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LIBREVILLE, Gabon ( PAMACC News) - Communities in Eastern Uganda woke up to devastating months of July and August. By mid August, at least 30 people had lost their lives due to flash floods, with about 6000 being displaced from their homes. “These communities in Uganda are at the frontline of the climate crises experiencing massive losses and damage as a result of climate triggered disasters,” said Philip Kilonzo, a climate activist based in Nairobi, noting that the region has never had any history of disasters of such a magnitude. And now, according to Africa’s civil society organisations meeting in Libreville, Gabon ahead of the Africa Climate Week that begin on August 29, plights of such communities must be heard and decisions to support them made by negotiators at the upcoming 27th round of negotiations on climate change (COP27) in Egypt. According to Dr Mithika Mwenda, the Executive Director for the Pan Africa Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and global community must create highly accessible climate financing for such communities in the frontline of the climate crisis. “There is also urgent need to advance for implementation of climate response measures that enable Africa address its climate challenges as a special needs and circumstances region,” said Dr Mwenda. This comes at the time the Horn of Africa region is facing its worst drought in more than 40 years despite the floods in Uganda. According to a new report released by the UN Office Coordinating Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Kenya is among the countries in the region that are facing the most prolonged drought in recent history. “Across the Horn of Africa, at least 36.1 million people have now been affected by the drought which began in October 2020, including 24.1 million in Ethiopia, 7.8 million in Somalia and 4.2 million in Kenya,” reads part of the report. Ahead to the COP 27, the activists in Libreville are calling for establishment of a Loss and Damage Financing Facility, which resonates with the recent messaging of developing countries during the technical process in preparation for the Egypt climate summit in November. “Full operationalization of the Santiago Network on Loss and Damage at COP-27 is critical,” said Munir Akram, the Pakistan’s ambassador to the UN and the current Chair of the 134 member states that form the G-77 & China. The ‘Santiago Network on Loss and Damage’ is an initiative launched by the UNFCCC to connect vulnerable developing countries with providers of technical assistance, knowledge, resources they need to address climate risks comprehensively in the context of averting, minimizing and addressing loss and damage. Apart from perennial floods and droughts that have always devastated particularly Northern parts of Kenya and Uganda, lakes in Kenya’s Great Rift region have slowly been rising, thereby displacing thousands of households, causing substantial losses to the economy, land, and livelihoods. According to a study conducted by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in collaboration with the Kenyatta University, the rising water levels of the…
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (PAMACC News) - The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) in collaboration with the Government of Ethiopia has designed three flagship programs to promote local production and consumption of four critical agricultural items; wheat, rice, oil seeds and animal feed. The flagship documents were designed in accordance with the government policies to reduce importation of food commodities that can be produced locally. During the handover ceremony of the flagship programs titled: National Wheat Flagship program (NWFP), the National Rice Flagship Program (NRFP), and the Oil Seeds and Animal Feed Production Flagship Program (OSAP), PAMACC Editor - Isaiah Esipisu sought to know the way forward for other countries from the Hailemariam Desalegn Bosh, former Prime Minister of Ethiopia, and Chair of AGRA Board. Q. Is there a possibility of up-scaling such flagship programs to other African countries, particularly where AGRA operates? A. This is already happening. We have flagship programs for rice value chain in West African countries. We also have the same in Ethiopia and a few other African countries. There is huge potential for up-scaling such programs in many other African countries. There is one flagship program in Burkina Faso focusing on rice development, another in Mali, and we have agricultural development program in Ghana. Lastly, we have seed flagship program in Rwanda. Q. What lessons can Africa draw from these flagship programs? A. The lessons we have learned in these types of engagements is that the business as usual approach in agriculture production has not yielded results. So we need to have concerted efforts, thinking about systemic change and collaboration from all stakeholders. It should never be left to be the business of the Ministry of Agriculture, but a business of all those who are involved in the value chain, all the way from production to markets. This includes the consumers and the nutrition aspect of the agricultural products. It needs collaboration from the governments, the private sector, development partners, as well as the youth and women. These are some of the lessons we have learned from the flagship programs, and the best out of it is that the program can help in mobilizing resources both financially and human. Q. Is there any specific lesson we have learned from Ethiopia in particular? A. Ethiopia started the flagship program some years ago with main focus on the wheat sector. Rice and the edible oil are now the two new flagships. The wheat flagship has always been referred to as Agriculture Commercialization Cluster. This starts from improving the seeds, improving the agronomic practices and clustering farmers to engage together for united production, and it involves the young people and women in wheat production. However, the flagship was not been properly packaged and put in place where the private sector, young entrepreneurs as well as development partners can fund beyond what the government is trying to do. The new flagship package will help Ethiopia bring all those stakeholders together, increase productivity and production, but also increase…
OPINION Why Africa should not prioritise energy transition to clean energy in the next 20 years The subject of climate change has become pervasive as global nations grapple with its effects. Due to the climate crisis, the Paris Agreement has challenged the world’s nations to scale up efforts on cutting the greenhouse gas emissions, which have contributed significantly to global warming. Africa, despite its negligible 2.9% contribution to the global emissions, has not only been disproportionately affected but is now burdened to follow suit with the rest of the world to transition from fossil fuels to clean sources of energy. The question is; “is this a fair and balanced view?” Must Africa carry the same burden with developed nations who have for many decades, built their economies using fossil fuels, which are now contributing a drastic 63% in emissions? This is the underlying matter to the climate crisis, which African leaders must seek to address at regional and global levels. While there is irrefutable evidence shown through research of the devastating effects of climate change across Africa to warrant attention, the premise of my argument is that,Africa is largely under-developed and is still dealing with the preeminent challenges of acute poverty, hunger and unemployment. In addition, fossil fuels remain an integral source of Africa’s gross revenues particularly for nations like Angola, Nigeria and Libya. These countries and many others within the region are largely dependent on oil and gas exports. [3] As such, the conversation on climate change should be steered towards a commensurate contribution model, one which allows Africa to combat climate change while simultaneously being equipped to fight pre-existing challenges bedevilling the continent.Most developed nations used fossil fuels to industrialize and hence the conversation to steer Africa into prioritizing the energy transition becomes unpalatable. Energy security Energy security is a critical component for Africa’s economic development and fossil fuels contribute approximately 50% of Africa’s export revenue. This coupled with inadequate financing for Africa’s transition to clean energy are the primary reasons for Africa’s failure to prioritize climate change and the energy transition. Over 80% of electricity generated across the continent is from fossil fuels. [3] Despite significant energy resources, over 600 million people in Africa do not have access to energy. [4] These energy challenges have hampered economic growth thus contributing to poverty and underdevelopment on the continent. [3] Revenue Fossil fuels remain a major source of export earnings for major oil and gas producing and exporting countries in Africa such as Libya, Nigeria and Angola. [3] Given that nearly 50% of sub-Saharan Africa’s export value is composed of fossil fuels, the global energy transition may have profound effects on its economies. [5] With an average GDP per capita of $2,000 (compared to the global average of $10,500) and a population set to rise from 1.3 billion to 4 billion in just 80 years, Africa’s economy needs to be 16 times bigger than it is today to elevate the quality of life of its citizens to match the…
L’initiative vient d’un groupe de ministres africains de l’énergie. Face aux engagements manqués en matière de financement du climat et du développement, les africains veulent prendre leur destin en main sur la question de l’accès à l’énergie et le développement des ressources en Afrique. Un document en cours d’élaboration par un comité technique de l’Union Africaine va être présenté aux ministres qui vont le porter aux chefs d’Etats africains à l’occasion de la COP27 en Egypte. Pendant que les dirigeants européens font actuellement la chasse au pétrole et au gaz, notamment, le Chancelier Olaf Schoolz, l’Afrique ne peut pas prendre le risque de croiser les bras. Et pourtant, la guerre en Ukraine doit être une opportunité de s’adapter à un monde sans énergies fossiles, mais c’est le contraire qui se produit. Toutefois, les ONGs africaines sont vent debout contre cette initiative africaine qui met plus l’accent sur le gaz et l’énergie nucléaire au détriment des énergies renouvelables propres et moins chères. Elles estiment que le continent africain risque de manquer ses objectifs compromettant ainsi sa prospérité future. Didier Hubert MADAFIME, PAMACC Cette initiative africaine de l’accès à l’énergie fait suite au récent vote de l’Union Européenne considérant le gaz et les projets nucléaires comme « des projets verts », les rendant éligibles aux prêts et aux subventions à perte. Du coup, cette nouvelle règle offre aux européens l’opportunité de faire la chasse aux ressources énergétiques en Afrique. Si lors des pourparlers sur le climat à la COP27 en Egypte, la position Européenne venait à être adoptée, cela aura des conséquences évidentes. D’abord, un effort considérable sera déployé visant à accroitre la production du gaz en Afrique, enfermant du coup le continent africain dans les combustibles fossiles les décennies à venir. Et puis, il y a les technologies à utiliser pour ses différentes exploitations, le risque qu’elles affectent l’environnement existe comme c’est le cas dans le Delta du Niger. La colère des militants et ONGs contre l’initiative africaine sur l’accès à l’énergie Elle est légitime, d’abord, parce qu’elle a été prise par les seuls ministres de l’énergie sans ceux du climat. Ensuite, elle détourne le continent de sa trajectoire d’un développement sobre en carbone. Au-delà des inquiétudes, il y a surtout la crédibilité de la COP27 qui se joue et le respect des objectifs fixés par l’Accord de Paris sur le climat. Dans un mémorandum sur l’accès à la transition énergétique, les ONGs et militants ont fait part de leurs préoccupations. Mohamed Adoh, Directeur de Power Shift Africa a été très clair, je cite : « L'Afrique est dotée d'une abondance d'énergies éoliennes, solaires et autres énergies renouvelables propres. Les dirigeants africains devraient maximiser ce potentiel et exploiter l'abondance du vent et du soleil qui contribuera à améliorer l'accès à l'énergie et à lutter contre le changement climatique. Ce dont l'Afrique n'a pas besoin, c'est d'être entravée par des infrastructures de combustibles fossiles coûteuses qui seront obsolètes dans quelques années à mesure que la crise climatique s'aggrave. » « Ce serait…
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