Data-Driven Disaster Risk Reduction in Africa: Shaping a Resilient Future

The African Union Commission, Member States, and technical and financial partners aim to strengthen disaster management policies by collecting evidence-based data

June 16, 2023
Biennial Report meeting at African Union

Harsen Nyambe, Director of Sustainable Environment and Blue Economy, and AU Member States Representatives

© African Union Commission

Disaster risk reduction experts gathered at the African Union (AU) Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on June 14-15, 2023, for a workshop aimed at validating the Second Africa Biennial Report on Disaster Risk Reduction and addressing the identified data gaps. This workshop brought together representatives from AU Member States, Regional Economic Communities, and partner organizations such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), showcasing significant collaborative efforts in disaster risk reduction in Africa.

Opening the workshop, Harsen Nyambe, Director of Sustainable Environment and Blue Economy at the African Union Commission (AUC), emphasized the commitment of Member States to strengthening disaster resilience. He highlighted the AU’s strong political commitment to disaster risk reduction across the continent as evidenced by the appointment of Mozambican President H.E. Filipe Nyusi in 2022 as the AU Disaster Risk Management Champion.

Despite the progress made by the Member States in disaster risk reduction, a decline of 34% in their participation in developing the Second Africa Biennial Report as compared to 91% for the first report highlighted the pressing need for enhanced data collection and reporting. Acknowledging the significance of addressing this gap, the AUC aims to foster a culture of evidenced based decision-making towards a more disaster-ready continent by gathering critical data and insights across borders. The workshop therefore established a roadmap to bridge the gaps in the Second Biennial Report and to finalize the Third Africa Biennial Report on Disaster Risk Reduction. 

The workshop was part of a broader series of regional data collection workshops in KenyaChadSenegal and Mozambique throughout 2022, with the technical support of the Africa Centre for Disaster Management,  commissioned by the AUC with the financial support of the European Union through the Intra-ACP 11th European Development Fund Natural Disaster Risk Reduction Programme, and UNDP via the Sahel Resilience Project, which is funded by the Swedish government.

The Second Biennial Report is planned to be validated virtually and released in October 2023, followed by the validation of the Third Report in December 2023 and its subsequent launch for AU Member States in February 2024. These reports will serve as vital tools in informing disaster risk reduction efforts across Africa, fostering increased collaboration among Member States, and guiding policy development to enhance resilience against disasters on the continent. UNDP remains fully committed to supporting these initiatives and promoting evidence-based disaster risk reduction in Africa.