By Etienne Mainimo Mengnjo
Some 150 young Africans drawn from countries around the continent are currently raising their voices and demanding more actions and support for climate adaptation in Africa.
This is the substance of the three-day forum taking place in Yaounde, Cameroon. The forum dubbed, Youth Forum on Adaptation Finance in Africa, YOFAFA, which is in its inaugural stage, kicked off on Thursday, November 16.
The forum, organized by the African Coalition for Sustainable Energy and Access (ACSEA), along with the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance, aims to inspire and empower young activists from the continent to advocate for increased funding for climate adaptation in Africa by more than double.
Speaking during a press briefing to announce the event on November 14 in Yaounde, the Executive Director of ACSEA, Dr. Augustine Njamshi, highlighted that while efforts are being carried out to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, adaptation is an urgent imperative for the continent due to the severe impacts of climate change already being experienced.
He stated, “Africa is facing a climate crisis that is not of its own making. Our countries contribute less than four percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, yet it is one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change impacts. Climate change threatens our livelihoods, food security, health, peace, and stability.”
Dr. Njamshi emphasized the need to act now and scale up adaptation efforts at all levels, acknowledging that young people are not only the most affected by climate change but also the most innovative and creative in finding solutions.
According to Eugene Fongwa, the Youth Forum on Adaptation Finance in Africa is a critical step towards addressing the adaptation finance gap and safeguarding the continent’s future. He warned that failing to address adaptation needs will lead to humanitarian crises, economic setbacks, and social unrest.
The ongoing forum in Yaounde features advocacy campaigns, capacity building, and amplifying youth voices. One of the high points will be the Yaounde African Youth Call, where participants will issue a call to double climate finance for Africa’s future. This call will be presented at a side event at COP28 in Dubai in December 2023.
The latest Adaptation Gap Report published by UNEP reveals that the adaptation finance needs of developing countries are 10-18 times as large as international public finance flows. This estimate is over 50 percent higher than the previous range. The modelled costs of adaptation in developing countries are estimated at $215 billion per year this decade.
The African Coalition for Sustainable Energy and Access (ACSEA) is an alliance of various organizations drawn from the Civil Society, CSOs, Business and Private sector, academia, and research institutions promoting renewable energy, energy transformation, and access in the continent of Africa.
Hosted by the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), the coalition was established in April 2016 at the sidelines of the African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMEN) during the stakeholders’ consultative meeting.