By Elias Ntungwe Ngalame in Marrakech-Morocco
ClimDev-Africa Program is inviting Africa to invest more in climate change research to ensure food self-sufficiency at the fourth edition of the Climate Change and Development in Africa (CCDA IV), that took place on 7-11 October in Marrakesh, Morocco.
‘‘For Africa to feed itself now and in the future, it needs to make further investment in climate change research, biotechnology and development, and innovation’’, emphasized ClimDev-Africa, a consortium of three leading pan-African institutions, namely the African Union Commission (AUC), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB).
The programme, which advocates an African solution to climate change, asserts the need to make technology accessible and affordable to farmers, increase access to agricultural financing and insurance, facilitate market access and trade at all levels, and create a favorable environment for private sector investment in the agricultural value chain.
According to Fatima Denton, UNECA director of special initiatives, the programme acknowledges however that agricultural performance can not be improved without adequate investment in clean and efficient energy, a driver for transformation of the agricultural value chain and food without increasing greenhouse gas emissions.
“For this programme hosted at the African Climate Policy Center (ACPC) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), it is equally important to gain a better understanding of the linkages between agriculture, energy and water and how Africa can take advantage of ecosystems and the natural environment to attain food self-sufficiency,’’ Danton said.
Many experts, academics, political leaders, civil society representatives and institutions engaged in climate and development are invited to find ways and means to apply this equation for Africa to enjoy climate change opportunities.
“The role of African journalists specialized in climate change and environment issues in this drive cannot be overemphasized, reasons why Clim-Dev. Africa has partnered with Pan African Media Alliance for Climate Change, PAMACC to better stand to the challenge,” Danton emphasised.
The annual Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa accordingly presents the opportunity for leading intellectuals, researchers and media practitioners convened at this event to provide the continent with a direction to ensure that it benefits from the tremendous climate change opportunities.
In addition to sharing knowledge on climate research, the event provides the space for deliberations of a host of other important matters regarding the continent’s development, including the role of climate data, information and knowledge for agricultural production, the management of water resources and food security, the potential of agriculture to unleash the development of renewable energy in Africa, and innovation and technology for the transformation of agriculture in a changing climate.