The Youth Forum on Adaptation Finance in Africa (YOFAFA) was held in Yaoundé Cameroon from the 16th till 18 November 2023. The YOFAFA had over 200 participants from across the African continent with 2000 attending online. The three-day event started off with a background on the Paris agreement which allowed for participates to understand the background and what climate change adaptation financing is all about. This was followed by the official opening by the Cameroonian Minister of Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development Mr Hele Piere.
The 3 days gathering was not only packed with keynote speakers, but attendees were given hands-on workshops on; How to design and develop bankable projects, Advocacy tool and Media as an Advocacy tool. During our sessions it was clear that youth voices from across the continent remain united in demanding that the finances should reach local communities.
In order to build climate resilient communities there is a need for a space for innovative thinking by Africans for Africans. It is also vital that generational indigenous knowledge be passed on to the new generation.
Young people were also encouraged to invest their time in doing more research on the demands. They must continue to make sure that they take ownership of them and understand them from their own contexts. What they say matters and they should not just become part of the “renta-crowd”
At the end of the 3 days Mr Hele Piere received the Yaoundé declaration which attendees had put together.
As the whole world looks towards COP28, young people are calling for a doubling of Climate adaptation funds in order to build resilient communities.
The Statement can be found here; https://yafafrica.acsea54.org/african-youth-call-for-urgent-action-on-climate-change-adaptation-financing/
From the above call by young people, we can confirm that African youth are clear on the demands that are being made. Young people continue their generational battle of being included at all stakeholder levels. They state that climate finance which comes as loans should be rejected as this becomes a generational curse.
It is our prayer and hope that all those going to Dubai for COP28 will remember the pain which many of our communities continue to suffer due to climate change. At t the centre of what we demand is Justice for our people.