Mulungushi University is one of the African-Asian Rural Development Organization (AARDO) Apex Level Centres of Excellence in the world. We have been selected to be a Centre of Excellence because we provide expert knowledge in Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Adaptation. The formation of African-Asian Rural Development Organization (AARDO) [earlier known as Afro-Asian Rural Development Organization] in 1962 underscored the far-sightedness of the social and political leaders of Asia and Africa in recognising the need for cooperation among the countries in the field of agriculture and rural development. AARDO which is one of the earliest examples of South-South cooperation in rural development in the Afro-Asian region, is an autonomous inter-governmental Organization comprising country governments of Africa and Asia. The Organization was set up with a view to promote coordinated efforts, exchange of experiences and cooperative action for furthering the objectives of development of the rural areas. AARDO a non-political body enjoys observer status with various UN and other international organisations like Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), International Cooperative Alliance (ICA), Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP), etc. It also promotes collaboration with various international organisations for the economic and social welfare of the rural community.
Every year, we provide training in this area of expertise to AARDO member countries. This year (2017) the workshop which took place between 17th and 21st July, 2017 was conducted under the theme Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation. The workshop attracted 23 participants from the AARDO member countries and workshop was officiated by Dr. Manoj Nardeosingh, PhD, the Assistant Secretary General AARDO and officially opened by the Vice – Chancellor of Mulungushi University Professor Hellicy C. Ng’ambi, PhD.
Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation was an important topic of discussion. Although the majority of losses are concentrated in the developed world, the impact of these disasters on the poor in developing countries is similarly enormous. The poor often bear the greatest cost in terms of lives and livelihoods, and rebuilding their devastated communities and infrastructure. Today 85% of the people exposed to earthquakes, tropical cyclones, floods and droughts live in countries having either medium or low human development. The discussion was centered on how reduce the impact of natural disasters and on how to adapt to new climatic conditions.