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Eighth African Union Summit

22-30 January 2007 | Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

January 2006

ARC reports

Briefing Note 1
Briefing Note 2

African Union

The eighth African Union (AU) Summit takes place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 22-30 January 2007. The Summit consists of Ordinary Sessions of: the Permanent Representatives Committee, from 22-23 January; the Executive Council, from 25-26 January; and the AU Assembly, from 29-30 January. The main themes of the Summit are “Science, Technology and Scientific Research for Development” and “Climate Change in Africa.”

IISD Briefing Notes

A Brief History of the African Union Summit: This briefing note places the AU Summit in a broader context by providing a history of institutions and processes related to science and technology, climate change and sustainable development in Africa. (It is available in HTML and PDF formats).

Outcome of the Eighth African Union Summit: This briefing note presents the main outcomes of the AU Summit. (It is available in HTML and PDF formats).

Related Links

AU Summit Resources
AU Summit Website
African Ministerial Council on Science and Technology
African Ministerial Conference on Environment
African High Level Panel on Modern Biotechnology
New Partnership for Africa’s Development
NEPAD Science & Technology Secretariat
Africa’s Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action
NEPAD Environment Directory

Relevant Background Materials: African Ministerial Processes Feeding into the Summit

The African Ministerial Council on Science and Technology (AMCOST) Extraordinary Conference, Cairo, Egypt, 20-24 November 2006
ARC Vol. 3 No. 3; 27 November 2006: The AMCOST Extraordinary Conference prepared inputs for the eighth AU Summit. Delegates to the AMCOST conference considered a range of proposals and reports on African science and technology matters, including: a proposal to establish an African Presidents’ Committee for Science and Technology; the draft report of the High-level Panel on Modern Biotechnology; the African Strategy on Biosafety; a proposal for the African Strategy for Technology Transfer and Acquisition of Domestic Technological Capabilities; the report of the conferences of the Diaspora and of African NGOs on the popularization of science and technology; a proposal for the formation of the Pan-African Intellectual Property Organization; the report of the first AU Congress of Scientists and Policy Makers; options for the African Science and Innovation Facility; and criteria and guidelines for establishing African networks of centers of excellence in science and technology. At the close of the AMCOST meeting, ministers had agreed to a meeting report summarizing their discussions on each agenda item, and had adopted the Cairo Declaration, containing ministerial commitments on future work in relation to science and technology, and recommendations for consideration at the eighth Summit. IISD RS meeting coverage.

An Institutional History of Science and Technology Governance in Africa
ARC Vol. 3 No. 1; November 2006: prepared for the Extraordinary Conference of AMCOST, this Bulletin places the Extraordinary AMCOST Conference in a broader context by providing a history of institutions and processes related to science and technology governance in Africa. IISD RS Institutional History Report.

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) African Regional Workshop on Adaptation, Accra, Ghana, 21-23 September 2006
ARC Vol. 2 No. 1; 26 September 2006: The UNFCCC African Regional Workshop on Adaptation aimed to highlight African concerns related to climate change adaptation and vulnerability reduction, with a view to identifying specific adaptation needs to be considered under the UNFCCC. Sixty participants were in attendance, mainly from Africa, but also from developed countries, as well as representatives from UN agencies and inter-governmental organizations. IISD RS coverage.

Eleventh session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN), Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo, 22-26 May 2006
ARC Vol. 1 No. 1; 17 June 2006: AMCEN-11 opened with an expert group segment which was followed by a high-level segment, whereby Environment Ministers from across Africa, in addition to delegates from major inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations, engaged in a policy dialogue to discuss pressing issues affecting the continent. Based on input from the expert group segment, the ministerial segment emerged with the adoption of 11 decisions and the Brazzaville Declaration, which seeks to further AMCEN’s goal of halting environmental degradation and promoting sustainable development in Africa. Several major environmental governance and finance issues were debated at length, most notably the prospects for the establishment of an African Environmental Facility for financing environmental activities in Africa. IISD RS coverage.

Relevant Background Materials: International Support for Africa and Climate Change

WMO: Agencies launch new initiative to provide vital climate information for development needs in Africa
Geneva; 19 December 2006: The Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) and its partners have launched an important new initiative for Africa with the release of the report and implementation strategy: Climate Information for Development Needs: An Action Plan for Africa (ClimDev Africa). ClimDev Africa has been formally endorsed by the AU Commission and the UN Economic Commission for Africa, and the new report and strategy has been provided with start-up funding by the UK’s Department for International Development. Principally driven by agriculture, health and water resources, the 10-year programme will address climate observing needs as well as the development of improved climate services, climate risk management and decision-making. Phase I of the programme will focus on demonstrating the value of climate risk information and how it can be used effectively to help protect lives, livelihoods and property. The implementation of ClimDev Africa will support the longer-term objectives of programme partners by contributing to sustainable development and achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in Africa. GCOS is co-sponsored by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the International Council for Science, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, and the UN Environment Programme.

Links to further information
GCOS/WMO Press Release
Action Plan and Report

NEPAD: Food Security Summit Commits to Combat Poverty in Africa
Abuja, 7 December 2006: The Summit on Food Security in Africa, organized by the Nigerian Government, the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the African Union and the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), took place in Abuja, Nigeria, from 4-7 December 2006. The Conference took as its main theme “Food Security: an Engine for Growth and Poverty Alleviation in Africa.” The Summit concluded with the adoption of a Declaration and Resolution by the attending Heads of State and Government. The Declaration recommends measures for the promotion and protection of strategic commodities at the continental level, such as rice, maize, legumes, cotton, oil palm, beef, dairy, poultry and fisheries products, and at the sub-regional level, such cassava, sorghum and millet, and to increase the Intra-African trade. The Resolution endorses the commitment to: expand markets, with particular attention to Africa’s own demand and inter-African trade in staple foods; mobilize resources for implementing priority food and nutrition security interventions, focusing on selected strategic commodities; ensure systematic integration of nutrition considerations into agricultural and food security interventions; identify African successes and support sharing of positive experiences; and establish a system for selecting and prioritizing key AU Commission and NEPAD-CAADP (Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme) related commitments arising from the Summit.

Links to further information
Summit on Food Security in Africa
Declaration of the Abuja Food Security Summit
Resolution of the Abuja Food Security Summit

IISD: Energy Forum Focuses on Energizing Africa
Vienna, 2 December 2006: Africa was the focus of the sixth meeting of the Global Forum on Sustainable Energy held recently in Vienna. The event, which took place from 29 November to 1 December 2006, convened under the theme “Africa is energizing itself” and focused on such topics biofuels, hydropower, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol, and financing. 

See IISD RS coverage of the meeting for more information.

UNEP: UN to Assist Africa Adapt to Climate Change and Better CDM Access
Nairobi; 15 November 2006: A bold new global initiative to secure a greater share of the international carbon finance market for the world’s poorest countries was announced by two UN agencies at the climate convention talks in Nairobi in November 2006. The partnership between the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) is a direct response to the urgent request from leaders in developing countries, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa, for assistance in coping with climate change that is affecting them now and will increasingly affect them for years to come. The aim of the initiative is to provide assistance to reduce the vulnerability of poor countries and communities in the face of climate change, including those in the sub-Saharan region, and to “climate proof” their economies in a range of areas, from infrastructure development to agriculture and health. The partnership also responds to the need to build the capacity of countries to participate in emerging carbon finance funds. such as the CDM. The partnership constitutes UNDP’s and UNEP’s contribution to the Nairobi Framework for directing specific assistance to increasing sub-Saharan Africa’s access to the CDM.

Link to more information
UNEP Press Release

UNEP: Harvesting Rainfall a Key Climate Adaptation Opportunity for Africa
Nairobi; 13 November 2006: The massive potential of rainwater harvesting in Africa is underlined in a new report released at the climate convention talks in Nairobi. The report, compiled by UNEP and the World Agroforestry Center concludes that many communities and countries suffering or facing water shortages as a result of climate change could dramatically boost supplies by collecting and storing rain falling freely from the clouds. UNEP and the World Agroforestry Centre are urging governments and donors to invest more widely in a technology that is low cost, simple to deploy and maintain, and able to transform the lives of households, communities and countries Africa-wide. The report says rainwater harvesting also holds important potential for assisting managers of protected areas with the technology already having been tested to help wild animals in places like Nairobi and Tsavo national parks during drought.

Links to more information
UNEP Press Release
Rain Water Harvesting
- Potential for Rainwater Harvesting in Africa
- Potential for Rain Water Harvesting in ten African Cities
Maps of Rainwater Harvesting in Africa

UNEP: New Report Underlines Africa’s Vulnerability to Climate Change
Nairobi; 5 November 2006: A new report on climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation in Africa, released by the Secretariat of the UNFCCC and based on data from bodies including UNEP and the WMO indicates that the continent’s vulnerability to climate change is even more acute than had previously been supposed.

Link to more information
Full report

African Environment Outlook
At the eighth session of AMCEN in Abuja, Nigeria, from 3-6 April 2000, Ministers decided that UNEP should prepare an Africa Environment Outlook (AEO) report to provide a scientific assessment of the African environment and related policies and management programmes. At its ninth session held in Kampala, Uganda, from 1-5 July 2002, AMCEN officially launched the first AEO report - the first comprehensive integrated report on the African environment. Ministers acknowledged AEO as a flagship publication and adopted the AEO process as a monitoring and reporting tool for sustainable environmental management and to provide a framework for national and subregional integrated environmental assessment and reporting. During the twenty-second session of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum, held in February 2003 in Nairobi, Kenya, the AMCEN decision on the AEO process was endorsed under decision GC 22/9, which recommended that UNEP continue to support the process. The second AEO was launched at the eleventh session of AMCEN in Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo, in May 2006. The report entitled Our Environment, Our Wealth profiles Africa’s environmental resources as an asset for the region’s development. The report highlights the opportunities presented by the natural resource base to support development and the objectives of the AU and NEPAD. The report also underscores the need for sustainable livelihoods, and the importance of environmental initiatives in supporting them. Participants were also shown a short film on African environmental issues.

Link to further information
AEO reports

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