Namibia “the land of the brave” hosts CCDA-X

Two weeks shy of the UN conference on climate change (COP27), the tenth Climate Change and Development in Africa (CCDA-X) summit was officially opened in Windhoek, Namibia, yesterday morning.


Namibia’s Minister for Mines and Energy Tom Alweendo who spoke on behalf of the Environment Minister, Shifeta Pohamba heaped praise on the organization of the CCDA-X which he said has become an annual event that discusses fundamental climate issues touching on Africa and resonates with the global climate agenda as envisaged in COP27. “We believe that this conference is taking place at the right time as we a marching toward COP27 in Egypt, which is an African COP. Therefore, it is our hope that the outcomes from this conference would further solidifies the African position on COP27.” Alweendo said.


Minister Alweendo reiterated on the importance of Africa to continue pressing on the large emitters “to halve carbon emissions by 2030 in order to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 as required by science. And demand its fair share on climate finance, including technology transfer and capacity building, to pursue efforts toward decarbonization and build resilience to the adverse impacts of climate change.”


Now in its tenth year, CCDA-X is running under the theme “Just Transitions in Africa: Transforming Dialogue into Action” and like previous summits continues to enjoy the joint working partnership of the African Union (AU), African Development Bank (AfDB) and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) who are its main organizers.


Speaking on behalf of the Executive Secretary of the ECA, Jean Paul Adam, who is Director of the Technology Climate Change and Natural Resources Division said that “Climate resilience and just transitions are about rethinking development for our continent… Let me re-affirm that to be truly just, the transition must be people-centred, inclusive, and equitable, leaving no one behind. There can be no net-zero by 2050 without universal access to energy by 2030.” Adam said.


According to Adam, Africa has considerable renewable energy resources which can “be harnessed to accelerate the push for industrialization, create green employment and contribute significantly to global climate action.” 


In her keynote address during the opening ceremony Leah Wanambwa representing the African Union outlined the continent’s main priorities for COP27 which participants are deliberating upon before final outcome document on Friday. The issues outlined by Wanambwa included just transition, loss and damage financing facility, adaptation finance, Africa’s special needs and circumstances, technology transfer, among others. 


James Kinyangi, the coordinator of Climate and Development Special Funds at the African Development Bank urged the continent to lay more emphasis on climate financing as a top agenda item for COP27 negotiations. Kinyangi enumerated estimates by the AfDB on the major climate financing gaps experienced by the continent indicating that the continent is in dire need of between $7billion to $15billion billion to shore up its adaptation capacities and enhance resilience.  


Ulla Andrienne of the Swedish aid agency SIDA, who are among the key international partners supporting CCDA-X called for more focus on emerging opportunities and solutions as keystone attributes to facilitate sustainable climate action. The civil society perspective for the conference was shared by Mithika Mwenda the Executive Director of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) who called for climate action on loss and damage and made a passionate plea for inclusion of youth in the continental and global climate processes. 


The conference closes Friday and Namibia has been tasked to present the outcomes during the Africa Day at the COP27 on November 8th at the African Pavilion.