Mr. Prosper Bani, the former Chief of Staff, has called on African leaders to invest in disaster risk prevention to address the continent’s response to unforeseen crisis.
According to him, Africa’s development is being challenged by the lack of a strategy to link disaster risk reduction to development initiatives.
This was in a statement he issued and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra.
The Africa Regional Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction in July 2004 emphasized the importance of policymakers to look at strengthening institutional frameworks, risk identification, knowledge management, governance, and emergency response and demanded a political commitment to addressing comprehensive policies on disaster risk reduction as part of development plans.
Mr Bani, who was also a former Head of United Nations Development Programme Crisis Prevention and Recovery Team for Africa, said lack of these commitments was a major challenge faced by most African countries.
He stated that the absence of preventive infrastructure had caused significant challenges in the development effort of most African countries.
This, he explained, had manifested in prolonged droughts, devastating floods, uncontrolled bushfires, landslides, tropical cyclones, volcanic eruptions, health epidemics, pandemics such as Ebola and the coronavirus, affecting sustainable development.
“There is evidence that the world and Africa, in particular, have been inundated with Protocols, Action Plans, Guidelines, and numerous international agreements on disaster risk reduction, and in particular how to reduce the risk and impact of disasters.
The latest had been the development of an Action Plan for Africa following the Sendel Framework of 2015 which was finalized in 2016”, he added.
Mr Bani was of the view that African leaders must invest in the implementation of the Action Plan which could have mitigated the impact on the economies of member states during the coronavirus.
“The plans must articulate clearly what the problems are and how they would be addressed. It should reflect a verifiable budget and expenditure plan, awareness-raising to bring along the citizens to become conscious and aware of their responsibilities in the fight to reduce the spread”.