Africa Climate Summit 2023: Health Missing from Agenda

Nairobi, Kenya, September 6, 2023 - The Africa Climate Summit, a three-day event addressing critical climate issues, is in its final day of discussions. From September 4-6, leaders and experts gathered to deliberate on climate innovations, including low-carbon resilient mobility, efficient industrialization, and climate finance solutions.

Day 2 of the summit witnessed historic moments as African Heads of State and Government shared their nations' climate change declarations, signed on the floor of the summit, reinforcing their commitment to combat climate change.

http://<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The Africa Climate Summit, Day 2, was marked by significant milestones and impactful discussions. African Heads of State and Government gathered to share their nations' climate change declarations, and some historic moments occurred as these declarations were signed on the floor.… <a href="https://t.co/S6biIFKlhy">pic.twitter.com/S6biIFKlhy</a></p>— Africa Climate Summit (@AfClimateSummit) <a href="https://twitter.com/AfClimateSummit/status/1699336326481351158?ref_src=twsrc^tfw">September 6, 2023</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

However, the omission of health from the main agenda has sparked concern among health practitioners and experts in attendance. Health is intrinsically linked to climate change, impacting agriculture and development. Ahmed Ouma Ogwell, Acting Deputy Director General of Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), emphasized the necessity of including health discussions on the climate change platform for the benefit of Africa.

The Africa Climate Summit's overarching theme is 'Driving Green Growth and Climate Finance Solutions for Africa and the World.' The Nairobi Declaration seeks to unify the African Group of Negotiators (AGN) ahead of the 28th Conference of Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, scheduled to be held later this year in the United Arab Emirates.

In another significant development, African youth and children made their voices heard at the summit, demanding climate action and justice. Over 250 children presented a memorandum to leaders and policymakers, outlining how climate change affects them and advocating for strategies to protect children from climate-related shocks.

UN Secretary General, António Guterres, addressed the urgent need for action during the summit. He called upon developed nations to take responsibility for their contributions to rising global temperatures, which have fueled the climate crisis. Guterres stressed the necessity of ending the use of fossil fuels, a major driver of global warming, leading to severe consequences such as flooding, droughts, and erratic rainfall patterns in Africa, resulting in the loss of thousands of lives. Additionally, he emphasized the operationalization of the loss and damage fund proposed at COP28 to address climate-related impacts.

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