Environment, Climate Change and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Soipan Tuya has said Kenya is ready to host the first ever Africa Climate Summit, convened by the African Union at Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi.
"The 36th Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly granted Kenya’s request and approved that Kenya and the Africa Union Commission, co-host the Africa Climate Summit from September 4 to 6 this year.
"We are back here to announce that the plans for the summit have been finalised, and that Kenya and the African Union Commission is waiting for the world in Nairobi in under three weeks from now," CS said.
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CS Tuya spoke on Wednesday evening in Addis Ababa during a joint press briefing with the African Union Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment (ARBE) Amb Josefa Sacko and Sierra Leone's envoy to Ethiopia Amb Adenkunle King on Africa Climate Summit.
She said Kenya had accredited 13,000 delegates from 136 countries for the inaugural high-level meeting, among them, 13 African Heads of State as well as representatives of international organisations, civil society, youth and private sector.
"We are here in Addis Ababa to meet with the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC) of the Africa Union, and the Ministers of Environment from across Africa, to request them to interest their Presidents, Heads of Government, and senior government officials to attend and participate in the Africa Climate Summit," CS Tuya said.
The CS, who is attending the 19th Ordinary Session of African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN) in the Ethiopian capital, recalled that Africa Climate Summit was convened following a 2019 African Union Assembly resolution.
"The African leaders were prompted by the fact that the African continent and Africans themselves bear the greatest burden of climate change, despite the fact that Africa’s historical and current emission levels of greenhouse gases is very low," CS Tuya recalled.
Out of the Summit, the CS said Kenya and the African Union looks forward to a 'Nairobi Africa Leaders Declaration on Climate Change and call to action', a blueprint that will propose a new climate financing architecture to alleviate the continent's growing debt distress among other provisions.
CS Tuya said Africa Climate Summit will be a platform to showcase the continent's immense climate action potential and seek partnerships needed to support Africa's green growth ambition.
"Africa Climate Summit is not going to be a forum for blame games. It is going to provide an opportunity for partnerships where African and the world are offered trade and investment opportunities, in ways that ensure sustainable development.
"Africa is willing to commit its assets, including mineral and energy resources, agricultural capacity and natural capital to lead the global decarbonisation agenda. That is what the Summit will be about," CS Tuya reiterated.
In her statement, Amb Sacko said Africa Climate Summit will be attended by African leaders alongside other global partners, and relevant stakeholders to address climate change challenges and advance sustainable solutions in Africa.
She thanked Kenya for agreeing to host inaugural Africa Climate Summit stating that the high-level meeting will be a platform for addressing the intersection between climate change and Africa's development, especially the need for increased investment in the continent's climate action.
"...we are grateful to the Government of the Republic of Kenya through His Excellency President William Ruto for graciously offering to host it, in Nairobi from 4th to 6th September 2023," Commissioner Sacko said.
CS Tuya, who earlier paid Amb Sacko a courtesy call in her office, was accompanied to the press briefing by Kenya's Climate Envoy Mr Ali Mohamed, Kenya's Ambassador to Ethiopia Amb Jean Kamau, Climate Change Director Dr Pacifica Ogolla and National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) Director General Mr Mamo Mamo.