Africa is the Continent of now, says Mme Zuma of the AUC

Paris, France, 1 December 2015 (ClimDev-Africa) - Africa is not only the continent of the future, but mostly the continent of now, Madame Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma President of the Commission of the African Union told thousands of participants at the inaugural ceremony of the Africa Pavilion at the ongoing climate talks in Paris.

Underscoring the increasing role that Africa now plays in seeking solutions to global impacts of climate change, Madame. Zuma called on Africans present at COP 21 to “prove that we are here, we are present, and we are ready to demonstrate that we can help through substantive contributions towards viable solutions to problems facing humanity, especially those posed by climate change.”

“Africa’s contribution are not limited to the COP 21 negotiations but will go far beyond," she said, calling on African negotiators to do their best to defend the Continent’s positions in all the negotiation streams.

She thanked the partners in the ClimDev initiative who teamed up with the African Union Commission to set up an Africa Pavilion at COP 21 - United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the NEPAD Agency.

A Special Thank You message was reserved for President Boni Yayi of Benin, whose government provided financial support for the pavilion, calling on other governments to follow the example and show that Africa is ready to solve its own problems.

Thanks to the pavilion which is hosting hundreds of events to raise awareness of the challenges facing Africa, African leadership the unwritten message of it is that Africa is forging its way, despite a myriad of challenges to address its own problems.

She called on those working in the pavilion to make it as dynamic as possible. The Africa Pavilion at COP21 is aimed, among other things, at providing a forum for discussions and debates on climate change issues relevant to Africa, in the broader context of sustainable development.

It is conceived as a platform to enhance critical reflections on the relationship between the available information and knowledge, technical services and policy directions on climate change in Africa.

It will create opportunities for knowledge-sharing between policy makers and practitioners, the scientific community and the negotiators on the implications of climate change for the inclusive growth agenda, especially focusing on the interactions between the climate change and vulnerabilities.

The African Pavilion will also help to identify opportunities of climate change for Africa. It will catalyze the identification of the climate policies, practices from the recommendations from research, and promote quality scientific research.

An important event at the Pavilion will be the Africa Day event at which the Executive Secretary of ECA, Mr. Carlos Lopes; the President of the African Development Bank and the CEO of the NEPAD Planning Agency will discuss priority issues with participants in the event.

Issued by:

ECA External Communications and Media Relations Section