COP21: an opportunity for Africa

The New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD)  coordinates the strategic framework of the African Union  for the social and economic development of the continent. Among others, it aims at fostering partnerships in Africa to promote sustainable development and growth on the continent. It offers African countries the opportunity to reinforce their leadership in the orientations of their efforts to take control of their development agenda, to work more closely together and to cooperate more effectively within and outside of the continent. 


African countries have shown a strong will to be ‘actors’ in the fight against climate change over the past few years. This, of course, implies the inclusion of environmental issues very early on in the industrialization process required for Africa's development. African countries can no longer just export raw materials; they must also become producers of high value-added goods and services and create jobs to retain young people in Africa, in the new context of land use planning control. We believe that these development plans should enable African countries to rely on their local resources: choose solutions with lower environmental impacts, develop renewable energy and avoid deforestation and deteriorated soil quality. 

Our action is based on the observation that Africa will be hit the hardest by climate change although it has contributed the least to it . As we did before, we support the implementation of a "Green Fund" to finance the development of Green Economy Plans, i.e. best practices allowing an ambitious climate policy and sustainable economic development to be reconciled. Funded by the international community, it would aim to enable Africa to implement new cultivation and production techniques to preserve natural resources, which are currently threatened, while supporting local communities in fundamentally changing in their daily practices. 

In this perspective, the agency of NEPAD has already implemented a "Climate Change and Natural Resource Management" program focused on water, energy and the environment. For example, the agency manages a Climate Change Fund  intended to help rural farming communities from twenty countries to adapt to the effects of climate change.  It is also developing the Terrafrica program financed by the World Bank which implements, in 27 African countries with favorable conditions, Sustainable Land Management plans through technical training and support of local communities in managing resources. Water, which is essential for good farming productivity in Africa, is the most important of these resources. 
All of these programs implemented by the NEPAD aim to help Africa meet the challenges it faces, including reducing poverty and access to development. For African countries, COP21 will be an opportunity, an opportunity to finally obtain financing for the "Green Fund" but also an opportunity to highlight the issues of deploying renewable energy in Africa and agriculture, which have been sidelined in climate negotiations so far".