Africa

The Africa Centre for Resources and Environment (ACRE) is an NGO established in 1992, that contributes to sustainable environment and socio-economic development through linking policies with feasible programs of action. ACRE's main programmatic thrust is targeted on four areas: natural resource management; technology applications; environmental and development economics; and capacity building in environmental and resource management. Its operation office is currently building up an Operational Information System (OIS) as a support service and nerve centre for the implementation of the consultative and program activities of the Africa Centre worldwide.

Developing strategies to combat the population explosion that threatens to drain the planet of its natural resources was the subject of an international conference held in Botswana from 15 to 18 September 1992. The conference on Population and Environment, held in Gaborone, brought together scholars, researchers and policy makers to try to develop a workable strategy for Africa that goes beyond the guidelines laid down in Rio. Organized by the Union of African Population Studies (UAPS), it addressed such problems as population growth rate surpassing the rate of food production, migration as a natural reaction to population pressure, and environmentally induced movements arising from sponsored projects which failed to meet peoples needs.

The Forum of African Voluntary Development Organizations (FAVDO) organized a seminar on the role of African NGOs in implementing Agenda 21 in Senegal in February 1993.

The Southern Networks for Environment and Development (SONED) were set up to act as a catalyst for Southern views during the UNCED process. In March 1993, SONED Africa Region held an African NGO follow-up consultation to UNCED in Nairobi, Kenya. Although global in representation, the focus of the meeting was essentially Southern. The consultation's substantive outcome in the form of seven action programs is only one way of promoting the three basic thrusts within an overall environment and development strategy: participatory action-research; environment and development education and networks; and grassroots communities' collective self reliance.

As a direct consequence of several meetings held in the African continent in the latter half of 1992, a confederation of Central African NGOs was formed. Participating countries in the coalition include Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Gabon, Rwanda, Chad, councils of NGOs from Zaire and support from Burundi. In Doula, Cameroon, environmental and development NGOs met in the Pan African Institute for Development at a meeting convened by Jeunesse Sans FrontiŠres (JEUSAF) and Partnership Network. They discussed the priority issues of NGOs following the Earth Summit, and a ten-member National Committee of Action was set up for the follow-up of the NGO Treaties and Agenda 21. A second meeting, convened by the National Committee of NGOs in September 1992, initiated a Regional Network for Central Africa.

The Africa Environment Expo '93 aimed to provide an opportunity for interested groups to share ideas, create awareness, encourage action and strengthen the environmental movement. The focus of the Expo and conference, held from 21 to 25 May 1993, was on education. It was made up of several components, including an exposition, conference, music/drama/art festival, an international outreach program and a trust fund. Part of the proceeds will be used for environmental education.

The Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), an initiative of the Government of Japan, took place in Tokyo on 5 and 6 October 1993, the first of its kind to be held in Asia with high-level representatives of African countries. Major donor countries, as well as international organizations, participated. The Conference established a direct dialogue with African leaders to discuss the renewed commitment of the international community to African development. A consultation was held in Dakar, Senegal, from 3 to 5 June, organized by the United Nations Office of the Special Coordinator for Africa and the Least Developed Countries (OSCAL), in collaboration with the Government of Senegal, where lessons from Asian development and international cooperation for sustainable development in Africa were discussed.

The fifth session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) took place from 26-27 November 1993 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with an Expert Group Meeting preceding it from 22-25 November. The session gave special attention to environmental policies and programs at the sub-regional level. Africa's inputs to the INC for a Convention to Combat Drought and Desertification (INCD) and African strategies for the implementation of Agenda 21 were discussed.

Experts from Eastern and Southern African nations met at UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya in March 1994, to begin negotiations on an agreement to set up the first international African Task Force to combat illegal wildlife trafficking. The initiative dates back to December 1992 at a conference hosted in Lusaka by the Zambian Ministry of Tourism. Discussions highlighted the urgent need for international cooperation to combat the illegal cross-border trade in wildlife. An agreement providing the legal framework for the proposed Task Force, called the Lusaka Agreement on Co-operative Enforcement Operations Directed at Illegal Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora, was drafted. The third and final round of negotiations took place in September 1994. That session was followed, on 8 and 9 September 1994, by a Ministerial session involving high-level delegations from the eight countries participating in the negotiations: Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

An International Conference on Urban Governance and Urban Poverty in Anglophone West Africa, was organized by the Centre for African Settlement Studies and Development (CASSAD) in collaboration with the Ford Foundation from 16-18 May 1994 in Ibadan, Nigeria. The conference examined policy options and innovative strategies for urban governance in the region. The goal was to compare and learn from one country to another, drawing from the experiences of different countries in the sub-region.