The Fifth Congress of African Economists 2017 officially kicked off today, Wednesday 1st November 2017 at the Sipopo Conference Center in Malabo, Republic of Equatorial Guinee, to brainstorm on ways to enhance growth, employment and inequality with the view to strengthen economic growth in Africa.
Organized by the Department of Economic Affairs of the African Union Commission (AUC) in collaboration with the Government of Equatorial Guinea, the African economists will brainstorm and adopt a learning-by-doing approach during their congress, by promoting knowledge management as the main engine of policy dialogue, good policies planning and implementation. Addressing the congress participants H.E Prof Victor Harison, Commissioner for Economic Affairs of the African Union (AU), on behalf of the Chairperson of the AUC, H.E Moussa Faki Mahamat, thanked the Government of Equatorial Guinea for accepting to host the 5th Congress of African Economists. He urged the participants to ensure that the Decisions of the African Heads of State during previous summits of the AU are fully implemented particularly those related to economic growth and industrial development through the promotion of value chains with the view to create employment in Africa. (See complete speech of Commissioner Victor Harison on the AU website: www.au.int. )
On his part, the Minister of Economy, Planification and Public Investment of Equatorial Guinea, H.E Eucario Bakale Angue Oyana, conveyed the appreciation of the President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, H.E Theodoros Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, to the AU Commission, for choosing his country to host this important congress. He hoped that the outcome of the congress will help to create jobs and reduce inequalities within and between countries and Regions in Africa. He further called on the economists to device means to strengthen the economy in Africa.
For days (1- 4 November 2017), participants at the Congress of African Economists 2017 will present their selected papers, analyze, discuss and share best practices on a number of sub-thematic areas including: sources of growth; distribution of the fruits of growth; growth and exogenous shocks; financing growth; problem of unemployment in Africa; growth and integration in Africa; reduce unemployment in Africa; partnership and growth; coordination experience of monetary and fiscal policies in times of crisis; and monetary and fiscal policy-options to boost growth and create employment.
Holding under the theme: “Growth, Employment and Inequalities”, the objective of the 5th Congress of African Economists 2017 is to integrate capacity building in wider efforts to achieve sustainable development and encourage dialogue between researchers, African economic policy makers and the Diaspora in a track favorable to the maturation of the debate on the optimal policies for inclusive growth, full employment and inequality reduction;
It will also strengthen and encourage research on economic and policy issues related to the main theme, sub-themes and the development of the African continent; while providing opportunities for African researchers and African Diaspora to share the results of their research on theme and formulate operational recommendations to African policy makers. In addition, the economists are expected to emphasize on skill retention and use by providing a unique platform to young African Economists in Africa and in the Diaspora to circulate their research findings as well as share information with African policymakers on the issues of growth, employment and inequalities in Africa.
The opening session and overall Congress deliberations was moderated by Dr. Rene N’Guetia Kouassi, Director of Economic Affairs of the AUC.
In line with the ongoing Congress of African Economists, the AU Commissioner for Economic Affairs, H.E. Victor Harison was received in audience by The President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, H.E Theodoros Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. Worth noting that, since its implementation in 2009, the Congress of African Economists has served as a framework for exchanges between academics, researchers and practitioners of the economy.
Preparing teachers for the future we want
At its annual meeting in Montego Bay, Jamaica, from 5-9 November, the International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030 adopted a declaration focused on ensuring that teacher issues stay at the centre of the global education agenda.
Through this declaration, the Teacher Task Force reinforces its vision that at the heart of the right to education is a highly valued, qualified, and well-trained teaching profession. It therefore recommends that:
International partners should intensify efforts to develop robust definitions and classifications of qualified and trained teachers and strengthen cooperation and reporting mechanisms to ensure full monitoring of Sustainable Development Goal target 4c.
Governments should ensure adequate financing for all public goods, including the teacher workforce, and this should be achieved primarily through domestic resource mobilization based on socially just fiscal policies, rigorous measures against corruption and illegal financial flows, efficient and effective teacher policies and deployment practices, developed with the full involvement of teachers and their organisations, and continued focus on external resource mobilization to complement domestic resources for countries.
Moreover, the dual focus of the Education 2030 agenda on equity and learning puts teachers at the heart of policy responses that should foster equal participation and learning globally. Teachers can be an impactful equalizing force to overcome unequal life chances from birth. The massive recruitment of new teachers, particularly in least develop countries, with little or no training is a real cause for concern.
The Teacher Task Force also expressed its concern over the fact that teacher education has not kept pace with preparing new teachers to face the rapid changes in globalization, migration, demographic change, and technological advances that will mark the future of education.
Furthermore, teacher education in this increasing complex world must be forward-looking and prepare teachers who are continuous learners themselves. It must enable teachers to think about the kind of education that is meaningful and relevant to young people’s needs in the different 21st century’s learning environment.
The Teacher Task Force acknowledges the ever-growing importance of Information and Communication Technologies in education. However, technology should be treated as a supportive tool for teachers and not a replacement. Teacher education should therefore empower teachers to use technologies to support learning within a holistic and human-centred educational framework.
The Teacher Task Force also called attention to the fact that teacher education needs to be seen as career-long education and special attention should be paid to the nature of teachers’ professional development, competency frameworks, curriculum development and professional learning communities/communities of practice. As teaching is a knowledge-based profession, teachers and trainers should be supported to continually update their knowledge base.
Through this declaration, the Teacher Task Force advocates for a teacher education that allows teachers to prepare learners to manage change and to be able to shape a just and equitable future, leaving no one behind.
This declaration reflects UNESCO’s belief that the right to education cannot be fulfilled without trained and qualified teachers. Teachers are one of the most influential factors to the improvement of learning outcomes and UNESCO has for long been an advocate of better training for teachers to ensure inclusive and quality education for all.
UNESCO, which is one of the founding members of the International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030, has supported its work since its creation in 2008 and hosts the Teacher Task Force Secretariat.
ADB to Partner on New $4 Million Facility to Help Asia Meet Climate Commitments
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today announced the launch of the Article 6 Support Facility, a $4 million initiative to help developing member countries (DMCs) in Asia and the Pacific combat climate change through a key provision of the Paris Agreement.
Funded by ADB, the Government of Germany, and the Swedish Energy Agency, the facility will provide technical, capacity building, and policy development support to help the DMCs meet Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, in which countries have voluntarily committed to lower their carbon emissions.
The ultimate goal of the Article 6 Support Facility is for DMCs to achieve critical expertise on Article 6, draw lessons from pilot activities, and enhance their preparedness for participation in carbon markets beyond 2020, while contributing to international negotiations.
The Paris Agreement will go into effect on 1 January, 2020 and aims to limit the increase in the global average temperature to below 2°C.
“This new facility will play an important role in the implementation of the Paris Agreement and we are delighted to be establishing it at this very critical time,” says ADB Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department Director General Mr. Woochong Um.
“Climate change is a challenge that must be met on a global level and we are confident that this facility will help deliver the critical practical experience, innovation, and learning necessary for our developing member countries to meet their emissions targets.”
The facility is another step by ADB toward meeting its commitment to address climate change, a core part of its long-term strategy, Strategy 2030. The strategy commits ADB to scaling up support to address climate change, climate and disaster risks, and environmental degradation as one of seven operational priorities.
Climate technology collaboration makes an impact
In its Five Year Progress Report, the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) has announced that 137 technology solutions have been delivered or are under way in 79 countries. Two thousand five hundred people have been trained and over 10 million tonnes of CO₂eq are expected to be reduced per year with the completion of mitigation-related projects.
The CTCN promotes the accelerated development and transfer of climate technologies for energy-efficient, low-carbon and climate-resilient development. It is the implementation arm of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Technology Mechanism and is hosted and managed by UN Environment and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
With an original investment of US$40m, the CTCN’s technical assistance has leveraged US$670m in anticipated funding for developing countries’ technology implementation.
“Accelerating the deployment of clean and green technologies is crucial for realizing the aims of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals. Over the past five years, the CTCN has served as a powerful example of a UNFCCC mechanism connecting developing countries to the innovative and relevant technologies they seek,” said Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC.
“Over the last five years, the CTCN has provided targeted interventions to help countries meet their national climate change commitments – through its technology assistance, capacity building programmes and knowledge sharing initiatives. UNIDO is proud to support the Centre in its climate technology transfer mission,” said LI Yong, Director General of UNIDO.
The country-driven nature of the CTCN, with 160 National Designated Entities identifying climate technology needs based on goals set forth in Nationally Determined Contributions and National Adaptation Plans, is closely aligned with the Paris Agreement.
“Our interventions identify the best possible technology options for climate action, and support policy development and resource mobilization to enhance their uptake. Experience from the last five years has taught us that pairing technology expertise with local knowledge is essential, scalability is important and that relationships matter,” emphasized Jukka Uosukainen, Director of the CTCN.
The Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) utilizes the expertise of a global network of over 460 civil society, finance, private sector, and research institutions, to deliver technical assistance and capacity building at the request of developing countries.
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