COP28: Afrobarometer reaffirms African Voices on Climate Change

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Afrobarometer delivered African citizens’ demand for urgent climate action to the 2023 UN  Climate Change Conference (COP28) last week, underscoring the commitment of the  continent’s leading survey research organisation to integrating African perspectives into the  global climate discourse. 

Speaking to key climate change stakeholders gathered in Dubai, Afrobarometer Director of  Communications Nafissatou Diouf and Knowledge Manager Josephine Sanny shared recent  survey findings showing widespread concern and support for climate action across Africa. 

“Our presence at COP28 marks a significant milestone for Afrobarometer as we amplify the  genuine perspectives of African citizens in the worldwide conversation about climate  change,” Diouf said. “The findings of our Round 9 surveys highlight the pressing need for  inclusive and cooperative actions to tackle the climate change challenges.” 

The Devex Climate+ Summit convened influential change-makers and thought leaders in  panels and workshops to delve into the intricate relationship between climate change and  the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Headline speakers included Alok Sharma,  president of COP26 and climate and finance fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation; Martin  Edlund, CEO of Malaria No More; Gernot Laganda, the World Food Programme’s director of  climate and disaster risk reduction; Zitouni Ould-Dada, deputy director of the Food and  Agriculture Organization’s Office of Climate Change, Biodiversity and Environment; and  Ismahene Elouafi, executive director of CGIAR. 

Afrobarometer recently concluded Round 9 surveys reveal that among Africans who have  heard of climate change, most say it is making life worse and requires urgent action. But  almost half of Africans are unfamiliar with the concept of climate change – even though  many have personally observed detrimental changes in weather patterns. And only about  three in 10 are fully “climate change literate,” combining awareness of climate change with  basic knowledge about its causes and negative effects. 

“African citizens, as revealed by Afrobarometer’s surveys, view fighting climate change as a  shared responsibility,” Sanny said. “Our presence at the Devex Climate+ Forum provided an  opportunity to highlight the importance of collaborative efforts involving governments, the  private sector, and various stakeholders.” 

Afrobarometer representatives participated in several side events, including the Agri-Food  Systems Summit, which featured a keynote address from Tom Vilsack, United States Secretary  of Agriculture. The organisation’s proactive role in amplifying the voices of African citizens  within this dynamic space has fostered synergies and paved the way for potential  collaboration with like-minded institutions. 

Noting the importance of Afrobarometer’s participation at COP28, CEO Joseph Asunka said,  “Our impactful debut at COP28 underscores our commitment to foster dialogue and  collaboration on climate change. We are determined to build on the momentum gained  during this event, solidifying our role as a key contributor to shaping sustainable and climate resilient strategies for the African continent.”

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