Tuesday, October 21, 2014

AFRICA IN FOCUS >> Coming up on 21 October, 2014: Review of CCDA4 and Ninth African Development Forum in Context of UN@69

Review of CCDA4 and Ninth African Development Forum in Context of UN@69

Two significant UN conferences are over.

The first, which was the Fourth edition of the Conference (CCDA-IV) was convened in Marrakesh, Morocco from 8-10 October 2014 on the theme: "Africa Can Feed Africa Now: Translating Climate Knowledge into Action". The theme selection was in recognition of 2014 as the year of agriculture. For this reason, the spotlight was on climate knowledge opportunities that can transform agricultural production systems to feed Africa sustainably.

Considered a policy-influencing space organized each year under the auspices of the Climate for Development in Africa (ClimDev-Africa) Programme,  ClimDev-Africa is a consortium of three leading pan-African institutions i.e. the African Union Commission (AUC), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The second, which was the Ninth African Development Forum, was held in Marrakech, Morocco, from 12 to 16 October 2014 on the theme “Innovative financing for Africa’s transformation”. The Forum offered a platform for prominent African stakeholders to share key information and participate in more focused and in-depth discussions on issues relating to innovative financing mechanisms in the following four thematic areas:

·         Domestic resource mobilization

·         Illicit financial flows

·         Private equity

·         New forms of partnership


The Forum further sought to enhance Africa’s capacity to explore innovative financing mechanisms as real alternatives for financing transformative development in Africa.


In addition, the Forum was seeking to build on best practices, innovative policies and strategies, and institutional and governance frameworks. It also aimed to be guided by evidence-based knowledge and information on the range of options and their scope for leveraging opportunities for financing Africa’s sustainable development.


The ADF is convened in collaboration with the African Union Commission, the African Development Bank and other key partners with a view to establishing an African-driven development agenda that reflects consensus and leads to specific programmes for implementation.


These are two conferences that seem to have made little impact in countries like Ghana. Unlike in Morocco, where it made headline news, Ghana papers barely got a look-in – save for one journalist from Kumasi covering the CCDA-IV.

While we complain about yet-two more UN conferences at a time the UN is turning 69 on 24 October, have we not arrived at a point where the Global South accepts that the UN is probably still only the international Forum that continually seeks to allow the African voice to be heard? So even as there were few African lawyers; policy-makers; and African negotiators at the Fourth Conference on Climate and Development in Africa (CCDA-IV), and represented at the Ninth African Development Forum, can we surmise that the UN continues to be the sole space where a semblance of advocacy for equity around global concerns can be expressed?

In this 20th edition of AIF, we want to look at diplomatic relations between non-Ghanaian countries and Ghana, with a special focus on Morocco, and ask whether it is still important for African countries to create synergy with North Africans. What about experiences of intra-African travel? If CCDA-IV is anything to go by, it made a nonsense of continental African solidarity on entry into African countries. Interestingly, however, it showed in unique cases that African diplomats were ready to pull the envelope to help their citizens out of trouble – something that is very refreshing. Finally, we will be speaking to two African journalists to get a sense of how they experienced the two conferences, and leave the show with a clear sense of the way forward on tackling Africa’s existential threat of climate, and better-mobilising resources for the Africa’s development.


Guiding Questions to be answered:

·         How difficult was it getting a visa/visa-on-arrival to Morocco from respective countries (Cameroon; Kenya; Ghana)?

·         What does the treatment by Moroccan officials at Ghana’s Embassy say about Ghana-Morocco relations; and Morocco’s relationship with other African countries?

·         Is synergy with North Africa still a good idea in Africa’s development?

·         After CCDA-IV and ADF9, is the UN still a great idea for African countries?

·         Is the so-called international development community finally getting it right on Africa’s development by involving more sectors, including private?

·         Are journalists and media practitioners better-communicating conferences, such as the CCDA-IV and 9th African Development Forum, better than before – or is the jury still out?


On the line

Ø  Ellen, ABANTU, Civil Society activist, Ghana  @13h50

Ø  Mkhu Ncube, ex-UNECA/Business leader, Zimbabwe @ 14h05

Ø  Peter da Costa,Ph.D, ex-UNECA/Former Journalist/Development Consultant, Kenya @ 14h20

Ø  Aaron Kaah, Journalist, Cameroon  @14h35

Ø  Busani Bafana, Journalist, Zimbabwe @ 14h45

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