By Layih Butake14/02/2023
Transforming Africa into the image and likeness of the seven Aspirations of the African Union's (AU) Agenda 2063, the blueprint and master plan for remodeling the continent into the global powerhouse of the future, would require cohesive interventions across critical sectors such as agriculture. Still, actions to drive agricultural sustainability must go hand-in-hand with efforts to address the climate crisis that disproportionately affects Africa, even though the continent's contribution to climate change is negligible. Resilience and adaptation to climate change are, therefore, top policy priorities for the AU.
In February 2022, the AU endorsed the continent's first collective climate response strategy, the African Union Climate Change and Resilient Development Strategy and Action Plan (2022-2032). This came on the heels of the African Union Green Recovery Action Plan (2021-2027), which focuses on critical areas of joint priority, including climate finance, renewable energy, resilient agriculture, resilient cities, land use, and biodiversity. In support of the above continental initiatives and the broader premise of the Paris Agreement, AKADEMIYA2063 is providing scientific expertise to drive evidence-backed climate action across Africa.
AKADEMIYA2063 is supporting the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) with mainstreaming climate risk and adaptation initiatives in decision models and budget allocation by providing technical assistance to inform and facilitate the effective implementation of National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) in selected African countries. AKADEMIYA2063's expertise is delivered in the context of the Climate Adaptation Support Program (CASP).
Following the successful completion of Phase I, which focused on identifying adaptation pathways and related policy options for Kenya and Mali, AKADEMIYA2063 and GCA hosted a three-day clinic last November to support the implementation of Phase II, which will evaluate the adaptation plans of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Senegal, and develop adaptation pathways for Nigeria and Senegal.
While African countries have demonstrated strong political will to act on climate change, there remains a need for technical and financial support to meet their obligations under the Paris Agreement.
In response to this need, AKADEMIYA2063, supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and in partnership with the African Network of Agricultural Policy Research Institutes (ANAPRI, formerly ReNAPRI), is working to deliver the Comprehensive Action for Climate Change Initiative (CACCI).
AKADEMIYA2063’s work under the CACCI project contributes to the provision of technical expertise to strengthen national, regional, and continental capacity to implement Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and develop NAPs. AKADEMIYA2063 commemorated its CACCI Senegal activities through an event to launch its partnership with the Centre de Suivi Écologique (CSE). This was followed by the launch of CACCI Rwanda, in collaboration with the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), in January 2023.
The Malabo Montpellier Panel, one of AKADEMIYA2063's core programs, recently released a publication entitled ADAPT: Policy innovations to unlock climate finance for resilient food systems in Africa, highlighting opportunities for African countries to stimulate more public and private sector financing while also calling for greater access to global funding. The climate finance report analyzes four systematically selected African countries – Benin, Mali, Rwanda, and Zimbabwe – to review how governments could optimize investments in climate-resilient food systems through innovations such as national climate funds, blended public-private finance, and participatory funding structures coupled with innovative policy design and institutional structures.
Two key research outputs preceded the climate finance report: (i) the Panel's bioeconomy report, which posits that bio-based innovations can offer technological solutions to many of the economic, social, and environmental challenges facing the continent. It explores opportunities for Africa's bioeconomy with a focus on the experience of Ghana, Namibia, South Africa, and Uganda; and (ii) a COP27 Briefing Note arguing that for African countries to improve their preparedness, adapt to climate change, and build resilient food systems, effective institutions and governance, policy innovations, and investments in environmentally sound technologies and infrastructure are needed.
In light of the increasing impacts of climate change on Africa's growth and development, and in support of the AU's commitment to scale up support to efforts by AU Member States to tackle the challenges of climate change and meet their obligations under the Paris Agreement, AKADEMIYA2063 hosted, this past year, two Climate Policy Dialogues to facilitate high-level stakeholder engagement around strategic areas of the climate change agenda. While the September 2022 session discussed "Food Systems and Climate Change: Assessing Readiness and Policy Lessons in Global Negotiations", the March 2022 Malabo Montpellier Panel Climate Policy Webinar explored the rapidly converging agendas of food systems transformation with climate action.
AKADEMIYA2063's interventions at the Sharm el-Sheikh rendezvous were a culmination of the organization's research and stakeholder engagement in the climate action sphere. Activities included: a CACCI event hosted at the Zambia COP27 Pavilion in partnership with stakeholders from ANAPRI, Rwanda, USAID, and Zambia on sharing preliminary lessons from the four pilot countries, namely, Ghana, Rwanda, Senegal and Zambia, and two other events in partnership with the Malabo Montpellier Panel on building bridges between finance and development cooperation for food systems adaptation; and financing research and innovation for Africa's food systems.
AKADEMIYA2063 remains committed to mainstreaming climate action across its core programs, as Africa's food systems remain a crucial fixture of its development agenda. In the words of Dr. Ousmane Badiane, AKADEMIYA2063 Executive Chairperson, "With the continent set to represent a quarter of the global population by 2050, the future will be shaped by Africa, and Africa's future will be shaped by its food systems".
Layih Butake is the Director of Communication and Outreach at AKADEMIYA2063.