Africa's needs in focus as ministers and climate leaders meet in Cairo ahead of Cop27

Egypt is hosting its International Co-operation Forum two months before the Cop27 climate summit

A solar farm outside Harare, Zimbabwe. Cop27 host Egypt seeks to mobilise finance to support African countries in their green transition. AP
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Cop27 host Egypt aims to highlight Africa’s climate needs and ambitions during a combined meeting of African ministers and officials gathered for the second annual International Co-operation Forum (ICF), which opens on Wednesday.

The three-day conference, taking place in the New Administrative Capital east of central Cairo, will focus on three main themes: the mobilisation of finance and access to finance, financing mitigation and adaptation projects, and national actions.

The objectives of the conference outlined by the Egyptian leadership are to move “from pledges to implementation”.

Cop27, the UN climate change summit, takes place in Sharm El Sheikh from November 6 to November 18.

Egypt is working to mobilise the international community to provide access to finance for developing countries and identify the roles of various stakeholders, Minister of International Co-operation Rania Al Mashat told The National on the eve of the forum.

The meeting will also help to identify the support required by African countries to develop their updated nationally determined contributions, the climate action plans required by the 2015 Paris Agreement, before Cop27.

Participants at the event will include African ministers of finance, economy and environment, as well as global policymakers, development partners and banking officials.

US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry is among the government representatives who will be present in Cairo.

Panel discussions, including conversations on “translating financial commitments to opportunities in Africa” and “African countries' ownership in determining climate agenda”, are aimed at advancing Africa’s green transformation, stimulating climate action and mobilising climate financing.

A vendor balances a tray of Egyptian traditional flatbread in Old Cairo district, Egypt, in March. Food security in Africa will be discussed ahead of Cop27. AP

Workshops cover climate action innovation, food security and agriculture, sustainable budgeting, private sector engagement, women’s empowerment and sovereign ratings.

There will also be round-table sessions reviewing Egypt’s NWFE programme, which stands for the nexus for water, food and energy.

The government set up the initiative in July to enhance development finance and investment opportunities in these vital sectors.

The sessions will shed light on how the government, the private sector and others will be able to carry out this programme as part of Egypt’s 2050 country climate strategy, Dr Al Mashat said.

The forum has been organised by the Ministry of International Co-operation, alongside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Environment, with the UN Economic Commission for Africa as the co-convener.

Green recovery 'urgent'

Partners include the African Export-Import Bank, the African Development Bank, the World Bank, the Climate Investment Funds, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation, the International Finance Corporation, the European Investment Bank, Banque Misr and the National Bank of Egypt.

At the first ICF held a year ago, about 1,500 representatives from governments, development partners, the private sector and civil society took part.

The focus of the event, which took place before Egypt was announced as Cop27 host, was to help developing countries to close the estimated $3.7 trillion annual funding gap in meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

“Green recovery has become an urgent need coming at the top of world governments’ priorities,” Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi said at the time.

Updated: September 07, 2022, 6:00 AM