Friday, 22 August 2014

Experts’ Group Meeting on the Land Policy Initiative (LPI) Communications and Advocacy Strategy
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Addis Ababa, August 21, 2014- The two-day Experts’ Group Meeting to validate the Communications and Advocacy Strategy for the Land Policy Initiative (LPI) opened today at the United Nations Conference Centre in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The LPI was established in 2006 as a joint initiative of the African Union Commission (AUC), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), and the African Development Bank (AfDB). To date, the most prominent achievement to the LPI has been the development of a Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy in Africa (F&G), adopted by the African Heads of State and Government through a Declaration on Land Issues and Challenges in Africa, during the Thirteenth Ordinary Assembly of the African Union.

The communications and advocacy strategy provides strategic approaches in the design and dissemination of messages that can increase awareness, change attitudes and practices, and influence policies and legal framework on land matters. The strategy will support the LPI as it delivers on its mission of ensuring that all land users have equitable access to land, and that there is security of all bundles of land rights through effective partnerships, dialogue, and capacity building for participatory and consultative land policies. When fully implemented, the strategy will increase synergies of actions in the areas of land policy and governance and support Member States and RECs in developing, implementing, and monitoring inclusive land policies.

The main objectives of the validation meeting are to:
  1. Review and discuss the draft communication and advocacy strategy against the key strategic objectives of the LPI;
  2. Provide technical inputs to enrich the draft document for finalization;
  3. Recommend additional ways to render the draft strategy more pertinent and effective;
  4. Make proposals on actions and partnerships needed to implement the communications and advocacy strategy effectively.

It is expected that the Experts’ Group Meeting discussions, key messages, and recommendations will contribute substantively to the finalization of the LPI Communications and Advocacy Strategy.

The meeting is being attended by a group of experts in communications and/ or advocacy, representing various stakeholders and LPI partners: Regional Economic Communities (RECs), development partners, farmers’ and civil society organizations, academia, and LPI founding organizations (the African Union Commission, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, and the African Development Bank)..

African Union to immediately deploy joint military and civil mission against Ebola

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia–August 2014: The Peace and Security Council of the African Union on Tuesday invoked Article 6(f) relating to its mandate with regard to humanitarian action and disaster management at its 450th meeting.  The Council authorised the immediate deployment of a joint AU-led military and civilian humanitarian mission to tackle the emergency situation caused by the Ebola outbreak.

“Using the infrastructure of the Peace Support Operations, the African Union Commission is finalising the planning of the joint military and civilian mission code named Operation ASEOWA that could start deployment by the end of August 2014,” Said Dr. Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko, Commissioner for Social Affairs of the African Union Commission.

The African Union Support to Ebola Outbreak (Operation ASEOWA) is expected to deploy civilian and military volunteers from across the continent to ensure that Ebola is put under control. The mission will comprise medical doctors, nurses and other medical and paramedical personnel. The operation is expected to run for six months with monthly rotation of volunteers. The operation will cost more than USD25 million and the US government and partners have pledged to support the African Union with a substantial part of this amount.

The operation aims at filling the existing gap in international efforts and will work with WHO, OCHA, US CDC, EU CDC and others agencies already on the ground.