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OPINION: The Africa LEDS Partnership: five reasons why you should join


Caroline Spencer, Partnerships and Learning Co-ordinator at CDKN, reflects on the recent meeting of the Africa LEDS Partnership and sets out five reasons why membership is a ‘must have’ for low emissions development (LEDS) champions across the Africa region.

CDKN was delighted to participate, with many of our country, regional and international partners, at the workshop for the Africa LEDS Partnership in Kinshasa, DRC earlier this month. It was an exciting, and long awaited, opportunity to convene the current and new members of the Africa LEDS Partnership; share knowledge on climate compatible development and low emissions development (LEDS) approaches in Africa and put our collective thinking caps on to plan the route forward for the Africa LEDS Partnership.

Highlights of our knowledge sharing, together as a group, included discussing the Low Carbon and Climate Resilient Pathway in Kenya and the LEDS planning processes in Cote d’Ivoire. To find out more on what was shared by these countries and see the Africa LEDS Partnership in action, please visit here.

A key task for the members at the Africa LEDS Partnership convening event was to recruit a critical mass of new members from all over the region and the membership had at least quadrupled by the end of the day! Another important ‘to do’ item was identifying topics for the Africa LEDS Partnership to provide support on and which the work programme would be based around. We confirmed that ‘hot topics’ for the group include: Energy, Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) and reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+), infrastructure and urbanization, institutional arrangements, finance and linking LEDS and climate resilience. However a key issue emerging during the day, for many new members, was what do we actually mean by a LEDS process?  How do we talk most effectively about LEDS and climate compatible development and what are the best ways of building support across different ministries for establishing and implementing these processes?  The new members advised that one of the immediate actions for the Africa LEDS Partnership should be providing materials and advice on this LEDS ‘sensitisation’ process.

Hopefully you are reading this is as a prospective member, and perhaps you are still thinking, why should I join the Africa LEDS Partnership?  We would say that membership is a ‘must have’ for climate compatible development champions across Africa, because:

  1. It’s a unique opportunity to learn from partners, from countries across the Africa region, about how they are designing and implementing their LEDS processes. This learning focuses on the successes and the challenges and we do this in a relaxed and more informal way.
  2. It’s a unique opportunity to share your country’s experiences and challenges and successes.
  3. The Africa LEDS Partnership is very inclusive and it’s a great forum for building LEDS and climate compatible development links with other countries and with members from NGOs, academia and the private sector from across Africa.
  4. You have the opportunity to participate in tailored in-person, and virtual, training sessions, and materials, based on the topics the members have selected. The global working groups from the LEDS Global Partnership will also help support these trainings.
  5. And….you can request real time tailored country assistance from the LEDS Global Partnership secretariat and Africa LEDS Partnership advisory services.

So now that we have unpacked our suitcases after the convening event, what’s next on the agenda for the Africa LEDS Partnership? The group has already ‘rolled its sleeves up’ and has appointed a secretariat (the KNUST in Ghana). We are continuing to build the membership and starting to implement the programme of work, in consultation with the members. The Africa LEDS Partnership will meet again shortly at the annual LEDS Global Partnership meeting in June in Nairobi and will have a dedicated day for knowledge sharing and learning for our members. If you would like to attend (some travel support is available), please contact the LEDS Global Partnership secretariat here. We look forward to hopefully seeing you there and working together as members of the LEDS Africa Partnership!

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