Mr. Prosper Bani the Chairman of the NDC COVID-19 Technical team, has opined that one challenge hindering the progress of Africa in disaster and crisis management is the inability of its leaders to invest in disaster risk reduction and prevention.

According to the former Chief of Staff of former President Mahama, the Africa Regional Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction policy since 2004 has been advocating for policy makers to place emphasize on strengthening institutional frameworks, risk identification, knowledge management, governance and emergency response as well as political commitment as part of plans to address disaster and crisis across the continent.

Lack of these commitments is a major challenge faced by most African countries.

”In Africa, development is being challenged by the lack of a strategy to link disaster risk reduction to development initiatives. The Africa Regional Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction (July 2004,) emphasized the importance of policy makers to look at strengthening “institutional frameworks, risk identification, knowledge management, governance and emergency response” and demanded political commitment to addressing comprehensive policies on disaster risk reduction as part of development plans.”

Mr. Bani further added that lack of these strategies have caused significant reverses in the development effort of most African countries.

”The absence of preventive infrastructure has caused significant reverses in the development effort of most African countries as manifested in prolonged droughts in the Horn of Africa, devastating floods, uncontrolled bushfires, landslides, tropical cyclones, volcanic eruptions, and the health epidemics as well as pandemics such as Ebola and the coronavirus that have affected and continue to derail development initiatives.” He noted.

He therefore called for a well developed plan and strategy which must articulate clearly problems and how they will be addressed particularly with regards to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Mr. Prosper Bani is also a former Head of UNDP Crisis Prevention and Recovery Team for Africa.

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