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Sowing Seeds for a Greener Future: KAICIID's Role at the African Union Interfaith Dialogue Forum

08 November 2023

Uniting Faith and Action in Kigali, Rwanda

In the vibrant city of Kigali, Rwanda, a groundbreaking event is on the horizon. From November 8–9, 2023, the African Union Commission's Civil Society and Diaspora Directorate (AUC-CIDO) has convened the African Union Interfaith Dialogue Forum (IFDF). This forum, under the timely theme "Faith in Harvest: Sowing Seeds of Climate Resilience," is set to unite a diverse range of religious leaders, policymakers, and experts with a noble and urgent cause: combating the effects of climate change through the power of interfaith dialogue and action.

KAICIID's Pivotal Engagement

The International Dialogue Centre - KAICIID stands at the forefront of this endeavour. Since 2014, KAICIID has been the backbone of technical and operational support for the AU-IFDF, leveraging its unique position as an intergovernmental organization that embodies the collaboration of states and a spectrum of religious traditions.

KAICIID’s role transcends the conventional; it is an orchestrator of unity, bringing to the table the invaluable perspectives of those often unheard. Its dual governance structure, inclusive of a Council of Parties composed of member states and a Board of Directors constituted by religious figures, serves as a testament to its commitment to impartiality and breadth in addressing issues critical to humanity’s shared future.

The Intersections of Climate Resilience and Faith

As the world grapples with climate change, Africa bears a disproportionate burden; it accounts for only 4% of global carbon emissions yet suffers the most from climate change. From intensifying weather patterns to declining agricultural productivity and water scarcity, the continent faces monumental challenges. The IFDF Assembly 2023 seeks to tap into the influential capacity of faith communities to foster resilience and spearhead sustainable practices.

KAICIID’s participation in the IFDF4 is particularly timely. The conference will not only be a hub for dialogue but will also serve as a platform for showcasing the impactful work of the World Resources Institute (WRI) in collaboration with KAICIID to improve food security, emphasizing the potential of religious leaders to drive significant social transformation.

Strengthening the Fabric of Climate Action

The forum aims to construct a mosaic of knowledge exchange, empowerment, networking, and policy advocacy. The objectives are clear: to enlighten and equip faith leaders and stakeholders to become champions of climate action and to nurture networks that fortify efforts toward sustainable agriculture and climate advocacy.

Expectations are set high for the IFDF Assembly. Outcomes sought include tangible, actionable recommendations to confront climate-related challenges and fortified alliances that will endure beyond the forum, seeding ongoing support and knowledge sharing.

Looking Ahead

In Kigali, a city that symbolizes rebirth and relentless progress, the General Assembly will also oversee the election of five new members to the IFDF Steering Committee, thereby infusing new vigor into the forum's leadership. High-level national policymakers, including the governors of Rwanda’s provinces, will grace the event, reflecting the profound commitment at the highest levels of governance.

As the world’s gaze turns towards Rwanda in November, KAICIID's engagement in the IFDF4 is poised to catalyze a shift in how religious communities can stand at the vanguard of climate resilience. With the collective power of 55 African member states, interreligious councils, and faith-based organizations, KAICIID is set to play an integral role in this tapestry of change, weaving together faith and climate action to harvest a future of hope and sustainability for Africa and beyond.

As the participants gather under the banner of shared humanity and stewardship of the earth, the spirit of "Faith in Harvest" will resonate beyond the halls of the forum, a beacon of collective resolve to sow the seeds for a greener, more resilient Africa.