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Central African Countries Develop Enhanced Transparency Action Plans

5 October 2023

The Regional Climate Action Transparency Hub for Central Africa aims to build capacity and create a network and a regional centre to support the eleven member States of the Economic Community for Central African States (ECCAS) in their efforts to enhance their transparency frameworks. This includes improving and building sustainable and comprehensive transparency systems and teams of experts to support decision making and generate reports that help respond to climate change. 

A crucial step has been to understand the current levels of capacity and the needs relating to climate transparency in each country. To date, eight in-country workshops focused on transparency, in particular the tracking of nationally determined contributions (NDCs), have taken place in Angola, Chad, Burundi, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Rwanda and São Tomé and Principe. 

Photo from the in-country workshop in Equatorial Guinea, held on 3-5 May 2023, with ministerial-level participation.

Each workshop encompassed four overarching objectives: to introduce the concept and importance of climate transparency; to analyse each country’s strengths and weaknesses on transparency; to review their capacity to monitor and evaluate progress with the country’s NDCs; and to develop an improvement plan to implement actions. On a regional level, they provided three key functions:

  1. To provide initial training and awareness raising to relevant national stakeholders in each country on the scope, detail, common language and key features of MRV and the Paris Agreement’s Enhanced Transparency Framework. This builds a common understanding of what transparency is across the region and how countries benefit from building their capacity.
  2. To build on this common understanding and to start to flesh out important foundations for sustainable transparency systems in each country with a focus on the country specific improvement plan.  
  3. To inform and tailor the regional training programme and to establish regional collaboration across the ECCAS Member States. 

Investing in transparency leadership and frameworks is important to deliver non-biased, trusted and defendable outputs on climate action and the Sustainable Development Goals to decision makers and the public, as well as to develop technical expertise within countries. Ultimately, climate transparency provides the evidence-based decision making necessary to meet the targets and goals set out by each country  under the Paris Agreement. Supporting the countries of the ICAT Central Africa hub in their ability to deliver on Paris Agreement commitments will become increasingly important as we reach the target years chosen by countries (e.g. 2025, 2030 and 2050). 

Photo from the in-country workshop in Burundi, held on 23-25 May 2023.

To conduct a more detailed assessment of national strengths and weaknesses, a questionnaire was distributed to participants ahead of each workshop. The responses provided crucial insight into the level of knowledge on transparency of each country and their ability to collect, analyse, and report on challenges, plans, actions and overall progress in climate change mitigation and adaptation. This process has encouraged engagement from a broad range of stakeholders and has provided a basis for useful discussions and collaboration during the workshops.  

The NDC monitoring and evaluation aspect of each workshop tracks progress on outcomes (targets and goals on climate change mitigation and adaptation) and actions (policies and measures) in relation to Paris Agreement commitments. Participants worked in sectoral or organizational groups to review, discuss, refine and add to data compiled from public documents such as the NDC. Key information is needed on which organizations are responsible for tracking challenges, outcomes, actions and wider impacts and for developing and updating indicators. This information will be useful in the future for compiling information for biennial transparency reports and other action plans. The workshops enabled a discussion on this topic, contributing to and encouraging improved readiness within the countries’ institutions.

The final stage of each in-country workshop was to develop an in-depth understanding of each country’s needs and priorities through a detailed improvement plan, tailored to each country. By this stage, participants had a good understanding of any gaps in roles, expertise, data flows, tools, and stakeholder engagement activities across any of the transparency thematic areas. These gaps were subsequently incorporated into a national transparency improvement plan, where actions for improvement were described in detail and given a timeframe in which to deliver the stated improvement. 

Photo from the in-country workshop in Cameroon, held on 5-7 May 2023.

Overall, the eight in-country workshops held so far have contributed to the development of a climate transparency network within each country, underpinned by the collaboration of key stakeholders and organizations. The outputs from the workshops will be used to develop a regional training programme that provides capacity building on common areas of need and facilitates sharing of good examples. The workshops will also lead to the development of a regional climate transparency network, connecting transparency practitioners from all countries covered by the hub.

The hub will facilitate three additional in-country workshops, to complete this workshop series in all ECCAS member States: Central African Republic (10-12 October 2023), Republic of the Congo (dates pending), and Gabon (dates pending). 

Central African Countries Develop Enhanced Transparency Action Plans

Find out more about ICAT’s hub in Central Africa here

Photo by Edouard TAMBA on Unsplash