Dec 4, 2017

The Nubian Vault latest news #Sept-Oct

AVN at the International Literacy Day - Mali
AVN at the International Literacy Day - Mali

Mali: education and rural at the heart of AVN's programme

On September 15th last, AVN-Mali was invited by the Prefect of Dioïla Circle to take part in International Literacy Day, in the presence of M. Mohamed Ag Erlaf, Mali's Minister of Basic Education, Literacy and National Languages.

Despite a visible improvement over the last 15 years, the literacy level of Mali's rural populations is estimated at less than 40%*. The lack of suitable infrastructure is one of the principal causes; this is why AVN is trying to raise awareness about NV construction amongst local authorities, as a cross-cutting response to to local needs and challenges (solid and comfortable classrooms, local labour, youth training etc.)

During his speech, the Mayor of Dioïla stressed the involvement of AVN as one of the key rural development actors in the Circle and plans to make funds available for the construction of literacy centres and for the training of young local masons in the NV technique.

In addition, the AVN team had prepared information banners in Bambara, one of Mali's national languages, to raise awareness amongst as many of the participants as possible. The Minister then asked for other AVN documents to be translated, with a view to spreading information more widely about the NV concept

*28,1% amongst women / 50,6% amongst men, according to the 2015 report: Enquête Modulaire et Permanente auprès des ménages (EMOP)

 

AVN Burkina at the SEED Discussion Forum

On September 20th, National Coordinator Boubacar Ouily, and Communications Officer Maimouna Sawadogo took part in the SEED Discussion Forum in Ouagadougou on innovatory business solutions promoting green growth and sustainable development in Burkina Faso.

Bringing together a varied panel of participants, this Forum was an opportunity for AVN to meet other operators from the private sector whose entrepreneurial activities favour the implementation of 'green' solutions: clean energy, adjustment of agricultural practices to climate, waste management, adaptation to climate change etc.

The organisation of group workshops was a chance for participants to discuss together the challenges relating to eco-inclusive businesses and to share experiences with a view to improving and replicating ecologically responsible solutions.

AVN's programme aroused much interest, notably from SNV (a Dutch NGO) and the Coopérative Sahel Vert for the training of masons in the NV technique, and from the Service International d'Appui au Développement (SIAD) for the construction of appropriate agricultural buildings. Visits to suitable NV buildings for these participants are now being planned.

 

A new office for AVN-Ghana

AVN-Ghana's new office in Garu was inaugurated at the end of October, in the presence of around a hundred official guests (representatives of the District, regional chiefs, NGOs and other local actors). Over a year after the start of the first NV projects in this region, the construction of this office formalises the promising deployment of the NV market in the North-East of Ghana.

Several of the noteworthy guests were invited to speak during the ceremony: they each confirmed their support for the AVN programme; for example, Robin Yemli, representing the District, said: « The District is honoured and very happy that AVN has chosen Garu as the centre of its activities in the region (...) it is clear that the NV solution is pertinent for the populations of the District () the Chief Executive of the District is committed to supporting this initiative ».

During his speech, Thomas Dietrich, Coordinator of the AVN-Ghana programme, stressed the importance of market dynamics: « We could have set up a construction firm to sell NV houses, or we could have given houses away to chosen beneficiaries. However, we are convinced that neither of these solutions would have promoted a rapid diffusion of the concept. AVN firmly believes that it is only through market forces that a radical change in building practices can emerge »

In addition, the construction site for the office provided an opportunity to train 5 masons on specific technical modules, such as the use of reinforced concrete posts and beams to allow for the construction of wider buildings, and this for the first time in Ghana. Through the acquisition of these new skills, the Ghanaian masons who have been trained will be able to respond to requests for larger (e.g. urban) buildings and specific renders and finishes.

The regional team in Garu now has an operational office, in a prime position in the town, which not only provides an optimal working environment, but is also proving to be a noteworthy demonstration building for the NV concept, attracting hosts of visitors!

 

 

 

Inauguration of AVN-Ghana's new office
Inauguration of AVN-Ghana's new office

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Nov 2, 2017

The Nubian Vault latest news

International Literacy Day
International Literacy Day

Education and rural at the heart of AVN's programme

On September 15th last, AVN-Mali was invited by the Prefect of Dioïla Circle to take part in International Literacy Day, in the presence of M. Mohamed Ag Erlaf, Mali's Minister of Basic Education, Literacy and National Languages.

Despite a visible improvement over the last 15 years, the literacy level of Mali's rural populations is estimated at less than 40%[1]. The lack of suitable infrastructure is one of the principal causes; this is why AVN is trying to raise awareness about NV construction amongst local authorities, as a cross-cutting response to to local needs and challenges (solid and comfortable classrooms, local labour, youth training etc.)

During his speech, the Mayor of Dioïla stressed the involvement of AVN as one of the key rural development actors in the Circle and plans to make funds available for the construction of literacy centres and for the training of young local masons in the NV technique.

In addition, the AVN team had prepared information banners in Bambara, one of Mali's national languages, to raise awareness amongst as many of the participants as possible. The Minister then asked for other AVN documents to be translated, with a view to spreading information more widely about the NV concept.

[1]28,1% amongst women / 50,6% amongst men, according to the 2015 report: Enquête Modulaire et Permanente auprès des ménages (EMOP)

Read online

 

Climate Chance: the mobilisation of non-state actors for the climate

The meeting of non-state actors concerned about the climate - Climate Chance - took place last September in Agadir (Morocco), bringing together 5000 participants of 80 different nationalities from NGO's and territorial collectivities. For this second meeting particular emphasis was placed on the state of climate actions in favour of African countries, and, more widely, other countries of the global South.

Even though Africa is badly affected by the effects of climate change, it is also the "cleanest" continent with respect to greenhouse gas emissions. So it is extremely important for African actors to commit themselves to durable green solutions, for example through appropriate development policies in many domains (housing, economies, environment etc.).

A few weeks from COP23, the mobilisation of African collectivities is encouraging, through, for example, the commitment of local and regional elected representatives, in a declaration announced by some 30 mayors, to carry though the 'climate plans' and to involve all the actors in their territories: citizens, associations, economic actors etc.

The summit concluded with drawing up for signature of the Agadir Declaration[1] reiterating the priorities for accelerating climate transition. One of these - the strengthening of capacities of vulnerable populations for adapting to climate change - is a central objective of the AVN programme. This road map will be proposed to all the representatives of national governments and to the Executive Secretary of UNFCCC, Patricia Espinosa, ahead of COP23[2]

[1] Signed, amongst others, by AVN

[2] November 6-17, Bonn

Read online

Climate Chance 2017 - Agadir
Climate Chance 2017 - Agadir
Sep 8, 2017

A busy season's ending

AVN at the World Forum on desertification
AVN at the World Forum on desertification

Desertification & Habitat: how AVN contributes to the preservation of African ecosystems

Over one-third of the planet's land surface is affected by desertification today, essentially in dry regions where 2 billion of the poorest people in the world live. In West Africa, this degradation of the land is accelerated by climate change, increasing human activity, deforestation, and fragile socio-economic systems.

Although often considered as secondary influences, the built habitat and associated construction techniques can have both positive and negative impacts on the causes and consequences of desertification.

The Nubian Vault technique promoted by AVN helps significantly to preserve ecosystems and their biodiversity, through the use of locally available and appropriate construction materials. In a wider context, AVN's programme encourages socio-economic development of rural populations (often those most affected by the consequences of desertification), in particular through sustainable job creation and the strengthening of local economic circuits.

Accordingly, as part of the global day for the fight against desertification and drought initiated by UNCCD and celebrated in June each year, AVN took part in two international events: the World Forum on desertification and drought in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), and the Désertif’Actions Forum in Strasbourg.

> Read more

AVN Steering Committee: a strategic event for the programme

AVN's end-of-season Steering Committee brought together some 40 participants at the beginning of July in Burkina Faso to analyse the season's results, and to discuss the evolution of the programme, its methodologies, and priority strategic orientations.

This season an important role was assigned to workshops on the programme's key themes: technical and entrepreneurial training, awareness raising and the kickstart method, incentives to accelerate market growth etc.

Members of the regional, national, and international teams worked together on the operational improvements needed, identifying the drivers for each methodology in the light of the different contexts. This collaborative work was a great success, and will facilitate the definition of strategies for each regional team and for the various centres.

Some serious discussions were also held on the internal organisation of AVN, in view of a better definition of each staff member's roles and more efficient working methods.

The next stage: to update our methodological corpus, refine our regional and central strategies so as to combine growth with a balanced budget, refine each staff member's job description, and develop internal communication in the light of new activities.

Next meeting: at the start of the 2017/2018 season, for Committee approval of the new season's strategy and budget.

> Read more
Workshop on strategic orientations
Workshop on strategic orientations
 
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