Charting a new and sustainable economic model is at the top of discussions as the first African Regional Roundtable on Climate Initiatives kicked off in Adis Ababa Ethiopia on Tuesday.
The UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Vera Songwe alongside African finance and trade ministers are amongst the stakeholders taking part in the forum.
She said ''Africa COP is not just a COP where we go and meet and talk, but that it has to be a club that delivers. We're looking at this COP being really the clarion call, the wake up post-COVID recovery. We're all going to be in a different economic setting. Unfortunately, that is not where we are''.
Ministers discussed the African Trade Exchange Platform highlighting the need for fertilizers across Africa, especially since the continent has been heavily impacted by COVID, the Ukraine conflict & rising food prices.
''We have gas... I think our maybe we would say our north western borders and a little bit of our eastern borders, fertile land in our southern parts of the continent'', Songwe the 9th serving Executive Secretary of ECA said.
She made calls for talks on how to ensure that Egypt creates maybe 6 million jobs by buying wheat from southern Africa as opposed to bringing it in from outside the continent. We can also export, of course, but there is a conversation on the AfCFTA that begins to happen as we look at that.
Organizers of the three day forum titled "Towards COP27: African Regional Forum on Climate Initiatives to Finance Climate Action and the SDGs." say their aim is to catalyse climate finance and investment flows towards building climate resilience in Africa.
The forum also comes ahead of Egypt's presidency of COP27 that takes place in Sharm El Sheikh next November.