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Youth Activists Confront Climate Finance Challenges at African Forum

In a dynamic and urgent conversation held on Twitter X Space, young climate activists from across Africa convened to discuss the pressing challenges faced by grassroots communities in advocating for and implementing locally led actions, particularly in conflict zones. The event, part of the inaugural Youth for Adaptation Finance for Africa (YOFAFA) organized by the African Coalition for Sustainable Energy Access (ACSEA), highlighted the critical need for accessible and affordable climate financing.

Context: Climate Vulnerability in Africa

Africa, contributing less than 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions, remains one of the regions most vulnerable to climate change. The continent, home to over one billion people, is youthful, with 60% of its population aged between 18 and 35 years. This demographic reality underscores the importance of engaging young people in climate action and decision-making processes.

Objectives of the Discussion

Held ahead of the 28th session of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), the discussion aimed to dissect the resolutions of the “Global Climate Finance Framework Principles” presented at the conference. The focus was to understand how these principles can facilitate accessible and affordable financing for climate-related initiatives, especially those spearheaded by grassroots organizations. Additionally, the dialogue compared these resolutions with the “Yaoundé Youth Call,” which advocates for more than doubling adaptation financing for Africa, ensuring youth recommendations are integrated into COP28 policies and actions.

Insights and Challenges

Moderated by Lucky Abeng, Climate Justice Research Lead and YAF 2023 Alumni from Nigeria, the panel featured an array of young, passionate activists and professionals:

  • Irene Nagudi, Founder of Kichini Gardeners Initiatives, Uganda
  • Mohamed Abdilahi Yusuf, Executive Director of the Centre for Climate Change and Land Restoration
  • Kuhle Hlophe, Project Facilitator for the Initiative for Climate Action Transparency at the University of Eswatini
  • Richard Abubakar Umar, Founder of Youth Voyage, Nigeria
  • Oureratou Ouedraogo, President of the African Network for Gender Equality and Sustainable Development

These panelists brought a wealth of experience and insight, emphasizing the innovations driven by locally-led communities. They highlighted several barriers, including weak institutional capacity, inadequate coordination, and limited data accessibility. Despite these challenges, the panelists’ dedication to grassroots advocacy and action shone through, resonating with over 200 active listeners.

Recommendations and Call to Action

Dr. Augustine Ndjamshi, Executive Director of ACSEA, commended the panelists for their in-depth responses and acknowledged the pervasive issue of insufficient data supporting adaptation efforts. He urged listeners to invest in knowledge exchange, understand the continent’s adaptation needs, and boldly advocate for Africa’s demands in international forums. Dr. Ndjamshi also emphasized the importance of collaborative partnerships among African youth to drive climate action forward.

The panelists concluded with a call for increased resource mobilization to support grassroots organizations. They stressed the need for prioritizing capacity building to foster collaboration and enhance the effectiveness of adaptation initiatives.

Conclusion

The YOFAFA discussion on Twitter X Space underscored the critical role of young Africans in addressing climate change challenges. As the continent braces for the impacts of climate change, the need for accessible, affordable, and inclusive climate financing becomes ever more urgent. By amplifying the voices of young activists and fostering collaborative efforts, Africa can make significant strides in adaptation and sustainable development, ensuring a resilient future for its communities.

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