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Become a member of the African Agri Council and benefit at our Indaba

In partnership with WESGRO and the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, the African Agri Council invites you to attend the 2016 African Agri Investment Indaba. All African Agri Council members will receive a discount of R 1,000 ($100) on the registration fee by simply quoting the code: AAC.

In addition to the Investment discovery sessions, the Indaba will include an interactive exhibition, a dynamic programme and excellent networking opportunities.

Numerous expert speakers will be presenting including:

  • Senzeni Zokwana – Minister, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, South Africa
  • MEC Alan Winde – Minister of Economic Opportunities, Western Cape Government, South Africa
  • MEC Lebogang Maile – MEC, Gauteng Department of Economic, Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development, South Africa
  • Yemi Akinbamijo – Executive Director, Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa – FARA, Ghana
  • Nigel Chanakira – Chairman, Zimbabwe Investment Authority, Zimbabwe
  • John Mutunga – Chief Executive Officer, Kenya National Farmers Federation (KENAFF), Kenya
  • Nhlanhla Nene – Resident Advisor, Thebe Investment Corporation and Non-Executive Board Member, Allan Gray, South Africa
  • John Purchase – Chief Executive Officer, Agricultural Business Chamber (AgBiz), South Africa

The programme will cover key topics across the entire agri value chain such as agri-processing, manufacturing, food processing, farming, investment opportunities and many more. For more information, please view our brochure.

With all the market leading solutions vying for attention, all African Agri Council members will receive a 25% discount on exhibition and sponsorship packages, allowing you to position yourself as market leaders. The AAC has allocated a pavilion at a prime position for its members – only 10 stands available! View the floorplan here.

We look forward to welcoming you to the African Agri Investment Indaba next month.

For enquiries, contact Spell Sigxaxhe: +27 21 700 5511 or spell.sigxaxhe@agricouncil.org

Source: agricouncil

Kenya to strengthen private sector investment in geothermal energy

The Climate Investment Funds’ Clean Technology Fund (CTF) has approved a $29.65-million concessional loan to Kenya to cofinance up to two geothermal projects to increase the country’s power capacity, particularly drawing on untapped geothermal resources in the Rift Valley. The programme would be implemented with support from the African Development Bank (AfDB), with the geothermal projects to be structured as independent power producers (IPPs). The CTF for geothermal generation would build on the energy advancements already under way in the development of the country’s Menengai Geothermal Field.

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To create a sustainable energy future, Kenya’s government recognised that it needed to sustain a stable investment climate for private sector participation in the energy sector, expanding transmission and distribution networks to deliver power to customers, maintain cost-reflective tariffs and reduce inefficiency in the sector to support more affordable end-user tariffs.

A key government measure in this regard was to promote IPP schemes selected through international competitive bidding processes to enhance investment flows from the private sector into the power sector. AfDB CTF coordinator Joao Duarte Cunha noted that the infusion of capital would serve to build investor confidence and improve bankability of these resources.

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“The success of the IPPs developed in this programme can serve as a beacon for other countries looking to achieve similar green energy goals.” Transformation of the geothermal energy sector was a core part of Kenya’s economic growth plan for its expanding and increasingly urbanising population.

In its 2030 vision, the country identified energy and electricity as key elements of its economic transformation, with geothermal energy as the lead technology. It was estimated that by 2020, the country’s projected installed energy capacity would triple from 2 177 MW to 6 766 MW, with geothermal contributing around 2 000 MW.

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Source: engineeringnews


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African Potash to continue exploration in Congo

JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Although it has, over the past year, worked to become a vertically integrated fertiliser business with an initial focus on trading and distribution, Aim-listed African Potash retains its interest in the exploration side of the fertiliser industry. Through its 70% interest in La Société des Potasses et des Mines, it held the right to conduct exploration activities for potash salts over the 702.5 km2 Lac Dinga project area in the highly prospective Kouilou region of the Republic of Congo. Although the initial three-year licence period had expired in December 2015 a renewal application had been filed and approval was expected to be granted in the coming months. While the project was still at an early stage of exploration, work conducted to date had returned encouraging results regarding the potential of the project area hosting significant potash deposits, with mineralisation characteristic of similar commercial deposits in the Congolese coastal basin.

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African Potash, meanwhile, said its transition into a revenue generative business with a captive, domestic and growing market for its product had been implemented after taking heed of investors’ attitudes towards the traditional, and often time-consuming model of resource companies, with initial exploration followed by lengthy development phases, construction and eventually production, with numerous equity raisings and dilution underpinning these growth and development stages.

“To mitigate the downside risk associated with resource development and to provide our shareholders with near-term value in the form of revenue, African Potash adopted a new approach to building a vertically integrated fertiliser business, focussing initially on trading and distribution,” said executive chairperson Chris Cleverly said on Tuesday.

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African Potash had signed a landmark trading agreement with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) to supply and deliver fertilisers to offtakers identified and introduced by Comesa.  African Potash added that it continued to implement its strategy to deliver near-term value through development of a vertical platform for the mining, production and distribution of fertiliser. “The size and scope of the developing agricultural sector in Africa is an area of overwhelming potential – forecasts suggest that the population of Africa will double to 2.4-billion between now and 2050,” said Cleverly.

He added that fertiliser contributed to 40% to 60% of global food supply.

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Source: engineeringnews


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African power investors get London invitation

KAMPALA, UGANDA – African governments wishing to attract private sector money to pay for new badly needed power projects are expected to send representatives for the Africa Energy Forum scheduled for London on June 22nd.

“Being in London, the world’s finance capital, will enable Africa’s growing number of power developers to showcase their businesses to decision makers of the world’s most prolific investment organisations from around the globe,” Shiddika Mohamed, the Group Director of EnergyNet Limited and main organisers of the talks said last week.

The Africa Energy Forum which is the annual global investment meeting for Africa’s power, energy, infrastructure and industrial sectors.

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The event is expected to bring together 1,000 investors, 500 public sector stakeholders, 300 technology providers, 270 developers and representatives from 70 countries.

According to a company statement, “The decision to move the forum to the UK this year, was taken to capitalise on the investment potential of the UK and promote the strong trade relationship between the UK and Africa’.

The last three forums were held in Dubai in 2015, Istanbul (2014) and  Barcelona (2013).

The African Development Bank (AfBD) says the entire installed generation capacity of Africa’s 48 sub-Saharan countries is just 68 gigawatts, no more than Spain’s.

As much as one-quarter of that capacity is unavailable because of aging plants and poor maintenance.

More than 645 million people in sub-Saharan Africa — roughly 70% of the region’s population — do not have access to electricity. If current trends continue, fewer than 40% of African countries will reach universal access to electricity by 2050.

This lack of adequate power supplies continues to be a major deterent for investment. Per capita consumption of electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa) averages only 124 kilowatt-hours a year and is falling. The rate of consumption is barely one percent of that in high-income countries. If entirely allocated to household lighting, it would hardly be enough to power one light bulb per person for six hours a day.

This year sees the Forum hosted in London for the first time – at the new London Intercontinental O2 overlooking the skyscrapers of the Canary Wharf and the famous River Thames.

New for this year will be the Growing Economies Energy Forum (GEEF), running alongside the Africa Energy Forum. GEEF will host a day of open discussions between the governments and private sector from new energy markets such as Iran, Pakistan, Myanmar and Peru, as these growing economies open up for international investment following political and economic developments.

EnergyNet will also host a typically English opening night pub quiz party on the evening of 21st June featuring some legendary British culture and food, allowing participants to network in a fun, laid back environment before the formal opening on the 22nd.

Speaking in Washington last month, Power Africa coordinator Andrew Herscowitz (a United States government initiative) said: “There is absolutely no reason the entire continent can’t be lit up because there is the money, the technology and the desire to make it happen. People have to be more forward thinking, forward leaning and have competition to bring costs down.’

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Source: busiweek


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Joburg Tourism campaign: making visitors feel welcome

Joburg Tourism launched the Welcome to Jozi – Make a Visitor’s Day! campaign with the aim to encourage Joburg’s residents to make visitors feel welcome. The campaign is designed to educate and inform Johannesburg residents on being Johanessburg ambassadors, promote the city and enhance visitors experience.

As Africa’s most visited city and the continent’s leading business and lifestyle destination, Joburg attracts visitors from Gauteng, from South Africa’s other provinces, from other African countries and from destinations around the world. The reasons they come to Johannesburg are as diverse as the visitors themselves. They could be students studying at our tertiary institutions, people who come for medical reasons, business people visiting the city for meetings, business events, exhibitions and incentives, sports enthusiasts, concertgoers, those seeking leisure, lifestyle, heritage and cultural experiences, and those who come to visit friends and relatives.

Demonstrate and sell product over three busy days

Joburgers encouraged to make a visitor’s day

The Welcome to Jozi – Make a Visitor’s Day Today! campaign takes a collaborative approach with Joburgers to go the extra mile and make a visitor’s day. They are encouraged to be helpful, courteous and friendly. This may be a simple gesture such as helping a visitor with directions. They are also encouraged to learn more about visitors to Joburg, for example by providing Indian diners with plenty of serviettes and a finger bowl as they generally eat with their hands. The campaign will also educate locals on how to interact with visitors, for example etiquette and conversing in their languages to make them feel welcome

Joburgers can also make a visitor’s day by showing them the city’s rich culture, heritage, leisure and lifestyle attractions and activities. This means that they have to be familiar with the city’s tourist attractions and how to access them. As in many other destinations around the world, residents often remain unaware of their city’s tourism and leisure offerings and the campaign aims to address this.

Joburg is so much more than a stopover city, with a great deal to experience and explore. Our struggle history, and culture and heritage attractions provide fascinating insights into the city’s past and current developments.

Among the many exciting things to do:

• Visit historical sites such as the Apartheid Museum, Constitutional Hill and Liliesleaf

• Take a walking or cycling tour of Soweto or downtown Joburg

• Hang out in the funky Maboneng District and Braamfontein where you’ll find Joburg’s hip crowd exploring art galleries, theatres, bookstores, food markets, bars, specialty stores and more

• Adventure and adolescent junkies love the bungee jump at Orlando Towers in Soweto, zip lining in Melrose and go-karting at Kyalami Race Track

• The City Sightseeing Red City Tour hop-on-hop-off bus takes visitors to some of Joburg’s most iconic attractions and is a must-do adventure for any visitor to Joburg

• Eating out at our many fine restaurants for a culinary experience

• Shopping at our world class malls

• Explore Joburg’s art scene at fine art galleries and markets

• Enjoying world-class productions at our many theatres

• Taking part in our many outdoor annual sporting events

• Being part of exhilarating music concerts, entertainment and lifestyle events

Showcasing Joburg as a business events destination

When compared with other global cities, Joburg is one of the most affordable to visit for both domestic and international visitors, whether it’s paying for transport and accommodation, entry into the city’s many tourist attractions, shopping, or enjoying its superb restaurants, nightlife and cultural attractions.
The Welcome to Jozi – Make a Visitor’s Day Today! campaign will also showcase Johannesburg’s capabilities and credentials as an international destination of choice and as a year-round destination for business and investment, business events, lifestyle, sports and leisure.

Meeting planners organising meetings, conferences or exhibitions in Joburg are spoilt for choice when it comes to business events venues. They don’t need to venture outside of Joburg to source suitable venues. In addition, by retaining their meetings in Joburg, there is a range of four and five-star stand-alone international convention centres, expo centres, and multi-purpose venues that can cater for smaller meetings and large conferences of up to 20,000 delegates. To date, over 28 000 lifestyle events have been hosted in Joburg alone in 2015.

Nurturing tourism

There is also a wide range of three to five-star hotels that have high-tech meeting rooms, combining the best in accommodation with world-class conferencing facilities. “Visitors to our city make a significant contribution to Johannesburg’s economy, which benefits development, job creation and transformation. By giving our visitors the best experiences while in our vibrant city, we are nurturing and growing tourism’s contribution to our local economy which is advantageous to all of us.” Says counsellor Ruby Mathang, head of economic development at the City of Johannesburg.

He adds that the campaign’s success is dependent on collaboration and cooperation between the City of Johannesburg, its residents and all tourism stakeholders. “By working together, we can ensure visitors to our wonderful city experience the best that Johannesburg has to offer – our warm and welcoming people and the fantastic variety of experiences and attractions on offer.”

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Source: bizcommunity


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Expert: New rules set stage for shift in e-waste handling

When the new Electronic Waste Regulations are finally gazetted, it will be mandatory for producers and importers of electronic goods to state clearly how and where the products will be treated upon the end of their life. Vicky Onderi, a former environmental officer in charge of e-waste at Nema tells People Daily’s JAMES MOMANYI  how Kenya  became a pioneer in regulation of e-waste management and her role in the significant move

Q: Who is Vicky Onderi and what do Kenyans need to know about electronic waste?

A: I was born and brought up in Kisii county before I moved to Nairobi for post-secondary studies and later work. I have a master’s degree in environmental management from the University of Nairobi and a postgraduate diploma in environmental management for developing and emerging economies from Dresden University in Germany.

I worked for the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) as an environment officer in charge of e-learning and waste management at a time when the continent started to engage on how to manage e-waste.

Although I resigned from Nema in 2013, I have been part of the team that has championed the formulation of the e-waste regulations, which were discussed and passed in Parliament last week. Currently, I am a director at East Africa Compliance Recycling Company, a consultancy firm on e-waste management.

On the second question, electronic waste comprises any electronic product whose life (usage)has come to end and needs to be disposed of. According to United Nations Environmental Programme (Unep), Kenya generates annually over 11,400 tonnes of e-waste from refrigerators, 2,800 tonnes from TVs, 2,500 tonnes of e-waste from computers, 500 tonnes from printers and 150 tonnes from mobile phones, among other products. This is a lot of e-waste, which if not properly treated can be harmful to the environment and people.

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Q: How did you get involved with the e-waste management or was was it your line of study?

A: Prior to 2010, Kenya, and in general Africa, didn’t have e-waste guidelines, policy and regulations. In 2010, environment ministries from across the continent met and passed a resolution that called for the mainstreaming of technology-supported learning in the environment sector.

I was tasked to develop drafts on e-waste guidelines together with my colleagues at the department. We formed four working groups to focus on capacity building, infrastructure and connectivity, monitoring and evaluation and digital content for e-waste management.

The infrastructure and connectivity working group developed a draft on the e-waste policy, regulations and guidelines. But we realised that without a clear roadmap on implementation, the guidelines will be meaningless. Furthermore, without the legal framework, the guidelines would not serve any purpose.

This forced us to organise a Pan-African conference in March 2012 to discuss the issues from a continental perspective and come up with a common solution for all African countries.

It’s worth noting that Kenya is the only country in Africa that has, so far, formulated the e-waste regulations while others such as South Africa, Nigeria, Zambia and others it is still work in progress.

Q: Who have been the main actors in Kenya in the formulation of structures and systems of the e-waste framework?

A: There have been many actors since the journey started in 2010. Besides Nema, the government through the Office of the Presidency in the current and the previous regime has played a great role.

Various ministries such the Environment, Education, Industrialisation, Communication together as well as agencies such as KRA, Kebs and Parliament have played a huge role, especially in putting in place e-waste regulations.

Allow me to point out the great role the directors of Nema and the Environment Cabinet secretary Judi Wakhungu have played.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto have also supported the work done by various actors, with government taking e-waste management as one of its flagship projects.

In Parliament, the Speaker Justin Muturi has been the main driving force together with Committee on Environment chaired by Amina Abdallah and the Committee on Delegated Legislation led by Baringo North MP William Cheptumo.

The trio played a key role in organising several seminars where Kenyan MPs and their East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) counterparts were upraised on e-waste. This made it possible for the MPs to debate and pass the Electronic Waste Regulations now awaiting gazettement.

Apart from Kenyan institutions, Unep and the European Union have played a major role in providing resources and partnerships that have made the journey possible.

African Union has also been of great support, especially in making e-waste a continental agenda that needs common solution. Currently, we are developing a tool kit so that the regulations can be adopted by all African countries.

Q: What are some of the major provisions in the regulations that will impact on the society directly?

A: One of the provisions is that henceforth, no company will manufacture or import any electronics without stating where its e-waste will be treated after end of their life.

They must sign an MoU with the treatment facility before the product is allowed into the country. That is why KRA and Kebs have been part of the teams developing the regulations, together with importers and producers.

Q: What are some of the impacts of electronic waste to human beings and environment?

A: Electronic waste releases to the environment toxic chemicals such as lead, barium, mercury and other harmful components into environment, which endanger lives of both the public and the workers involved in the recycling process.

E-waste, when burnt, causes air pollution through release of toxic emissions, some of which are known carcinogens. Poor disposal blocks water channels, contaminates land and compromises scenic beauty.

Recycling makes business sense because end of electronic equipment contain valuable resources and precious metals such as gold, silver, copper, steel, aluminium, and plastics.

But more importantly, with the kind of system the stakeholders and the government are currently trying to put in place, the e-waste management sector is going to be one of the biggest creators of employment because there are going to be many people involved in collection, recycling or treatment and disposal.

My e-waste treatment company is already in talks with the governors to have collection points in all counties. Women and youth groups will be involved in the programme and, in return, earn a decent living.

Q: A part from e-waste management benefits, what are other attendant gains Kenyans will derive from management structures put in place?

A: Foremost, Kenya is going to be the focal point of e-waste management in Africa being the pacesetter. Other countries will learn from us and this will involve knowledge and skills transfer.

Since we have also established treatment facilities, most countries, especially in the Comesa region may prefer to bring their waste here for treatment the same way most European countries take theirs to Belgium, which has the biggest treatment facility in Europe.

Secondly, almost all public universities in Kenya have signed an MoU with UK’s Northampton University to partner in the training on e-waste management.

This means we are also going to be pacesetters in the academia and research in the field of e-waste management in the continent. The spill-overs will be massive.

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Source: mediamaxnetwork


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Africa gets new centre for agricultural innovation

[COTONOU, BENIN] A new research centre that will help African countries promote innovation in the agricultural sector to combat rural poverty and hunger has been inaugurated.

The Green Innovation Center, which was inaugurated at AfricaRice in Benin this month (3 January), aims to boost agricultural productivity, increase the incomes of smallholder farmers and create job opportunities, particularly for youth and women in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Togo, Tunisia and Zambia.

“The main gap that the centre seeks to close is the low capacity of the present extension service.”

Bernard Marc Winfried, AfricaRice

The Green Innovation Center is supported by the Federal German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), in partnership with other institutions such as Benin Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, and AfricaRice.

BMZ has given 2.7 million euros (almost US$3 million) to AfricaRice to implement the centre’s activities in 2016 and 2017, according to Bernard Marc Winfried, a knowledge management specialist at AfricaRice.
Gerd Müller, minister for BMZ, said during the inauguration that agriculture does not only need water and fertiliser but also knowledge and innovation.

Wilfried added that in Benin the initiative will facilitate the exchange of knowledge and interaction between researchers and development experts in 17 communities.
He explained that the centre will focus on strengthening the agricultural innovation system by promoting partnerships and developing an operational framework for innovation.

According to Winfried, researchers will develop a set of services and innovation that will serve as youth training tools and help increase sustainable productivity and incomes of agricultural producers.

“The main gap that the centre seeks to close is the low capacity of the present extension service. The activities will decisively improve access for farmers and traders to advisory, technical and business development services,” Winfried says.

David Arodokoun, the director-general of National Agricultural Research Institute of Benin, praises the creation of the centre, noting that the centre could address hunger and aid growth because “a development without innovation technology is a blind development”.

Arodokoun adds that African countries have not understood and managed to develop innovative technologies, and hopes the centre could also help create innovations that are friendly to the environment and can address climate change-related impacts.

Winfried tells SciDev.Net that the new centre will initially focus on four key commodities — rice, soybeans, small ruminants and poultry — but is open to work on other commodities upon request.

Source: scidev


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Save water, produce energy, innovate to tackle climate change

Sustainable development summits and climate change negotiations have slowly but steadily paved the way to the recognition of the inextricable linkages between water, energy and climate change.

It is undeniable that water and energy resources share a strong interdependence. Equally, both are perceived as stressed, precious and with the potential to trigger conflicts.

Beyond the generation of electricity via hydropower, energy needs water to cool power plants or to produce biofuel, whereas water needs energy to be treated and distributed.

Conversely, poor governance of one sector has knock-on effects for both water and energy security. For instance, a water-intensive industry like mining that often causes point pollution can affect rivers downstream and endanger the environment and human life more broadly.

Among African energy departments, water is an increasing concern on government agendas.

In regions such as the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the ability of water resources to respond to growing industrial development needs is increasingly questioned today.

Despite the controversial history of large dams across Africa, harnessing this continent’s hydropower potential has been a key feature of recent intergovernmental initiatives, such as the Inga 3 or the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, as well as the African Union’s flagship Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA).

Apart from large dams’ hydroelectricity, other options have emerged that link water and energy in a more sustainable way.

Innovations such as amplified hydropower generation technology – using a cascade principle in a watercourse to increase efficiency, as well as solar plants sustaining water desalinisation processes and activating water distribution pumps – illustrate how water and energy have learned to speak to each other.

In addition, technologies gearing wave and tidal power towards electricity generation or ‘next generation’ hydropower production, such as hydraulic turbines floating in riverbeds, presented at the COP21 solutions exhibition at the Grand Palais, underscore how vital innovation is to respond to climate change challenges.

However, while our societies’ technical skills are expanding at a rapid pace, a gap remains between inventions stemming from public and private research labs and their industrial production to benefit our societies.

Bringing scientific and industrial networks to collaborate is essential, and forums such as the Africa Techno organised in South Africa this year provide concrete platforms for innovative solutions to be turned into climate actions.

More importantly, a rising concern lies in the political and economic treatment of such innovations.

Controversial repartition of governments’ incentives between traditional and renewable energy sources reinforces suspicion.

One suggestion could be to better integrate the respective targets of water and energy sectors, as well as budget allocation regarding infrastructure building and maintenance.

This would enable a concurrent increase in their sustainability, efficiency and equity for all.

Among stakeholders, increasing awareness of climate change challenges has resulted in a better resource allocation at all levels through careful planning, saving and recycling.

Governance patterns have started to transform significantly to reflect systemic water and energy linkages.

But these attempts to manage water and energy have been met with mixed success, partly because most institutions operate under a complex system of unclear mandates and obscure funding.

In addition, they often struggle to build up institutional and legislative capacity gaps. This does not necessarily imply that today’s shaping of resource management is doomed. However, there is a clear need to improve – if not to reconstruct – perception, use and management patterns of resources.

Our increasingly complex resource governance architecture, with a strong security focus, is not able to allow technology and innovation to come to the rescue yet.

Turning innovations to future benefit for all requires the encouragement of interactive work between engineers, researchers, policymakers, industry and civil society groups.

International gatherings bringing diverse stakeholders together are thus essential. The objectives of COP21 include not only the provision of up-to-date scientific and technical information to world leaders, but also the opportunity to innovate enabling mechanisms to tackle the impacts of climate change on present and future resources.

Source: southernafrican


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Africa’s Sustainable Development Begins With Local Capacity

Over the last decade, there has been a gradual, yet significant shift in the way large international donors give foreign aid in countries like Nigeria. Increasingly, major development donors, such as the United States Agency for International Development, USAID, have begun giving money directly to developing country governments and local non governmental organisations, NGOs.

Often referred to as “aid localisation,” this movement bypasses traditional international NGOs to directly empower grassroots organisations; ensuring aid reaches its intended recipients.

As the trend of aid localisation continues, the global community is starting to pay more attention to the impact localisation is having for the organisations that receive the aid on-the-ground in developing countries.

Amref Health Africa, a non-profit organisation with a focus on women and children that is committed to improving the health of Africans by partnering with and empowering communities, is one of many NGOs across Africa and South Asia that has experienced the impact of aid localisation.

Attend the Sustainability in Mining Seminar in Pretoria in June.
Attend the Sustainability in Mining Seminar in Pretoria in June.

Localised aid has dramatically changed the way these organisations operate, mostly in a positive way. With the right investment in local NGO capacity, localisation of aid can yield positive results in the long term. In addition to the benefits, the increase in direct funding from major donors has also created some unintended challenges.

Operational & financial burdens

For example, localisation has imposed new operational and financial burdens on aid recipients, many of which have gone unnoticed by international donors.

These include responsibilities related to grant applications and reporting systems – the responsibilities once typically handled by international NGOs, but now passed on to local partners.

These responsibilities have proven to be challenging for lots of in-country NGOs. Many do not have the strong operational systems needed to comply with the reporting demands. According to a new report surveying development experts, as many as 97 percent of aid recipients describe grant compliance – the process of tracking grant activities and budgets and adhering to donor compliance guidelines- as a growing burden.

This burden has increased demand for an already limited number of skilled operations and finance professionals, having predictable effects. Often, NGOs will recruit and train local administrative staff in financial and marketing tools, only to have them leave for higher-paying positions in the corporate sector.

Amref Health Africa has experienced these operations challenges and pressures. As the impact of aid localisation began to be felt, Amref Health Africa invested in tracking employee hours and allocating resources to build a team for grant applications.

Dividends: While this requiredsignificant upfront investment, these systems are now paying dividends, allowing new grants and improved efficiency. Amref Health Africa is also sharing lessons and helping to strengthen local operational and financial capacity by sharing its own innovation initiative, known as Organisational Development and Systems Strengthening, ODSS.

Success story

While this is a success story, many smaller NGOs are struggling. The global community must act now to empower on-the-ground organisations that can help smaller NGOs meet the changing requirements, so they can continue to improve health and economic growth within their communities. But if we don’t address these challenges as a community, the overall effectiveness of aid will suffer.

Creative responses are already being seen around the world, led both by international and in-country NGOs. International groups are creating local affiliates within countries, investing in the operations and systems capacity of their grantees, and building regional technical support hubs.

Internal capacity

Developing country organisations are beginning to build their own internal capacity to manage these funds while also considering outsourcing operations tasks, employing local fiscal agents, and establishing partnerships with private accounting firms.

While these changes are helping, more needs to be done to ensure that the localisation of aid has the greatest positive impact. Donor harmonisation – the aligning of grant requirements across many donors – would be a good first step.

Long-term effects: While the long-term effects of localisation are still largely unknown, it is critical that the international community takes action to build local capacity on-the-ground. Ensuring that developing country organisations are equipped with the resources, talent and tools they need is critical to helping us all reach the ambitious development goals we’ve set.

Lennie Bazira Kyomuhangi-Igbodipe is the Interim CEO, Amref Health Africa, while Linn Dorin is the Principal of Global Finance Strategies.

Source: All Africa


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