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The 13th CAFÉ General Assembly Starts in Arusha, Tanzania

The 13th General Assembly of the Consortium of African Funds for the Environment (CAFÉ) started yesterday at Gran Melia Hotel in Arusha, Tanzania.

Organised by the Tanzania Forest Fund (TaFF) and the Eastern Arc Mountains Conservation Endowment Fund (EAMCEF), the event has brought together different players from across the globe to build capacity and share experiences in promotion of innovative financing mechanisms for biodiversity conservation.

This great event was officially opened by Her Excellency Mary Masanja, Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism of the United Republic of Tanzania. Her Excellency Masanja praised the initiatives being championed by CAFÉ and confirmed the Tanzanian government’s commitment to promote sustainable biodiversity conservation efforts which are currently being championed by her Ministry.

Her Excellency Mary Masanja, Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism of the United Republic of Tanzania, making her remarks

On his part, the CAFÉ President, Dr Théophile Zognou, appealed to African governments to consider reforms that will make our environment self-sustaining.

“Our countries need to think about reforms that will enable our environment to pay for itself; I’m thinking of ecological tax reforms, which could be a major source of funding,” Dr Zognou said.

Dr Zognou also emphasized the need to get out of the trap of being reduced to asking for help to protect the environment in which we live. “Africa is big and it demands greatness from us,” he added.

Dr Zognou, the CAFÉ President, delivering his speech

Among others, there was a presentation on “Conservation with the Private Sector: Strategies for Conservation Trust Funds” delivered by Ken Andrasko, the President of AltaVerde Consulting LLC. This was followed by presentations from the Foundation for Biodiversity Conservation (BIOFUND Mozambique) and the West African Savannah Foundation (FSOA) from Benin. These two presentations, focusing on best ways and practices that Conservation Trust Funds (CTFs) can employ in order to grow their endowments and increase their financial resources, were made by BIOFUND’s Director of Programmes, Alexandra Jorge and FSOA’s Executive Director, Alfred Koffi Allogninouwa respectively.

Day two of the General Assembly continues today and starts with a presentation on “Best Investment Management Practices for Conservation Trust Funds” by Cyrille Nkontchou of Enko Capital, South Africa.

It is expected that out of these topics, participants’ capacities will be strengthened in promotion of sustainable environmental financing across the globe.


Read the CAFÉ President’s Speech here.

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