African campaigners root for youth participation to realize green transition

climate change
Climate change

The realization of a just, inclusive and climate-resilient future in Africa will be dependent on leveraging the ingenuity and entrepreneur spirit of the continent’s youth, campaigners said at a virtual forum in Nairobi on Wednesday.

Mithika Mwenda, executive director of Nairobi-based Pan African Climate Justice Alliance that convened the virtual forum as part of Africa Climate Week, said a green transition was possible in the continent if governments tapped into youth-led innovations.

“There is a need to mainstream youth-led innovations and advocacy into the continent’s green agenda. African youth should play a meaningful role in our transition to an inclusive climate-resilient future,” said Mwenda.

The Ugandan government played host to this year’s edition of Africa Climate Week held from September 26 to 29 that explored innovative strategies which can be adopted to place the continent on low carbon development pathways.

Mwenda said that African youth should be involved in the formulation of national policies and legislation aimed at lowering carbon emissions besides placing them at the frontline of advocacy for climate justice.

He opined that the global climate summit slated for November in Glasgow, Scotland presents an opportunity for African youth to lobby for funds and technology required to realize green pandemic recovery.

Leah Wanambwa, senior policy officer for Climate Change and Desertification at the African Union Commission said that youth-led advocacy has been instrumental in the development of continental action plans that seek to hasten low carbon development.

According to Wanambwa, African youth, women and children have borne the brunt of climatic change-related shocks like hunger, water scarcity, forced migration and resource-based conflicts, hence the need to involve them in designing mitigation and adaptation plans. Enditem

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