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Africa Climate Summit

Forging an African growth agenda aligned with global climate action


Our client

In 2023, the African Union and the Government of Kenya joined forces to host the inaugural Africa Climate Summit. The timely aim was to shift the global narrative on climate change away from a division between the Global North and South towards one of collaboration and collective action. The summit brought together heads of state and government, policymakers, civil society organisations, the private sector and multilateral organisations to advance the continent’s climate agenda.

The client’s mission

The continent is disproportionately affected by the global temperature rise, while its ability to adapt to the climate crisis is limited due to debt distress and economic shocks. It loses up to 15% of its GDP per capita annually because of climate change and its related impacts. Meanwhile, Africa faces a climate finance shortfall of USD 2.5 trillion by 2030, according to UNECA.

At the same time, the region benefits from abundant resources, including renewable energy, critical minerals, agricultural potential, and natural capital. By harnessing these assets, Africa can drive its green growth and support global decarbonisation. The summit sought to change the global narrative and focus more strongly on the positive role Africa can play in the global efforts to mitigate climate change while strengthening its adaptation and resilience.

Our support

Africa Practice designed and implemented an advocacy and campaigning strategy rooted in a detailed understanding of the prevailing narrative and the many success stories that remain untold. We supported the client with the following: 

  • Positioning and narrative design
  • Human-centred and data-led storytelling
  • Multimedia communication 
  • Media and social media campaigning

The results

Developing the Africa Climate Summit’s multi-stakeholder Nairobi Declaration was an important milestone ahead of COP 28. Public communication through media and social media played an important role in the run-up to the declaration by shaping public perception and helping mobilise support from key decision-makers. Our multi-media support team developed engaging storytelling content for different media channels, including film documentaries, human-centred stories, climate data products for social media, and a series of media interviews for high-level champions in global media outlets. During the week, summit-related themes trended across the continent and in international outlets. The summit mobilised a combined investment of nearly USD 26 billion from bilateral, multilateral, private, and philanthropic partners.

We observed a direct correlation between media attention and global decision-makers, such as European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, pledging their formal support to the agenda and declaration. The final declaration continued to be discussed and consulted in the coming months, becoming a critical lever in the COP 28 negotiations. Africa is widely seen to have achieved most of its objectives at COP 28 later that year, with the Africa Climate Summit constituting a crucial step.

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