Two GCCA regional workshops on ‘mainstreaming climate change in national development planning and budgeting’ were organised in parallel in Nairobi, Kenya from 15 to 17 November 2011, one in English for countries of Western and Eastern Africa and one in French for countries of Central and Eastern Africa. They were attended by 40 people representing 14 countries, 5 regional or international organisations and 5 EU Delegations.
On the English-speaking side, over 25 people attended the workshop. Participants included senior government officials involved in climate change coordination and in development planning/budgeting from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia (including Puntland) and Sudan. Delegates of the African Union Commission, ClimDev Africa (a joint initiative of the African Climate Policy Centre and the UN Economic Commission for Africa), the Intergovernmental Authority on Development in Eastern Africa (IGAD) and UNDP Angola also attended the event, alongside representatives of EU Delegations to the African Union, Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan. The overall atmosphere and engagement of participants throughout the workshop was very positive. Several participants made presentations during and even beyond the working sessions, highlighting specific impacts of climate change on their countries, vulnerabilities and adaptation responses, features of national climate change policy, and experience in accessing climate change finance. These national presentations were appreciated and added real value to the programme. In their feedback, several participants requested a longer workshop, allowing more in-depth work with more real case studies and practical applications.
On the French-speaking side, a smaller group of 13 people from the Central African Republic, Chad, the Comoros, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti and Madagascar, as well as the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) and the EU Delegation to Chad, attended the workshop. There was good sharing of experience and some good discussions, for instance on whether coordination of the response to climate change is best entrusted to the ministry in charge of environment or to a government body with wider planning competences such as the president’s or vice-president’s office. Two participants made a presentation, one on how climate risks affect the national economy and are integrated in macroeconomic models and the budgetary process, and the other one on how databases of climate-related data can be set up to support more climate-resilient development planning. The small size of the group allowed for a more relaxed atmosphere than is typical of more crowded workshops; this may have contributed to the satisfaction of a majority of participants with the balance reached between formal presentations, activities, discussions and work on their ‘personal action plan’.
On the evening of the first day, a special session was organised for participants from countries with GCCA-supported programmes, namely Ethiopia, the Gambia and Sierra Leone. This extra session provided an opportunity to exchange and share knowledge on experience with implementing the GCCA.