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Africa: Who will be attending COP26?

By Jeune Afrique
Posted on Wednesday, 27 October 2021 18:15

During the COP25 conference in Madrid, Spain, 2 December 2019. Susana Vera/REUTERS

Several of the continent's heads of state will travel to Glasgow, Scotland, to attend the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), one of the first major face-to-face meetings to take place since the start of the Covid-19 crisis.

COP21 led to the historic signing of the Paris Climate Agreement, while the fifth edition of the world summit – which could not be held in 2020 due to the pandemic – promises to be the perfect occasion for countries to take stock, review and revise their objectives.

Tshisekedi, Bongo…

According to our information, Félix Tshisekedi (DRC), Mohamed Bazoum (Niger), Denis Sassou Nguesso (Republic of Congo), Ali Bongo Ondimba (Gabon), Mohamed Ould Ghazouani (Mauritania), Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé (Togo), João Lourenço (Angola), Faustin-Archange Touadéra (CAR), Andry Rajoelina (Madagascar) and Umaro Sissoco Embaló (Guinea-Bissau) will be attending the event, unless there is a last-minute change.

From elsewhere in Africa, Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya), George Weah (Liberia), Muhammadu Buhari (Nigeria), Abdel Fattah al-Sissi (Egypt), Julius Maada Bio (Sierra Leone), Hage Geingob (Namibia) and Filipe Nyusi (Mozambique) will be in attendance.

Other presidents have instead opted to send their environment ministers. They include Macky Sall (Senegal), Paul Kagame (Rwanda, who is also expected to send his prime minister, Édouard Ngirente), Kaïs Saïed (Tunisia), Alassane Ouattara (Côte d’Ivoire), Roch Marc Christian Kaboré (Burkina Faso), Patrice Talon (Benin) and Prithvirajsing Roopun (Mauritius).

Tunisia’s head of state will be sending his foreign minister, Othman Jarandi, while Algeria’s Abdelmadjid Tebboune will send Ramtane Lamamra. King Mohammed VI will be represented by Leila Benali, his minister for energy transition and sustainable development.

International donors

On the institutional side, representatives from major international donors will also be present in the Scottish city. David Malpass, president of the World Bank Group (WB), is expected to speak on the role of climate in relation to the supply and demand of energy in the world. Senegal’s Makhtar Diop, who became the head of the International Finance Corporation – the WB’s main subsidiary dedicated to the private sector – on 1 March, and IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva will also be in attendance.

Their counterparts from the continent are also expected, even though the introduction of drastic measures linked to the Covid-19 pandemic (specific types of vaccines, quarantine measures for certain countries in the “red zone”, etc.) has led to a reduction in the size of the African delegations.

As far as public financing institutions are concerned, Nigeria’s Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank, has confirmed that he will be in Glasgow, as will Equatorial Guinea’s Fortunato-Ofa Mbo Nchama, president of the Banque de Développement des États de l’Afrique Centrale.

Representatives from private and national funds as well as pan-African foundations will also be in attendance. They include Gabon’s Akim Daouda, from the Fonds Gabonais d’Investissements Stratégiques; Richard Amalvy, former vice-president of the United Nations NGO conference, who will speak on the Brazzaville Foundation’s behalf; and Joseph Nganga from the Rockefeller Foundation.

Financiers

The British development financier CDC Group – which is concerned about the consequences of the negotiations for the African continent, one of its main theatres of operation – will send a big delegation. It has also been boosted by the fact that the international conference will be taking place in its territory. The organisation’s delegation will be led by Amal-Lee Amin, head of climate strategy at CDC and COP26’s senior adviser.

The Agence Française de Developpement, which actively participated in organising the COP in Paris in 2016, will be represented by its head, Rémy Rioux.

France’s Odile Renaud-Basso, the French Treasury’s former director-general, will attend on behalf of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on 1 and 2 November for negotiations reserved for heads of state and government as well as world leaders. 3 November has been reserved for the finance part of the negotiations, during which representatives from these institutions are expected to speak and reach an agreement.

Werner Hoyer, president of the European Investment Bank (EIB), will also attend the summit. Ambroise Fayolle, the EIB vice-president responsible for climate action, and other officials will accompany Hoyer.

For their part, African businesses and civil society delegations have been slow to confirm their presence at the international conference. However, according to our information, some banking groups and consultancies such as the Moroccan banking leader BCP, South Africa’s Standard Group and EY, the international consulting firm, plan to send representatives.

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