About the AGN

Structure and Membership of the AGN 

The AGN comprises a leadership collective – the lead coordinators and strategic advisors – including thematic coordinators, previous chairs of the AGN, the AGN plenary which consists of UNFCCC focal points of each African country and their national delegations, as well as the AGN secretary. The lead coordinators and strategic advisors meet at least three times a year to prepare group positions and strategies for the negotiation sessions for endorsement and adoption the by AGN plenary to maintain a unified African voice in the climate negotiations. All 54 African countries are members.

The AGN Chair

AGN Chair AGN Website profile picture
The current Chair Mr. Ephraim Mwepya Shitima

The chairing arrangements of the AGN cover a two-year period and rotates through the five continental regions, e.g. north, central, south, east and west Africa. The current Chair Mr. Ephraim Mwepya Shitima is from the Republic of Zambia. He was preceded by:

  • Mr. Tanguy Gahouma from the Republic of Gabon (2020/2021)
  • Ambassador Mohamed Nasr from Arab Republic of Egypt (2018/2019),
  • Ambassador Hussein Alfa (Seyni) Nafo from the Republic of Mali (2016 /2017),
  • Mr. Nagmeldin Goutbi Elhassan from the Republic of Sudan (2014/2015),
  • Mr. Emmanuel Dlamini from the Kingdom of Swaziland (2012/2013),
  • Mr. Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu from the Democratic Republic of Congo (2010/2011),
  • Mr. Kamal Djemouai from the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria (2008/2009),
  • Samuel Adejuwon from the Republic of Nigeria (2006/2007); and
  • Emily Massawa from the Republic of Kenya (1995-2005)

The AGN Spokesperson

Ambassador Hussein Alfa (Seyni) Nafo

The current spokesperson of the AGN is Ambassador Hussein Alfa (Seyni) Nafo, Special advisor to the President of Mali, former Chair of the AGN. He has occupied this position since 2011.

Institutional Linkages

The African climate change negotiation structure consist of three tiers.

The highest political tier is the Conference of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC). The CAHOSCC was established in 2009 through an AU decision at the 13th AU Assembly, with the primary objective of providing visible continent-wide political leadership in climate negotiations. This was particularly important in the run-up to the 2009 Copenhagen COP which was designed in a manner that had a higher role of leaders in the finalisation of the Bali Roadmap negotiations. The CAHOSCC comprises of countries representing the five continental regions as well as leaders from countries which are chairing the AU, AMCEN, the AGN chair, as well as the Chairperson of the AU. The CAHOSCC meets at least once a year on the sidelines of the AU Summit, in which key messages and decisions are taken for recording by the AU Summit. The chairmanship of the CAHOSCC is rotational and for two-year periods since 2013, it has been decided that the country chairing AMCEN shall be also the Chair of the CAHOSSC. The current CAHOSCC and AMCEN Chair is the Gabonese Republic.

The oldest of the three tiers is the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN), which was established in December 1985, following a conference of African Ministers of Environment held in Cairo, Egypt. The role of AMCEN is to provide political guidance to the negotiations in preparation of the African common position, and make declarations and take decisions at the AMCEN Conference. At its first meeting, AMCEN decided to meet every two years and established a bureau to act on its behalf between meetings. Further it decided that the AMCEN Presidency rotates every two years amongst the continental regions.

The AGN is the technical and the youngest tier of the African negotiation structure. It engages in all COPs and intersessional negotiations and prepares the negotiation text and group positions for endorsement and adoption by Ministers during COPs.

AGN Code of Ethics

The Code of Ethics for representatives of the African Group of Negotiators to positions and constituted bodies under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement can be viewed here.