Former minister for Botswana, global economist and international trade and development specialist, Bogolo Kenewendo has been appointed as the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions’ Special Advisor, Africa Director.
As the Climate Champion’s new Special Advisor, Africa Director, Bogolo Joy Kenewendo, the former Cabinet Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry of Botswana, will play a leading role in shaping and implementing the High-Level Climate Champions’ plan for accelerating ambition and action in the region, and for delivering a transformative COP27. Working closely with the Champions and with a wide range of partners, Bogolo will work to drive forward change and influence in the region.
This will build on Kenewendo’s focus on Pan-African development especially in sustainable trade & investment and passion for accelerating innovation across the continent. Kenewendo is a member of the UN SG’s Common Agenda project on the Gender Architecture of the UN and the Group on Sustainable Financing, G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council and a WPL Special Envoy to the G7 & G20. She currently serves as Managing Director of Kenewendo Advisory and Non-Resident Fellow with Center for Global Development.
“Fighting climate change is a global challenge that requires authentic and inclusive regional and local collaboration. I’m honoured to accept the appointment as the UN Climate Change High-Level Champion’s Special Advisor, Africa Director,” said Bogolo Kenewendo. “As once the youngest Cabinet Minister in Africa and in Botswana’s history, I will also seize this opportunity to help elevate the voices of young people and women, in particular, who are key to helping accelerate our goal of halving emissions by 2030.”
“We are delighted to welcome Ms Kenewendo as the first Africa Director for the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions,” said Nigel Topping, COP26 High-Level Champion of the United Kingdom and Mahmoud Mohieldin, COP27 High-Level Champion of Egypt . “In this position, she will play a pivotal role in helping to champion diversity, inclusivity and meaningful representation of stakeholders from Africa in the design and delivery of activities under the Marrakech Partnership.” Both champions added that “on the momentous occasion of being held in Africa, COP27 is an opportunity to highlight the special needs and circumstances of the Africa and advance the climate action agenda in the continent.”
The appointment comes as the Climate Champions deepen engagement with regional stakeholders as part of our Five Year Plan with the Marrakech Partnership. We are committed to ensuring actors are brought in from all corners of the globe, with special recognition to marginalised voices and the most vulnerable.
Since COP26 we have made significant progress to address this within the team, having made a series of key appointments, including Daniela Lerario as Latin America and Caribbean Director. We now have over one third of our team based in regions outside of North America and Europe, up from 15% in November 2021.
In addition, five regional forums will be convened by the five regional UN economic commissions and the incoming Egyptian Presidency of COP27 throughout June and July. The forums will be held in coordination and collaboration with the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions. This will help to promote the adoption of a more holistic approach at the regional level, while facilitating the matchmaking of potential projects with the available financing and investment opportunities.
With just over four months to go until Egypt hosts COP27, the Climate Champions’ focus is on implementation and tangible progress towards the 2030 Breakthroughs – tipping points in the Race to Resilience and Race to Zero. Working with our partners, in particular within developing countries, we will work hard to ensure that Sharm el-Sheikh is a transformative event in the history of climate action that propels rapid and ambitious climate action.