The Samira Empowerment and Humanitarian Projects (SEHP), under the auspices of the Office of the President, is organizing the maiden edition of the Africa Women and Children Conference (AFRIWOCC) on August 2-3, 2023 at the Kempinski Hotel, Accra.
The conference’s aim is to bring together a diverse range of participants including high-level government officials, policymakers, renowned experts, representatives from international organisations, civil society and grassroots community leaders to deliberate on the theme ‘Amplifying the Voices of Women and Children in Climate Action’.
Climate change poses significant challenges globally, impacting vulnerable populations, especially women and children, disproportionately. Being natural resource-dependent and caretakers, women and children face adverse effects on their livelihoods, health and well-being, necessitating urgent action to address their unique vulnerabilities in climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies.
Therefore, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has included women and children in the climate-related negotiations and decision-making processes.
In line with this global commitment and recognising the need to address these issues, the conference will feature Special Guest appearances by Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations; and Ngozi Okonja-Iweala, Director-General of the World Trade Organisation.
The two-day conference is meant to foster meaningful dialogue and collaboration on climate change issues affecting women and children across Africa and beyond; and also highlight the unique ways women can influence the achievement of positive Climate Action.
The objectives of AFRIWOCC 2023 are to assess impacts of the climate crises on women and children; advocate for policies that champion the interest of women and children in climate change sector regulations and development; and coordinate a network of organisations focused on women and children in the climate change economy.
The rest include creating a platform to discuss practical and realistic projects and programmes to address the adverse effects of climate change on women and children; and document indigenous knowledge and innovation in climate change.
The conference is expected to end with the signing of a communique that represents a collective commitment to action. This document will guide governments, civil society and the private sector to prioritise the rights and well-being of women and children in climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies.
The outcomes of AFRIWOCC 2023 will contribute to discussions at the Africa Climate Week and Africa Climate Summit scheduled for September 4 – 6, 2023 in Nairobi, Kenya. These discussions will shape Africa’s position at the upcoming United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties’ twenty-eighth session (COP 28) to be held from November 30 – December 12, 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
AFRIWOCC 2023 represents a pivotal moment in the pursuit of gender-responsive and people-centred climate policies in Africa. By intensifying the voices of women and children and fostering inclusive and sustainable climate action, this conference has the potential to create a lasting impact, drive transformative change and build a more resilient future for all in the face of climate change challenges.