In a historic gathering, the University of Nairobi successfully hosted a high-level Intergenerational Dialogue on "Africa Driving Climate Adaptation Solutions and Jobs," in collaboration with the Africa Climate Summit, on September 4th, 2023, at the prestigious Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies.
Distinguished guests graced the event, creating an atmosphere of inspiration and commitment to tackling the pressing issue of climate change. Notable attendees included Former UN Secretary-General and Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) Chairman Ban Ki-moon, African Development Bank (AfDB) President Akinwumi Adesina, former South African first lady Graca Machel, GCA CEO Patrick Verkooijen, Kenya's Youth Affairs Cabinet Secretary Hon. Ababu Namwamba, and the esteemed University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor, Prof. Stephen Kiama, among others.
One of the most significant announcements came from the AfDB, which pledged a remarkable Sh140 Billion in funding towards a youth adapt program. These funds are earmarked to empower African youth to develop innovative solutions across various sectors, including agriculture, energy, water, and sanitation, to combat the adverse effects of climate change.
Akinwumi Adesina, President of AfDB, urged African youth to advocate for climate adaptation and sustainability, stating, "Tell your leaders that this is the world we are going to live in, make it sustainable... use your voting power."
Prof. Stephen Kiama underscored the pivotal role of youth in addressing climate challenges: "Let us empower the youth to become the change-makers they are destined to be. The power of youth is the common wealth for the entire world, and they are an invaluable inspiration."
The event also marked the initiation of a transformative partnership with the University of Groningen, focused on climate adaptation governance. This partnership aims to deepen our understanding of climate change's impact on societies and promote transformative change and governance to address these impacts effectively.
The University of Nairobi extends its gratitude to all distinguished guests, experts, and participants for their dedication to the well-being and sustainable future of Africa. This dialogue aims to foster understanding, collaboration, and impactful outcomes to mitigate and adapt to climate change, empowering youth as the leaders of change.
Together, we embark on a journey towards a prosperous, sustainable Africa for current and future generations, echoing the words of Prof. Wangari Maathai: "We owe it to the present and future generations of all species to rise up and walk."
This event stands as a testament to the collective commitment to address climate challenges and create a better world, reinforcing the spirit of collaboration and action needed to combat climate change on a global scale.