Nairobi, 5 September 2023 (TDI): In a recent gathering in Nairobi, young leaders from all over Africa voiced their concerns and aspirations regarding climate action. The Africa Youth Climate Assembly took place from September 1st to 3rd.

It was a platform where these young minds presented the Africa Youth Climate Assembly Declaration to two significant figures: Kenya’s President, William Ruto, and the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina.

The assembly marked the beginning of the Africa Climate Summit and Africa Climate Week. These events aim to build on the achievements of the previous COP27 in Egypt.

Likewise, they aim to set the stage for the upcoming United Nations Climate Ambition Summit in New York and the COP 28 conference in Dubai.

The Declaration emphasized the need for a Global Green Bank and a New Global Financial Pact. The primary focus of these initiatives is to ensure that the interests of the youth are at the forefront of climate financing.

Additionally, the assembly proposed the establishment of a UN Youth office in Africa, a continent that boasts the largest youth population globally.

Reacting to the Declaration, President Ruto and Dr Adesina acknowledged Africa’s youth’s immense potential and value.

They commended the youth’s dynamism and innovative spirit and supported their call for a more significant role in shaping national and international climate policies.

During a two-hour interactive session, the leaders addressed various concerns raised by the youth, ranging from access to finance and Africa’s energy transition to the challenges posed by climate change.

President Ruto emphasized the importance of investing in the youth, particularly highlighting Africa’s untapped agricultural potential.

He mentioned that Africa holds 65% of the world’s uncultivated lands, which can be a source of job creation and wealth generation.

Furthermore, President Ruto shed light on his government’s efforts to promote sustainable development, such as the initiative to establish environmentally friendly smart cities.

He also highlighted the significant investment in education, with a record budget allocation aimed at equipping the youth with the necessary skills for the future.

Also Read: AfDB to participate in Africa Climate Summit 2023

Dr. Adesina, on the other hand, stressed the urgency of investing in the youth. He stated, “The most significant risk is not investing in our youth.

He went on to discuss the AfDB’s initiatives, such as the Jobs for Youth strategy, which aims to create 25 million jobs.

He also mentioned the bank’s investment in the YouthADAPT program and its collaboration with the Global Center on Adaptation.

The Youth Declaration, which draws inspiration from various sources, including the AfDB’s strategies, will play a crucial role in shaping the Nairobi Declaration. This document will serve as a roadmap for Africa’s transition to green energy.