By John Chola
Zambia’s Minister of Green Economy and Environment, Eng. Collins Nzovu has joined Heads of State and Government delegates at the innugural Africa Climate Summit (ACS) to be co-hosted by Kenya and the African Union Commission (AUC) in Nairobi.
The summit to be held from 4-6 September 2023 is being held under the theme: “Green Growth and Climate finance for Africa and the World,” and is envisaged to ensure Africa’s voice is elevated globally and integrated into existing international fora such as United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), G7/G20 processes and COP 28 among others.
The meeting will be held concurrently with the Africa Climate Week (4 – 8 September 2023), an annual United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) led event to promote actions that allow to course-correct and achieve the Paris Agreement goals and objectives.
The meeting is expected to bring together leaders from Africa and beyond; development partners; intergovernmental organisations; private sector; academia; civil society organisations; women and youth to design and catalyse actions and solutions for climate change in Africa by providing a platform to deliberate on the nexus between climate change, Africa’s development reality, and the need to push for increased investment in climate action globally, and specifically in Africa.
The African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change (AGN) Lead Coordinators over the weekend met in Nairobi to deliberate on key issues in relation to Africa’s interests and expectations for COP28.
In addition to the African common position on the various climate thematic negotiating streams, AGN Lead Coordinators also deliberated on the Nairobi Declaration, a key outcome document expected at the end of the summit.
Speaking during the session, AGN Chair, Mr. Ephraim Mwepya Shitima pledged the group’s unwavering support to policy makers and urged the Lead Coordinators to continue playing their “critical role as technical advisors to policy makers on Africa’s effective participation in the global climate negotiations in relation to the continent’s development realities and aspirations.”
Mr. Shitima, who is also Director of Green Economy and Climate Change at the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment said the AGN is alive to the harsh realties of climate impacts on the continent and stands ready to defend Africa’s interests in the climate multilateral processes.
And gracing the occasion, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Regional Office Director for Africa, Ms. Rose Mwebaza appreciated the AGN’s role over the years, to Africa’s effective participation in the climate processes and urged the group to remain focused.
Meanwhile, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Forestry, Soipan Tuya has implored the AGN to remain committed in its role as a technical advisory body to policy makers on climate change multilateral processes.
Tuya emphasised the importance of the AGN to all on-going climate processes at all levels and encouraged the group to remain resolute in its work and ensure that Africa gets the best from the climate multilateral processes