Africa NDE forum 2023: Systems Transformations from the ground up

Africa NDE forum 2023: Systems Transformations from the ground up

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Carbon fixation and abatement
Early warning and Environmental assessment
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Energy efficiency
Infrastructure and Urban planning
Waste management
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Communication and awareness
Governance and planning
Innovation & RDD

Nairobi, Kenya – The United Nations' Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) convened National Designated Entities (NDEs ) from 45 African nations for the NDE Forum on System Transformation through Climate Technology Transfer. This event, held during the UNFCCC African Climate Week (ACW) and hosted by the Government of Kenya, aimed to accelerate Africa's climate action through technology exchange and collaboration.

Over the course of four days, the CTCN, in collaboration with the Technology Executive Committee (TEC), facilitated a series of knowledge-sharing activities1 with the following objectives:

  1. Showcase the progress achieved in the region.
  2. Highlight available technologies and resources for advancing climate system transformation in Africa.
  3. Promote South-South and North-South collaboration in research, development, and investments that benefit both national and global climate change mitigation efforts.

In alignment with the recent findings from the Global Stocktake 1.3 synthesis report, which called for the rapid deployment of cleaner technologies and innovation to support developing countries, NDEs were acknowledged for their pivotal role in bridging the knowledge and implementation gap for climate action.

"NDEs are CTCN technology and innovation Ambassadors. We empower them with available innovation information, and they, in turn, empower us with their contextual knowledge and grassroots expertise. We are learning and working together." expressed Rajiv Garg, Acting Director of the CTCN.

From Algeria to Zimbabwe: building a new narrative for Africa

The forum contributed to shaping a new narrative for Africa's climate resilience. CTCN Network members and NDEs from across the African continent shared their experiences, challenges, and solutions related to innovation and scaling up climate actions.

The forum highlighted solutions in two key technology enablers, (national systems of innovation and digitalization) and the five systems transformations, including:

Transitioning to SF6-free Energy Grids: Dietram Oppelt, Germany NDE, shared insights on phasing out SF6 (sulfur hexafluoride) from energy grids, emphasizing the need for zero-emissions switchgear. Given Africa's significant reliance on SF6-insulated switchgear, this presentation generated considerable interest, particularly in the context of expanding electricity access and responsible SF6 management.



Water-Energy-Food Nexus Solutions: Oliver Taylor, from CARES Group, presented outcomes from a technical assistance project in Liberia. The project introduced Solar Powered Irrigation Systems (SPIS) as part of a System of Rice Intensification (SRI) pilot, demonstrating how technology and water management techniques can enhance production - providing the means for a second crop of rice and potentially a third season of vegetables - reduce water demand, and minimize greenhouse gas emissions.

"Together, we are building a new narrative for Africa, writing stories of empowerment, entrepreneurship, and climate resilience enabled by innovation and technology", stated Fred Machulu Onduri, CTCN Vice-Chair

Hotspot for climate action

During the African Climate Week 2023, the CTCN responded to 125 requests from 45 countries, engaging in bilateral meetings to discuss countries' needs and technical assistance requirements. Many nations expressed interest in upgrading their Technology Needs Assessments (TNAs) using the Green Climate Fund's Readiness Fund, recognizing the importance of informed decision-making and resource allocation for addressing global climate challenges.

The event underscored Africa's leadership in climate action, despite resource constraints and capacity-building needs. Gaudensia Owino, National Designated Entity from Kenya, remarked, "African countries are raising their ambitions and aspirations for the future. They are ready to embrace technologies that can revolutionize resilience against climate change."

The week concluded on a positive note with Kenya's launch of its Green Hydrogen strategy, marking another step toward a net-zero future for Africa. 

"The NDE Forum is an opportunity for African countries to come together and learn from each other, we are progressively becoming the climate innovation leaders this continent needs”,  concluded Omedi Moses Jura, Africa Region Representative.

(1): All the  presentations shared during the 2023 Africa NDE Forum are available here.

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