23 May 2019
Category : Reportage
Every day should be Africa Day
To celebrate Africa Day on 25 May, we are highlighting the current situation on this continent, the impact of the 2030 Agenda and what FIIAPP is doing in Africa with its projects
When thinking about Africa, words like poverty, hunger, and war spring to mind… However, Africa has made progress in many respects in recent years, largely thanks to the work being carried out on this continent by cooperation and humanitarian agencies and the United Nations (UN).
According to the UNICEF ‘Generation 2030’ report, Africa is the continent with the second largest population, with more than 1 bn inhabitants. In addition, it is expected that 1.8 bn children will be born in African in the coming years, doubling its population.
However, according to UNICEF, sub-Saharan Africa is the region with the second highest mortality rate among children under the age of five in the world. In 2016, of the 2.6 million children who died at this age, 38% were from sub-Saharan Africa. Despite these figures, infant mortality fell by 4.6% between 2000 and 2016.
Life expectancy, disease and malnutrition
If we talk about life expectancy, although life expectancy in Africa fell during the 90s because of the AIDS epidemic, the continent has achieved much in this area in recent years. Currently, Africans live an average of 9.4 years more than they did fifteen years ago.
With this in mind, it should be noted that Africa is the continent most severely affected by diseases like AIDS and malaria. According to the latest available AIDS figures, some 17.5 million people contracted the disease in 2016. On the other hand, according to figures provided by WHO, in 2015, 241 million people had malaria, 88% of whom were in Africa.
Regarding chronic malnutrition (low height per age), information provided by UNICEF reveals that this fell from 7.1% in 1990 to 4% in 2017. In this same line, acute malnutrition (low weight per height), decreased from 44% to 24.3%. This percentage means 58.7 million children were afflicted.
Education and poverty
In the meantime, when it comes to education UNESCO says that approximately 153 million adults in Africa are illiterate, two thirds of whom are women. When it comes to primary education, figures from 2016 show that 20.8% of children of this age did not go to class and 57.8% did not receive secondary education.
Regarding poverty, 40 of the 50 most underdeveloped countries are in Africa. In the last annual report published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in 2016, the poorest countries were the Central African Republic, Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Guinea, South Sudan and Mozambique.
On 25 May 1963, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) was founded to promote unity and solidarity among African states, end colonialism, foster international relations and give a voice to the continent. This is how Africa Day came about. The OAU was the forerunner of the current African Union (AU), an organisation created in 2002 to promote economic and political integration and cooperation among its member states, inspired by the European Union.
2030 Agenda and the SDGs
The 2030 Agenda fosters sustainable development in Africa, especially if the “leave no one behind” commitment is to be met. As we already have pointed out, Africa has the least developed countries. In 2016, Africa was home to 60% of the world’s poor, and this figure is expected to continue growing in the coming years, despite the progress made on the continent.
In the 2063 Agenda, the African Union foresees a self-sufficient and sustainable Africa which is recognised throughout the world.
“Adding to the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda of the United Nations, the 2063 Agenda lays the foundation for the entire continent’s resilience and social and economic progress. The United Nations remains firmly committed to supporting Africa’s efforts”, said the Secretary-General of the United Nations on Africa Day in 2018. “What’s good for Africa is good for the world”, reiterated Guterres.
FIIAPP in Africa
FIIAPP is leading projects in several African regions to improve the current situation. These projects focus on security and justice, public administration and social affairs and economic and environmental development.
When talking about security and justice we would highlight the following projects: ‘GAR-SI Sahel‘, ‘SEACOP‘, the ‘ Application of the Rule of Law in the Horn of Africa and Yemen‘, ‘SENSEC-EU Senegal‘, ‘EUROMED Justice IV‘, ‘EU-ACT‘, ‘ARAP Ghana‘, the ‘Fight against terrorism in the Middle East and North Africa‘, ‘ECÍ-Niger‘ and ‘A-TIPSOM‘.
Rafael Ríos, head of the A-TIPSOM project says that it “complements the Nigerian government’s strategy, not only by making the measures viable and sustainable, but also by establishing that coordination and cooperation between all countries is essential to the long-term goal, which is to reduce the number of men and women who fall victim to this new 21st-century form of slavery”.
FIIAPP also has several projects focused on public administration and social issues such as’Bridging the Gap‘,’SOCIEUX+‘,’Support for the higher education system in Morocco‘, the ‘Modernisation of public finances in Algeria’, the ‘Institutional Strengthening of the Ministry of Communication and its partners operating in the audio-visual field and communications in Morocco’ and ‘Support for the institutional reform and the development of skills in the Higher Institute of the Judiciary in Morocco’ and ‘Living without discrimination in Morocco‘.
Lucía Molo, project technician of the ‘Living together without discrimination in Morocco’ initiative, says that the primary aim is “to reinforce mechanisms and public policies to prevent and combat racism and xenophobia towards the migrant population in the Kingdom of Morocco through guidance, exchange and transfer of knowledge”.
In terms of projects that aim for economic and environmental development, we would highlight the ‘“Institutional support to improve the capacities of the research and innovation system in Tunisia‘ and the ‘Safer road transport of dangerous goods in Morocco’ projects.
Francisca Guzmán, the coordinator of this last project, stated that it “aims to improve safety and strengthen the structure and activities linked to transporting dangerous goods by road, and its main goal is to prepare the regulatory texts mentioned in Law 30/05”.
FIIAPP has developed other projects for Africa, some of which are outstanding, such as the ‘Local Development Programme (LDP) in Angola through the Social Support Fund (FAS IV)‘. This project, financed by the European Union and managed by the Foundation, has helped to reduce poverty through the effective decentralisation of the provision of basic public services and by increasing income and business opportunities.
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