Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has called for bold and urgent interventions to deal with current challenges posed by climate change in Africa.
The Kenyan leader pointed out recent climate change factors like the desert locust invasion in East Africa as well as perennial droughts and floods as an emerging socioeconomic burden to the continent.
Kenyatta was speaking on Wednesday during the virtual launch of the African chapter of the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA Africa).
“Exacerbated by climate change, the desert locust invasion of Kenya and other Eastern Africa countries has devastated livelihoods of farmers and poses an unprecedented threat to food security,” noted the Kenyan President who has been a key proponent of nature conservancy.
President Kenyatta also highlighted that climate change had been worsened by the coronavirus pandemic since resources allocated to fight the outbreak had reduced what was available to address climate change. He also challenged GCA Africa to spearhead the scaling up of pilot adaptation projects such as Kenya’s livestock insurance scheme, the first of its kind in Africa, to the rest of the continent.
African Development Bank (AFDB) President Akinwumi Adesina hosted the launch and addressed several African leaders among them Presidents Nana Akufo-Addo (Ghana) and Sahle-Work Zewde (Ethiopia).
Adesina was quick to thank President Kenyatta for facilitating the setting up of IGAD Climate Prediction and Application Center (ICPAC) in Nairobi which was funded by AFDB. The facility assists the region to receive timely climate prediction data. Kenya’s Lake Turkana Wind Power Project, also financed by the continental bank, was also singled out for praise as it represents Africa’s adaptation in the energy sector.
The AFDB President also announced the bank is working on raising amounts available for investment in Africa’s climate smart projects to 25 billion USD by 2025.
Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde called for the redoubling of global climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts while Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo noted climate change is the biggest threat to the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (DGs) in Africa.