Swedish Government and UNDP sign agreement to promote socio-economic development and peacebuilding in Africa’s border areas – Burkina Faso
Addis Ababa, 13 October 2021 -Today, the Swedish government, represented by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and the UN Development Program (UNDP) have signed a SEK 5,000,000 agreement to promote socio-economic development and peacebuilding in Africa’s border areas in Liptako -Gourma in West Africa and Karamoja cluster in East Africa. The program will be implemented in collaboration 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 the 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, exacerbated by climate change, conflict and the recent covid-19 pandemic, are a critical obstacle to socio-economic progress. This agreement reaffirms Sweden, UNDP and their implementing partners’ firm belief that improved circumstances can help unlock development potential and local innovation opportunities in 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 of the UNDP Regional Service Center for Africa, signed the agreement on behalf of the UNDP and said: “I want to thank the government and the people of Sweden for their partnership and commitment to support historically marginalized communities in Africa’s borderland, through UNDP 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 the UNDP’s 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.
For more information and interview requests, please contact:
Kareen Shawa, Communications Specialist, UNDP Africa Borderlands Center
Michelle Mendi Muita, Communications Specialist, UNDP Regional Program
Emma Sandahl, advisor and program manager / specialist Human Security and AU’s Swedish Embassy in Addis Ababa