Welcome to CENFACS’ Online Diary!
12 February 2020
Post No. 130
The Week’s Contents
• Energy Connections Project
• Sustainable Development Goal 8 and Target 6: Substantially Reduce the Proportion of Youth Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET)
• Data Poverty in African Countries Confronting or Emerging from Conflicts
… and much more!
~ Energy Connections Project (ECP)
ECP is the continuation of the main theme of the 66th Issue of FACS, CENFACS’ bilingual newsletter; issue entitled as ‘Energy for the Poor’ and sub-entitled as ‘How to Meet Poor People’s Renewable Energy Needs in a Changing Climate’. ECP is a practical response in the form of project planning, development and implementation regarding the energy issues raised within the 66th Issue of FACS.
As a practical answer, ECP is a contemporary sustainable energy initiative that helps to connect local people and communities in Africa to the world and wealth of renewables while reducing energy poverty or precariousness amongst them.
Under the Main Development section of this post, we have further presented this initiative.
~ Week beginning 10/02/2020: Sustainable Development Goal 8 and Target 6 – Substantially Reduce the Proportion of Youth Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET)
The reduction of the proportion of youth NEET is one of the selected areas of work for our month of Sustainable Development. This area of work is scheduled to start from week beginning 10 February 2020 as indicated above.
The proportion of young people not in employment, education or training (NEET) is used as an indicator for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8 in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by the United Nations in 2015 – specifically for target 8.6, which calls for the proportion of youth with NEET status to be substantially reduced by 2020.
In its World Employment and Social Outlook Trends 2020, the International Labour Office (1) states that “in 2019 the youth unemployment rate was 30.2 per cent in North Africa, compared with an aggregate unemployment rate of 12.1 per cent (i.e. for all workers aged 15 and older); and 8.7 per cent in sub-Saharan Africa, compared with 59 percent on aggregate”. (p.44)
The Office argues that “In North Africa in particular, 36.1 per cent of young women had NEET status in 2019, as against 18.1 per cent of young men. In sub-Saharan Africa, the female NEET rate in the same year was 23.5 per cent, while the male rate was 14.5 per cent”. (p.44)
A number of factors have been found to causing the NEET in North and Sub-Saharan Africa. They include: mismatching of skills and education, lack of wide coverage of vocational and technical training, shortage of both hard and soft skills that young workers need, low productivity and lack of entrepreneurial opportunities in some places, etc.
The population of Africa is expected to continue to remarkably grow in the years to come. Amongst this population, young people aged between 15 and 24 are expected to number 283 million by 2030 in sub-Saharan Africa alone. There is a need to tackle the underlying issues that cause young people to be not in employment, education and training.
There is a need to reduce mismatching of skills and education to employment for young workers. Likewise, there is a need to develop vocational, technical training to meet the employment needs of young workers. Finally, there is a need to develop both soft and hard skills to prepare young workers for the employment market.
To enquire or add your input to this selected goal target, please contact CENFACS.
(1) International Labour Office, World Employment and Social Outlook Trends 2020, Geneva
~ Data Poverty in African Countries Confronting or Emerging from Conflicts
Our work about the reduction of data poverty continues by taking a closer look at the data problems that African countries confronting or emerging from conflicts still face.
Indeed, it is known that when countries are in armed conflicts or wars, often infrastructures, structures and other ways of life are destroyed or damaged. This destruction or damage often affects the availability of data, data infrastructures and institutions as well. African countries do not make any exception from this problem of data availability or poverty. Recently, countries like Burkina Faso, Central African Republic and Niger are going through this data availability issue.
To reach out to all those in need in these countries, there is a need to get the real picture of their data. So, reducing data poverty allows knowing for example the extent of rebuilding work for these countries, whether or not people are on track or off track in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development and related targets, etc.
To enquire about or support our work about the reduction of data poverty in African countries confronting or emerging from conflicts, please contact CENFACS.
~ Poverty Reduction and 2020 African Elections
Last week, we went out of our way in asking you to think and discuss, via CENFACS’ be.Africa Think-together Initiative, the implications of Coronavirus disease (newly named as Covid-19) for poverty reduction in Africa.
This week, we are again going above and beyond in our efforts to ask for poor people’s needs meet in 2020 electoral projects in Africa.
It is known that elections are seen as something of hope by many people, especially by the poorest ones. The elections that are due to take place in Africa this year will not escape from this feeling or dream from ordinary people. However, for this dream to materialise, electoral projects need to include poor people’s aspirations, requests and needs. Also, there should be balances and checks following the electioneering period and results.
In recent years, we have seen how democratic transitions in Africa have been still struggling to provide for the poor. Whether it is in the context of democratic transitions or of continuing democratic processes, the building and development of poverty reduction institutions and administrations are keys to the delivery of popular hopes and expectations, especially when these hopes and expectations come from poor people. In this respect, one can expect that the incoming African elections (in countries such as Burkina Faso, Burundi, the Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Niger and so on) will seize the opportunity to go along this path to meet the request of ordinary people by converting their electoral projects into real actions to reduce poverty.
To add your input or to enquire about the 2020 African elections and their impacts of poverty reduction, please contact CENFACS.
~ In-depth Review of 2019 Light Appeals or Projects
We are still carrying out an in-depth Review of 2019 Light Appeals or Projects as we continue to receive more information and updates about what is happening in the areas and countries for which we launched appeals in 2019. We are as well following the development on the grounds of some of the places in Africa that are experiencing insecurity or are potentially at risk of either of conflicts or natural disasters or any other events that may disrupt their ways of life.
As previously thought, the in-depth review is meant to provide us some credible information and data about the gaps that needed to be filled up or unmet needs that require further advocacy. Should be any need for additional advocacy, we shall not hesitate to conduct it.
~ Transitional Needs Assessment
Since we opened our 2020 Poverty Reduction Tools Box, we are conducting a needs re-assessment of the community as the UK economy entered a transitional phase following the country’s process of exiting from the EU Regional Economic Integration model.
If anyone in the community feels that their needs or situation have been affected or will be affected as a result of this exiting process, we would be pleased to hear from them to tell us how this process has affected them or will affect them. They can as well tell us the type of support they may need. It is safe to move with the transition and incoming changes as they happen rather than wait late.
All they need to do is to contact CENFACS by telling CENFACS three things as follows:
(a) What has changed or will change in terms of their circumstances as a result of the exiting process
(b) Their current or future needs or situation in relation to the exiting process
(c) The type of support they may seek with regard to the exiting process
They can text CENFACS or email or fill the comments box on our website with their contact details so that we can get back to them.
• Energy Connections Project (ECP)
Please find below the aim, objectives, planned activities, potential beneficiaries, anticipated results, monitoring and evaluation about the ECP.
ECP is a low carbon-intensive project that aims at reducing renewable energy poverty and hardships amongst poor people and communities in Africa by helping them to gain access to a network and development of renewable energy support (such as tools, skills, knowledge, capacity development, etc.) in order to reduce pressures on natural resources (forest resources and exploitation) and biodiversity.
To achieve the above intended result, the following steps have been identified:
√ Facilitate people and communities access to solar, water and wind energies
√ Educate and train people to understand that renewable energy is nearby them
√ Help people and communities to progressively transition from fossil fuels to renewables
√ Undertake cultural preparation for a smooth cultural shift to embrace renewable energy, if possible, in everyday life
√ Support local design and initiatives about low carbon intensive economy
√ Reduce pressures on forest resources and exploitation
√ Protect local biodiversity
The above objectives show how the aforementioned aim will be achieved. They are SMART (that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound).
The specific actions to be taken in order to deliver the ECP will include the following:
√ Run local awareness campaign about renewable energy
√ Organise local workshops or working community sessions about renewable energy (e.g. the use of energy mix made of solar and wind power)
√ Leafleting (distribute leaflets to a target audience) about renewable energy
√ Deliver digital messages for those who have access to a mobile phone about the benefits of renewable energy
√ Local volunteering and outreach by local energy connectors or people to own the process and the project
√ Run neighbourhood meetings and attend local events to engage local people about renewable energy
√ Communicate information and resources about renewable energy prior to events
√ Help people and communities to write down their renewable energy budgets and plans, and so on.
The project targets poor people and communities as well as community facilities as follows:
√ Women using woods to cook and carry out other household duties
√ Local farmers, villagers, sheep breeders
√ Health centres, schools
√ Local African voluntary organisations
√ Poor households greenhouse gas emitters
The user-perceived benefits in terms of results or consequences of the implementation of the ECP are as follows:
√ Reduction of the carbon footprint for ECP end users
√ Protection and restoration of local biological diversity (biodiversity)
√ Preservation of forest resources and values
√ Improvement in women’s health and protection, especially those exposed to fire and smoke
√ Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions within and outside households
√ Improvement in the quality of air locally
√ Gaining of better skills, knowledge and capacity about renewable energy
√ People and communities will become better informed and have an increased access to energy solution problems
√ Reduction of energy poverty and precariousness
The long term impact or the desired result about ECP will be to bring change to the lives of people and communities to better.
ECP Monitoring & Evaluation
In collaboration with local people and our Africa-based organisations, we will be systematically collecting and analysing information which will allow keeping a regular check on what will be done about ECP.
In terms of evaluation, one can hope that ECP will meet its terms of reference or contract, deliver value for money, and bring about organisational learning and development.
On a concluding note, the overall goal of ECP is to connect poor people and communities to a wealth and network of information, services support and resources (including skills, knowledge and capacities) so that they can make informed decision and choice to transition from fossil fuels to renewables while preserving their cultures, ways of life and values. In this respect, ECP is an orderly and people-friendly energy transition project.
For an enquiry about full project proposals including budget, project approach and time schedule of events, please do not hesitate to contact CENFACS.
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We look forward to receiving your regular visits and continuing support throughout 2020 and beyond.
With many thanks.