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‘We Need Action — Now.’ Aswan Forum in Cairo Opens with Urgent Call to Action, Eyes on ‘African COP’

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 The third Aswan Forum for Peace and Sustainable Development ended on Wednesday with calls to address the multiple crises new and old facing the African continent Egyptian President Abdelfattah El Sisi kicked off the process on Tuesday calling for a united response to the continent s ills He reminded the audience of ministers development representatives civil society hellip
‘We Need Action — Now.’ Aswan Forum in Cairo Opens with Urgent Call to Action, Eyes on ‘African COP’

NNN: The third Aswan Forum for Peace and Sustainable Development ended on Wednesday with calls to address the multiple crises, new and old, facing the African continent.

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Egyptian President Abdelfattah El-Sisi kicked off the process on Tuesday, calling for a united response to the continent’s ills. He reminded the audience of ministers, development representatives, civil society groups and others that Africa was still gripped by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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“The Forum takes place at a critical time, where the world community is facing various political and economic challenges that affect food and energy security. This sheds light on the food crisis facing Africa, which requires measures and procedures to address these growing risks,” the Egyptian leader said.

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This year’s edition of the Forum takes place in the context of an increasingly volatile international situation. Disruptions in the energy and commodity markets have resulted in price spikes that are negatively affecting many African countries that depend on food and fuel imports. In addition, the Russia-Ukraine conflict has deepened food shortages. Participants in the two-day event include heads of state and representatives from the United Nations, the African Union and the African Development Bank, which is a strategic partner of the Aswan Forum.

On Tuesday, much of the focus was on the world climate conference, COP 27, which will also be held in Egypt in November this year. Many speakers highlighted the mismatch between Africa’s needs and the resources on offer, especially when it comes to climate finance. The continent contributes only 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions. However, the region is bearing the brunt of extreme weather events and suffers from a severe funding gap.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres reminded the audience of the wide range of problems facing Africa: “We need action, now… We need to silence the guns in Africa and address the many roots of conflict, addressing inequalities and discrimination, and strengthening governance, institutions, public services and justice systems. And we need bold climate action.”

African Union Commission President Moussa Faki Mahamat recounted the steps the pan-African body had taken to address the Covid-19 pandemic, including a climate change and resilience building strategy and action plan, adopted earlier in the day. of this year. He made a list of proposals to help Africa address the climate crisis. These include securing the $100 billion annual funding that developing nations pledged in 2015 for climate action in developing countries. He said this should be central to the COP 27 negotiations. He also urged African countries to insist on their just transition model, which calls for a more gradual shift to low-carbon forms of energy to accelerate development.

During a roundtable discussion, African Development Bank Acting Vice President and Chief Economist Kevin Urama said it was time to consider an alternative approach to financing the continent. “There are several reasons why climate finance is not flowing to the most climate-vulnerable countries in Africa. The structure of climate finance reflects the global financial architecture, which is structured in such a way that it flows towards countries that have the capacity to prepare bankable projects and have low risk profiles,” said Urama, who is in charge of the Bank’s Economic Governance and Complex Knowledge Management.

Urama said: “As we enter COP 27, there is a need for developed countries to meet their commitments to make $100 billion available to developing countries for climate adaptation and mitigation. Because climate finance does not flow to the most climate-vulnerable countries, there is a need for a portion of the $100 billion in climate finance to be set aside for the most climate-vulnerable countries in Africa, which we classify as African Climate Fund countries. Developing. .”

The African Development Bank estimates that Africa will need $50 billion annually by 2050 just to adequately address climate adaptation. Implementing Nationally Determined Contributions, the climate goals required by the historic Paris agreement, will cost Africa around $1.6 trillion between now and 2030. That equates to around $128 billion annually.

However, the current flow of climate finance to the continent between 2016 and 2019 was around $18.3 billion annually. This leaves an annual climate finance gap of $118 billion. “There is a need for innovative financing mechanisms to fill the gap and prevent climate catastrophe for the world. This should be a common agenda for the world community. Because when there are greenhouse gas emissions anywhere, there are climate risks everywhere,” said Professor Urama.

The African Development Bank’s participation in the Aswan Forum is part of the Bank’s leadership role in building resilience. Other efforts include its collaboration with the Sahel Alliance (https://bit.ly/3QCRDc9). The Bank has also produced groundbreaking research on building resilience in fragile situations (https://bit.ly/39JHvhb).

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