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Africa Pavilion Launched at COP 17

November 2011: The Africa Pavilion at the Durban Climate Change Conference, an initiative of the African Union (AU), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), was launched by President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, President Idriss Déby of Chad, and Vice President Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos of Angola. The Africa Pavilion will host a series of roundtables and side-events culminating in Africa Day on 8 December, when Heads of State, ministers, climate experts and others will take part in high-level discussions on promoting a development agenda that aligns with the vision of climate resilience and low carbon economies.

Launched to ensure Africa's voice is heard collectively throughout the event, the Africa Pavilion will also demonstrate Africa's ability to be solution-oriented in addressing the challenges of climate change on the continent. President Zuma, in his opening statement while visiting the rainforest exhibition at the Pavilion, noted that the Pavilion makes a very powerful case for the continent and "represents Africa in its totality." He highlighted that the roundtables and side-events will go beyond simple discussion of theories.

In his opening statement, Abebe Haile-Gabriel, director of Rural Economy and Agriculture at the AU Commission, said that the Africa Pavilion aims to address not only Africa's future with respect to climate change, but also to encourage debate on climate finance. Aly Abou-Sabaa, Chair of AfDB's Climate Change Coordination Committee, underscored the opportunity the Pavilion provides for showcasing some of the important initiatives and activities in Africa on climate change and development. He also noted that the spirit of cooperation will ensure climate change and development are at the forefront of discussions and negotiations. [AfDB Press Release] [AU Press Release] [Africa Pavilion website]