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African Heads of State and Government have agreed to lead the way in finding sustainable solutions to the climate crisis.  The leaders observed that climate change and Africa’s development are tightly tied and cannot be ignored.  They expressed their intention to collaborate with developed nations while also reminding them of their climate action commitments.

During the Heads of State session at the Africa Climate Summit at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi, the leaders  acknowledges Africa’s extraordinary opportunity to abandon the unsustainable path of the past and build a new route that aligns economic inclusion and shared prosperity in line with the Paris Agreement.

Kenya’s President William Ruto said own greenhouse gas emission must not relegate the continent to the fringes of the global climate agenda. “ Africa must step forward as the cornerstone around which compelling climate solutions are built. The cost of adaptation continues to rise along with the cost of living, while the cost of development capital for African economies remains prohibitive, as millions of our youth remain unemployed,” he added.

The session was attended by Presidents  Samia Suluhu (Tanzania), Paul Kagame (Rwanda), Évariste Ndayishimiye (Burundi), Filipe Nyusi (Mozambique), Salva Kiir (South Sudan), Sassou Nguesso (Congo), Mostafa Madbouly (Egypt), Nana Akufo-Addo (Ghana), Mohamed Younis Menfi (Libya), Julius Maada (Sierra Leone), Sahle-Work Zewde (Ethiopia), Brahim Ghali (Sahrawi), Azali Assoumani (Comoros), Ismaïl Omar Guelleh (Djibouti), Isaias Afwerki (Eritrea) and Macky Sall (Senegal).

President Kagame said it was time to take decisive actions aimed at curtailing climate change.  He emphasized that playing the blame game is not the answer. “The more pragmatic approach is for Africa to be a central player in the search for global climate solutions,” he said.

President Suluhu said Africans must seize the moment and capitalize on its potential to offer solutions to green growth and decarbonization. “We can no longer afford to address economic development, climate change, and African poverty in isolation,” she explained.

President Akufo Addo said there was a need to take radical action to tame climate change in the continent. “It is obvious that we have to act swiftly and decisively to mitigate these effects and ensure a sustainable future for generations to come,” he said.

On his part, President Afwerki said it is time for Africa to mobilize its own resources instead of relying on handouts. As President Zewde called on Africa to always take a common position on issues affecting the people, citing climate change. Her sentiments were echoed by President Kiir who said that Africa must utilize its vast renewable energy resources to reverse the effects of climate change. President Akufo Addo called for the streamlining of access to international climate finance to complement national funding.

Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, Secretary-General, United Nations António Guterres and the African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina were also present.

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