GEN AFRICA Met with AMCEN April 2016

GEN AFRICA and GEN International Meeting in SEKEM ecovillage- April 2016

A group of GEN International and GEN Africa met in Egypt from 16 to 20 April 2016, hosted by Dr Ibrahim Abouleish, founder of SEKEM. Parallel to the strategy meeting was the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN). AMCEN is a permanent forum where African ministers of the environment discuss mainly matters of relevance to the environment of the continent. The theme this year was "Agenda 2030 and Paris Agreement: From policy to implementation in Africa".

The meeting was attended by Dr Ibrahim Abouleish the Sekem and Heliopolis foundation founder and head of board of trustees, Ross Jackson GAIA trust founder, Kosha joubert( CEO of gen international), Tim clarke (Former EU Ambassador to African Union) and Rob Wheeler from the GEN international advisory team, Mohamed Waguih and Gihan Hamza from Heliopolis university, Philip Maurice from the Gambia and Ousmane Pame, Joshua Konkankoh and Niveen Adel from GEN Africa Ruling Council.

The team worked together on a generic concept note for Pan-African Ecovillage Development Programme to Eradicate Poverty, Restore the Natural Environment, Achieve Climate Resilience and implement the SDGs. We also looked at the Lighthouse Tower Ecovillage projects as a model for social innovation and SME (small and medium size enterprise) to be spread throughout Africa.

Facilitated by the Sekem team we organized a one day side event to the AMCEN on the theme, “Towards more Resilient Ecovillages in Africa”. The African environment ministers were invited to explore with us on the question: “CAN WE HELP YOU TO ACHIEVE THE SDGs BY TRANSITIONING AFRICAN VILLAGES INTO ECOVILLAGES?” Ecovillage best practices were presented in Africa alongside an open discussion on how Governments can support the scaling-up of ecovillages in order to achieve the SDGs and Paris Climate Agreements. The event was honored by the attendance of ministers and representatives from a group of African governments, in addition to a representative from the African union.

During this meeting, we prepared for major events in Africa for 2016; mainly

  • The Second Meeting of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-2 ) in Nairobi, May 2016
  • COP22 in Marrakesh, November 2016.
  • GEN Africa conference a general assembly in Ghana, December 2016.

In addition to that the GEN Transition Strategy was revised and the new GEN educational tools on Ecovillage Training and social Entrepreneurship were shared.

During the meeting the soon registration of GEN Africa in Senegal was announced by Ousmane Pame the president of GEN Africa. In less than 2 weeks the process was finalized and we took the opportunity to announce the official registration of GEN Africa in Senegal as a community service organisation. GEN Africa council is grateful for all the efforts Sekem and especially Dr Ibrahim Abouleish has invested to make this meeting possible. And to GEN International team for the great learning experience and for laying solid foundations of a fruitful collaboration for the benefit of African grassroots communities.