Neyen Consulting has been supporting the African Development Bank (AfBD) since December 2021 with the establishment of its Just Transition Initiative.  Given our experience, Neyen’s Laura Becerra was cordially invited to facilitate a Just Transition in Africa session at the Climate Investment Fund’s (CIF) “Harvesting Lessons from 15 years in Africa” event in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire on March 8th. The four-day event hosted by the Government of Cote d’Ivoire, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the CIF, promoted knowledge-sharing and exposed lessons learned from 15 years of CIF experience on the ground in African countries.

The Just Transition in Africa session discussed key just transition challenges and opportunities in Africa. Laura briefly contextualized just transition mentioning that while the transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient society is expected to create economic opportunities and enhance social development, it will also inevitably generate risks and losses. Adding that the crux of a just transition is to ensure that risks mitigated, and opportunities are equitably distributed so that all may benefit, Laura presented the panelists, who provided a high-level conceptualization of just transition, as well as some on the ground examples of just transition efforts in Africa.

CIF’s Senior Consultant, Aaron Atteridge provided a high-level presentation of CIF’s Just Transition framework and shared some lessons learned of a just transition perspective of a study on natural resource management in Ghana.  Aaron also shared the CIF’s Transition Toolbox, as a reference and resource countries can use to plan and implement just transitions.

Daniel Nsowah, Principal Planner at the Ministry of Lands and Resources, Ghana, shared some insights on community integration and effective consultation processes in Ghana. His insights solidified the important role of stakeholder participation to ensure buy-in and transparency. Daniel provided on-the ground examples to the concepts that are still evolving.

AfDB’s Senior Climate Officer, Kidanua Abera, discussed AfBD’s Just Transition Initiative and some of the major findings and products of the initiative. Kidanua highlighted the need to have a just transition definition that meets the needs of Africa as whole. She pointed to the research undertaken in technical report, produced by Neyen that underscores how transition differs between fossil fuel dependent countries and non-dependent countries. Kidnaua also referenced a Just Transition Framework for AfDB operations and of the key role of stakeholders for the initiative among other topics.

Aaron Werikhe, Senior Planner for Environment and Natural Resources at the National Planning Authority of Uganda, discussed the need to have concrete plan for just transition in Uganda, he specifically pointed to a roadmap as a tool to enact action. He spoke of Uganda’s potential to integrate just transition in its policy framework at all levels and highlighted the importance of including all levels of government and stakeholders in the process. Aaron stressed the need to move from plans and policy to action via a roadmap.

Laura concluded this session on just transition in Africa highlighting both the high-level complexities and the vast potential for just transition implementation in Africa.  This workshop on just transition illustrated that the audience at this event, comprised of government officials, NGOs, academics and others, is eager to learn more about just transition and to explore ways that its planning and implementation align with Africa’s needs and opportunities. 

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