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Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa Identifies Development Opportunities

ccda-iii24 October 2013: With approximately 500 participants from government, academia and civil society, the Third Annual Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa focused on identifying approaches to strengthen Africa's ability to better prepare for transformational development in the face of climate change.

The meeting was hosted by the African Climate Policy Centre and convened from 21-23 October 2013 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It was sponsored by the Climate for Development in Africa (ClimDev-Africa) Program, an initiative of the African Union Commission, the UN Economic Commission for Africa and the African Development Bank.

Conference sub-themes included: climate science, data and services for adaptation and mitigation; the role of policy in building resilience to climate impacts; unexplored options on climate finance; the relevance of the green economy for Africa; and an assessment of how the global climate change framework works for Africa. ClimDev Africa developed a series of policy briefs to inform the conference on: climate science; vulnerability; climate observation networks; water challenges and opportunities; groundwater; African agriculture; agricultural water management; bio-energy; fossil fuels; climate change and health; and financing adaptation through a levy on international transport systems.

On the opening day, the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa tabled a six-point agenda, stressing that Africa: has the potential to be a leader in clean technology; needs greater investment in climate data and services; requires major improvements in its institutional and policy capacity; can build on South-South cooperation; should leverage African agricultural opportunities; and should use tourism to Africa's development advantage. The meeting advanced discussion on the implementation of the ClimDev AFrica Special Fund housed at the African Development Bank, which will require efforts by ClimDev partners to advocate for mobilizing up to $40 billion annually.

At the conference, the African Development Bank underscored its role in investing up to $10 billion between 2011 and 2015 to implement its Climate Change Action Plan, including $800 million over the next decade to address climate change resilience through ClimDev Africa. It also described its commitment to understanding the vulnerability of the pipeline of the African Development Bank, its adoption of a climate risk management and adaptation strategy, and its implementation of a climate safeguard system. A side event was hosted by the African Development Bank to share lessons on integrating climate information into national development planning, including discussions on programs for the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience in Niger, Mozambique and Zambia.

Additional side events at the meeting included events on Youth Development and Climate Change, Monitoring and Evaluation of Climate Change Development Programmes, and an African Strategy on Meteorology. A one-day training was provided to the media to share experiences on climate change reporting. Prior to the meeting, the PanAfrican Climate Justice Alliance, Mary Robinson Foundation and World Resources Institute organized a one-day workshop on 'Climate Justice: shaping an equitable climate agreement responsive to Africa.' [UNECA CCDA Website] [African Development Bank Press Release] [Climate Change and Development in Africa] [CCDA-III Conference Documents] [CCDA-III Website] [African Development Bank Update]