Africa Day: Nations resolve to mobilise resources to tackle climate change
African nations have resolved to mobilise internal and external resources to tackle climate change on the continent.
The nations made the resolve at an event tagged: “Africa Day’’ held on the sidelines of the ongoing 27th United Nations Climate Conference (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
This is contained in a statement issued by the Communication and External Relations Department of the African Development Bank (AfDB) on Wednesday.
The African Union Commission, AfDB, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), and the New Economic Partnership for Africa (NEPAD) Planning and Coordinating Agency organised the event.
The event provided countries and development partners the opportunity to highlight measures to tap the continent’s unique economic potential.
In his opening remarks, African Union Commission Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat said the challenges facing Africa had become enormous, and had taken a toll on government budgets.
“Work is ongoing across the continent, many governments have rolled out initiatives to address climate impacts and build resilience.
“But the challenges are huge, and time is not on our side,” Mahamat said.
Also speaking, AfDB President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina said with Africa’s vast and unique arable land, what the continent does with agriculture could impact global output.
“But we cannot unlock our agriculture potential unless we adapt to climate change.”
Adesina spoke on the fact that the AfDB Group was leading many climate action initiatives to boost mitigation and adaption.
Also, Soipan Tuya, Kenyan Minister of State for Environment and Forestry said Africa remained a strong force in the climate negotiations.
“To maintain this unity of purpose, it remains important that the negotiators and the AU are in continuous dialogue and engagement,” Tuya said.
She also called on developed nations to scale up mitigation actions and support.
However, Antonio Pedro, Acting Executive Director for UNECA said the future remained bright for Africa in spite its challenges.
“We need to change the African narratives from a country of challenges to a continent of opportunities,” he said.
Pedro said the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for example, had the world’s largest cobalt reserve to manufacture electric vehicle batteries.
“We must invest in the green recovery, ensure just energy transition to universal access to electricity. We must build agriculture and food systems,” he said.
According to him, accelerating food systems is essential to achieving the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
The statement said that young people at the event called on the African Union to ensure that the conference implemented decisions reached at the meetings with no further delay.
Youth leader Lucky Abeng said: “we are making a request as young people that adaptation is of importance to the African people. We want action now”.
According to the statement, COP27, commonly referred to as the African COP, allows Africa to spotlight its special needs, circumstances and opportunities.
COP27 is expected to deliver action on an array of issues critical to delivering on the commitments to finance climate action in developing countries.