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11th Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa: Africa Climate Science Symposium

This year, the ClimDev-Africa partners, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change & Forestry of the Government of Kenya and supported by SEI and Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance, will convene the Africa Climate Science Symposium in the margins of the eleventh CCDA conference from September 1 – 3, 2023 in Nairobi, as the technical segment of the Africa Climate Summit (ACS) under its overarching theme; “African Solidarity for Global Climate Action.

2 to 3 September 2023
Nairobi, Kenya and Online

Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi

Science Symposium graphic

Graphic design: Maina Wainaina


The Climate for Development in Africa (ClimDev-Africa) is a joint initiative of the African Union Commission, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, and the African Development Bank, that is conferred the mandate from the African Union Decision Assembly/AU/Dec.134 (VIII) of the 8th Ordinary Session in 2007, to support climate interventions in African countries. The initiative hosts the annual conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa (CCDA). The CCDA is traditionally convened each year, in partnership with the Government of any African Union Member State that hosts the Conference, ahead of the UNFCCC Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC (COP). The annual conference brings together different African stakeholder groups on climate change to discuss key climate change and development challenges facing the continent as well as identify opportunities and solutions. The conference promotes evidence-based and analytically grounded contributions that feed into the African common position meetings in the international discourse on climate change.

CCDA-XI will be structured as a high-level policy, climate change and development experts and stakeholders pre-summit event that will develop outcome statements and contribute to the recommendations for the ACS declarations on the subthemes.  It will also include a one-day science symposium focused on discussions to improve and strengthen climate science capacities in Africa, and enhanced engagement in the 7th IPCC Assessment Cycle.


The 6th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC-AR6) concludes, inter alia, that global warming has already reached 1.1 degrees Celsius, with devastating impacts including unprecedented extreme weather events, rapidly rising sea levels, and impacts on people and ecosystems. The report notes that climate impacts on people and ecosystems are more widespread and severe than expected, and future risks will escalate rapidly with every fraction of a degree of warming1. The IPCC warns that exceeding 1.5 degrees centigrade warming, even temporarily, will lead to much more severe, often irreversible impacts, from local species extinctions to the complete drowning of salt marshes to loss of human lives from increased heat stress. Even if fully implemented, the current revised nationally determined contributions to climate action (NDCs) put the world on a course of 1.7 degrees centigrade warming. However, in the absence of programmes and strategies to support the implementation of the NDCs, we are on a path to at least 2.5 degrees centigrade warming, which would have dire consequences for people, economies, ecosystems and infrastructure, particularly in Africa.

The biggest challenge facing the translation of climate policies into actions is the limited financial resources needed to translate climate commitments into investments. While most countries have National Adaptation Plans buttressing their NDCs, these are mostly yet to progress from planning to implementation due to the huge financial gap, estimated at US $60 billion per year for the implementation. Similarly, many developing countries remain highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, with resilience-building measures remaining largely small-scale, reactive, and incremental. Furthermore, most climate actions – particularly in developing countries – focus on immediate impacts or near-term risks rather than long-term resilience building, due to limited finance. The 2022 Adaptation Gap Report2 shows that developing countries received only USD 29 billion of public finance flows for adaptation, with Africa receiving USD 11.4 billion (consisting of 39% of the total climate finance flow of USD 29.5 billion to the continent in 20203), with the most vulnerable countries receiving the least climate adaptation finance flows. The African Group of Negotiators on climate change (AGN) estimates that Africa needs USD 65 – 86.5 billion per year for adaptation alone up to 2030. This is close to eight times more than current adaptation financial flows to the continent.

Although African countries contribute relatively little to global emissions (less than 4 per cent), they remain at significant risk from the devastating economic effects of climate change. Between 1970 and 2019, Africa faced 15% of global weather, water, and climate-related disasters, along with 35% of weather, climate, and water-related fatalities4. In recent times, DRC, Rwanda, and Uganda suffered heavy loss of life, and property and insurmountable damage of critical infrastructure in particular roads, water treatment plants and power stations from unusual rainfall intensity and landslides, whose magnitude and loss to the economy are yet to be fully determined5. The escalating intensity and frequency of extreme climate events and weak coping capacities continue to undermine recent progress in development trajectories and pose a grave challenge to Africa’s socio-economic development. Climate change vulnerability is further compounded by the deepening debt crisis, the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the prevailing Russia-Ukraine War, which has resulted in skyrocketing of food and commodity prices, leading to a cost-of-living crisis.

As climate impacts continue to negatively affect economies and livelihoods in Africa, the scientific and research capacity in the continent remains weak resulting in inadequate participation of the continent’s scientists in global climate science and research processes. As an example, only 11% of the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) authors are from Africa6, which calls for actions to increase and support the engagement of African scientists in the seventh IPCC Assessment Cycle and beyond. Similarly, limited funding for climate research in Africa remains a major bottleneck, with some studies showing that only 3.8% of global funding for climate-change research of USD 1.51 trillion between 1990 and 2020 was spent on African topics, and African institutions received only 14.5% of the allocation7. Evidently, African countries urgently need the capacity and knowledge to address the effects of climate change and to improve linkages between science, policy and practice in climate actions.

As a continent promise, Africa is endowed with natural resources, abundant renewable energy potential, a resourceful and youthful population, and arable land. With 17% of the world’s population, Africa is projected to have the largest workforce in the world – surpassing both China and India by 2040. Further, it boasts 20,000 MW of geothermal, 350,000 MW of hydropower, 110,000 MW of wind and 40% of global solar irradiation clean energy resources potential. Harnessing this potential will be key to shaping the future of the continent. Capitalizing on these green growth opportunities will be crucial to the continent’s future particularly as the decarbonization momentum gains more traction around the globe.

Realizing Africa’s Agenda 2063 aspirations and those of Sustainable Development Goals will be possible with proactive collective continental efforts leveraging the continent’s own resources, together with effective partnerships with the broader international community to address the impacts of climate change and tackle barriers to Africa’s transition to resilient development. The continent has been pro-active in defining and implementing response measures, including the recently adopted African Union Climate Change and Resilient Development Strategy and Action Plan 2022-2032, and the continental Green Recovery Action Plan (2021-2027). The continent’s Climate Change and Resilient Development Strategy priorities action in five key areas: (i) Climate finance, including increasing flows, efficiency, and impact of funding, (ii) Supporting renewable energy, energy efficiency and national Just Transition programmes, (iii) Nature-based solutions and focus on biodiversity through work on sustainable land management, forestry, oceans, and ecotourism, (iv) Resilient agriculture focusing on inclusive economic development and green jobs, and (v) Green and resilient cities, including a focus on water (flooding and water resources) and enhancing information, communication, and technology.

The African Climate Summit is being convened in the context where the continent is seeking to accelerate the implementation of its climate change strategies and actions to avert the catastrophic impacts of global warming and build the resilience of the continent’s economies.


The overall objective of CCDA–XI is to produce detailed analytical data-driven and evidence-based recommendations on the various subthemes of the ACS. Reports from the conference will contribute to the outcome statements for African Heads of State, towards and beyond the UNFCCC COP28 to be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

6 IPCC regional perspectives – Africa
7 Overland et al (2021). Funding flows for climate change research on Africa: where do they come from and where do they go? Climate and Development

Day 1, Saturday, September 02: Session 1: Opening Session:
13:30-14:00 PM EAT

Éliane Ubalijoro: Chief Executive Officer, CIFOR-ICRAF

Philip Osano: Centre Director, Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) Africa

James Murombedzi: Chief Africa Climate Policy Centre (ACPC, UNECA)

Harsen Nyambe: Director, Sustainable Environment and Blue Economy Directorate African Union Commission

 Hon. Sopian Tuya, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Forestry, Kenya

14:00 -15:00 PM EAT Session 2: Consolidating Science and Evidence

Focus on key issues, including Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA); Global Stocktake; and other emerging areas of climate science
• Peter Minang. Director for Africa, CIFOR-ICRAF
• Nana Ama Browne Klutse, IPCC WG1 Vice Chair/Associate Professor and Head of Department of Physics, University of Ghana
• Judy A. Omumbo , Head of Programmes, Science for Africa Foundation
• George Wamukoya, Africa Group of Negotiators Expert Support (AGNES)
• Hubertus Matheus Maria van Megen, Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya and South Sudan and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and UNHABITAT


Philip Osano: Centre Director, Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) Africa
15.00-15.30 PM EAT

Coffee/Tea break

15:30 -16:30 PM EAT

Addressing short lived climate forcers and non-CO2 emissions in Africa
Convenors: AUC, UNEP ROA, CCAC, ILRI and SEI

Rapporteur: Alicia Olago, Code for Africa
• Andriannah Mbandi, UN High Level Champions (UNHLC)
• Mahamat Boucar, Deputy Director General, National Meteorological Agency, Chad
• Representative, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)
• Representative, Africa Center for Energy Policy
• Representative, Africa Development Bank (AfDB)

Mohamed Sultan, Global Methane Hub

Geoengineering and Solar Radiation Management
Convenors: Kenya Meteorology Department, SEI, NEMA Kenya,
• Patricia Nyinguro, IPCC Focal Point for Kenya, Kenya Meteorology Department
• Nana Ama Browne Klutse, IPCC WG1 Vice Chair/Associate Professor and Head of Department of Physics, University of Ghana
• Linda Ogallo, IGAD Climate Prediction and Application Center (ICPAC)

Ann Kingiri, Africa Center for Technology Studies (ACTS)
16:30-17:00 PM EAT

Reporting from Breakout Sessions
• Addressing short lived climate pollutants and methane in Africa
• Climate Research for Development in Africa (C4RD)

Day 2, Sunday, September 03:
Africa Climate Science Symposium and High-Level Sessions
09:00-09:30 AM EAT Synopsis of Day Two Deliberations
Presenter: Philip Osano, Center Director, Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)

Leah Wanambwa, African
Union Commission (AUC)

09:30AM-10:45 PM EAT Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Risks
Convenors: CIFOR-ICRAF, AGNES, SEI and Adaptation without Borders (AWB), NASAC
Rapporteur: AGNES
• Xolisa Ngwadla, Climate Policy and Negotiations, South Africa
• Rahma Adam, WorldFish
• Susan Kaaria, Director, African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD)
• Evans Avedi, Project Director, Network of Africa Science Academies (NASAC)

Romanus Opiyo, Stockholm Environment Institute

“Climate Research Needs and Funding Gaps in
Africa” (CR4D).
Convenors: AICCRA & Africa Climate Policy Centre (ACPC, UNECA)
• J. Mukabana
• Linda Ogallo,
• Dawit Solomon,
• Mary-Jane Mbopape,
• Ernest Afiesimama
• Yosef Amha

10:45 -11:15 AM EAT

 Reporting from Breakout Sessions
• Addressing short lived climate pollutants and methane in Africa
• Climate Research for Development in Africa (C4RD)

11.15-11.45 AM EAT Coffee/Tea Break
11.45AM-13.00 PM EAT Consolidating the Climate Science to Inform IPCC and other Policy Processes
• Agnes Kijazi, WMO Regional Office for Africa
• Mxolisi SHONGWE , Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Secretariat• Christopher Trisos, Synthesis Centre, University of Cape Town

• Ladislaus Chang’a, IPCC Vice Chair/University of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania (Virtual)
• David Gikungu, Director, Kenya Meteorological Department
• Anthony Nyong, Director for Climate Change and Green Growth, Africa Development Bank (AfDB)

James Murombedzi, Chief
Africa Climate Policy
Centre (ACPC, UNECA)
13.00-14.00 PM EAT  Lunch
Outcome Statement and Key Messages to the Africa Climate Summit
Presentation of Africa’s common position for COP28:
Ephraim Mwepya Shitima, AGN Chair
Presentation of draft outcomes:
David Lesolle, University of Botswana
Ministerial Segment: Ministers in charge of the environment from:
• Hon. Soipan Tuya, Minister of Environment and Forestry, Kenya
• H.E. Getahun Garedew Wodaje, Director-General for the Ethiopian Environmental Protection Authority
• H.E. Yasmine Fouad, Minister of Environment, Egypt
• H.E. Mr. P.P. Shefeta, Minister of Environment and Tourism, Namibia
• S.E. Mme Ariette Soudan Nonault, Ministère du Tourisme et de I’Environnement, Republic of Congo
• Hon. Mr. Collins Nzovu, Minister of Green Economy and Environment, Zambia
• Hon. Alioune Ndoye, Ministre de l’Environnement du Développement durable et de la Transition ecologique
Parc Forestier de Hauufoday, Senegal,
• Hon. Mr. Flavien Joubert,Minister of Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment Seychelles
• Hon. Kwaku Afriyie, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation, Ghana
• Hon. Foday M. Jaward, Minister of Environment, Sierra Leone
• H.E Mrs. Lalya Kamara, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Mauritania
• Hon. Ms. Barbara Creecy, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment, South Africa
• H.E. Mrs. Leila BENALI, Minister of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development, Kingdom of Morocco
• H.E. Ana Paula Chantre Luna de Carvalho,Minister, Ministry of Environment, Angola
Josefa Correia Sacko,
Commissioner, African
Union Commission
15.30-16.00 PM Coffee/Tea Break
Closing statements:
• Mithika Mwenda, Executive Director, PACJA
• Antonio Pedro, Acting Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
• Kevin Kariuki, Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth, African Development Bank
• African Union Commission Deputy Chairperson, H.E. Monique Nsanzabaganwa
• H.E. William Samoei Ruto, President of the Republic of Kenya
Oulmane, ECA

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