Lusaka, Thursday, November 23, 2017: The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) in collaboration with The Rockefeller Foundation will host a Resilience Academy in Lusaka, Zambia, on 28- 30 November 2017.
The objective of the Resilience Academy is to create awareness on the benefits of resilience thinking and investment, share knowledge and best practices on resilience building within Member States, as well as identify gaps and opportunities to mainstream resilience into national and regional development.
The Academy was pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation to improve knowledge and capacity to mainstream resilience in development, and enhance understanding of the linkages between policy and resilience when it comes to addressing climate change and other challenges.
COMESA Member States will be represented by senior officials from ministries responsible for planning, disaster management and mitigation units, agriculture, environment and health, all expected in Lusaka for the Academy. This is in addition to other stakeholders who play a key role in mainstreaming resilience and domestication of the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction
Speaking in Lusaka, the COMESA Climate Change Advisor, Dr. Mclay Kanyangarara said: “The choice of COMESA to host the academy was informed by its member states’ vulnerability to climate change and other natural and man-made shocks. COMESA is a grouping of mostly vulnerable states that face similar threats such as climate change droughts, flooding, industrial shocks, extreme rainfall and disease outbreaks and other man-made stresses.”
As COMESA seeks to attain its regional integration goals, he added, many systems in the region such as energy, transport, communications and financial infrastructure are interconnected, hence placing the organization in a better position to support resilience building in regional integration.
“The current fragmented and haphazard approach to managing risks, shocks and stresses has proved ineffective as the magnitude of loss and damage continues to escalate,” he noted. “Building resilience across the board, was the surest way to ensure development in the midst of the ever-present threats occasioned by climate change and other external factors which are projected to increase in intensity and frequency in the coming years.”
“Resilience is a mind-set as well as a practice that can be taught, learned and perfected. Over the last decade, the Foundation has significant investment in tools and other resources globally, to help individuals, communities and systems to build their economic, social and climate resilience. We are pleased that this support can extend to COMESA member states, so they can be equipped to be better prepared for, and to better address critical challenges to the region’s development,” said Mamadou Biteye, Managing Director of the Rockefeller Foundation Africa Regional office.
Delegates will be expected to identify gaps and opportunities of resilience mainstreaming at their respective national and regional levels, and subsequently develop back-to-office action plans. These will include developing National Resilience Action Plans using the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030) and examining policy requirements at the national level to achieve resilience.
COMESA is a regional economic community established by Treaty in 1994. It brings together 19 Member States with a population of over 500 million into a cooperative framework for sustainable economic growth and prosperity through regional integration
About the Rockefeller Foundation
For more than 100 years, The Rockefeller Foundation’s mission has been to promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world. Together with partners and grantees, The Rockefeller Foundation strives to catalyze and scale transformative innovations, create unlikely partnerships that span sectors, and take risks others cannot – or will not. www.rockefellerfoundation.org.