By Fidelity Mhlanga
Preparations for the inaugural Africa Climate Summit (ACS) and the annual Africa Climate Week 2023 have commenced , co-hosted by the Republic of Kenya, the African Union Commission, and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) respectively.
Scheduled to take place from 4th to 6th September in Nairobi, the ACS will convene Heads of State and Government, policymakers, civil society organizations, the private sector, multilateral institutions, and youth representatives from across Africa and beyond to address the pressing challenges posed by climate change and foster collaboration for a sustainable future. Guided by the theme, ‘Driving Green Growth and Climate Finance Solutions for Africa and the World,’ Africa will, through ACS, seek to consolidate global climate action around climate financing and climate positive development, solidify her standpoint on climate change going forward, and use the Summit to showcase her immense climate action potential and attract new partnerships in green growth, especially in niche sectors such as renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and critical minerals among others.
“We are deeply honored as Kenya to have been picked by the African Union and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to host both the first-ever Africa Climate Summit and the 2023 annual Africa Climate Week. We acknowledge the huge task entrusted to us and assure our co-hosts, the African Union Commission and UNFCCC, and the entire world of a successful twin event from September 4th to 8th here in Nairobi. As Kenya, we have a strong legacy of catalyzing global climate action and are glad that we are shepherded through the organization of the Africa Climate Summit and the Africa Climate Week by our President, H.E Dr William Ruto, who is also the current Chairperson of the Committee of the African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC),” said Hon Soipan Tuya, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Forestry.
Hon Soipan Tuya, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Forestry
She added: “The Africa Climate Summit provides a platform for the African continent to consolidate its climate action potential and standpoint, take lessons from the rest of the world and collectively shape climate finance solutions that empower the continent and inspire the world. Kenya will play its part in ensuring that the objectives of the Africa Climate Summit as established by the African Union are met.”
“The summit will provide a platform for policymakers and private sector players to discuss and develop climate finance solutions for African economies,” said Mr Joseph Ng’ang’a, Africa Climate Summit CEO. “As LMIC countries, we are committed to pursuing a holistic approach that intertwines economic growth, climate action, global cooperation, and inclusive development. We embrace a Green Growth Agenda, taking a global cost curve view, securing advance purchase commitments, accelerating investment for resilience, and ensuring just transitions. We are playing our part to solve the global crisis and forge a sustainable future for all,” Mr Ng’ang’a added.
Climate change is undeniably one of the most pressing global challenges of our time. According to the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), global temperatures have risen by approximately 1 degree Celsius since 1900. The consequences of inaction are dire, with devastating impacts on ecosystems, public health, and economies worldwide.
Mr Sebastian Groth, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Kenya
Acknowledging the vital role of youth in shaping our collective future, the Africa Climate Summit 2023 places a strong focus on amplifying youth voices. The United Nations Population Fund estimates that approximately 63% of Africa’s population is under the age of 25, presenting a valuable opportunity to harness their passion, innovation, and determination for sustainable progress. The Summit, therefore, aims at empowering the youth as key stakeholders in climate action, providing a platform for them to showcase their perspectives and contribute to shaping an inclusive and sustainable future.
To achieve transformational change, it is crucial to adopt a new narrative that transcends traditional boundaries and fosters collaboration. The Africa Climate Summit seeks to challenge the outdated North versus South debate by emphasizing the interconnectedness of global challenges and the importance of shared responsibility. This new narrative not only promotes dialogue among stakeholders but also highlights the potential for collaborative solutions that leverage the strengths and resources of all regions.
The Africa Climate Summit’s agenda will include key topics such as “Redesigning Climate Finance, Trade, and Investment for the Global South,” “The Investment Opportunity for Food Sovereignty in Africa,” and “Accelerating Climate Resilient Water Investments in Africa.” Participants can expect dynamic discussions, knowledge sharing, and opportunities to showcase climate action initiatives and best practices.
By signing up for the Africa Climate Summit, individuals and organizations will be able to contribute to a new narrative of collaboration, resource pooling, and transformative change that will shape the continent’s collective future in climate action. Register now for the Africa Climate Summit and/or the Africa Climate Week at africaclimatesummit.org to be part of the movement to confront climate change head-on and build a sustainable future together.