Climate change
Climate change

Climate change has been the one of the greatest challenges facing Africa today, specially the Sahel.

It is obvious that, the fight against climate change requires strong involvement of African youth, international and regional cooperation.

It is in this regard, for two days, on 7and 8 July, 150 youth leaders from across Sub-saharan Africa and Niger itself gathered during the African Union Summit in Niamey and pledged to take all necessary measures to fight against the negative impact of climate change initially in the Sahel and ultimately across Africa.

Organized by the African Renaissance and Diaspora Network (ARDN) jointly with the Ministry of Environment of Niger, with the technical and financial support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations Fund for Populations Activities (UNFPA), the Universal Peace Federation International (UPF), the event pulled together youth leaders who are members of the Youth Leaders Network of the United Nations for the SDGs (ROJALNU-ODD).

The Young African Leaders Summit on Climate Change is a platform for dialogue on thematic issues at the center of the global climate debate, bringing together promising young Africans on climate change issues.

It also created opportunities for the preparation and financing of a project on the implementation of the initiative “A Greener Africa, Youth and Climate Change» with a focus on regreening the Sahel, youth employment, the fight against ecological migration, the increased role of local authorities and the private sector.

The Niamey meeting was officially opened by the Minister of the Environment, Urban Sanitation and Sustainable Development Almoustapha Garba.

Apart from the 150-youth mentioned above, participants included members of the ARDN Board of Directors, the Ambassador of the United States Mr. Eric Whitaker, representatives of UNDP and other UN Agencies, civil society organizations, the private sector and the academic world.

According to Mr. Garba, responding to the challenges of climate change requires strong involvement of African youth, international and regional cooperation.

” Indeed, the most visible manifestations of the adverse effects of climate change and variability on our biophysical and social environment are, among others, droughts, the degradation of our natural resources, the accentuation of the phenomenon of migration, terrorism.

Judging the effects of these changes therefore requires a full commitment of countries to finance adaptation measures to reduce pollutant emissions, “Garba said.

Responding to the expectations of the participants, Dr Djibril Diallo, President and CEO of ARDN, welcomed the strong presence of young people, the involvement of the Ministry of the Environment and other collaborators for the success of the Niamey meeting.

In this perspective, he also met each representative of ROJALNU to better accompany them once in their respective countries.

“One of our priority actions at ARDN is to engage the leadership and enthusiasm of the youth as entry point towards popularizing the Sustainable Development Goals in Africa and its diaspora.

The 33rd Summit of Heads of State of the African Union provided an excellent opportunity to spread our message to give the opportunity to the young people who are the future of Africa, “said Dr Djibril.

ROJALNU Secretary General Alioune Gueye thanked the Minister of the Environment, ARDN and the organizing committee for allowing the young people to participate in the event.

During the work, the young people exchanged and shared good practices around three themes highlighting the role of young people, women, mayors and local communities, private initiative in the fight against climate change.

“We are very happy to participate in this meeting and to be able to exchange with our fathers to take together concrete actions in the fight against climate change in Africa.

As members of the human family, we pledge to take due account of the actions we take on a daily basis to minimize, prevent and combat climate change and its negative effects, Alioune Gueye added.

The Niamey Youth Leadership gathering ended with the adoption of the Niamey Declaration which contains deliverables that the youth can work upon on their return to their countries
of origin.

It will also be presented to the annual event of the African Renaissance and Diaspora Network on 25 September in New York.

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