COP22 - Africa in Action

Statement of Her Excellency Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma the Chairperson of the African Union Commission Represented by H.E. Dr Elham Mahmoud Ahmed, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy on Africa Day High Level Meeting

November 16, 2016

Statement of Her Excellency Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma the Chairperson of the African Union Commission


  Represented by


H.E. Dr Elham Mahmoud Ahmed, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy


on Africa Day High Level Meeting

with the theme:

“Moving from Commitment to Action with Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in Africa”


“The Africa Renewable Energy Initiative: Moving Forward”



Marrakech, Morocco

16 November, 2016 at 11:00 am

  • Your Excellency Professor Alpha Conde, President of the Republic of Guinea and Africa Union Coordinator on Renewable Energy for the African continent
  • Your Excellencies Heads of State and Government
  • Your Excellency, Prof. Khaled Fahmy, Minister of Environment of Egypt and President of the African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN)
  • Your Excellencies Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Environment, Energy, Water Resources, Meteorology, Agriculture, Transport, and Ministers from various Ministries and Ambassadors present here;
  • Colleagues and Distinguished guests;

All Protocol Observed

  1. On behalf of the African Union Commission Chairperson, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, and on my own behalf I am pleased to welcome you all to the Africa Day here at the Africa Pavilion in Marrakesh. I would like to thank the team from African Development Bank, UN Economic Commission for Africa, NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency and the African Union Commission and our partners who worked tirelessly to make this event take place.


  1. I would also like to use this opportunity to thank the King of Morocco and indeed the entire government and people for hosting this splendid COP22 with all the generous hospitality. I also extend our appreciations to the Secretariat of the UNFCCC for the efforts put in the organization of COP 22.


Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen

  1. Climate change is having adverse impacts on Africa as exemplified by the disappearance of Lake Chad in Central Africa and the recent drastic drop in water levels in the Kariba Dam in Southern Africa affecting the lives, livelihoods and eco-systems of our beloved continent. Excellencies, in addressing the global challenges of Climate Change as we are aware the African leaders in their wisdom established the Committee of Africa Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC). Permit me at this juncture to applaud the leadership of all our negotiators at the three tiers – African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change (AGN), the African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN) and CAHOSCC for the diligence demonstrated that has led to the achievements of COP 21 in Paris as Africa set the pace in the global negotiations. I would further like to recognize their tireless efforts in the negotiations here in Marrakesh.


Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen

  1. The Paris Agreement of last year has marked an era where all Parties agreed to contribute towards reduction of emission green house gases. In Africa nearly all countries submitted their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), most of which prominently feature adaptation and mitigation aspects.


  1. The INDCs are now transitioned to Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) as countries ratify the Paris Agreement, which came into force on 4 November 2016. Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to highlight that 46 African countries signed the Agreement; 27 African countries have in addition ratified the Agreement out of 103 countries as of 15 November 2016. This clearly indicates climate action for Africa’s development as illustrated by the ratification. It also shows that Africa is increasingly mainstreaming and prioritizing climate change into its national development agenda and strategies.


  1. Excellencies, as we also know Africa launched the African Renewable Energy Initiative and the African Adaptation Initiative at COP 21 in Paris. Both Initiatives are Africa led and driven Initiatives. The Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) seeks to achieve at least 300 GW of new Renewable Energy generation capacity by 2030 and provides a platform for improving sustainable energy access in a transformative way to accelerate and scale up the harnessing of the continent’s huge renewable energy potential.  


  1. Excellencies, Allow me to commend H.E. Alpha Condé, President of the Republic of Guinea and H.E. Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and our partners, France, Germany, and all who are collaborating in putting AREI into operation. We would like to call upon all partners from all over the world to join the transformation of Africa while at the same time reducing carbon emissions for the global benefit.


Exellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. All these initiatives fit very well into our African Union Agenda 2063 where we want to have a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and commits Africa to pursue a sustainable development path where climate resilient programs play a major role while we protect our natural environment through renewable energy. It is also in accordance with the High Level Work Programme on Climate Change Action adopted by the AU Summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea in 2014.  Africa is developing people-centred governance structures, agricultural systems, and energy infrastructure at national, regional, and continental levels.


Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen

  1. Other laudable initiatives and programmes being implemented by the African Union Commission include: (i) Climate for Development in Africa (ClimDev-Africa); CAHOSCC Gender and Women and CAHOSCC Youth Programme;  Implementation of the Integrated African Strategy on Meteorology (Weather and Climate Services); Implementation of the Shar El Sheikh Commitment on Water and Sanitation; Kigali Action Plan???; Monitoring for Environment and Security in Africa (MESA) programme; Great Green Wall for the Sahara and Sahel Initiative; the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP);  and the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) to mention a few.


  1. It is time we mobilise more domestic resources and financing for implementation on the ground so that all African citizenries can quickly reap the benefits from these Initiatives.


Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. I wish to conclude by reiterating the unwavering commitments of the African Union Commission in the global negotiations towards the implementation of the NDCs and the Paris Agreement for the social and economic development of our beloved continent.


Thank you for your kind attention.