The Swedish government and UNDP sign agreements to promote socio-economic development and peacebuilding in Africa’s border areas
Today, the Swedish government, represented by the Swedish International Development Cooperation (Sida), and the UN Development Program (UNDP) has signed one SEK 5,000,000 agreements to promote socio-economic development and peacebuilding in the African border areas of Liptako-Gourma in West Africa and the Karamoja cluster in East Africa. The program will be implemented in cooperation with the African Union Commission (AUC) and the Life and Peace Institute (LPI).
The signing ceremony was held at the Swedish Embassy in Addis Ababa with representation by Ulla Andrén, Head of Regional Development Cooperation for Sweden and Stan Nkwain, Director of UNDP Regional service center for Africa.
With an estimated 270 million inhabitants, the border country in Africa is a unique source of ingenuity, untapped opportunities and great resilience. In many of these societies, however, insecurity and poverty, which have been exacerbated by climate change, conflict and, more recently, COVID-19 pandemic, remains a critical obstacle to socio-economic progress. This agreement confirms the firm conviction of Sweden, UNDP and their implementing partners that improved conditions can help unlock the development potential and local innovation opportunities of Africa’s border communities and strengthen their progress towards the Goals and Africa’s Agenda 2063.
Ulla Andrén, Head of Regional Development Cooperation at the Swedish Embassy in Addis Ababa, signed the agreement on behalf of Sweden and said: “We are pleased to be able to support innovative projects such as this. Many border areas are experiencing challenging security issues, and we must support initiatives that promote all the positive aspects of the dynamic border areas in the common pursuit of a peaceful and secure Africa. We are especially looking forward to following how this partnership will increase the commitment of women and young people. ”
Stan Nkwain, director ai for UNDP Regional Service Center for Africa, signed the agreement for UNDP and said: “I would like to thank the government and the people of Sweden for their partnership and commitment to supporting historically marginalized communities in Africa’s borderlands, through UNDP‘s Africa Borderlands Center. I hope that this initiative can be a catalyst for bringing more attention and resources to Africa’s border areas. ”
The one-year partnership, which will be implemented by UNDPThe Regional Program for Africa will embrace the opportunities in Africa’s border areas with a particular focus on engaging and empowering women and young people.
There are three focus areas for the partnership, namely:
- improve the supply of border communities in the Liptako-Gourma region by promoting innovation in informal cross-border trade and access to markets in Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso;
- strengthen the commitment and capacity of border civil society organizations in East Africa and the Horn of Africa; and
- promote sustainable peace and development in the Karamoja region of Uganda and Kenya, while supporting the governments of Kenya and Uganda in developing a cross-border program.
Delivered by APO Group on behalf of the UN Development Program (UNDP).
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