African officials say green transition on course despite global headwinds

NAIROBI, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) — The transition to a just, resilient, and green future in Africa is on course despite headwinds linked to geopolitical tensions and sluggish post-COVID economic recovery, senior African officials said on Sunday ahead of the Africa Climate Summit slated for this week in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.

Josefa Sacko, commissioner for rural economy and agriculture at the African Union (AU) Commission, noted that the continent’s quest for low carbon and inclusive growth has gathered momentum amid political support, innovative financing, and enactment of friendly policies.

“We have a mission to accelerate climate-resilient development in our continent through investing in bankable green projects. A just transition will deliver multiple benefits to the communities,” Sacko said at a forum convened by green lobbies.

Kenya, in partnership with the AU and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, has organized the Africa Climate Summit from Sept. 4 to 6 under the theme “Driving Green Growth and Climate Finance Solutions for Africa and the World.”

More than 20,000 delegates, including heads of state and government, ministers, and representatives from multilateral agencies, industry, academia and civil society, are expected to participate in the three-day event that will run parallel with Africa Climate Week.

Sacko observed that the Africa Climate Summit will accord prominent attention to sustainable financing aimed at boosting green recovery, resilient cities, and nature-based solutions to tackle the climate crisis.

According to Sacko, African nations have resolved to adopt a common position on seeking compensation, technology, and financing required to strengthen the resilience of local communities on the frontline of the climate crisis.

John Asafu-Adjaye, a senior fellow at the African Center for Economic Transformation, a pan-African public policy think-tank, said the continent is ripe for green transition but requires sustained capital flows, capacity building, technology transfer, and political goodwill to realize that objective.

Asafu-Adjaye added that African countries should leverage a conducive policy and regulatory environment to spur investments in green mobility, and sustainable land, water and marine resources conservation, in order to secure a livable and resilient future for grassroots communities grappling with climate emergencies.

Dorine Nininahazwe, director for East Africa and AU for ONE campaign, an international lobby group, said the continent required an ambitious and bold action plan as it embarks on future development pathways that are nature-positive and less carbon-intensive.

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