African Union (AU)

The third regional data collection workshop on the development of the 2nd Africa Biennial Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) took place 9-10 August in Dakar, Senegal. The focus of the event was solely on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region.

Opening the event, Mr. Abdoulaye Noba, Director General for Civil Protection, the Republic of Senegal, expressed his Country’s appreciation to the AUC for choosing Senegal to host the event. He highlighted the AU Strategy for DRR of 2004 as an important base for monitoring progress on Disaster Risk Reduction/Management on the Continent.

Representing the AU Commission, Mr. Harsen Nyambe, Director of Sustainable Environment and Blue Economy (SEBE) pointed out that data is critical in DRR, and further emphasized that “data is very important to achieve the implementation of the DRR programmes, projects and activities at the Commission. The Africa Multi-hazard early warning and action system (AMHEWAS) programme demonstrates the need for the correct and timely data”. The Director also noted that the urban resilience programme currently being developed by the Commission is heavily dependent on the availability of data.

Speaking at the opening of the event, the ECOWAS’ Head of DRR and Humanitarian Division, Mr. Mohammed Ibrahim hailed the AU Programme of Action (PoA) on the implementation of the Sendai Framework for DRR as a key agenda for the continent in reducing disaster risk. He encouraged the participants to leverage their technical expertise in the process for accurate reporting and data compilation. He cited data collection as a big challenge in DRR, and stressed the need for data disaggregation.

Member States also presented their best practices, which ranged from formulation and implementation of DRR policy instruments, equipment upgrade to establishment of a multi-hazard early warning operations centre, among others. One of the key needs identified towards strengthening data collection and harmonisation in Member States was capacity building for experts, and also an uptake and analysis of geospatial information for DRR.

The Member States represented at the event were Niger, Liberia, Guinea Bissau, Ghana, the Gambia, Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Togo, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal. Other entities represented included the Africa Science and Technology Advisory Group on DRR (AfSTAG) and the Africa Youth Advisory Board on DRR.

The workshop followed two workshops organised earlier on the data collection, targeting member states of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and East African Community (EAC) in June 2022, and member states of Unione Mugreb Arab (UMA) and Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) in July 2022. The last data collection workshop will focus on Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states. The workshop is scheduled to take place in September 2022. The development of the biennial report is supported by the European Union through Intra-ACP 11th EDF Natural Disaster Risk Reduction Programme, and Kingdom of Sweden through UNDP within the framework of the Sahel Resilience Project.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Union (AU).