Egypt’s Minister of Environment, Yasmine Fouad, and the CEO of the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) Nardos Bekele, signed an agreement to establish and host the African Centre of Excellence for Resilience and Adaptation to the Impacts of Climate Change.
The agreement was signed at the Egyptian pavilion on the sidelines of the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28), which is taking place in the UAE.
Fouad said that the agreement was the result of 18 months of hard work by the team and that Egypt would spare no effort to launch the centre as soon as possible and to work closely with the NEPAD to ensure that the African continent was given priority in terms of adaptation and resilience starting from 2024.
She added that there would be cooperation with various partners to ensure the sustainability of funding sources, capacity building, technology transfer, and learning from the experiences of the communities most affected by climate change, and how to replicate and build on them.
The centre was proposed by Egypt during its presidency of the African Union as an initiative to strengthen African efforts in adaptation.
Fouad explained that the centre aimed to help Africa develop its development sectors in a resilient and sustainable way, by providing knowledge, innovative approaches, and joint solutions that cover interdisciplinary research that focused on community livelihoods.
The centre also aimed to support coordination between the regional, national, and local levels to enhance the implementation of adaptation actions on the ground, by providing advice and support to decision-makers and experts in African countries and understanding and supporting the role of women in all aspects of the social and economic life of their societies.
Fouad added that the centre would also work to build the capacities of African countries in areas related to adaptation, such as national adaptation plans and participation in scientific research in the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Bekele, the CEO of AUDA-NEPAD, said that the establishment and hosting of the African Center of Excellence for Resilience and Adaptation was a milestone for the continent, and expressed her hope that Egypt would advance and strengthen the centre’s role in serving the continent, and attract resources that would help address the impacts of climate change in Africa.
She said that the centre would be a knowledge and consultation hub for African countries and a training centre for member states to adopt new technologies and that it would reflect African needs in adaptation and resilience, and highlight the adaptation and resilience efforts in light of the social and economic impacts of climate change on the citizens of the continent.