Africa Day - Concept Note



The 20thConference of the Parties (COP20) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 10th Session of the Meeting of the Parties (CMP10) to it  Kyoto Protocol (KP) will take place in Lima, Peru, from 01 to 12 December, 2014.  The COP20/CMP10 constitutes a very important milestone for climate change negotiations in a build up to COP21 (December 2015) in Paris where the new International Agreement on Climate Change would be adopted. This agreement will come into effect and be implemented from 2020. There is a great hope and optimism that the negotiations will move forward significantly on some of the important elements of the multilateral climate framework, building on what was agreed at the COP19/CMP9 in Warsaw, 2013.

Moreover, COP20 takes place at a time when there is high awareness across the continent about the impact of climate change on Africa, and the need for the international community to conclude a new international Climate Change Agreement that is legally binding to all countries, and properly considers Africa’s concerns.  COP 20 offers a real opportunity to bring to the attention of the world what does a new post-2015 climate change agreement mean for the continent This Conference also serves as a platform to showcase some of the continent’s important achievements and challenges, and ensure that Africa’s climate change priorities are at the forefront of the debate taking place at the COP20/CMP10. Africa needs to seize this moment and capitalize on the opportunities presented.

A strong consensus has emerged among scientists, policy makers and development practitioners that climate change poses complex challenges to the development of countries in Africa.  At the same time there are climate change opportunities, which, if properly harnessed will enhance Africa’s development agenda and engender new perspectives into current development pathways to make it more resilient and sustainable.

The Twenty-Third Ordinary session of the Assembly of the African Union held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea in June 2014 adopted the Decision on the High Level Work Programme on Climate Change Action in Africa (WPCCAA) and Preparations for the Global Climate Change Events in 2014 (Assembly/AU/Dec.538(XXIII)). The Malabo Summit specifically requested for the development of ‘a CAHOSCC Women and Gender Programme on Climate Change(CWGPCC) to engage women and gender in climate change related actions’, considering that Women and Youths are more vulnerable to natural and human-induced disasters including climate change related ones. This issue is underscored by the June 2014 Malabo Decision on the High Level Work Programme on Climate Change Action in Africa that requested the African Union Commission and other relevant African institutions to amongst other issues: (a) Elaborate on the implementation of the CAHOSCC Youth Programme on Climate Change (CYPCC) including Youth participation in climate change negotiations; youth competition on climate change, and enhancement of youth engagement in climate change actions.

Mindful of Africa’s transformational agenda, the Heads of State and Government during this same Twenty-Third Ordinary session of the Assembly of the African Union in Malabo, further made a declaration on Nutrition Security for inclusive growth and sustainable development in Africa (Assembly/AU/Decl.4(XXIII)). This recognizes how climate change has amplified inequality, disenfranchised several communities and segments of the population especially women and youths in Africa. Therefore, reversing this entrenched exclusion in managing the monumental challenges posed by climate change, requires inclusivity in fostering ‘shared prosperity and improved livelihoods through harnessing opportunities for inclusive growth and sustainable development’ as envisioned by the African Heads of State and Government in Malabo. Inclusive growth in Africa can simultaneously address issues related to equity, food and nutrition insecurity, poverty, vulnerability to climate related risks and disasters to ensure resilience and sustainable development in Africa. At the same time, many questions remain unanswered, including, among others, why certain social groups such as women and youths are still most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and also being excluded from the growth and development process. How can accessibility to finance be addressed to ensure inclusiveness and build the adaptive capacity and resilience of women and youths? These are major concerns that need to be addressed in Africa’s negotiation process.

The 15th session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) scheduled for September 2014, but was cancelled, would have provided the opportunity for African Ministers to discuss the key issues related to the various climate change challenges and opportunities for Africa while elaborating on Africa’s expectations from the new post-2015 climate change for the continent.

It has become critical and urgent for Africa to deliberate on the big picture of the forthcoming agreement on climate change, in particular its implications for the continent, including how important issues pertaining to adaptation, climate finance, women and youth can be properly addressed. Therefore, the Africa Day is a timely opportunity to bring African Leaders and Policymakers up to speed on Africa’s concerns and priorities in the run up to the New Climate Agreement to be discussed in Lima and concluded in Paris. The event will create a space for discussion on issues related to the implications of a New Global Climate Change Agreement on the continent, including how important issues pertaining to Africa’s readiness to climate finance, inclusive green economy, addressing issues related to women and youth. The Africa Day Side Event will explore the inclusivity in the participation of Women and Youth in Climate Change response as key drivers of change and sustainable development in Africa.

The Africa Day Side Event is jointly organized as a collaborative efforts of  the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, the Government of the Republic of Mozambique, African Union Commission / New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA) as one under the AU Commission; the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa / African Climate Policy Centre(UNECA/ACPC);  the African Development Bank (AfDB); and the Secretariat of AMCEN (UNEP Regional Office for Africa).


The main objective of the Africa Day Side Event is to provide a platform and opportunity to critically examine and bring to the attention of the world what the post-2015 climate change agreement could mean to Africa as a continent while  opening conversations on issues related to inclusive growth in Africa, on-going and planned initiatives to support African countries develop national development strategies that are inclusive, green and support their implementation through building capacity to access the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and other regional and international funds, including from the private sector, as well as their modalities, challenges and constraints.

The Side event will also explore how Women and Youth contribute to Climate Change Adaptation as stewards of change and sustainable development in Africa. It will further identify gaps and challenges that limit the active involvement of youths and women in climate changes activities, success stories, and needs of women and youth in relation to climate change adaptation.

Specific objectives are to:

  • Create an enabling environment for a proactive and positive discourse and debate on the consideration of Africa’s climate change priorities and concerns into the ongoing negotiations leading up to a new climate change agreement;
  • Discuss the key requirements for achieving women and youth participation in climate change response in Africa, including efforts by regional organizations towards inclusiveness  in climate change response in Africa;
  • Recognize and discuss existing efforts, initiatives and options for improving accessibility by African countries to climate finance particularly the GCF including capacity needs to access and manage funds; 

Key Themes

  1. Implications of a New Global Climate Agreement on Africa, including how the African Common Position on Climate Change can be considered in the new agreement,
  2. Challenges, roles, and needs (including sustained access to climate finance) of Women and youth to effectively respond to climate change ;
  3. Promoting coherent and mutually reinforcing Post-2015 International Agreements; Sustainable Development Goals, climate change agreement, and Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
  4. Showcasing best practices in African countries, including from Mozambique


The structure of the meeting will be as follows:

  1. Keynote addresses is proposed to be delivered by High level dignitaries (African Heads of States and Government / Heads of delegation present at COP20 (e.g. Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC), AMCEN, African Ministerial Conference on Meteorology (AMCOMET) and African Parliamentarians).
  2. Setting the scene of the discussion
  3. Panel discussion
  4. Conclusion and way forward.

Expected outcomes

  1. Better understanding on what a New Post-2015 Climate Change Agreement would mean for Africa;
  2. Common understanding on issues relevant to women and youth in the face of climate change, including climate change responses for achieving inclusive growth;
  3. Best practices from African countries on climate change related initiatives are shared.

Target Audience

The Africa Day Side Event will ensure the engagement of relevant regional and global partners participating in COP20/CMP10. As such, it is expected to bring together the following categories of participants:

  • African Heads of State and Government including the current Chair of the African Union, the Coordinator of CAHOSCC and African Ministers
  • Decision makers from African Member States and their Regional Economic Communities, regional and sub-regional climate centres;
  • Official representatives/delegates and negotiators, and relevant national stakeholders from African countries and regional platforms, including, Parliamentarians, and/or academia;
  • International and national researchers, scientists, and science and technology specialists from research institutions who are actively engaged in advancing knowledge in climate change with a particular focus on Africa;
  • Practitioner community, including private sector, community-based organizations and civil society organizations, women groups, youth groups, media and independent writers on climate change and development issues;
  • Representatives from global and regional multilateral institutions working directly on the climate finance and development agenda, which might include the United Nations Agencies,  the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Guiding Questions

Key questions that the Africa Day Side Event may address would include:

  • How prepared is the African continent for a post 2015 New Climate Change Agreement and how should the African Common Position on Climate Change play a critical role in a new post-2015 climate change agreement?
  • What would be the basic ingredients of this agreement that Africa should focus on and how prepared is the continent to operationalize this Agreement?
  • What initiatives exist for assisting African countries achieve inclusive participation of women and youth in climate change adaptation responses including their access to climate finance?
  • What is the current situation regarding the climate finance and what are the major  impediments in Africa to date in accessing climate finance and how have these been addressed in the GCF?
  • How can we ensure that financial resources from GCF could be used to target to the most vulnerable communities while ensuring inclusion of Africa?

Panellists, Roles and Responsibilities

Moderator – Setting the Scene

The moderator will provide the reasons prompting this discussion; introduce the panellists and why their experience is pertinent for this discussion. He or she will then provide an overview of the topic under discussion in order to frame and set the scene for the discussion.

Chair:  TBD


The Panellists will first of all, present their views on the topic. Subsequently, they will respond to the specific questions posed by the moderator on the issues following their professional expertise and experience in providing concrete recommendations.




Setting the scene

Dr. Fatima Denton

Director, Special Initiatives Division, UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)



Mr. Alex RugambaChair, Climate Change Coordinating Centre (CCCC)




Chair of the African Group of Negotiators (AGN)

Implications of a New Global Climate Agreement on Africa, including how the African Common Position on Climate Change can be considered in the new Agreement.



President of Pan-African Parliament (PAP)

Promoting coherent and mutually reinforcing Post-2015 International Agreements (Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Climate Change Agreement, and Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction; and proposed Operationalization / implementation of the New Climate Change Agreement in Africa.


Dr. Anthony Nyong Manager, Compliance and Safeguards Division, African Development Bank

Opportunities, challenges, in accessing Climate Finance including sustainability.


 H. E. Mrs.Alcinda Antonio de Abreu,

HonourableMinister for Coordination of Environmental Affairs, Mozambique


Roles and needs of Women and Youth to effectively respond to Climate Change Adaptation; and Showcasing best practices in African countries, including from Mozambique


Cuartel General Del Ejercito Del Peru (CGEP), Lima, Peru.

Side Event RoomParacas, 11:30 AM -13:00 PM