The Africa Climate Summit 2023 kicked off in Nairobi with a profound focus on critical themes that are central to the continent’s sustainable development.
The First Lady of the Republic of Kenya, Mama Rachel Ruto, delivered her welcome remarks during the high-level session titled ‘The Big Opportunity: Education and Skills Development for A Climate-Adapted and Green Economy,’ where she emphasised the need for Africa to invest in its youth and women and equip them with the skills they need to succeed in the green economy and the transition to clean energy.
Acknowledging the leadership of President William Ruto in hosting the Africa Climate Summit 2023, Mama Rachel Ruto highlighted Africa’s growing significance in the global arena. She emphasised that education plays a pivotal role in realising the continent’s potential and achieving its sustainable development goals.
Education, she argued, is the key to creating awareness and understanding among Africa’s youth about the intricate relationship between ecosystems, climate change, and sustainable development.
Mama Rachel Ruto also pointed out the ambitious African Union Green Recovery Action Plan, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the Greening of Education Initiative, emphasising that these goals can only be achieved through the education and skills development of Africa’s youth.
She noted that Africa is poised for a sustainable and equitable green workforce, with the continent’s youth leading the way. Environmental stewardship, she argued, would instil a sense of responsibility for natural resources and lead to improved conservation efforts.
Mama Rachel Ruto encouraged global collaboration to address climate change and biodiversity loss and expressed her anticipation for the panellists’ engagements during the session.
In another significant session of the Africa Climate Summit 2023 held at the First Lady’s Pavilion, Mama Rachel Ruto highlighted the pivotal role of women in shaping Africa’s sustainable energy future. Her welcome remarks were made during the session titled ‘Role of Women in Energy Transition for a Sustainable Future in Africa.’
Women play a crucial role in the energy transition towards a sustainable future across Africa. The First Lady highlighted the alarming statistics of deaths in Kenya due to household air pollution, with women and children being the most affected. The over-reliance on wood fuel for cooking and heating has also led to deforestation and increased health risks for women and children.
The First Lady stressed that women must be actively involved in designing policy interventions and solutions for the energy transition to ensure they are user-centric.
Mama Rachel Ruto concluded by underscoring the importance of recognising and supporting women’s diverse roles in advancing clean and sustainable energy sources on the continent. She called for strengthened partnerships and collaboration among governments, civil society, the private sector, and international organisations to achieve these goals.
The Africa Climate Summit 2023 continues to provide a platform for crucial discussions and commitments to address climate change and promote sustainability on the continent.
Other dignitaries present during the sessions included Fatima Maada Bio, First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone; Angeline Ndayishimiye, First Lady of the Republic of Burundi; Samira Ramadam Bawumina, spouse of the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana; Dimpho Tlhoreho Masuku, spouse of the Deputy Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Eswatini and Pastor Dorcas Rigathi, spouse to the Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya.