Young people of faith at Africa Climate Week

Africa Climate Week in Nairobi Kenya provided a platform for Africans to come together to share ideas, knowledge and concerns looking ahead to COP28 later this year and beyond.

Bino Makhalanyane (South Africa), Irene Sebastian, Brian Sunkuya  Desmond Tutu Owuoth and Rev Dennis Nthenge (Kenya) and Kenyi Dube (South Sudan) of Green Anglicans were part of a delegation of 16 participant form the Climate Youth Ecumenical Summit (Climate YES).

No to the curse of generational debt

The week started with a  Pre-Summit event hosted by African Faith Actors Network on Climate Justice.  We were excited to meet Bishop Ernesto Manuel from Mozambique there. At this event with faith leaders, young people brought emphasized the need for more local based production rather than importing solar panels or wind turbines, they must be produced in Africa.  For a  Just Transition, young people called for a halt to all forms of climate finance which come as loans to African countries. Young people are faced with high unemployment rates and the threat of the curse of a generational debt.

As a Climate justice movement for young people delegates from Climate YES continued to advocate for youth inclusivity at all decision-making platforms as this generation remains the most affected generation by Climate change.

Key Learnings

  • The youth play a crucial role in the fight for Climate Justice, and they must go beyond being mere bystanders or attendees; instead, they should actively embrace their role as changemakers and decision-makers.
  • Young people ought to continuously invest in and take time to develop the requisite skill sets to match the expectations and ambitions that they set or are set as they are increasingly included in climate solutions.
  • Young people play a huge role in climate action as their innovations can contribute to climate justice and for that, it is important that young people are invited to be part of Climate action discussions because they can produce solutions to the Climate Challenges.

Africa climate week was criticised heavily by civil society for being too driven by corporate agendas and a strong focus on carbon offsets and carbon trading which culminated in a march organised by Laudato Si.

In issuing outcomes of the Summit (Nairobi declarations), our African leaders continue to call for an acceleration to climate action and finance mechanisms. As young people we call for less talk and more action on commitments made.

It was a great networking opportunity as we were able to meet with leadership of the AACC (All Africa Council of Churches) We are very grateful for the support of AACC and Christian Aid for Climate Yes!

We were also able to have a braai(nyama choma) and meet with other members of Climate yes! rom across the continent and also held a strategic meeting with leadership

By : Bino Makhalanyane