Disaster risk reduction policies and institutional mechanisms do exist at various degrees of completeness in African countries. However, their effectiveness is limited, hence the need for a strategic approach to improving and enhancing their effectiveness and efficiency by emphasizing disaster risk reduction. The African Union (AU) and its New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) offers the opportunity to promote such a strategic change.
To develop the Strategy, a baseline study was carried out to establish the status of disaster risk reduction in Africa. It emerged from the study that development was at risk from disasters mainly because of gaps in the following areas: institutional frameworks; risk identification; knowledge management; governance; and emergency response.
In the light of all the above concerns, the aim of the Strategy is to contribute to the attainment of sustainable development and poverty eradication by facilitating the integration of disaster risk reduction into development.
The Strategy’s objectives are to:
(1) increase political commitment to disaster risk reduction;
(2) improve identification and assessment of disaster risks;
(3) enhance knowledge management for disaster risk reduction;
(4) increase public awareness of disaster risk reduction;
(5) improve governance of disaster risk reduction institutions; and
(6) integrate of disaster risk reduction in emergency response management.
The Strategy suggests strategic directions to achieve these objectives.