Armel Otekpo (on the left side)
August 01, 2023.
Alumnus Armel Otekpo is now a board member of the African Union Youth Advisory Board on Disaster Risk Reduction (AYAB/DRR) for 2023-24. Armel, who comes from Benin, successfully concluded his master’s at the ZEF-led West African Center for Sustainable Rural Transformation (WAC-SRT) in October 2022, within the Integrated Master Program for Sustainable Rural transformation. His Master’s thesis on “Flood risk management and local development in Dyonkoto – Boubon strip: a remote sensing approach” relates directly to his mandate as a youth board member.
The African Union Youth Advisory Board on Disaster Risk Reduction is composed by 15 young people from the African Union member countries, who are selected through a highly competitive international call. More than 400 candidates applied for the last one, issued in July 2022. After shortlisting, candidates go through several interviews with the African Union Commission for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment, which are followed by the final selection. The African Union aims to improve and increase the participation and representation of young people, including indigenous rural communities, in major international meetings on disaster risks.
The African Union Youth Advisory Board on Disaster Risk Reduction shall, among other tasks, discuss and support state policies in favor of disaster risk prevention and management, and support the recommendations of the Sendai framework of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. Planned actions include digital communication, networking, capacity building, and managing projects that support affected communities in Africa.
Being a member in the African Union Youth Advisory Board is not a permanent position, but rather a voluntary service. The Board members meet online twice a year and base their activities on a work plan covering the two-year term of their mandate.
The first meeting of the Board was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, July 10-11, 2023. At the occasion, five members were elected to form the AYAB/DRR executive committee. Alumnus Armel Otekpo was elected Secretary of the Youth Advisory Board by his peers. The WAC-SRT team at ZEF (Bonn) and University of Abdou Moumouni in Niamey, Niger (Armel’s alma mater) congratulate Armel Otekpo on this important step in his career.
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