February 4, 2022

2022, Looking ahead

Word of the Director

2022 must be a year of reborn collective global action, greater equity and just transitions. Omicron has reminded us that there is just no other way for any of us to lead a sustainable future. We must seize the opportunity of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic to build a more just and equitable world. 

In this first edition of the year, we highlight perspectives on some of the areas where innovative solutions and reinforced actions will be essential to accelerate Africa’s development in 2022. These include tackling violent extremism, gender inequality, climate change, digital divides and growing development disparities in all countries on the continent. We also share the first episode of what we hope will be a series of conversations on the Big Ideas Transforming Africa.

Digital inclusivity for a better development acceleration

Digital technology holds enormous potential for accelerated development across Africa. However, persistent digital divides threaten to leave the most vulnerable even further behind. The gender digital divide is, for example, particularly high in least developed countries (LDCs), where only 19% of women use the internet (compared to 31% of men). The rural-urban digital gap also risks widening as hundreds of thousands miss on education and socio-economic opportunities. Read this opinion piece by our Mauritania RR Anthony Ngororano to find out how Mauritania is building a more inclusive digital infrastructure…

Non-security solutions to address insecurity problems

Experiencing five coups over the past 18 months, the Sahel region is in ebullition. Many, including Sahelians, are calling for a change in paradigm [ES1] and more effective solutions, governance systems and real opportunities for Sahelians. UNDP’s Stabilization approach, key initiatives in the Sahel Offer (A Regeneration), innovative solutions through our Africa Borderlands Center, and our pioneering approach to Reimagining Governance are amongst some of the tools we are using to contribute to a Regeneration in the Sahel.  

Read this Q&A with Nigeria RR Mohammed Yahya...
Listen to this discussion on financing the Nexus…

Women for a green revolution in Africa

Could African countries lead in climate action? Ahead of COP 27, which will take place in Egypt later this year, we shed light on some homegrown solutions developed on the continent, particularly women-led initiatives. Women have unique perspectives on the implications of climate change on their lives and communities and are developing creative solutions to adapt livelihoods in a more sustainable manner, such as Abidate’s biomass production in Comoros, or re-usable nappies initiatives in Eswatini. However, women remain amongst the most vulnerable, particularly to the impacts of climate change. Supporting them and helping them cope with the adverse effects of climate change will be critical during the times ahead.

Read Ghana’s Climate Policy Brief and Gender Action Plan….

Beyond the "why" an AfCFTA - shifting gears in 2022?

One year on, Africa, including its women and youth, is all hands-on deck and spreading the word about the AfCFTA , working to ensure no one is left behind in seizing the new opportunities presented by the groundbreaking transformative agreement. Making the AfCFTA promise a reality for all will require moving from treaty to the practical tools to foster production.  Secretary-General Wamkele Mene, highlights the next steps for the AfCFTA in this exclusive interview setting up the pace for this Big Idea Transforming Africa…