The report of the COP 17 African Pavilion Secretariat concludes that as an umbrella of different kinds of events and services, the Africa Pavilion was well attended. The round tables, side events and Africa Day provided opportunities to discuss climate change in relation to Africa’s development. The different countries and organizations had a chance to showcase their activities in the area of climate change and development and it certainly provided them with a forum for consultation for future activities. The success of the African Pavilion concept, coupled with the continuing demand for physical networking space for African participants at the COPS, the continued salience of African specific issues in the construction of a post 2015 Climate agreements, as well as the need to amplify African voices in the global arena entails that the COP 17 pavilion concept be not only replicated at COP 21, but also that the space be used more creatively building on the COP17 experiences and outcomes.
Climate change continues to pose complex and changing challenges for Africa. The evolving global climate governance regime requires that Africa develop ever more nuanced and sophisticated responses to guide the continents engagement at all levels of the climate response. Over the last decade or so Africa has generally been experiencing high levels of economic growth. The implications of climate change for the sustainability of this growth, or its translation into development, are immense. The principal climate change concern for Africa is its implications for development and the wellbeing of societies and ecosystems. The governance of climate change adaptation on the continent thus requires a review of the nature and trajectory of growth and development processes, the democratization of global systems to achieve equity, and the realignment of decision making processes to facilitate greater public engagement in the formulation of global and national responses to climate change. At the same time, it is now also generally acknowledged that climate change creates new opportunities which, properly harnessed, will enhance the continent’s development agenda.
The Pavilion will host various African “Side Events” bringing together all interested participants to address themes of fundamental importance to Africa. The Pavilion side events programme will be synchronized with the COP21 programme so that speakers and participants can readily transition between the Pavilion and other events. The Pavilion will allocate time slots for roundtable discussion panels, Africa Day, for events organized by the Regional Economic Communities side events, and for other side events to be convened by other organizations such as river basin commissions, countries and their ministries, Civil Society Organizations, universities and others. The organizers for each of these time slots will be responsible for every aspect of the side event, such as the organization of speakers etc. All the events at the Pavilion are organized to culminate in a high level Africa Day.
As with the COP 17 Pavilion, the objectives of the COP 21 Africa Pavilion will be to:
- Provide a forum for discourse and debates that locate Africa-relevant climate change issues and themes in the larger context of the continent’s sustainable development;
- Provide a platform to further enhance thinking and critical debate on the linkages between available information and knowledge, technical services and policy directions for climate change in Africa;
- Create opportunities for knowledge-sharing among decision makers and practitioners, the research community and negotiators;
- Explore the implications of climate change for the inclusive growth agenda, especially focusing on the interactions between climate change and vulnerabilities;
- Identify opportunities for Africa from climate change;
- Identify policies, practices and research recommendations for stakeholders; and
- Promote quality scientific research, field experience and evidence-based policy more extensively.