At the loom of heightening climatic changes; leaders across the world face challenges in advocating for innovative, eco- friendly and sustainable business practices. Climate change conventions such as COP21, and the SDGs 17 of 2015 (Sustainable Development Goals) are among the major universal declarations by sovereign states to ensure that climate concerns become a key priority.
In accordance to the SDGs 17 theme, ‘Leave no one Behind,’ there have been numerous campaigns to ensure that programmes and initiatives surrounding the matter trickle down to all the individuals. The public lecture, ‘Engendering an Inclusive Africa Under Climate Change: The Power of Innovative Volunteerism’, hosted at Strathmore Business School on 24th April 2018, convened youth across the country to deliberate on some of the opportunities and their role in making an impact in the climate and sustainability arena.
Sub- Sharan Africa faces significant threat due to climate change, making it inherent that its youthful population embrace and take leadership in providing solutions to some of these challenges. “The continent of Africa does not lack ideas, neither does it lack resources. Africa has the potential to grow.
However, potential does not put food on the table, neither does it stop a mother from burying a child who has died of malnutrition. We must turn potential into tangible benefits,” said Dr. Richard Munang, Africa Regional Climatic Change Programme Coordinator, UN Environment, while delivering his keynote address.
It is through an understanding of Africa’s economic drivers, that Africa’s youth can be more involved in forging the continent’s economic development. “In Africa, that economic engine is Agriculture. The best adaptation is one that links agricultural practices with technological innovation and clean energy. It is unfortunate that post-harvest inefficiencies, as influenced by outdated techniques account for an average annual loss of 48Bn USD.”
These are resources that can be injected back into the economy if inefficiencies and the duplication of resources can be reduced. “As the African proverb says, ‘A single bracelet does not jingle,’ the message is clear, that connectivity is the way to go,” remarked Munang.
The achievement of developmental agendas requires cross-sectoral partnerships to blend the strengths of governments, the private sector, non-profits and other actors, as implied in goal 17 of the SDGs.
It is in addressing the policy-action gaps and engaging the youth in providing innovative solutions that address sustainability concerns, that the Ecosystem-Based Adaptation for Food Security Assembly (EBAFOSA) was established. Through EBAFOSA, youth across Africa can now gain access to a pool of network in support of their innovative ideas and play a significant role in attaining developmental goals.