Strengthening participation of Francophone African countries in climate change negotiations and in the implementation of the Paris Agreement
The African Group of Negotiators Expert Support (AGNES) group was created in 2015 to provide scientific expertise and evidence to inform the work of African climate negotiators. AGNES has assisted the African Group of Negotiators (AGN) to develop and defend their positions with a focus on matters related to agriculture and gender.
Despite important AGNES contributions, the group remains largely dominated by members from Anglophone countries, with meetings and activities largely conducted in English. Moreover, relevant information, briefings, and training opportunities offered to support climate change negotiators are mainly in English. The language barrier poses a significant impediment for Francophones because it constrains their ability to participate, to contribute their expertise, and to take active leadership roles.
Meanwhile, 26 of Africa’s 55 countries are Francophone. Given their high rates of poverty, the French-speaking nations in West and Central Africa are recognized as particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. They live in a context of environmental and political fragility that compromises their capacity to adapt to climate change at the household, community, and state levels. To assert their specific needs within the global climate negotiations, Francophone Africans require additional support to build capacity and strengthen representation and participation of climate negotiators and the climate change research community.
In response to this need, this project will fund preparatory meetings for the Francophone sub-group of AGNES. It will also commission research by Francophone scientists to ensure specific regional considerations feed into the development of common negotiating positions. The participation of Francophones during continent-level AGNES meetings will be facilitated through simultaneous interpretation and translation of critical documents. The project will also enhance capacity within Francophone Africa through a mentorship program for four young climate change experts and support for Francophone experts to participate in key global negotiation sessions.
The expected outcomes include enhanced capacity of Francophone African climate change negotiators to participate effectively in UNFCCC processes; increased participation of Francophone actors in AGNES activities; and a greater contribution of Francophone African scientists and use of their research results to inform common negotiating positions. Together, these outcomes are expected to contribute to more responsive climate policy and action that builds climate resilience in Francophone African countries.