President Ruto to continental MPs: Africa should lead in climate change solutions
MIDRAND, SOUTH AFRICA: Kenyan President, William Samoei Ruto, has called on African countries to take a lead in handling the climate change challenges affecting the world.
Ruto said that Africa has over the years been focused on the challenges and
difficulties faced and the assistance needed, which he said, depicts the continent as chronically subordinate, eternally vulnerable and perpetually incapable.
“An emerging psychology of victimhood implicates both African and global leadership in a politics of pity and helplessness. It also denies the world’s youngest continental repository of unparalleled abundance the urgency to articulate appropriate solutions to its own problems and to offer its unique, indispensable contributions on the broader global stage,” Ruto said.
President Ruto, made these remarks while speaking at the Pan African Parliament Climate Summit on Climate Policy and Equity in Midrand, South Africa on Wednesday, 17 May 2023.
The continental MPs are in South Africa to attend the Second Ordinary Session of the Sixth Pan African Parliament.
Ruto, also Chair of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change, further said that African leaders will now push for a fresh, affirmative and solution-oriented perspective that will see a fundamentally Pan African principle that summons the world to live, produce and consume in harmony with nature.
“We have the largest green energy potentials. We are saying we have the assets, come with your technologies, we meet half way and we find the solutions. We want to be part of the solution. Do not consign us to the problem,” Ruto added.
The Kenyan leader said that Africa has the potential to remove over 300 million
tonnes of carbon dioxide every year through nature-based solutions like landscape restoration, reforestation and mangrove forest protection and expansion.
“We want to make Africa a clean and green factory of the world. If Africa is indeed the young, green continent of the future and the locus of the next industrial revolution, African solutions are no longer restricted to Africa’s problems, they also address humanity’s problems effectively,” he said.
Uganda’s representatives to the Pan African Parliament welcomed the remarks by the Kenyan President and said that indeed Africans need to rally themselves and tackle the climate change challenges.
Dokolo South County Member of Parliament, Hon. Felix Okot Ogong, said that there should be smart partnerships with the developed world and welcomed the idea of having the continent provide climate change solutions.
“We have all it takes to mitigate climate vagaries, we have the resources, the human resource and we are capable, he said adding that, ‘we must industrialise Africa and start by using green energy’,” he said.
Hon. Eric Musana (Indep., Buyaga East County) said that Africa should move away from being part of the resolutions of the Western countries but have these provide the financing that supports Africa in finding the needed solutions to the challenges of climate change.
“They should provide the technology and put good use to our own resources by taking our minerals and not empowering our people. The other countries with high carbon emissions should pay Africa and the monies used to improve the quality of life of Africans,” Musana added.
Rukiga District Woman Representative, Hon. Caroline Kamusiime, welcomed the advice by President Ruto and said Africans should stop lamenting and start seeking solutions for themselves.
“We go for meetings and talk but we do not implement. That is a very important message from his speech. It is high time for Africans to come out, fight and defend our countries,” she said.
Ngora County Member of Parliament, Hon. Juliet Achayo, said that it is key that the legislators work with the Executive to work on policies addressing climate change challenges.
“We need policies on climate legislation, carbon credit legislative frameworks and transition to green energy with compromising on the development of Africa,” she added.
Uganda’s other fifth representative to the Pan African Parliament is Kassanda County North MP, Hon. Patrick Nsamba.
Uganda will be hosting the Third Ordinary Session of the Sixth Pan African Parliament in Kampala between 19 October and 05 November 2023.