African policy makers and practitioners on climate change, renewable energy and energy efficiency converged in Nairobi this week for a three-day training workshop.
The workshop that drew participants from 11 African countries was jointly opened by UN-Habitat Deputy Executive Director, Dr. Aisa Kacyira, and a representative of Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Water and Natural Resources Prof. Judi Wakhungu.Also gracing the occasion were Mr. Harry Kalaba, the Minister for Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Minister, of the Republic of Zambia, mayors of leading African cities; officials from national and local governments from over eleven African countries; representatives of the World Bank and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP); international experts and trainers on climate change and several development partners.
Dr.Kyacira in her opening remarks stated that capacity building for policy makers and practitioners was of critical importance in building the responsive capacity of African cities to the inevitable development challenges and impacts that will come with climatic changes in a rapidly urbanizing continent.
In a speech read on her behalf, Prof. Wakhungu hailed the role of UN-Habitat in building the capacity of African cities, while challenging local governments to take advantage of the opportunities presented by climate change including climate finance to foster sustainable development and reduce poverty in their communities.
Mr.Kalaba noted that the workshop could not have come at a more opportune time when several African governments are grappling with impacts of climate change such as flooding.
The workshop was also addressed by Mr.Jonathan Mueke, Deputy Governor of the County of Nairobi who welcomed the participants to the city, and Mr.Stephen Hammer an urban specialist at the World Bank who emphasized on the importance of climate financing and partnerships in combating climate change.
The training was conducted in two separate tracks:tools for strengthen local capacities and energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies in urban areas.
The workshop was supported by UN-Habitat’s Cities and Climate Change Initiative (CCCI) and the World Bank through the Cities Alliance.