On April 22, the world celebrated Earth Day; five days later, Addis Ababa hosted the Africa Climate Resilient Infrastructure Summit. Climate change is a critical continental and global issue: it changes ecosystems, impacts rainfall, causes droughts, affects human health and water availability, reduces agricultural yields, encroaches on coastal cities as sea levels rise, and threatens livelihoods. According to the World Bank, climate change could “potentially overwhelm existing development efforts” if left unchecked.
On March 20th, the United Nations celebrated International Day of Happiness. The annual event, launched in 2012, underscores the importance of well-being, an aspiration of all peopleand a goal that should be included in public policy development. Happiness is caused by a genuine sense of connectedness with others improving both quality of life and life span. As a result, International Day of Happiness calls on people to reach out and make a positive connection.
On March 9, the African Union’s Peace and Security Council (PSC) held an open session on the Vulnerability of Women and Children in Conflict Situations in Africa. The event commemorated International Women’s Day, celebrated annually on March 8, and echoed the theme of the African Union Summit, “The Year of Women’s Empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063”.
World Water Day was celebrated on March 22. Water may seem a peculiar thing to celebrate, but it is the cornerstone of human existence and the lynchpin to social and economic development in Africa. According to the UN, nearly 750 million people do not have access to clean water; 40% of those people live in sub-Saharan Africa. Agriculture, integral to African economic activity, is subject to the cycles of droughts and floods on the continent.