Africa summit to address critical climate change issues, says CS Tuya

CS Soipan Tuya during the launch of Africa Climate Summit 2023 website on July 17, 2023. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard] 

The Africa Climate Summit, the first of its kind on the continent, is set to be a momentous event as leaders and delegates from across Africa gather to tackle the urgent issue of climate change.

Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Climate Change, Soipan Tuya, expressed her enthusiasm during the launch of the summit's website, emphasizing the significance of this gathering.

Speaking at the launch, Tuya said, "As Kenya, we are very proud that our chairing of the Committee of Africa Heads of State and Government (CAHOSCC) has delivered on a summit like this. It is yet another feather on our President's cap."

She added, "This Summit is like no other. It is for the first time that Africa looks at the Climate Change Development nexus. Africa will be bringing to the World its resources that include the vast untapped arable Agricultural land, its critical minerals, its renewable Energy potential as well as its Carbon sinks."

Highlighting the unique approach of the Africa Climate Summit, Tuya emphasized, "It is not a summit of blame games of North versus south, it is not a summit of who has emitted the most greenhouse gases or who continues to emit the most, it is a summit of Africa's Resources versus the Capital of the rest of the world, and how those two can be synergized to fight Climate Change."

During the website launch, Tuya also discussed the expected outcomes of the summit. "The Summit will make a Nairobi Africa Leaders Declaration that proposes a new global financial architecture for Climate Change.

The declaration will make a proposal on reform of the Multilateral Development banks with regard to how they deal with Africa's debt," she stated. "Decisions on Africa's resources that would promote green growth and a low carbon development pathway will be pronounced, as well as unified Africa's position to COP 28."

Addressing the growing interest in the summit, Tuya encouraged all governments to actively participate and invite delegates from their countries. "Given the number of participants that have so far registered on the website in its trial phase, so far about 3700 delegates, it shows you how many delegates and participants this Summit will attract," she said.

From left; German Ambassador to Kenya Sebastian Groth, Environment CS Soipan Tuya and PS Festus Ng'enoduring the launch of the Africa Climate Summit 2023 website. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard] 

She added, "I would like to encourage all governments here present to invite delegates from your countries, send word out that the formal and official registration process for the Africa Climate Summit has started today."

Elaborating on the significance of the website, Tuya noted, "This website will be our first line of communication, it will have a registration icon, the concept note, the program, the various thematic areas, and all the news and information by the hour as it would apply for the Summit."

Tuya also shed light on the process leading up to the launch of the website. "We should have done this many months ago," she admitted. "The delay was occasioned by the creation of the content to go into the website, this needed to be approved by the African Union Organs." She further explained, "To this extent, we held the Committee of African

Heads of State on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) meeting, which committee is chaired by President William Samoei Ruto, last Thursday. The committee approved and endorsed our concept note, albeit with some amendments as proposed by the government of Algeria."

 Tuya acknowledged, "The development of this website as well as support to the Africa Climate Summit Communications has been made possible with the gracious and generous support of the German Government through GIZ."

She further appealed to other partners and governments to contribute to the summit's funding, which currently faces a deficit of around USD 10 million. "The Summit is still in deficit of about USD 10 million, any support towards it will be very much appreciated," she said.

 With the Africa Climate Summit just around the corner, Mr. Joseph Ng'ang'a, CEO of the Africa Climate Summit Secretariat, shared his insights on the goals and expectations for the event. Ng'ang'a expressed his vision for the summit during a recent interview, shedding light on the significance of this global discussion on climate change.

Ng'ang'a stated, "The summit is intended to design and catalyze actions and solutions for climate change. It's intended to converge on common priorities for global discussion

The CEO further revealed that the Africa Climate Summit would be closely linked to the African Climate Week, scheduled to take place from September 4th to 6th.

Ng'ang'a outlined the key priorities and expected outcomes of the summit. "Climate action and development must be thought about together," he stressed.

He also emphasized the significant contributions of low and middle-income countries to the climate agenda. In terms of financing, Ng'ang'a highlighted the need for optimized capital flows in substantial amounts and with the right risk appetite to unlock climate-related initiatives.

Ng'ang'a also provided a glimpse into the summit's schedule, outlining a ministerial day followed by high-level presidential sessions. The summit will culminate in the signing of the African Leaders' Declaration.