The Africa Women and Children Conference (AFRIWOCC) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has facilitated the participation of Forty-Eight (48) African youth in this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) underway in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
AFRIWOCC is convened as a platform to discuss the issues affecting women, youth, and children in Africa and to coordinate a network of organizations focused on women, and children in Africa.
AFRIWOCC had targeted to sponsor 100 young people from Africa but only had 48 slots for the conference which kicked off on Thursday, November 30, 2023, and ends on Tuesday, December 12, 2023.
This partnership is premised on the 2023 AFRIWOCC Communique that recommends that “Women and children must be represented at all levels of the climate discussions for their voices to be heard” the organisations said in a joint statement.
In fulfilment of this recommendation, a pledge made by Madam Ahunna Eziakonwa, Assistant Administrator, Assistant Secretary General and UNDP Regional Director for Africa at the AFRIWOCC High-Level Dialogue; a side event at the Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi-Kenya this year, birthed this partnership.
The support is in recognition of the pivotal role of the youth in driving critical climate solutions, through innovations and meaningful dialogues.
The participants, drawn from several countries across Africa, have been selected after having gone through a rigorous selection process and meeting the criteria based on the context of the respective countries.
The sponsorship included visa processing, air tickets, accommodation, and transportation and accreditation facilitation.
These participants, a cross-section of Africa’s youth, are expected to contribute to discussions, build networks and showcase innovative solutions and ideas in the fight against climate change and its effects, particularly on women and children in Africa.
AFRIWOCC and UNDP said they are committed to ensuring that the voices of women and children are continuously amplified to drive significant sustainable and resilient development in Africa and beyond.
“We look forward to the positive aftermath of this conference on our local communities and the broader global conversation on climate change” the organisations noted.
Before this, Ghana’s Second Lady and Chair of the Africa Women and Children Conference (AFRIWOCC), Samira Bawumia, had highlighted the unique role African youth can play in revolutionizing the continent’s approach to the challenges brought on by climate change.
Speaking at the AFRIWOCC Pre-COP Youth Climate Dialogue and Innovation Exhibition on Tuesday, November 21 on the theme, “Youth in Climate Action”, Mrs Bawumia said, “The youth are not just the leaders of tomorrow but the architects of today’s transformative actions.”
Addressing the gathering at the West Africa Center for Crop Improvement (Wacci) at the University of Ghana, the Second Lady said she was “thrilled to see so many young leaders gathered here today to discuss climate change, sustainable development, and gender-related issues affecting women and children in the African context as well as showcase innovative climate solutions developed by young Africans.”
In August this year, AFRIWOCC organised its maiden conference which brought to the fore the urgency of amplifying the voices of women and children in the face of climate crisis. This groundbreaking initiative, borne out of a collective commitment to address the pressing issues faced by women and children, serves as a testament to the power of global collaboration and the unwavering dedication to a sustainable future.