African experts meet in Kenya to advance green transition

African climate change experts have begun a three-day meeting in Nairobi to discuss ways of influencing green policies in favor of the continent. [Courtesy]

More than 60 African climate change experts on Wednesday began a three-day meeting in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, to discuss ways of influencing green policies in favor of the continent.

During the meeting organized by the African Group of Negotiators Experts Support, a think tank, the experts are looking toward ensuring that the continent asserts its role and engagement in the global climate agenda.

Festus Ngeno, principal secretary in the Kenyan Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Forestry, said the experts must work closer together, and support each other on fundamental issues to present a united front and push towards desirable outcomes for the continent, denoting that climate change continues to pose a serious threat to Africa, impacting people, livelihoods, ecosystems and biodiversity.

Ngeno urged the experts to increase awareness of climate change and help in supporting policy development among experts, researchers, academics, practitioners and policymakers.

David Gikungu, director of Kenya Meteorological Department, said that with Africa hosting half of the world's most vulnerable countries, the region faces significant threats.

Gikungu noted that Africa must take proactive steps to address climate change and safeguard its future. He said that the time has come for Africa to lead the development of tailored responses to climate change that align with the continent's unique needs, circumstances and priorities.

George Wamukoya, team lead at the African Group of Negotiators Experts Support, said that Africa's participation in the assessment cycles of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the UN body for assessing the science related to climate change, is essential for ensuring that the continent's unique challenges and perspectives are adequately addressed.

Wamukoya noted that as the world confronts the escalating impacts of climate change, particularly in rapidly urbanizing regions, Africa must contribute fully to the generation of knowledge and the formulation of strategies to build resilience and mitigate risks. He said that through collaborative efforts and strategic planning, the experts can leverage Africa's expertise to drive impactful change and pave the way for a more sustainable future.

The Nairobi forum serves to leverage Africa's expertise and experiences from past assessment cycles, focusing on refining strategies to address unique challenges, particularly in bolstering urban resilience, and bridging knowledge gaps specific to the continent's context.