WHAT'S NEW IN OSAA
Welcome speech by Mr. Maged Abdelaziz, Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Africa, at the launch of the Economic Report on Africa 2013
OSAA and four African countries welcome empowerment efforts of rural African populations
Over the past five years, “Innovation:Africa” a youth-led Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) based in New York has completed 63 projects in Ethiopia, Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda, providing lasting changes in the daily lives of almost half a million people so far. The projects range from using solar energy to bringing power to clinics, orphanages, schools, or to pump water and irrigate fields with minimum waste of water. By improving access to clean water, the younger layers of the population have enjoyed most of the benefits: child and maternal mortality rates have been reduced, food security has been strengthened and school enrolment has increased. The access to a reliable source of energy has also improved the quality of healthcare services in these rural communities by allowing medical staff to examine patients after dusk and by ensuring the cold chain for sensitive medicines like vaccines.
Recently, Inovation:Africa has been granted the special consultative status with the ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council of the United Nations). To celebrate this milestone in their history, Innovation:Africa organized an event on the 4th December 2012 at the UN Secretariat Building, inviting representatives from the countries where they operate (Ethiopia, Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda) and OSAA.
As stated by Ms. Sivan Ya’ari, Founder and President of “Innovation:Africa”, “our mission is to bring to African villages innovative technologies developed and used in Israel”.
Thanks to contributions from the Jewish youth community around the globe, these projects have been fully implemented. By developing income generating activities such as charging mobile phones with solar energy, Innovation:Africa ensures the viability and sustainability of their projects.
USG Abdelaziz expressed OSAA’s appreciation for the achievements of Innovation:Africa, highlighting the fact that the average age of the contributors was only 32 years… young and that their donations have contributed to achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals as well as inclusive sustainable development in these four African countries.
Former Ambassador of Zambia to the UN and to the EU and Board Member of Innovation:Africa, Mr. Isaiah Zimba Chabala commented on the dynamism and achievements of the young leadership of Innovation:Africa and encouraged them to expand their efforts in more African countries because their initiatives really make a difference in people’s lives, particularly the most vulnerable.
UNIDO and OSAA collaborate on Africa Industrialization Day
Since 1989, the General Assembly tasked UNIDO with the responsibility of taking the lead in commemorating the “Africa Industrialization Day”. This year’s event benefited from the synergies between UNIDO and OSAA’s staff and triggered a massive participation (120), including around 35 staff members.
On 21 November 2012, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA) organized jointly a high-level meeting at the UN Headquarters to celebrate Africa Industrialization Day. Under the theme “Accelerating Industrialization for Boosting Intra-Africa Trade”, the meeting deliberated on how intra-African trade could reach its full potential as a driver of sustainable development.
The wide-ranging participation included statements by the President of the 67th session of the General Assembly, the Secretary-General and the African Group, the African Union, UNIDO and UNECA, along with a panel discussion comprising of scholars and practitioners in international development.
The event was opened by Mr. George Assaf, Director and UNIDO Representative to the UN and other international organizations and moderated by Mr. Maged Abdelaziz, Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Africa. The interactive discussion featured Mr. Modest Mero, Minister Plenipotentiary, Permanent Mission of the United Republic of Tanzania, Mr. Steve McDonald, Director, Africa Programme at Woodrow Wilson Center, Mr. Anthony Carroll, Senior Associate, Africa Programme, Center for Strategic and International Studies, and Dr. Michael Clark, Interregional Adviser at UNCTAD.
The President of the General Assembly reaffirmed United Nations’ support to Africa’s prosperity particularly in view of the slow progress in the achievement of Millennium Development Goals on the continent. The Secretary-General highlighted that Intra-Africa trade would improve resilience to macroeconomic and other external shocks as well as the non-reliance on international aid. Intra-regional trade is an effective tool for enhancing global competitiveness and sustainable economic growth.
Africa continues to face persistent hurdles in expanding trade within the continent. These hurdles include low economic and production diversification, high transaction costs, limited investment financing and undeveloped infrastructure. Intra-regional trade accounts for 10-12 per cent of Africa’s commerce, and remains significantly lower than in other regions. Recently, the Forum on African trade indicated the need to raise intra-Africa’s trade level to 25% by 2020.
On the 10th anniversary of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), Africa Renewal Online in partnership with OSAA presents a comprehensive overview of this important development programme for the continent, together with coverage of NEPAD related events as they happen. Read more.
NEPAD Week at the United Nations Headquarters in New York,