Katowice, Poland, 3 December 2018 – The opening day of COP24 Leader’s Summit was marked by the celebration of Africa Day held under the theme "The Africa Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) Hub: Going further and faster with NDC implementation in support of Agenda 2063".
Africa Day is a joint initiative of the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Union Commission (AUC), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UN-ECA) and the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).
This year’s event was jointly organized by the four Pan-African institutions along with the Kingdom of Lesotho and the Republic of Gabon and with the participation of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) and the African Risk Capacity (ARC). The event sought to focus on how to ensure that all development partners deepen their partnerships and commitments to deliver concrete actions and resources towards providing effective and adequate means of implementation for African countries to deliver their NDC targets and enable the imlpementation of the Paris Agreement.
The programme of the event comprised of several highlights including a high-level statement by H.E. Mr. Regis Immongault, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Gabon on behalf of H.E. Mr. Ali Bongo Ondimba, President of Gabon and Coordinator of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC); and H.E Amb. Josefa Sacko, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture who also represented H.E. Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission.
A high level Ministerial panel and a Parliamentary dialogue provided a platform for details discussions on this year’s theme and Africa’s position at COP24. The last segment of the Africa Day was an expert panel discussion from various technical institutions on the theme of the day.
Some excerpts to the opening included H.E. Immongault that stressed on the outcomes of COP 24 to facilitate development in Africa. To that effect, he emphasised the implementation of NDCs in Africa with strong partnership. “I also extend appreciations for the Africa NDC Partnership Hub for reaching out to Partners to support Africa. In this regard, I wish to urge more Partners to come on board to support the African countries in the implementation of the NDCs for the achievement of the Paris Agreement in Africa” he added.
H.E Amb. Josefa Sacko, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture stated that African countries have demonstrated over the years and remain committed to tackling climate change and its impacts. “Countries in Africa continue to suffer from the adverse impacts of climate change with the costs of climate change threatening the realization of the Aspirations of Agenda 2063, “the Africa we want”. Climate change is also partially to blame for increased migration of African youths to Europe through the deadly Mediterranean Sea as it is shrinking livelihood opportunities”. She further underlined on the link between climate change and conflicts in Africa as demonstrated by ‘Boko Haram’’ insurgency in Western and Central Africa partly as a result of the shrinking of Lake Chad.
“As Parliamentarians we carry the hopes, aspirations and concerns of the peoples of Africa. Africa Day accorded us an opportunty to emphasize the need for parties to adopt concrete actions towards effective and adequate implementation of the Paris Agreement , especially in the context of the African Climate Legislation Initiative (ACLI),” says Hon. Kone Dognon, Chairperson of the Pan-African Parliament Committee of Rural Economy, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Dr. Anthony Nyong, Director of Climate Change and Green Growth, representing the President of the African Development Bank Group said, “African countries require significant resources to meet their Paris Agreement commitments. The Africa NDC Hub hosted at the African Development Bank, represents a concerted effort by development partner institutions to leverage each other’s comparative advantage in mobilizing resources necessary for Africa to embark on a low-carbon and climate-resilient development pathway”.
In a statement read on her behalf by Dr James Murombedzi, the Officer in Charge of the African Climate Policy Centre, the Executive Secretary of the UNECA, Dr Vera Songwe said that “the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa is implementing organizational reforms which will deepen engagement with the public and private sectors and ensure that public policy provides incentives for the private sector to contribute to the implementation of the NDCs and to take advantage of the investment opportunities offered by the transition to carbon neutral development pathways.”
Africa Day is organized at the request of African Heads of State and Government and has been held at every COP since COP17 in Durban.
African Development Bank (AfDB)
Faïza Ghozali, Principal Communication Officer, Communication and External relations Department - T. +225 20 26 19 34 / email@example.com
African Union Commission (AUC)
United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)