Semi-Plenary Session IV

Wednesday, 8 September 2021
15:00 – 16:30 CEST

Climate-compatible Post-COVID Pandemic Recovery in Africa

Convener:
African Research & Impact Network (ARIN)

Chair:
Dr. Joanes Atela, Convenor of the Africa Research and Impact Network He is also a Senior Research Fellow and Head of CRE( Climate Resilient Economies Programme)at the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS)

Moderator:
Dr. Kennedy Mbeva, Deputy Convenor of the Africa Research & Impact Network (ARIN), and a Research Fellow at the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute (MSSI) at the University of Melbourne

Speakers:
Dr. Cosmas Milton Obote Ochieng, Director for the Centre for Equitable Development, at the World resources Institute (WRI). 
Dr. Lily Odarno, Director of the Africa Energy and Climate Program at Clean Air Task Force
Prof Felix Kalaba, Associate Professor of Environment and Development and Dean of the School of Natural Resources  at the Copperbelt University, Kitwe, Zambia.

As the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, attention is shifting to how the recovery process can be harnessed to address other pressing global challenges. Dubbed as ‘building back better’, the connection between strengthening climate action and post-pandemic recovery has emerged as the organizing narrative. African countries have been hard hit by the pandemic, as it has caused socio-economic damage and debt distress. Moreover, the African continent is one of the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. It is within this unique context that this semi-plenary seeks to explore how the post-pandemic recovery in Africa can be leveraged to promote stronger and more ambitious climate action, thus contributing to sustainable development. The panel will draw on insights from leading scholars, policy makers and other practitioners to deliberate on the topic. 

Chair

Moderator:

Dr. Joanes Atela is the Convenor of the Africa Research and Impact Network He is also a Senior Research Fellow and Head of CRE( Climate Resilient Economies Programme)at the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS). Since 2016, Joanes has transformed the climate programme at ACTS to become one of the best in the world, ranking third globally and the best in Africa according to the 2016 ICCG think tank rankings based on research and policy work. He has led the design and implementation of several DFID funded among other small- medium-large research projects across Africa. Currently, he leads a team of ten (10) early career researchers working under the CRE programme while building vast networks for research excellence and policy transformation. He also coordinates the North-South research partnership for ACTS through the Africa Sustainability Hub, and as part of his passion to spur research excellence and intellectual leadership in Africa, Joanes founded the Africa Research and Impact Network (ARIN), whose core focus is to bring together a network of talented researchers and policy makers across Africa to engage in peer learning and sharing good transformative research and impact practices. Joanes holds a PhD in Environment and Development, a Master of Science (First Class) in Agriculture and Resource Management from Bonn University, Germany and BSc in Environmental Science (First Class Honours) from Maseno University, Kenya.

Email address: j.atela@arin-africa.org

Dr. Kennedy Mbeva is the Deputy Convenor of the Africa Research & Impact Network (ARIN), and a Research Fellow at the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute (MSSI) at the University of Melbourne. His research examines the linkage politics of economic and sustainability governance. His scholarly work has been acknowledged through prestigious awards, such as being awarded the Green Talents Fellowship. Kennedy’s other engagements include contributing to the IPCC Assessment Report 6 on climate change, international diplomacy by serving several times in his country’s (Kenya) official delegation to the UN climate change negotiations and mentoring young change makers. Kennedy holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of Melbourne.

Email address: k.mbeva@arin-africa.org

Speakers

Dr. Cosmas Milton Obote Ochieng is a global development and environmental specialist, and is currently the Director for the Centre for Equitable Development, at the World resources Institute (WRI). Prior to joining WRI, he was the Director of the African Natural Resources Centre at the African Development Bank in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. Cosmas has held teaching, research and policy positions in a number of think tanks, universities, international organizations and NGOs. These include: Boston University, Lancaster University, African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS), International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Action Aid International, Eco-Agriculture Partners, and International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR). Cosmas holds a DPhil in Development Studies from Oxford University, an MPhil in Development Studies from Cambridge University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Kenyatta University.

Email address: Cosmas.Ochieng@wri.org

Dr. Lily Odarno is the Director of the Africa Energy and Climate Program at Clean Air Task Force. She leads the organization’s effort to address the dual need of expanding affordable energy in developing economies and creating a decarbonized global energy system. Her work involves advocating for actions and policies that support the energy needs of growing African economies, re-calibrating international efforts to the actual needs of African countries and positioning Africans as leaders in technological innovation for low carbon development. She previously worked with the World Resources Institute in Washington DC, and the UNEP DTU partnership in Denmark. She has written extensively on topics at the intersection of energy and development in Africa.

Email address: lodarno@catf.us

Prof Felix Kalaba is an Associate Professor of Environment and Development and Dean of the School of Natural Resources  at the Copperbelt University, Kitwe, Zambia. He has over 14 years of teaching and research experience within various aspects of environment and development. Professor Kalaba is a lecturer of Climate change mitigation and adaptation  and has led research in climate adaptation. Felix’s research is interdisciplinary and uses theories and methods from both the natural and social sciences. His work engages significantly with research users, and is instrumental in informing international policy interventions. Felix is currently a Cross-Chapter Paper Lead on Tropical forests as well as a Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for Working Group II contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report (AR). He is Lead Author for Africa addressing impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. Felix has published widely and provided consultancy services to several organisations including the World Bank and various UN agencies (e.g. FAO, UNCCD), private companies and government.  He holds a PhD from the University of Leeds, an Msc from Stellenbosch University, and a Bsc from The Copperbelt University in Zambia.

Email address: kanungwe@gmail.com