• 23 May 2019

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    Posteado en : Reportage

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    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.  

     

    Africa Day 

     

    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.  

  • 14 February 2019

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    Posteado en : Opinion

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    “The new approach promoted by the SDGs consists of analysing problems from a broader perspective”

    Miguel Ángel Lombardo, EVALÚA project coordinator, points out that with the integration of the Sustainable Development Goals and their importance in society, there is a need to change international agendas

    In recent times there has been a change in international development agendas, and also in the public policies of different countries, towards ever more comprehensive approaches which are less incrementalist than those seen before. To mention one example, if climate change is a global issue that affects different sectors and multiple territories, does it make sense to focus on cities, to reduce emissions in central hubs or in restricted areas? It may not have a significant impact in terms of reducing emissions, but it does have a significant impact in terms of changing the development model and its relationship with cities. It is not a matter of summing efforts together city by city—this is never-ending—and achieving certain goals, but one of changing behaviour from one generation to another.   

     

    In terms of the international agenda, this trend has been marked by the acceptance by most countries of a series of objectives that shape development, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is as if these countries are committing themselves to a de facto renewal of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations, on 10 December 1948, just 70 years ago. These newer development goals focus on povertyhunger, healthwaterindustry and climate, among other issues, and they focus on a different way of doing things. 

     

    An interesting example of this is the work of groups of women who, in the 1980s, fled the war in Guatemala to find refuge in the southern areas of Mexico, then later, on their return to Guatemala, they managed to promote substantial changes in the communities where they were resettled. These are processes that occurred outside the major axes of the social and political conflict that marked the cities, neighbourhoods and rural areas, the counterinsurgency struggle and violence, but they were able to articulate a sense of community that would become essential at the time when democracy was re-established. Once the women achieved co-ownership of the land in the communities to which they returned, there was a change in power relations, and if that is accompanied by organisation and leadership, as was the case, it can lead to other changes in terms of the participation and political representation of women at the national level. 

     

    The new vision that the SDGs promote consists of the analysis of problems from a broader perspective and in promoting changes in power relations, not just in progress measured in percentages for compartmentalised goals.  To this we must add what we already knew, that both civil society and the local sphere play a very important role in the implementation of public policies. 

     

    As the rationale behind the SDGs is not incrementalist, it has a great potential to encompass actions that arise in local and civil society spheres, and it is not limited to drawing up lines of action in which the State is the only player. It is here where the impact of small, locally supported actions can be very positive at the national and even global level. 

  • 30 January 2017

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    Posteado en : Reportage

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    Seventeen commitments for a sustainable future

    Eradicating poverty and hunger in the world, ending inequality and forming partnerships between countries for the common good are some of the goals established for a sustainable future.

    In 2015, at the UN Sustainable Development Summit held in New York, 193 countries approved the agenda of goals for 2030.  These new goals are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The United Nations defines sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.

     

    These goals are broader in scope than the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDG), signed in 2000, and involve more actors committed to eradicating poverty and fighting climate change.

     

    On this occasion, the agenda calls for 17 goals to be achieved by 2030, including eradication of poverty and hunger in the world; elimination of gender disparity; caring for the planet as our only home by protecting the environment, biodiversity and combating climate change; and ensuring access to basic services like health care and education. A goal was also set that contemplates the creation of networks and partnerships between countries to work jointly to achieve the other goals.

    EU commitment to the SDGs

     

    The European Union has made a commitment to adopting the sustainable development goals and implementing them in Community legislation, prioritising its activities to address the three fundamental development pillars: economic, social and environmental.

     

    It has also established, as one of the steps to be taken to achieve the 2030 agenda, the goal of creating a space for reflection on development with a longer-term perspective. Along these lines, it is also seeking to make the policies implemented in the European Union applicable beyond European borders by supporting third countries in the consolidation of peaceful, stable and resilient states.

     

    The European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, expresses his commitment to achievement of the SDGs as follows: “I aim for a genuine consensus, under the shared ownership of EU Institutions and all Member States that will help us spearhead global action to implement the Sustainable Development Goals.” 

    FIIAPP in the 2030 Agenda

     

    The International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP), as a public agency that manages international cooperation projects, works in accordance with the lines of action of European foreign policy.

     

    Its work focuses on modernisation of the public institutions of the countries it works in through different areas. It has a direct relationship with the SDGs in the following ways:

     

    –  Social policies and rights: In this area, FIIAPP manages projects that contribute to the promotion and protection of basic social services like health care, education and employment. Here we find EUROsociAL, a programme to support social cohesion in Latin America through the exchange of experiences between experts on different subjects, such as justice, governance and public finance. This project contributes to the achievement of goal 16, “Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels”, and 17, “Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development”.

     

    – Economy and public finance: In this area, FIIAPP implements projects to support countries in building sounder tax systems that will enable them to increase their national revenue, thereby strengthening the government. This is the objective of the Public Finance Modernization in Algeria project.  These projects contribute to achievement of goal 17.1, “Strengthen domestic resource mobilization, including through international support to developing countries to improve domestic capacity for tax and other revenue collection”.

     

    – Development and communication policies: In this area, FIIAPP focuses on supporting the governments of the countries where it works to improve the infrastructure, transport and construction sectors. Here we find the project FIIAPP is working on to support the railway system in Ukraine, which in its second phase aims to improve Ukraine’s rail transport system and adapt it to European regulations and standards. This project supports progress towards goal 11.2, “Provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety”.

     

    – Green economy: The projects managed by FIIAPP in this area are governed by, among other regulations, the regulatory framework of the EU on climate and energy for 2030. This sector includes the Euroclima project to support climate change mitigation and adaptation policies designed to protect the environment in Latin America.  This project is consistent with goal 13, “Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts”.

     

    – Security and the fight against organised crime: In this aspect, FIIAPP works on projects to fight illegal immigration, human trafficking and drug trafficking. One example of this is the project to support drug legislation in Bolivia, in which Spanish security experts on drug issues work to train their Bolivian counterparts.  The institutional support, in this sense, helps to achieve goal 16.4, “Significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen recovery and return of stolen assets, and combat all forms of organized crime”, and 16.11, “Strengthen relevant national institutions, including through international cooperation, for building capacity at all levels, in particular in developing countries, to prevent violence and combat terrorism and crime”.

     

    – Justice and transparency: In this area, the projects managed by FIIAPP are focussed on fighting corruption and promoting transparency. Here we find the EUROMED Justice project, which aims to contribute to the development of an effective, efficient and democratic judicial system in the Euro-Mediterranean zone that will protect and respect human rights through regional cooperation (cooperation in which various countries in a region participate) in the areas of crime and access to justice. This project is consistent with goal 16, specifically with point 3, “Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all”.