The vital driver of success for Africa’s green transition will be the availability of resources for investment.
Speaking Monday, African Union Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy, and Sustainable Environment Amb. Josefa Sacko said the transition to a green Africa must be aided by strengthening the capacity of African countries to mobilise their own resources and build on the foundations of solid and inclusive economic growth.
Amb. Sacko, who made the remarks during the high-level opening of the ministerial session at the inaugural Climate Summit in Kenya, noted that as a continent, previous growth models have been predicated largely on the export of Africa’s raw materials with minimal value addition, and a continuation of this trajectory will undoubtedly reinforce Africa’s vulnerability.
She noted that the African continent remains a key player in charting the way towards a low-carbon future since, despite being the least contributor, Africa has been hit hardest by the climate crisis.
“Our strength lies in our unity and in the fact that we are a continent that is vibrant, fast-growing, youthful, energetic, and diverse. Our solutions lie in large-scale investment in climate resilience, centred on energy access to drive sustainable industrialization”, she said, noting that this would be one of the fastest drivers for poverty reduction.
Amb. Sacko explained that there are policy frameworks already in place to support the implementation of climate action, which include the African Union Climate Change and Resilient Development Strategy and Action Plan; the Continental Green Recovery Action Plan; and the Integrated African Strategy on Meteorology (Weather and Climate Services), which guides the development and application of weather and climate services on the continent.
Through the summit, she emphasised the need to propel collective efforts on climate change and sustainable development forward by aiming to elevate the discourse surrounding climate change.
“We need to rally support for a finance architecture that is specifically tailored for Africa while also bearing in mind the resilience and survival of our continent’s abundant resources as we accelerate our transition towards a climate-resilient future,” she said.
The inaugural Africa Climate Summit, as the commissioner for agriculture noted, provides an opportunity for Africa to consolidate its united voice on matters of climate change and sustainable development and to mobilise support for the implementation of continental programmes and policies such as the African Union Climate Change and Resilient Development Strategy and Action Plan, which covers all the items to be addressed by the Summit.
The Summit that is running this week is organised in parallel with the Africa Climate Week (ACW 2023), one of four Regional Climate Weeks planned this year to build momentum ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 28) in Dubai, UAE, in December this year, conclude the first global stocktake, and chart the way for fulfilling the Paris Agreement’s key goals.
By Wangari Ndirangu