Africa Climate Summit |08 September 2023
Driving green growth and climate finance solutions for Africa and the World
“Climate action is not a Global North issue or a Global South issue. It is our collective challenge, and it affects all of us. We need to come together to find common, global solutions.”
This was one of the many key messages from President William Samoei Ruto of Kenya as he rallied African ministers and dignitaries present at the Ministerial Day (September 4), day one of the Inaugural Africa Climate Summit (ACS) to act now.
The message, which was carried throughout the first day and that call for urgency and determination to combat climate change on the African continent, underscored the overarching theme, ‘Driving Green Growth & Climate Finance Solutions For Africa And The World’.
In reference to the theme, President Ruto said that the climate action should not be seen as problem for Africa but as unparalleled investment opportunity.
“We must see and think in green growth, not just a climate imperative but a fountain of multi-billion dollar investment opportunities that Africa and the world is prime to capitalise,”President Ruto said.
The Ministerial Day featured a series of high-level discussions and panels that brought together key stakeholders, world leaders, and experts to lay the groundwork for a more sustainable and resilient future.
Seychelles was represented at the event by a delegation headed by the Minister for Agriculture, Climate Change & Environment, Flavien Joubert. The other members included Jude Loveday, Seychelles’ high commissioner in Nairobi; Ambassador Conrad Mederic; the Minister for Lands & Housing, Billy Rangasamy; and the principal secretary for Climate Change & Energy, Tony Imaduwa.
Kicking off the Ministerial Day was the plenary session which focused on Africa’s potential in addressing climate challenges. It highlighted the imperative for a more equitable financial system and laid the path forward to COP28. There were a number of distinguished speakers who took to the stage including a powerful address by President Ruto. Youth representatives and indigenous people and local communities added their voices, articulating their vision for a sustainable future.
Minister Joubert was also interviewed by journalists from MCB Rodrigues and CCTV to get his reaction on the first day proceedings especially in regards to the opening remarks by President Ruto and other dignitaries in the high level plenary.
They also wanted some further clarifications on the minister’s interventions on the panels he participated in.
In addition to the plenary, there were a number of parallel sessions that delved into critical aspects of climate action and sustainability. They were grouped in the following areas:
● Scaling International Climate Finance for Africa: Discussions revolved around the need to scale external climate finance funding, reduce capital costs, and create a supportive policy environment.
● Investment Opportunities for Food Systems Transformation in Africa: The focus was on sustainable food systems, strategies to boost agricultural production, and encouraging private sector investments.
● Accelerating Climate Resilient Investments in Water: With an emphasis on water’s pivotal role in Africa’s development, discussions centered on bridging the investment gap.
● Carbon Markets in the Global South: Discussions centred on Africa’s role in voluntary carbon markets and outlined strategies to amplify its impact.
● Harnessing Africa’s Renewable Energy Potential: Key participants underscored Africa’s vast renewable energy potential and discussed strategies for clean energy investments.
● Adaptation Across the Continent: Discussions focused on adaptation action, investment needs, and resource mobilisation to enhance resilience.
● Africa’s Green Hydrogen, Manufacturing, and Trade Potential: Exploring Africa’s capacity in green hydrogen production and its role in fostering economic growth.
● Investment in Nature and Biodiversity: Focused on addressing biodiversity finance gaps and the necessity for increased investments in nature-based solutions.
● Integrated Liveable African Cities: Discussions centred on urban challenges, data-driven strategies, and sustainable urban planning.
● Spotlight on African Financial Markets: Discussions around climate finance in Africa and pathways to innovate financial markets.
● Elevating the Role of Ocean Governance and Blue Economy in Africa: The importance of the blue economy and Africa-Europe collaboration in ocean governance were the main points of discussions.
● Investing in Green Transport in Africa: Discussions were around the pivotal role of sustainable transport in reducing emissions and the need to undertake appropriate policy reforms.
Minister Joubert participated in two panel discussions under the Adaption across the continent and elevating the role of ocean governance and blue economy in Africa sessions.
In the Adaption across the continent, the minister summarised the various activities being undertaken by Seychelles to transform the country to become more green and resilient. Activities that will green both our electricity and transportation sectors, efforts to address our waste challenges and the ongoing reform to make the economy more energy efficient.
Moreover, he took the opportunity to inform the audience the achievement of Seychelles when it comes to protection of our biodiversity, highlighting that Seychelles has already met the 30x30 targets set under the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.
In the session on Elevating the role of ocean governance and blue economy in Africa, Minister Joubert presented the strategies being implemented to meet the ambitious emissions reduction targets as per the updated National Determined Contribution (NDC) of the country.
He further shared few lessons learnt that he hoped will inspire other African countries.
Other panelists were Hon. Kim Hyo Eun, deputy Minister and Climate Change Ambassador, Korea; Antonio Pedro, executive secretary, UNECA; Mafalda Duarte, executive director, GCF and Arthur Tuda, executive secretary, WIOMSA whose presentations emphasised the blue economy’s pivotal role in achieving sustainable growth and the opportunity for an Africa-Europe collaboration in ocean governance.