The Cabinet Secretary for Health Nakhumicha S. Wafula has on Sunday welcomed the President of Burundi Evaristé Ndayishimiye hours before the commencement of the inaugural Africa Climate Summit scheduled for September 4-8 at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre.
The Summit which will serve as a platform to inform, frame, and influence commitments, pledges, and outcomes, ultimately leading to the development of the Nairobi Declaration has attracted a host of senior African leaders including 22 Presidents across the continent.
An estimated 30,000 delegates are expected to attend the event including high-level representatives of development partners and international institutions, as well as subject experts.
On Tuesday morning, Nakhumicha will be a key note speaker on the subject Climate-Health High-Level Ministerial Convening;Catalysing Momentum for Institutionalizing Health Negotiations within UNFCCC at COP 28.
She is expected to underscore Kenya’s agenda of promoting health in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations, by supporting the participation of national health representatives in national delegations and strengthening joint advocacy with NGOs, UN, academic, and private sector partners on key health and climate cross-cutting issues.
President William Ruto Ruto has been vocal in calling for collective action towards mitigating the worsening effects of climate change.
The head of state has also been advocating for increased inclusion of African voices at global discussions on climate change and increased financing for climate change mitigation efforts in Africa.
A week ago,French President Emmanuel Macron praised Dr Ruto during his address to ambassadors on France foreign policy priorities, further reiterating his support for Kenyan efforts towards climate protection ahead of the Nairobi summit.
“A meeting will be held by Kenya in a few weeks, President Ruto is committed to that effort and I commend him for that. France will stand alongside him.We will roll out the Paris Agreement and have new financing arrangements, newer faster tools, we will mobilise the private sector as well,” he said
The Summit will provide a platform for policymakers, practitioners, businesses and civil society to exchange on climate solutions, barriers to overcome and opportunities realized in different regions, leading to the first global stocktake concluding at COP28 in UAE in December of this year.
Vice President of Africa at the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet and chief executive officer of the summit Joseph Ng’ang’a said there will be discussions on areas such as loss and damage, multilateral development bank reform, the Bridgetown Agenda, rethinking credit ratings, country government’s liquidity, and broadly working to ensure countries have the financial headroom to quickly react to climate crises.
The unique aspect of this summit is Kenya Kwanza administration’s working to reframe climate finance as a public good — and that would include funding that isn’t tied to the whims of a country’s political situation but instead is collected more reliably in ways such as through taxes.
Health is and will be affected by the changing climate through direct impacts (heat waves, droughts, heavy storms, and sea-level rise), and indirect impacts (vector-borne and airways diseases, food and water insecurity, undernutrition, and forced displacements).
In the past decades, climate change has been impacting human lives and health via extreme weather and climate events and alterations in labour capacity, food security, and the prevalence and geographical distribution of infectious diseases across the globe.