Rockefeller Foundation Working to Build ‘Resilience’ in Africa

As Africa struggles to address the effects of climate change and an unprecedented youth bulge, the is working across multiple fronts to build the resilience of African economies, the reports.

Those efforts include the $100 million initiative, which was launched in 2013 with the aim of boosting the information and communications technology (ICT) sector in six African countries — Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Morocco, and Egypt. "We are excited to see so much opportunity and such a growth market in the ICT sector more broadly across the continent," the foundation's president, Judith Rodin, told VOA. "[There are] so many technology parks growing [and] so many companies really growing on technology-based platforms. We know that … the continent has to focus on employing this extraordinary youth bulge that we are going to see. We think…a critical part of shared prosperity as we go forward [means] developing growth in the ICT sector, which often yields some of the better paying jobs."

Elsewhere, the foundation is working to help small farmers adapt to climate change by collaborating with local partners to capture run-off from flooding for use in irrigating fields. And in partnership with the , it has bankrolled a technology called risk metrics that can help predict an impending drought and is creating a country-level insurance mechanism that enables countries to access resources in the immediate aftermath of a natural disaster rather than having to wait for international development assistance to arrive.

In addition, the foundation also is working with governments on the continent to help them battle another knock-on effect of climate change: disease. "We know because of climate change that more infectious diseases have been skipping from animals to humans," Rodin said. "As we see these changes, we have got to prepare both health workers and health systems to develop the capacity for early warning, early monitoring, and more effective responding."

Reuben Kyama. "." Voice of America 05/05/2015.