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Africa Climate Summit: Building momentum for sustainable food systems of the future

While addressing the Africa Climate Summit 2023 (ACS23) which took place from 4-6 September 2023, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment and COP28 Food Systems Lead, Mariam Bint Mohammed Almheiri said that the UAE would stand shoulder to shoulder with Africa to ensure that countries across the continent could secure the investment needed to build sustainable food systems and combat climate change

Almheiri, in her address, called upon African governments to demonstrate leadership by signing the first-ever Leaders Declaration on Food Systems, Agriculture and Climate Action, which she launched in July at the 2023 UN Food Systems Stocktaking Moment in Rome.

She also met the Deputy President of Kenya, Rigathi Gachagua to discuss how the country’s school meals programme can be strengthened through the integration of Climate Friendly Actions. The two leaders discussed how the countries can partner to bolster the school meals programme and build momentum for securing sustainable food systems of the future. 

On the first day of ACS23, Almheiri took part in several plenaries and events with other climate and environment ministers and a wide range of stakeholders including CEOs and high-level investors. Another key event was a tour of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)

Furthermore, she discussed with the researchers and scientists about agricultural innovation, including the introduction of drought-resistant crops. Addressing them, she congratulated Kenya on the hosting of the Africa Climate Week and reiterated the UAE’s support to Africa, while mentioning that this was underpinned by the country’s commitment of US$4.5bn to unlock the continent’s clean energy potential. 

On the second day of the summit, Her Almheiri spoke at a panel event themed “Empowering Africa’s Drought Resilience”. 

Focusing on delivering climate-positive growth and finance solutions for Africa, ACS23 builds momentum ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference COP28 in Dubai and the conclusion of the first Global Stocktake, designed to chart the way for fulfilling the Paris Agreement's goals and provide region-focused contributions to inform the Global Stocktake.

Almheiri highlighted that one of the UAE’s aims at ACS23 and COP28 later this year is to “bring the topic of inclusive climate finance to the heart of our discussions. We believe that by reorganising and increasing climate finance, we can support Africa as it transitions towards the food systems of the future.”

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