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  • Heli view: Africa has at last engaged in the battle of ideas

Heli view: Africa has at last engaged in the battle of ideas

Departing from Dubai, one thing at least is clear: Climate action is driven by funding — but no money flows without the right narrative.  

  • For decades, Africa was mostly a bystander in the global battle of ideas. That has changed. 

A momentous year: 2023 will be remembered as the time when the continent started owning its climate narrative. 

  • Much practical work remains to be done. But this COP was remarkably different from the last, even if still far from satisfactory. 

  • How? For the first time, Africa worked to a powerful agenda.  

Paradigm shift: The agenda got significant traction in Dubai. Several debates went Africa's way.

  • We document individual instances below, including masses of new funding.

  • Forbes magazine wrote: “Africa takes charge of its narrative.”

The right backup: An impressive group of African business leaders (eg James Mwangi of Equity Bank) accompanied the continent's statesmen to Dubai.  

  • The bosses showed that African climate partners can be found in the private sector. 

Reality check: Nonetheless, global climate narratives have yet to embrace Africa more broadly as a solution to problems in the northern hemisphere. 

  • High-profile debates (eg on fossil fuel) left the continent mostly on the sidelines.

  • Africa must work even harder to sit centre stage and capture the world’s imagination.

In sum: The past two weeks were a reasonable start into a new era. 

  • Even if most pledges made in Dubai may not result in meaningful emission cuts.