applications.
With respect to financial mechanisms to bridge the digital divide in developing countries, the EU welcomes the voluntary Digital Solidarity Fund created in Geneva in March 2005. However, the EU believes that a more holistic approach is required to mobilise human, financial and technological resources for a better integration of ICTs into development policies.
As regards Internet governance, the question of internationalising the management of the Internet’s core resources, namely, the domain name system, Internet Protocol (IP) addresses and the root server system, is currently being discussed. The EU believes that a new cooperation model is needed to give effect to WSIS wording on the crucial role of stakeholders within Internet governance, including governments, the private sector, civil society and international organisations.
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The PUMA Task Team project is the result of close collaboration between users (53 National Meteorological Services in Africa), beneficiaries (5 African Regional Intergovernmental Organisations), donors (European Commission) and other international stakeholders (EUMETSAT, WMO).
Paul Counet and Harry de Backer from the DG Development at the European Commission explained in the E-Courier the Puma Project.
The African meteorological community created the PUMA (Preparation for the Use of Meteosat Second Generation in Africa) task team project in 1996, with the support of EUMETSAT and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Its mandate was to mobilize the funds needed to grant African National Meteorological Services (NMS) access to the environmental data provided mainly by the European MSG satellite. The PUMA group included 5 regional economic groups (ECOWAS, IGAD, CEMAC, IOC and SADC), the NMS, WMO and EUMETSAT. The project Finance Convention (11 MEUR) was signed in January 2001.
PUMA’s character is exceptional in several regards. This project:
• has a continental dimension with a unique management structure, financed by the EDF and by bilateral funding for non-ACP countries;
• is sustainable, based on tried and tested IT systems and having formed a critical mass of 350 experts;
• is based on a guaranteed minimum 18 years’ free access to the environmental data distributed by EUMETCast.

PUMA has 3 components:
• The EUMETCast receiving stations, allowing data access via the DVB (Digital Video Broadcast) communication standard, perfectly suited to Africa, and based on simple solutions (PCs and TV aerials).
• Training in the use and maintenance of the stations and the use of environmental data. This training has been planned for recognized African centres (EAMAC (Niamey), IMTR (Nairobi), and South African Weather Service).
• Pilot projects facilitating access to the data for African decision-makers as a whole, and not just for the intended beneficiaries of the project. The themes covered were: the monitoring of Kasaï water supplies (DRC), continued surveillance of desertification (Niger), management of the food chain (Senegal), operational use of MSG in southern Africa (South Africa), the degradation of natural resources (Kenya) and fishery management (Mauritius).
The PUMA project ended on 30th September 2005 and achieved all its objectives. PUMA also prepared for the future with the signature, in September 2002, of the “Dakar Declaration” by the Executive Secretaries of the five regional economic groupings. This asks the EC to launch a new initiative called AMESD (African Monitoring of the Environment for Sustainable Development). AMESD is based on the exploitation of the technical, institutional and thematic achievements of PUMA. AMESD will lay the foundations for the African component of the European initiative on Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES).
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