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The much awaited 1st Africa Climate Summit kicked off Monday September 4, 2023 at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), Nairobi, Kenya.

At the Ministerial Conference President William Ruto urged African governments to increase their investments in green opportunities to unlock the continent’s potential.

President Ruto called for investment in renewable energy, green industrialization, climate-smart agriculture, and nature conservation.

He said this would accelerate global decarbonization, fuel sustainable development, drive economic growth and create millions of jobs.

“We must see in green growth not just a climate imperative, but also a fountain of multi-billion-dollar economic opportunities that Africa and the World is primed to capitalise on,” he said.

President Ruto said Africa must prepare to become a global hub in the green industrial supply chain.

“The continent has enough potential to be entirely self-sufficient with the mix of wind, solar, geothermal, sustainable biomass and hydropower,” he added.

Kenya, he observed, is leading the way in the adoption of renewable energy, which accounts for 92% of its power.

“Our ambition is audacious yet achievable: 100% renewable by 2030 and a 100 Giga Watt grid, entirely renewable, by 2040,” he said.

The Kenyan Head of State challenged African nations to invest in value addition of raw materials and abandon the minimalist, short-term, raw-material-based approach.

“The time has come for us to break out of the shackles of low ambition. We must now begin to aim higher and strive for more, and better outcomes,” he said.

President Ruto further said that Africa should leverage its agricultural land assets to enhance the continent’s food security and monetize agricultural systems.

African Union Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy, and Sustainable Environment, Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko acknowledged Africa’s commitment to addressing the climate change challenge by implementing sustainable solutions.

“Our solution for African climate change is rooted in large-scale investment in climate resilience centred on energy assets to drive sustainable industrialization,” she said.

Kenya’s Environment Cabinet Secretary Soipan Tuya noted Africa is spearheading ecologically responsible global industrialization to address the climate change crisis.

She said the summit is keen on changing the perception of the place of Africa in climate change action.

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