The Centre for International Governance Innovation

The Centre for International Governance Innovation

October 29, 2009 08:00 ET

Experts Gather in Uganda to Build Adaptation Strategy for Climate Change in Africa

KAMPALA, UGANDA--(Marketwire - Oct. 29, 2009) - The Centre for International Governance Innovation's (CIGI) African Initiative is hosting the first of its kind congress addressing the most serious and immediate impacts of climate change in Africa, November 1-4. This event aims to provide guidelines and strategies for mitigation and adaptation in African nations least able to cope with this global challenge.

The African Initiative Congress on Climate Change will bring together more than 300 government officials, district leaders, academics, and representatives from multilateral and donor organizations in addition to 300 students with the intent of (1) fostering an inclusive dialogue that builds on the existing local knowledge base; and (2) using the results to form guidelines for a nation-wide strategy for adapting to climate change.

Sunday night marks the start of the Congress, with welcoming remarks and sessions beginning Monday morning with an introduction by Congress hosts, Dr. Nelson K. Sewankambo, director of the African Initiative, CIGI and principal at the College of Health Sciences, Makerere University and Dr. John English, executive director of CIGI. A keynote address will be delivered by the Honourable Maria Mutagamba, minister of water and the environment, Government of Uganda.

Monday's first plenary session, titled "Climate Change as a Global Phenomenon," will explore the changes in climate that have already occurred and the implications for resource management and global governance. The morning continues with another plenary session titled "Climate Change in Africa," a panel on a continental response to climate change, moderated by Mr. Mounkaila Goumandakoye, director of the regional office for Africa at the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).

Tuesday channels the momentum of the previous day into "Adaptation and Mitigation" with a plenary on resource management followed by a series of breakout sessions assessing strategies for five key areas: (1) Health, (2) Food Security, (3) Migration, (4) Conflict Resolution, (5) Energy.

The final day is titled "The Way Forward" and concludes the Congress with two plenary sessions that will synthesize the next steps for adaptation at all levels, with speakers including the Honorable David Ebong, chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Climate Change, Government of Uganda.

The Congress is organized around the idea that climate change will disproportionately fall on the backs of those least accountable for it. As former Canadian Prime Minister, Paul Martin said at CIGI's annual conference this year "…Africa for instance, (is) virtually innocent of the causes of climate change and yet whose poor will bear the greatest cost in terms of creeping deserts, flooding and famine."

True to CIGI's mandate of anticipating and addressing global challenges, the African Initiative is on the forefront of confronting climate change by enhancing innovative capacity building efforts in the areas of education, research and technology. The five-year African Initiative addresses the impacts of this challenge in five critical areas of concern across the continent: health, food security, migration, energy, and conflict prevention and resolution. Adopting a truly interdisciplinary, international and multi-institutional approach, the initiative is an ambitious partnership between CIGI and the Salama SHIELD Foundation in collaboration with Makerere University in Uganda.

"The African Initiative Congress on Climate Change"

Sunday, November 1 – Wednesday November 4, 2009

November 1, 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
November 2, 7:30 am – 8:30 pm
November 3, 9:00 am – 6:30 pm
November 4, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Munyonyo Speke Resort and Conference Centre Ltd
P.O. Box 7036
Kampala, Uganda

The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) is an independent, nonpartisan think tank that addresses international governance challenges. Led by a group of experienced practitioners and distinguished academics, CIGI supports research, forms networks, advances policy debate, builds capacity, and generates ideas for multilateral governance improvements. Conducting an active agenda of research, events and publications, CIGI's interdisciplinary work includes collaboration with policy, business and academic communities around the world. CIGI was founded in 2002 by Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of RIM (Research In Motion), and collaborates with and gratefully acknowledges support from a number of strategic partners, in particular the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario. For more information, please visit

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