Archive | June, 2014

World Enviroment Day 2014 #WorldEnviromentDay2014

5 Jun

ImageAs we commemorate World Environment Day (WED), the African Forum and Network on Debt and Development (AFRODAD) calls upon the developed world to speedily honour their pledges in providing funds for climate change financing for mitigation and adaptation efforts to protect our environment (planet earth). In the same vein, there is need for Africa to collectively pool its own resources to address the adverse impacts of climate change to our environment.

WED is the United Nations’ principal vehicle for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the environment. Over the years it has grown to be a broad, global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated by stakeholders in over 100 countries. It also serves as the ‘people’s day’ for doing something positive for the environment, galvanising individual actions into a collective power that generates an exponential positive impact on the planet.

The United Nations Secretary-General Message on World Environment Day, 5 June 2014

5 Jun

“Raise Your Voice, Not the Sea Level”

ImageWorld Environment Day 2014 falls during the International Year of Small Island Developing States, declared by the United Nations General Assembly to raise awareness of the special needs of this diverse coalition as part of the global discussion on how to achieve a sustainable future for all.

The world’s small island nations, which are collectively home to more than 63 million people, are renowned as prized destinations: places of outstanding natural beauty, vibrant culture and music appreciated around the globe.  While small in total, the land size of small island nations does not reflect their importance as stewards of nature’s wealth on land and sea.  They play an important role in protecting the oceans and many are biodiversity hotspots, containing some of the richest reservoirs of plants and animals on the planet.  

Despite these assets, Small Island Developing States face numerous challenges.  For a significant number, their remoteness affects their ability to be part of the global supply chain, increases import costs – especially for energy – and limits their competitiveness in the tourist industry.  Many are increasingly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change – from devastating storms to the threat of sea level rise.

Small Island Developing States have contributed little to climate change.  Their combined annual output of greenhouse gases is less than one per cent of total global emissions, but their position on the front lines has projected many to the fore in negotiations for a universal new legal climate agreement in 2015.  Others are leaders in disaster preparedness and prevention or are working to achieve climate neutrality through the use of renewable energy and other approaches.

Small island nations share a common understanding that we need to set our planet on a sustainable path.  This demands the engagement of all sectors of society in all countries.  On World Environment Day, millions of individuals, community groups and businesses from around the world take part in local projects –from clean up campaigns to art exhibits to tree-planting drives.  This year, I urge everyone to think about the plight of Small Island Developing States and to take inspiration from their efforts to address climate change, strengthen resilience and work for a sustainable future.  Raise your voice, not the sea level.  Planet Earth is our shared island.  Let us join forces to protect it.


Economic Partnership Agreement & World Trade Organisation Post-Bali Meeting

3 Jun

ImageThe Southern and Eastern African Trade, Information Negotiations Initiative (SEATINI) and the African Forum and Network on Debt and Development (AFRODAD) will today (3 June 2014)  hold a joint meeting to update and share information on Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) and World Trade Organisation (WTO) Post Bali Doha Round. The meeting will bring together stakeholders from Government, European Union, Parliamentarians, business community, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) among others.

The WTO is in the process of developing the Post Bali Work Programme and already there are disagreements on the way forward coming from the developed and developing countries. Further, the texts agreed in Bali that includes the Agreement on Trade Facilitation are being debated with regards to entry into force.

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Malawi poll stand-off loss counted at K18 billion

3 Jun

ImageA regional and economic think tank has estimated that Malawi lost approximately K18 billion due to a slowdown in economic activity just in the first week of the political impasse when the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) could not announce results of the elections.

The Harare, Zimbabwe-based African Forum and Network on Debt and Development (AFRODAD) says it has done rough research on the economic impact of the delayed release of the results in Malawi which shows that Malawi has lost a lot economically in the days of the  uncertainty.

Afrodad executive director Collins Magalasi told The Daily Times in an interview in Maputo, Mozambique on Friday that the research showed that the country incurred heavy economic lossesThrough suspended exports, slowed down production by some companies and reduced informal trade. He was speaking on the sidelines of Africa Rising conference organised jointly by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Mozambican government. “We learned at the border posts that traffic of both imports and exports had slowed down,” said Magalasi.

He said his institution is now monitoring Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows into the country to establish whether the negative publicity of the election could lead into fewer inquiries about Malawi by investors. He said his institution will prepare a report on the trend of FDI prior, during and after elections, to give a proper picture of how international investors behave in reaction to domestic issues, especially on elections.