Accra, 13th May, 2015 – The newly appointed United Nations Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative to Ghana, Ms. Christine Evans-Klock paid a working visit to the United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA) in Accra. The call on UNU-INRA formed part of the Resident Coordinator’s familiarisation visits to all UN agencies in Ghana.
During a briefing session on the Institute’s activities, the Director of UNU-INRA, Dr. Elias T. Ayuk, made a brief presentation to the Resident Coordinator on UNU-INRA’s four-year strategic plan (2015-2018). According to Dr. Ayuk, the Institute’s strategic directions for the next four years aim to:
Dr. Ayuk indicated that, within the context of the new strategic directions, UNU-INRA is working on three programme areas. These are:
He explained that issues such as land degradation, deforestation, depletion of top-soil, over-extraction of capture fisheries, water pollution, loss of biodiversity among others, continue to affect natural resources management in Africa. The focus on harnessing renewable natural resources, Dr Ayuk indicated, will provide insights into the efficient and sustainable use of these resources.
Providing further explanations on the programme areas, Dr. Ayuk observed that UNU-INRA is focusing on promoting green economy because “natural resources will continue to play a central role in the transformation of African economies and there is a dearth of empirical evidence on how green growth strategies can promote development”, Dr Ayuk stated.
With regard to the programme area on facilitating good governance and management of non-renewable natural resources, he noted that inclusive governance could help in addressing some of the challenges in the governance and management of Africa’s extractive industries. UNU-INRA’s approach, he said, is to undertake relevant research, capacity development and policy advice within the three programme areas.
The UN Ghana Resident Coordinator was very happy to meet the UNU-INRA Director and staff at the head office, and was impressed with the work of the Institute. She thanked the team for their contributions to development, which according to her, is the mandate of the UN as a whole.
“I see your line of work to be very relevant, offering a lot to be capitalised on as far as the post-2015 agenda is concerned – which has some goals focusing directly on how to use natural resources to promote growth”, remarked Ms. Evans-Klock.
She indicated that, the UN country team is currently focusing on nutrition, gender and economic transformation issues to support Ghana’s development process, adding that she could see UNU-INRA’s work, specifically its policy briefs on nutrition and other publications including the Institute’s book entitled “Collaborative Governance in Extractive Industries in Africa” to be very useful to the selected country themes.
UNU-INRA Director, on his part, reiterated the Institute’s commitment to providing technical support to the UN country team.
“As part of the UN system in Ghana, UNU-INRA will continue to lend its support to other UN agencies in generating knowledge on emerging natural resources management issues in Ghana’’, said Dr. Ayuk.
Ms. Evans-Klock assumed her new position in Ghana in January, 2015. Prior to this appointment, she was the Director of the Skills and Employability Department of the International Labour Organization, a UN agency based in Geneva, where she worked for nineteen years. She is from the United States of America and holds an M.A. in International Affairs from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in Economics from Boston University. She takes over from Ms. Ruby Sandhu-Rojon who served as UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative until March 2014.