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ECA Partnership Forum Stresses Importance of Forging Africa’s Common Position on Climate Change

Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)

27 February 2009: The annual Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Partnership Forum, which took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in February 2009, offered the ECA and its development partners the opportunity to exchange views and provide an update on ongoing initiatives, as well as to showcase new ones. This year's discussion was dominated by the African climate change initiative, a programme initiated in 2006 and led by the Climate Information for Development in Africa (ClimDev Africa) programme – a joint partnership between the African Union Commission, the African Development Bank and the ECA.

The programme aims to fill gaps in information, analysis and options for policies and practices regarding effective adaptation to climate change. During the meeting, UN Under-Secretary General and ECA Executive Secretary Abdoulie Janneh noted that Africa did not contribute to the problem of climate change, underlined the continent's vulnerability and called for industrialized countries' assistance. He added that this would be “a fair approach that assists the negotiations process in the forthcoming Copenhagen Climate Change Conference.” Josué Dioné, Director of ECA's Food Security and Sustainable Development Division, said forging Africa's response to climate change is “the most daunting challenge that Africa faces for sustainable development today.” He explained that the ClimDev programme is to culminate with the creation of the African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC), which will help African policy makers in the ongoing preparation of an African common position on climate change for the Copenhagen conference. Janneh underscored the importance of the ACPC's mandate and urged partners to fund at least a minimal level of the operations for the Centre. Participants also discussed the continent's contribution to climate change mitigation. [ECA Press Release]