Top sustainability conferences in May 2024

As nations across the continent strive to balance economic growth with environmental stewardship and social equity, the importance of collaborative efforts and knowledge sharing cannot be overstated. In May 2024, Africa plays host to a series of sustainability conferences, each offering a platform for dialogue, innovation, and actionable solutions. 

The key question: Which events should you attend to potentially meet with chief sustainability officers (CSOs), green service providers, and ESG investors? Here are 10 sustainability-related conferences and in-person events to note for May 2024.  

United Nations Global Compact Network Egypt’s Annual Forum: Pathways to Sustainable Africa 

  • Date: May 20-21, 2024 
  • Location: Cairo, Egypt

This forum brings together public and private sector leaders, UN representatives, international organizations, academics, civil society, and other key stakeholders committed to achieving the SDGs in Africa. It offers a unique platform to explore innovative approaches for accelerating the SDGs in Africa, fostering collaboration, and identifying solutions to critical sustainability challenges. Attendees will have the opportunity to develop an action plan with clear roles and responsibilities for stakeholders, contributing directly to the UN Secretary-General’s “Rescue Plan for People and Planet.” Through meaningful dialogue and strategic partnerships, this event aims to catalyze tangible progress towards a more sustainable and equitable future for the continent. 

Sustainability Research and Innovation Congress Africa (SRI2024) 

  • Date: May 21-24, 2024 
  • Location: Durban South Africa & Online 

Experience diverse African perspectives on sustainability science and innovation at the 3rd Sustainability Research and Innovation Congress Africa (SRI2024) Satellite Event. Hosted by the Future Earth Africa Hub and supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF), this event promises a blend of cross-cutting plenary sessions, thematic discussions, and live interactive tables. They will discuss the rich cultural and traditional contexts that underscore Africa’s commitment to harmonious relationships between humans and nature, while exploring the innovative solutions driving economic growth across the continent. 

5th Annual Africa ESG, Impact Investing & Sustainable Finance Summit 2024 

  • Date: May 23-24, 2024 
  • Location: Johannesburg, South Africa and online 

The summit’s mission is to propel climate change adaptation and mitigation initiatives continent-wide, while championing the sustainable utilization of natural resources and combatting the adverse effects of climate change head-on. Attendees will engage in dialogues covering topics such as the integration of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles into investment strategies and the mobilization of purpose-driven impact capital for critical development sectors. The summit will also spotlight the imperative of embracing sustainable green climate finance practices, sparking actionable strategies to drive positive change and resilience in the face of our planet’s evolving climate landscape. 

Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF 67) 

  • Date: May 20-21, 2024 
  • Location: Juba, South Sudan 

Organized by the IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) in partnership with key stakeholders. The forum will feature working groups focused on co-producing climate services and advisories across critical domains such as Agriculture, Water and Energy, Health, Livestock, Media, and Disaster Risk Management.  

IEA 9th Annual Global Conference on Energy Efficiency 

  • Date: May 21-22, 2024 
  • Location: Nairobi, Kenya 

The IEA’s 9th Annual Global Conference on Energy Efficiency, co-hosted by IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol and Kenya’s Minister of Energy and Petroleum Davis Chirchir, is set to make history as it lands on the African continent for the first time, hosted in Nairobi, Kenya. With a focus on accelerating policy action on energy efficiency, this event aims to galvanize efforts towards the global objective of doubling energy efficiency progress by 2030, a critical outcome of COP28. Over three days of workshops, roundtables, and high-level panel discussions, participants will collaborate on actionable solutions to today’s clean energy challenges, prioritizing efficiency, access, affordability, and placing people at the forefront of the clean energy transition. 

ARE Energy Access Investment Forum 2024 

  • Date: May 21-23, 2024 
  • Location: Lagos, Nigeria 

The Forum, organized by the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE), aims to bring together over 1,000 delegates, uniting private and public investors, industry pioneers, and government officials. Co-hosted by the Delegation of the European Union to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and ECOWAS and supported by GET. This flagship event is dedicated to accelerating progress towards universal energy access. It strives to catalyze impactful investments that empower rural communities, driving sustainable development and economic growth across the region.   

Enlit Africa 2024 

  • Date: May 21-23, 2024 
  • Location: Cape Town, South Africa 

Enlit Africa stands as the pinnacle gathering for the energy sector’s most influential players, renowned for driving unparalleled opportunity and innovation.  It attracts the industry’s elite, fostering exchanges of ideas and forging strategic alliances that propel the sector forward. With a focus on power, energy, and water, Enlit Africa convenes the entire value chain, facilitating transformative collaborations and shaping the future of energy across the continent.  

Global South-South Summit 2024 

  • Date: May 22-23, 2024 
  • Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 

The Second South-South Summit brings together stakeholders from Africa, India, and beyond to foster collaboration, knowledge exchange, and technology transfer, with a focus on empowering marginalized communities, unlocking sustainable livelihoods, and building climate resilience. The summit aims to equip vulnerable populations with tools and knowledge for a sustainable future by emphasizing affordable and clean energy as a key driver for poverty eradication and progress towards Sustainable Development Goals. 

Africa CEO Forum 

  • Dates: May 16-17, 2024 
  • Location: Kigali, Rwanda 

Gathering 2,000 business leaders, investors, and policymakers from both Africa and across the globe, the Africa CEO Forum’s annual summit stands as the premier international assembly of the African private sector. Over the course of two days, this event orchestrates several conferences, debates, and high-level meetings, all aimed at spotlighting the significant role played by the private sector in steering the continent’s development trajectory and serves as a platform for driving innovation, fostering partnerships, and charting the course towards a prosperous and sustainable future for the continent. 


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