10 Jul 2023

Committing to anticipatory action in Africa

With 36 sessions, over 150 speakers, 167 in-person participants and approximately 700 people taking part online, the 6th Africa Dialogue Platform was as full as ever. And, after three days of in-depth discussion, the event closed with a clear outcome as participants made a series of commitments to expand and strengthen anticipatory action.  

At the 5th Africa Dialogue Platform in 2022, different regions in Africa set out their priorities for anticipatory action. These were then collated into five continent-wide ambitions, captured in the Roadmap for Anticipatory Action in Africa, namely: (1) engage communities; (2) advocate for integrating anticipatory action within national and regional frameworks; (3) more resources for anticipatory action; (4) capacity building; and (5) better coordination and collaboration. 

This year, three of the sectors that are central to delivering anticipatory action set out their commitments towards realizing these ambitions. 

The regional economic communities that were present committed to:   

  • endorse anticipatory action and lead the regional working groups that focus on this approach 
  • take ownership of regional roadmaps. 

The humanitarian partners in attendance also made commitments:  

  • regional coordination mechanisms are used or established jointly with the regional economic communities 
  • roadmaps are scaled to the national level 
  • there is a joint scale up and that multi-partner programmes are in place 
  • they will advocate for at-scale, flexible, multi-year financing for locally led, risk-informed anticipatory action. 

And the national and local authorities committed to: 

  • integrate anticipatory action into national and local policies for disaster risk management. 

“Our commitment is to support the regional economic communities to keep everyone working together in partnerships – conventional and unconventional – for anticipatory action.”

Maurine Ambani World Food Programme

"It is incredibly important to have the regional economic communities lead the regional roadmaps for anticipatory action," says Jurg Wilbrink, IFRC. "The endorsement of these regional bodies is needed to ensure that this approach is fully integrated in the disaster risk management continuum in all Member States, and that financial planning is secured.

"Beyond this, it is a major step towards better collaboration and ensuring different humanitarian partners are coordinating through existing regional and national government-led coordination platforms."

The 6th Africa Dialogue Platform

You can see a selection of images from the event here. Online and hybrid sessions will soon be available to watch again on the event website

This article was updated on 1 August 2023 to include the final quote and to revise the attendance figures.