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Development is going digital and INGOs like Oxfam have a vital convening role to play. This paper draws on ICT for Development in Oxfam's programmes in the Horn, East and Central Africa to consider what this role is. In order to realise the opportunities associated with the digital landscape, Oxfam will need to build internal and external capacity to implement ICT in programmes to enhance quality, accessibility, and efficiency.
Nearly eleven million people in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia are dangerously hungry and in need of humanitarian assistance. The worst drought-affected areas in Somalia are on the brink of famine.There is growing scientific analysis suggesting that the impacts of current and recent droughts in East Africa are likely to have been aggravated by climate change. Climate change is not a distant, future threat. As this briefing explains, it is helping fuel this emerging catastrophe in which poverty, chronic malnutrition, weak governance, conflict, drought and climate change have combined to create a perfect storm.Governments across the region and around the world need to take responsibility and provide humanitarian assistance to save lives now. Humanitarian aid needs to be coupled with longer term support to promote the resilience of pastoralists and smallholder food producers. Without global efforts to reduce emissions and to help the world's poorest people cope with the effects of climate change, this crisis will continue to repeat itself.
In 2015, the EU and its member states set up the 'EU Emergency Trust Fund for stability and addressing root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa' to promote stability and economic opportunities and to strengthen resilience.An Oxfam analysis of all the projects approved under the instrument shows that its flexible nature has generated both opportunities and risks. This briefing argues that the Fund lacks sufficient checks and balances to ensure that European interests do not take precedence over the needs of the people that aid is intended to help.
High levels of inequality across Africa have prevented much of the benefits of recent growth from reaching the continent's poorest people. To combat inequality in Africa, political and business leaders have to shape a profoundly different type of economy. It must start with the needs of Africa's women and young people for good quality sustainable jobs, rather than the needs of the richest and of foreign investors. Leaders must use economic policy, taxation policy and social spending to build a human economy for Africa.
The Africa Mining Vision (AMV) is a policy framework that was created by the African Union in 2009 to ensure that Africa uses its mineral resources strategically for broad-based, inclusive development. Eight years after its inception, implementation has been slow and there is a low level of awareness of the framework among key stakeholders in the mineral sector.This paper shows that the AMV has specific weaknesses that should be addressed through its national implementation, in order to enhance the benefits for African citizens. Africa's leaders and citizens must act now to ensure that the goals of the AMV are realized. It is a transformative policy that can drive sustainable development on the continent.Ã‚Â
Although the El NiÃ±o weather event has ended, the humanitarian needs resulting from the drought in Southern Africa remain huge, and are still deepening. With the next harvests not due until March/April 2017, governments, donors and humanitarian actors must urgently provide food and other assistance to support people through this long, hard lean season. Farmers desperately need seeds and fertilizers if they are to take advantage of predicted rains and produce better harvests next year; a critical shortage in Malawi could lead to a cereal shortfall of nearly one million tons. In addition, all actors must be ready to respond immediately to the damaging impacts of heavy rains forecast across the region.
In most of sub-Saharan Africa, maize is a staple food crop - grown on some 33 million hectares of the total 194 million hectares of cultivated land. Southern African also has some of the highest malnutrition rates in the world. Small-scale maize producers in the region face numerous obstacles and are both buyers and sellers of maize. So how maize markets work is fundamentally important - and currently they work badly.This paper explores some of the reasons why and argues that a major reason markets fail is because there is so little trust or cooperation between governments and private traders, both large and small. It concludes that unless the trust deficit is addressed, markets will continue to operate at woeful levels of inefficiency, no matter what other reforms are undertaken.Ã‚Â
Africa faces economic challenges not seen for many years. Growth is slowing and commodity prices have fallen. Inequality is high and growing fast in many countries. Africa's greatest natural resource, its young people, risks being squandered. Africa is losing billions to corruption, poorly negotiated deals and tax dodging. Citizens are becoming more outspoken and more active - unhappy with the deals their leaders are striking. Leaders must listen to their people. They must crack down on tax dodging and maximize progressive revenues to invest in the classrooms, clinics and crops that will create a more human economy for Africa.
As the African Development Bank meets in southern Africa, one of the strongest and most sustained El NiÃƒÂ±o events on record - turbocharged by climate change - is causing severe drought, failed harvests and a hunger crisis across the region. This is being made worse by record high temperatures as a result of global warming. Women farmers are on the front line of climate change, yet are also the region's first line of defence against food insecurity. With smallholder agriculture being critical to both food security and inclusive growth, governments - supported by donors and international organizations - must urgently implement plans to better support smallholder farmers and increase resilience. This paper outlines the current situation in the region and presents recommendations to help work towards this.Ã‚Â
As a result of unfair trade rules and falling commodity prices, Africa has suffered terms-of-trade losses and increasing marginalisation. Ten years after the Uruguay Round, the poorest continent on earth, which captures only one per cent of world trade, risks even further losses, despite promises of a 'development round' of trade negotiations. This would be a great injustice. There cannot and should not be any new round without an assurance of substantial gains for Africa.
Last year, leaders of the world's richest countries used their G8 summit to unveil a plan of action to tackle poverty in Africa. While ambitious in its rhetoric, the plan produced little new aid or debt relief for Africa, and no reform of unfair terms of trade. As the same leaders prepare for this year's G8 summit in Evian, France, from June 1-3, action on African poverty is more vital than ever. And yet the danger is that the meeting will be dominated by Iraq. Oxfam is calling on G8 leaders also to focus their attention on Africa and to launch an all-out War Against Poverty.
More than 13 million people are still affected by the crisis in the Horn of Africa. There were clear early warning signs many months in advance, yet there was insufficient response until it was far too late. This briefing, published jointly by Oxfam and Save the Children, examines the factors that allowed a drought in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Djibouti to develop into a full-scale crisis of hunger and livelihoods, such that millions of people suffered and thousands died. Its main focus is the response of international aid system, although the ultimate importance of enhanced resilience for the communities themselves is recognised. Recommendations: A change in approach to chronic drought situations is needed: managing the risks, not the crisis. This means that the all actors - national governments, donors, NGOs, and the UN need to • act decisively on information from early warning systems and not wait for certainty before responding; • actively seek to reduce drought risk in all activities, ensuring that long-term development interventions increase resilience and adapt to the changing context; and • change organisational structures, invest in people and provide flexible funding in order to break down the divisions between humanitarian and development work.