Africa Regional Resilience Hub engagements at the upcoming Africa Climate Week (ACW)
As Africa prepares to advance discussions and share the African perspectives on climate action, adaptation and resilience at Africa Climate Week (ACW) 2023, in Nairobi, Kenya, SouthSouthNorth (SSN) has been reflecting on the different tracks selected to focus the discussions at this important regional event. There are four thematic tracks that align well with the key messages of the Africa Regional Resilience Hub (Africa RegHub). This annual event stands as a pivotal platform where leaders, experts, activists, and stakeholders converge to address the pressing climate challenges facing the African continent.
In the lead-up to ACW, our anticipation grows for the vital discussions, collaborations, and actions that will shape a sustainable future for the continent. As a managing partner of the COP Resilience Hub, SSN views this as an opportune time to reflect on the key messages that emerged from the Africa RegHub in 2022, to further ground truth and update these messages based on first-hand perspectives on these issues. The Regional Resilience Hubs form a crucial component of the Resilience Hub in amplifying the priorities and needs of lesser-heard voices and underrepresented constituencies, with an emphasis on communities and locally-led adaptation.
This year’s climate week is preceded by a high-level climate summit, offering a platform for unified leadership and a shared vision, focusing on Africa’s voice in the global climate discourse and the formulation of Africa-driven solutions under the theme “Driving Green Growth and Climate Finance for Africa and the World”.
On the Energy and Industry track, the Africa RegHub key message recognises that, due to the heterogeneity of Africa, just transitions will mean different things in different countries’ contexts; however, the common challenges that unify countries on the continent means that this provides a unique opportunity to define African solutions and take these to the world.
In relation to the Infrastructure, cities, infrastructure transport and waste track, the Africa RegHub highlights the fact that self-organised informal settlement dwellers possess the knowledge, structures, data and experience to deliver cost-effective, appropriate climate action on the ground. The solutions exist; the key is in changing the perceptions of ‘informality’, which can create the opportunity for these solutions to be integrated into policy dialogues and spaces. Extreme heat events have significant and disproportionate negative impacts on children, women and people living in informal settlements, yet receive relatively little attention. Raising awareness and understanding of these impacts, and implementing resilience measures in cities and urban planning is a vital step in enhancing the resilience of local communities in informal settlements. This is inherently linked to the need for strengthened locally-led engagement and capacity building to identify solutions that address the challenges and impacts of climate change by facilitating local financing and integrating cultural approaches and indigenous knowledge into adaptation and resilience responses. SSN will be keen to hear whether this forms part of the discussion under the Society, livelihoods, health, economies track, and where new perspectives on this can further enhance the key messages.
Within the Africa RegHub, food and agriculture has emerged as a critical theme due to its substantial contribution to many countries’ gross domestic product (GDP) and economic livelihoods. The Africa RegHub underscores the need for a comprehensive approach to building climate-resilient agricultural and food systems, focusing on cross-level learning and co-creation, with farmers as educators. To effectively expand climate-smart agriculture, small-holder farmers should access a range of services across value chains, such as climate-resilient practices and insurance. Recognizing the value of healthy soils in increasing yields, conserving water, maintaining biodiversity, and capturing emissions underscores the necessity for increased funding and nationally determined contribution (NDC) targets to maintain and restore soil organic carbon. SSN, as lead of the Africa RegHub, will be listening intently at ACW’s Land, Water, Ocean and Food Track to hear different perspectives and solutions to enhance agricultural and food security inclusively, harnessing the potential of youth and entrepreneurship.
To read the key messages of the Africa Regional Resilience Hub, click here.