African RCEs to Deliver SDGs and GAP – Side Event at TICAD6

Japan launched TICAD in 1993 in order to refocus international attention on the importance and urgency of African development issues. The Summit’s objectives are to promote high-level policy dialogue between African leaders and development partners, and to mobilize support for African-owned development initiatives. The Summit is co-organized by the Government of Japan, the United Nations Office of the Special Advisor on Africa (UN-OSAA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the World Bank. Stakeholders include all African countries and development partners.

The Sixth Tokyo International Conference for Africa Development (TICAD VI) on 27-28 August, 2016, was particularly significant as it was held for the first time in Africa. African RCEs organized the side event ‘Strengthening the Role of African RCEs to Deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through Education for Sustainable Development’.

The event was chaired by Dorcas Otieno from Kenyatta University, Nairobi with Goolam Mohamedbhai, Regional Advisor for African RCEs and former Secretary-General of the Association of African Universities as part of the panel. Goolam briefly introduced the RCE concept and the formation of the RCE network ten years ago. He highlighted the multistakeholder model that allows RCEs to act locally but think globally. Akpezi Ogbuigwe, second Regional Advisor for African RCEs and former Head of Environmental Education and Training at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) urged African RCEs to become more proactive in championing the development of Africa through the Global Action Plan (GAP) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Rob O’Donoghue Coordinator of RCE Makana showcased opportunities on how to implement the SDGs, and on how to work in line with the goals for achieving sustainable development in Africa. Abel Atiti Barasa, Researcher at UNU-IAS, emphasized the need for African RCEs to take advantage of partnerships with other international developmental institutions in achieving the priority areas of the GAP. Usman Muhammad, Chairman of the African RCE Youth Network urged all African RCE coordinators to give Youth more active roles in the RCEs’ activities and projects.

Binta Mamman Suleiman, Member of the Niger State House of Assembly, gave good insights from a policy maker’s perspective. She observed that RCEs were indirectly but nevertheless well positioned to help governments achieve their objectives in the area of sustainability.

In his closing remarks, Abdul Husaini, the new President African RCEs, called upon all stakeholders to support the new strong leadership of African RCEs in moving the RCE network towards achieving a sustainable Africa. He pledged to engage Youth more in all RCE activities.


6th African RCE Conference Sees Youth Actively Engaged and Leads to Action Plans for Implementation of the GAP and SDGs

Before TICAD6, African RCEs met at Kenyatta University Nairobi, Kenya on 24-26 August, 2016. The theme of the 6th African RCE Conference was ‘Developing Capacities of African RCEs for the Implementation of the GAP on ESD and the Achievement of the SGDs’. Hosted by the National Environment Management Authority of Kenya (NEMA) together with the United Nations University - Institute of Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), and RCE Greater Nairobi, the conference was held back to back with TICAD6.

More on outcomes of the RCE Conference can be found here.