African countries urged to seek pathways for climate-resilient growth

African countries have been called upon to seek development pathways that could propel climate-resilient economic growth.

The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has argued in a press release copied to, that it is possible to attain the objective if an enabling environment that promotes innovation and collaborative actions for climate change solutions is put into place.

According to the release, the issues on the matter were discussed at a side event organized by the Africa Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) of the ECA at the ongoing COP 22 in Marrakech, Morocco.

The event themed “innovations and African collaborative approaches for transformative climate policy solutions”, was an opportunity for experts to showcase a number of initiatives on collaborative research and capacity development, which included the Southern African Regional Universities Association (SARUA) Programme for Climate Change Capacity Development (PCCCD); and WASCAL (the West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use), the release said.

It also noted that, Ms. Penny Urquhart, an independent analyst and a member of the SARUA Curriculum Review Team said there is a need for funding in order to scale up these initiatives to a continental scale to support Africa’s development aspirations, reduce vulnerability, increase resilience and optimise low-carbon options for growth.

Ms Simbisai Zhanje, Project Manager at the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) was cited as saying that while capacity is important, capability is equally significant as the context in which implementation takes place can be an enabler or barrier.

“Political will is an important capability factor in different contexts,” she added.

Other speakers at the event included Daouda Kone, Director of the WASCAL doctoral programme in Climate Change and Biodiversity, Université Felix Houphouet Boigny, Côte d’Ivoire; Dr Wilfran Moufouma Okia, Head of Science, Technical Support Unit, IPCC and; Professor Roland Roesch, Senior Programme Office, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

The event was moderated by Linus Mofor, ACPC Senior Natural Resources Officer responsible for energy, infrastructure and climate change, the release stated.

By Pamela Ofori-Boateng