Covid-19 pandemic impetus for greater regional integration, African countries told at presentation of regional integration index report

As countries rebuild their economies following COVID-19, Africa needs to step up productive and infrastructural integration, participants heard at a regional presentation of the African Regional Integration Index (ARII) held virtually last week. The index, a joint publication of the Economic Commission for Africa, the African Development Bank and the African Union Commission, provides up-to-date data on the status of regional integration in Africa and assesses the level of integration for every regional economic community and its member countries. The Index report underlines the need for a renewed commitment to…

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A Decade of Developments in Peace Operations

Since the end of World War II, states and international organizations have deployed nearly 200 peace operations involving military contingents, and they remain the principal international mechanism for managing armed conflict. A closer look at the last decade of peace operations—from 2010 to 2020—highlights ten macro-level trends which can help us understand some of the key priorities, challenges, and where peacekeeping might be heading next. First, there’s been a major increase in quality scholarship about peace operations, particularly United Nations “blue helmet” missions. There’s now a stronger evidence-base for understanding…

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Decoding public finance for disaster risk reduction and climate investments

The need to increase investments in disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA) is a well-accepted priority to minimize losses from disaster and climate change. However, there are challenges in articulating how much countries ought to spend, what areas they should prioritize, and which type of measure are more effective in achieving risk and losses reduction. The absence of baseline information on expenditure trends hampers the analysis of most cost-efficient ways to reduce risk. One way to gain insights into the current levels of investments is by conducting…

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New African Development Bank-GCA initiative will galvanize $25 billion to scale up African climate adaptation

African Development Bank President Akinwuma A. Adesina announced the launch on Monday of the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP) to mobilize $25 billion to scale up and accelerate climate change adaptation actions across Africa. The announcement came during the Climate Adaptation Summit (CAS) 2021, hosted by the government of the Netherlands and the Global Center on Adaptation. The AAAP, a joint initiative between the African Development Bank and the Global Center on Adaptation, is expected to scale up innovative and transformative actions on climate adaptation across Africa, Adesina said during…

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West Africa Regional Supply and Market Outlook, January 12, 2021

KEY MESSAGES • This report summarizes supply and market outlook of staple foods in 17 West Africa and Sahel countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo) for the 2020/21 marketing year (MY), that spans from October 2020 to September 2021. Qualitative analyses also include Cameroon as part of West Africa food security network monitoring. • Regional crop assessments forecast above-average 2020/21 cereal production in West Africa and the Sahel. Aggregate cereal production is forecast…

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Economist: Abraham Accords, US Loan Will Help Revitalize Sudan’s Economy

Sudan took another big step this week toward rejoining the international community and losing its label as a pariah state by officially signing an agreement to normalize relations with Israel. Sudan, which once hosted al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, had already agreed to improve relations with Israel but made it official on Wednesday when visiting U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Sudan’s justice minister signed the Abraham Accords in Khartoum. The agreement is aimed at boosting relations between Arab countries and Israel. As part of the deal, the U.S. removed…

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Africa Forges Ahead with Free Continental Trade Bloc Despite Pandemic

ABUJA – Despite a second wave of coronavirus in many African countries, the continent on January 1 launched the world’s largest trade bloc after the World Trade Organization. Every African nation except Eritrea has signed on to the African Continental Free Trade Area and countries including Nigeria are developing safety guidelines for trade during the pandemic. The launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area was initially scheduled for the middle of 2020 but postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. African governments forged ahead with its launch this month despite…

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Traders, Truckers Protest Cameroon-Chad Border Closing Over COVID

YAOUNDE – Traders and truck drivers in Cameroon and Chad held a nine-minute protest Wednesday on the N’Gueli bridge that crosses the border, with each minute symbolizing one month since cross-border traffic was restricted in March to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The group that organized the protest, the Association of Truck Drivers in Chad and Cameroon, called for an immediate reopening of the border. Forty-seven-year-old Chadian truck driver Mal Goni says the lack of trade has devastated his income. Chadian drivers should be allowed to transport goods from Cameroon…

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