The United States and Togo to co-host AGOA on August
Juil03

The United States and Togo to co-host AGOA on August

The United States and Togo to co-host AGOA on August   By Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache The United States of America and Togo will co-host the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum in Lome, Togo from Aug. 8-10. Senior government officials from the US and 38 Sub-Saharan African countries will discuss how to boost economic cooperation and trade between the US and Africa.“Patnering for prosperity through Trade” will be the theme of this event.   According to a press release, the 2017 Forum will explore how countries can continue to maximize the benefits of AGOA in a rapidly changing economic landscape, and highlight the important role played by women, civil society, and the private sector in promoting trade, expanding inclusive and sustainable economic growth, and generating prosperity. Since 2000, the US government works on AGOA with sub-Saharan Africa. Following the AGOA law, a special Forum has to be convened each year to analyze issues related to the implementation of the law and issues of economic cooperation and trade. In the past few years AGOA forum was organized in  Mauritius, Ghana, Senegal, Kenya, Zambia, Ethiopia, and Gabon. This year, the forum will be led by U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer and include senior officials from the U.S. Departments of State, Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, Labor, Transportation, Treasury, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, as well as the National Security Council, Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the Export-Import Bank, the Small Business Administration, and the United States African Development Fund.  Members of Congress from both parties will also attend the Forum.  ...

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COP 22: Why Marrakesh Is More Important Than Paris COP21? – Olumide Idowu
Oct31

COP 22: Why Marrakesh Is More Important Than Paris COP21? – Olumide Idowu

COP 22: Why Marrakesh Is More Important Than Paris COP21? COP 22 will be held in Marrakesh, Morocco, from 7 to 18 November 2016. COP 20 in Lima was tagged the COP of negotiations of a universal climate change agreement, COP 21 in Paris last year was a COP of Agreement while COP 22 in Morocco is tagged the COP of Implementation. Taking critical decisions to ensure the implementation of the Paris Agreement is the major endeavor at COP 22 in Morocco. Last year, African Development Bank support contributed significantly to ensuring that Africa’s concerns were addressed in the Paris Agreement. The Bank has also committed to triple its climate change finance to about USD 5 billion per year and to provide USD 12 billion on renewable energy investments by 2020. In consistence with the New Deal on Energy for Africa that provides a good entry point for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, and given that COP 22 is a key milestone for the implementation of that Agreement, it is important that Africa is fully on board, while ensuring linkages with the Bank’s High Fives. “To make the Paris Agreement a real-world success story we need more than a historic political agreement, we need practical climate action to “decouple GDP from GHG” – or economic growth from greenhouse gases – as UN climate chief Christiana Figureres put it during a lecture at Climate-KIC partner the Grantham Institute.” Fours ways Marrakesh is going to help achieve that: Going from National to Global Action Plans is very important: In the run up to Paris, countries submitted their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Now, they are preparing their first climate action plans (NDCs) – dropping the ‘Intended’ from the title – which will be updated every five years and should represent an increase in ambition. This is the often cited ‘ratcheting’ mechanism built into the Paris Agreement. In Marrakesh, countries will hope to agree on how the stock-taking exercise should work every five years, and how they can make sure it will indeed ratchet up the level of ambition around the world. The action plans outline the post-2020 climate actions of each country and contain details such as emission-reduction targets and how governments plan to make those happen. A range of policies, including those addressing the aviation and maritime sectors (which are missing from the Paris Agreement), need to be drawn up and implemented to create what is often called the “enabling environment” for the transition to a low-carbon economy.   Making Measuring Progress Transparent will keep the commitment: Perhaps even more important, are...

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Climate finance: Crucial for COP 22
Oct14

Climate finance: Crucial for COP 22

  Climate Finance: Crucial for COP 22 By Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache   Paris Agreement  «  I want that the question of the implementation of finance will be fixed before the opening of  COP 22.» Not easy.  But this is what the French Minister, Ségolène Royal  said  last week, during the press conference on the enter into force of the Paris agreement. The Paris agreement will enter into force the 4 of November.  At least 55 countries representing at least 55% of global emissions have ratified it. “The reason we were able to pass the required threshold so early is that many of the largest emitters in the world – including the United States, China, India, the EU and a number of its member states – recognized the need to continue the momentum from Paris and joined swiftly to bring this Agreement into force as quickly as possible,”  Secretary of State John Kerry said in a press release published a week ago. Challenges But there are still several issues to achieve the 1,5° required by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change by 2100.   The national pledges are far beyond  the 1,5° required, reaching currently 3°, and the climate finance  is still an enigma for many experts.  The Paris Agreement specifies that there is  a commitment to review national pledges every five years. For the climate finance,  it is a different story. Many climate finance mechanisms exist but are unreachable  in Africa according to experts. In 2009, during the Conference of the Parties in Copenhaguen, a 100 billion US Dollars fund has been announced to help developing countries fighting against climate change by 2020. This fact was emphasized in the Paris Agreement. One of the sources of this climate finance is the UN Green Climate fund. With $10.3 billion,  there is a long way to go for funding this UN Fund, observers note. But for the French Ministry of Environment, they will be “a big push for funding it”. The Green Climate  Fund(GCF) “The GCF has made great progress by raising a US$10 billion budget – a really positive sign. But the challenge now is to use this to approve the game-changing programmes that will really transform economies. Our message to the board is more speed and less haste, advised the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) recently in a Q and A.” .For  the chief economist IIED, Paul Steele, the process of accreditation should change. The Board Member of the Green Climate Fund should choose ministries of local government rather than multilateral agencies.  “It will better target the most needed people,”   Steele noted. To him, the Green Climate Fund board...

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Comoros Country Strategy Paper approved by the AfDB
Avr17

Comoros Country Strategy Paper approved by the AfDB

Comoros Country Strategy Paper approved by the AfDB By Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache The African Development Bank has recently approved the Comoros’s country Strategy Paper 2016-2020. According to the Board of Directors of the bank, it will enable the country to achieve diversified job-creating economic growth. The Comoros Country Strategy Paper aims indeed to develop basic energy infrastructure and economic diversification. This strategy will rely on the private sector to drive investment in energy and road infrastructure. Comoros will beneficiate from a US $66.35 (UA 40 million) lending programme for the first three years with resources from the 13th and 14th replenishment of the African Development Fund (ADF). Technical assistance programme, reinforcement of the local job content in project design, and the promotion of South-South cooperation will be provided by the bank. The Comoros Country Strategy Paper is linked to the Sustainable Development Goals, the AfDB High5 strategic priorities from 2013 to 2022 and other AfDB strategies. The Bank will also help Comoros in mobilizing other additional resources to support and accelerate the development of the islands. With 781,000 people in 2015, the Union of the Comoros has to fight endemic poverty and persistent food insecurity and malnutrition. In the sustainable Human Development Index (HDI), Comoros was ranked 159th out of 187 countries in 2014. Unemployment in these three islands is very high and it is affecting the youth, especially, women, who represents 50% of young graduates, according to the Comoros Country Strategy Paper. The document focus on the three main islands, Grande Comore, Anjouan and Moheli, about 1,862 kilometre area. This document supports and reinforces the Country’s Accelerated Growth and Sustainable Development Strategy (SCA2D, 2015-2019), which focuses on “inclusive ” through the development of growth-supporting infrastructure, building governance, and institutional and human...

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Earth Hour: Fighting Climate Change
Mar21

Earth Hour: Fighting Climate Change

Earth Hour: Fighting Climate Change On saturday 19, around 180 countries participated in the 2016 Earth Hour activities. Between 8 : 30 pm and 9:30 pm, these countries turned off the lights of their building, their tourist attractions…  Among the countries participants , Uganda, Australia, Tanzania, Nigeria, Morocco, Madagascar, Egypt, France, Singapour. This year, Earth Hour was observed by many activists. In Egypt, the observation was organized in Cairo by the Arab Youth Climate Movement (AYCM) and 350.org, two civil societies involved in the environment, sustainable development and against the use of fossil fuels. But , as every year since 2009, Egypt turned off key tourist sites, such as the Giza Pyramids, the Sphinx. Africa emits less than 4% of the greenhouse gas emission. 70% of africans have no access to energy. In december, in Paris, during the COP 21, African countries launched the African Renewable Energy Initiative with partners to boost renewable energy on the continent to at least ten gigawatts of capacity by 2020 and at least 300 GW by 2030. Celebrated every last saturday since 2007, Earth hour aims to raise awareness on the impact of climate change. By Houmi...

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