The tricky path towards sustainable development in the times of climate change

Addis Ababa, 16 June 2015 (ECA) – “To maintain Africa’s growth trajectory and ensure the desired economic transformation will require access to appropriate technologies while taking into consideration the opportunities derived from climate change,” asserted Ms. Fatima Denton, the Director of ECA’s Special Initiatives Division  at the opening of the 9th ECA Committee on Sustainable Development taking place in Addis Ababa.

Many decisions around sustainable development goals and climate change are going to be taken during the latter part of the year making 2015 one of the key times for new global agendas and frameworks. This session of the Committee is charged with an enormous task to discuss, among many other subjects, the role of mineral resources, technology, innovations and climate change resilience in fostering sustainable socio-economic development.

“It is clear that focus on innovation and appropriate technology access plus rational use and management of natural resources and taking into consideration climate change impact are critical for Africa’s transformative development,” said Ms. Denton.

The Committee is expected to provide a clear understanding of Africa’s priorities and key messages for the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, which will sit after this 9th session. It will discuss how new technologies and innovations can be the drivers of continental economic growth. Member states will also hear ideas on harnessing these innovations to their advantage.

Delegates added that the Committee’s deliberations should not only remain the realm of policy but must also include pragmatic discussion with practical examples on ideas that work for example in the sector of adaptable technologies.

As the impact of climate change is acute on development activities, participants are expected to deliberate on challenges posed by climate change and recommend appropriate mitigation measures to adapt and ways these can be incorporated into national sustainable development plans.

The Committee will provide ECA guidance and direction on enhanced implementation of its 2014/15 work programme; and on priorities for the 2016/2017 biennium for the ECA sub programme on innovations, technologies and management of Africa’s natural resources.

The meeting attended by over 200 delegates will give a platform on its second day to the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD); a group comprised of government ministers, senior government officials, international organizations, agencies, and major civil society groups.

ECA is organizing this ninth session jointly with the African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) in collaboration with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

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