Inaugural Africa Climate Summit Seeks Urgent Action on Climate Change in Africa

This year’s summit will focus on climate action and sustainability. Picture: Stock image

This year’s summit will focus on climate action and sustainability. Picture: Stock image

Published Sep 4, 2023


The inaugural Africa Climate Summit (ACS), hosted by the Government of Kenya and championed by Kenyan President Ruto, kicked off today at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi, under the theme “Green Growth and Climate Finance for Africa and the World.”

The summit, which will run until September 6, 2023, aims to address the growing climate change challenges faced not only by Africa but also by the global community.

As the African Union's Chair of the Committee of African Heads of States on Climate Change (CAHOSCC), Kenya has assumed a pivotal role in advocating for collective action to combat climate change.

The ACS will draw African Heads of State, global leaders, and numerous stakeholders to deliberate, collaborate, and exchange knowledge and experiences on climate change action and sustainability on the African continent.

Solidarity with the global climate strike, youth, civil society, and affected communities are marching in Cape Town for system change to address the need for energy, water, housing, and food access for all. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/ African News Agency (ANA)

In a statement regarding the summit, President Ruto emphasised the urgency of the climate crisis, stating, "We believe that collective action is key to tackling climate change." He underscored the importance of the ACS in addressing the escalating climate crises in terms of frequency and intensity, both globally and particularly in Africa.

Africa Climate Week to Provide Crucial Platform for Action

Running in parallel with the African Climate Summit, Africa Climate Week 2023 (ACW) is set to be a pivotal event in the global climate calendar. It will bring together policymakers, practitioners, businesses, and civil society to discuss climate solutions, barriers to overcome, and opportunities realised in different regions. The outcomes of ACW will contribute to the first global stocktake scheduled for COP28 in the United Arab Emirates in December of this year.

ACW will explore four critical systems-based tracks that focus on region-specific contributions to inform the global stocktake:

●Energy Systems and Industry

●Cities, Urban and Rural Settlements, Infrastructure, and Transport

●Land, Ocean, Food, and Water

●Societies, Health, Livelihoods, and Economies

These tracks will enable participants to engage deeply in discussions and formulating strategies to address climate change across various sectors.

Africa Climate Exhibition: Showcasing Global Solutions

The Africa Climate Exhibition, taking place from September 4th to 8th, 2023, alongside the ACS and ACW, will serve as a platform to showcase global solutions, innovations, and projects aimed at mitigating climate change challenges. Participants from around the world will come together to interact, learn, and adopt practical solutions to climate change.

Notably, the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) has been chosen as the host venue for these critical events. As an iconic symbol of Kenya's commitment to international cooperation, KICC provides the ideal setting to accommodate a diverse range of participants, including government officials, policymakers, climate experts, businesses, civil society organisations, and international delegates.

Minister Ramokgopa's Key Role in the Summit

South African Minister in the Presidency for Electricity, Dr. Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, arrived in Nairobi to participate in the Africa Climate Summit as part of the South African delegation led by Minister of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment, Barbara Creecy.

Minister Ramokgopa's involvement includes participation in a Ministerial panel on "Africa's Green Hydrogen, Industry & Trade Potential." This panel will discuss Africa’s potential for green industrial production and untapped green hydrogen production potential.

Minister Ramokgopa will also engage in a panel session on Financing green hydrogen in Africa as part of the Africa Green Hydrogen Alliance (AGHA) forum on September 5, 2023. These sessions are crucial for exploring sustainable energy solutions and economic growth opportunities in Africa.

In addition to the summit's focus on climate action and sustainability, Minister Ramokgopa expressed his concern about the current load shedding situation in South Africa, particularly stage 5 load shedding. He assured that he is in constant contact with Eskom’s Generation team to expedite the return of units to service.

As the ACS and ACW unfold in Nairobi, the world watches closely, as these events promise to be vital milestones in the global effort to combat climate change and secure a sustainable future for Africa and the world.