Workshop on the Identification of Needs of African Group of Negotiators (AGN)

From the 21st – 23rd May, 2013, ACPC facilitated a meeting of the AGN in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The main goal of the workshop was to outline and agree on key areas where ACPC can support the AGN and identify strategies for rendering this support in the most effective and efficient manner.
The Climate for Development in Africa (ClimDev-Africa) Programme was established in 2009 by the African Union Commission (AUC), UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) to explore actions required in overcoming climate information gaps, for analyses leading to adequate policies and decision-making at all levels in Africa. For three consecutive years the African Group of Negotiators on climate change has sought and obtained technical assistance from (ClimDev-Africa) partners before and during each annual Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.  
At the COP16 in Cancun Mexico (2010), delegations from ECA, AUC and AfDB teamed up to support the African Common Position that they had helped to draft; and in Durban South Africa (2011) the ClimDev-Africa partners jointly put up an “Africa Pavilion” from where the African voice resonated to participants from all over the world.   
At the most recent COP in Doha Qatar, ClimDev participation in general and assistance to the African Group of Negotiators (AGN) in particular got more substantive in the sense that it produced at least three (3) results that could easily contribute towards  concrete outputs within the ClimDev work programme:- 
  1. A pre-COP workshop was organised to review and upgrade projects proposals that have the potential of attracting ClimDev funding. This would help jumpstart the implementation of one of the pillars of ClimDev which is the Climate and Development Special Fund (CDSF) to be hosted by AfDB; 
  2. A dinner dialogue was organised to re-energize partners and attract greater attention not just to what the Programme aims to do but on what needs to be done for Africa to put more investments into the provision of climate services. The event was highly successful, judging from participants’ feedback and the post-mortem analysis undertaken by representatives of the three institutions; and, 
  3. A series of working sessions by the AGN to strategize lines of action before, during and after COP18. One of the outcomes of these working sessions was the decision by the Chair of AGN to formalise their recognition of ACPC through the ClimDev-Africa programme as one of the main institutions that is capable of supporting AGN in their preparation for global negotiations on climate change. 
From experience and exchanges with experts in different areas of climate change negotiations, it seems clear that the AGN in general and lead negotiators in particular will continue to need support in: 
  1. Research and analysis that can support their positions during negotiation sessions on key climate change subjects; 
  2. Training and capacity strengthening for a better grasp of different subject matters
  3. Negotiation skills development 
  4. Development of communication skills.