Statement of H.E Amb. Josefa Sacko Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment on the occasion of the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction


Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen

We are glad to join you in the EXPO Dubai 2020 and wish to welcome you to the African Union Pavilion tomorrow on 13 October 2021 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The 13rd October is an international Day for Disaster Risk Reduction. 

The African Union seizes this day to mourn with fellow Africans who lost their loved ones and livelihood to disasters, including COVID-19. 

We commemorate this day to celebrate our heroes who put their dear lives on line for a safe and resilient Africa.

The 13rd October is the day we reflect and evaluate our progress during the past year.

The past year witnessed significant progress on disaster risk reduction amid several disaster events in a COVID-19 transformed world.

This year, the Africa Multi-Hazard Early Warning and Early Action Programme recorded landmark progress. Three High-Tec Multi-Hazards Early Warning Systems situation rooms have been established. These include:

ONE continental Multi-Hazard Situation Room at AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 

ONE Regional Disaster Operation Centre at IGAD Climate Prediction and Application Centre (ICPAC) in Nairobi, Kenya, and 

ONE situation room for Multi-Hazard Early Warning System information at Africa Centre for Meteorological Application for Development (ACMAD) in Niamey, Niger. 

In the Sahel, the Sahel Resilience Project is changing lives. Seven Sahelian countries are in forefront of building resilience to COVID-19’s impact.  

Working with African youth and African Scientists has been one of fascinating endeavors with over 10,000 people on the continent received disaster risk reduction information in a span of just 3 months. 

The African Youth Advisory Board on DRR with support from African Union and UNESCO developed an Edutainment Apps “Knowing Disaster Risk Reduction”. 

The Apps is available on google play. Please download it to know Disaster Risk Reduction! And please share the Apps with your network to spread the good news.

Our 15 scientists from the Africa Science and Technology Advisory Groups (AfSTAG) have been working on an in-depth scientific analysis - “Natural Risk Governance”, a series of regional and national scientific assessment of disaster risk governance on the continent.

In the coming months, the African Union will soon launch the Programme “Disaster Risk Governance for Resilience in African Regions and Countries” under the auspices of 11th European Development Fund Intra-ACP Natural Disaster Risk Reduction Programme. 

The African Union has commenced development of COVID-19 Recovery Framework for Africa. 

These efforts have been possible through financial and technical support from AU member states and our development partners.

I wish to extend our gratitude to the European Union, Italy and Sweden for their generous support and our technical partners, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, and United Nations Development Programme for the fruitful collaborations.