Thursday, February 26, 2015

#ECOWAS@40Podcast -- Ep.6: #StopBokoHaram, #SouthSudanEncore, #ECOWASGenderPolicy, #ECOWASEnergy

Ecowas@40Podcast – 24 February, 2015

Welcome to the 6th edition of the Ecowas@40Podcast, where we give you insights into all that is ECOWAS.

The ECOWAS@40Podcast is divided into four parts. We start off with an overview of what stories are trending under ECOWAS/West Africa/the AU. We then move on to what ECOWAS and/or AU accounts are tweeting. Third, we give listeners an ECOWAS Fact; and, finally, “What’s my ECOWAS Beef?” where I offer candid views on a trending topic. In today’s edition, we are looking at events the Show is involved in one may have missed.

First -- the issue of #SouthSudan has grown from a headache to a migraine. What has now become a source of infamy – that AU Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan report that was never disclosed to the public is seriously denting the image of the continental organisation (as if it didn’t have enough headaches, what with #MugabeFalls! and all!). The country has been trending for all the wrong reasons. Let’s take a look at what some of the tweets that have attracted the highest RTs.

On Libya, where the story is quickly developing, let’s take a look at this tweet from CCTV Africa, which tweets:

We move from North Africa right here to the ECOWAS sub-region, where the issue of #BokoHaram is yet to go away. No surprises, then, why there are more tweets this week as the stories of the fight to ouster the militant Islamic group continues in dramatic detail.

Finally, under this section, we take a look at what has been trending on “Africa”, and “west Africa”:

ECOWAS has a Programme on Gender Mainstreaming in Energy Access (ECOW-GEN), which is a flagship programme of the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) addressing barriers to the equal participation of women and men in expanding energy access in West Africa.

ECOW-GEN was established against the background that women’s potential, in the ECOWAS region, as producers and suppliers of energy services is under-utilized and that empowering women and men to make significant contributions to the implementation of the regional policies on renewable energy and energy efficiency is necessary for the achievement of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) goals in West Africa.

Thus, to ensure that women, as much as men, contribute to, and benefit from, clean energy development ECOW-GEN implements activities directed at strengthening women economically by improving energy access for income generating activities and, more importantly, empowering women as active actors in the sustainable energy sector.
Launched in 2013, the programme started its pilot phase working on the four Members States of the Mano River Union (MRU) – Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

2. Closely related to this is the news that the African Development Bank (AfDB), the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), and the United States-based National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have formed a partnership centered on linking gender and energy access.

The three have jointly organised an inception workshop to launch a project about developing an ECOWAS Policy for Gender Mainstreaming in Energy Access and its Implementation Strategy. The workshop will be held TODAY Tuesday, February 24, 2015, at the Bank’s headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. “AfDB’s role is grounded in its Energy Policy, which advocates for ‘universal access to energy,’ said Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, AfDB’s Special Envoy on Gender.

Participants include Côte d’Ivoire’s Minister for Family, Women and Children, AfDB’s Special Envoy on Gender, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Social Affairs and Gender, and the Executive Director of ECREEE. Representatives from the respective Ministries of Energy of the ECOWAS member states, partner institutions of ECREEE and other stakeholders will also be present.

The project aims at establishing a regional policy and its implementation strategy that will support the region’s energy efficiency and renewable energy policies. It will also enhance the Sustainable Energy for All’s (SE4ALL) initiative of achieving the goals of universal access to modern energy services..
The ECOWAS Policy for Gender Mainstreaming in Energy Access, the first of its kind globally, aims at addressing barriers that hinder the participation of women in energy access. It will ensure that women make both intellectual and business-wise contributions to ending the region’s energy crises. Women comprise up 50 percent of the region’s population and 43 percent of the ECOWAS labour force.

4.     Past Events

Ghana has two new networks that “Africa in Focus” Show/ Radio XYZ is a part of. They are the West Africa Drug Policy Network; and the WPSI Communications Network on UNSCR1325 (that promotes gender participation in peace and security).

The West Africa Drug Policy Network is backed by the Senegal-based West Africa Commission on Drugs, and was established in Accra following a two-day civil society meeting that sought to explore ways in which CSOs can play critical roles in drug policy in the sub-region.

The WPSI Communications Network on UNSCR1325 was established after a two-day follow-up Media strategy meeting, which was held under the auspices of the Women Peace & Security Institute of KAIPTC here in Accra.

The "Africa in Focus Show"/Radio XYZ is to date one of the first programmes/radio stations in Accra to currently serve on the steering committee of the Communications Network. Please find below the composition of the Committee:

a. Women, Peace and Security Institute of Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre
c. West Africa Network on Peace-building
d. Ghana's Security Services Communications' people
e. Media (Finder newspaper; Africa in Focus Show - Radio XYZ 93.1FM; Gloria Anderson, GBC; Eunice Minkah, Women in Parliament )


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