ADISS ABABA, Ethiopia (PAMACC News) - The African civil society under the umbrella of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) has constituted new Board of Directors that will align the roadmap for climate justice agenda for the next three years.
During PACJA General Congress in Addis Ababa on the sidelines of the 2023 Africa Union Summit, members from over 50 African countries came together to set out the blue print for a more engaging climate action in the aftermath of the 27th round of climate negotiations in Egypt. The 2023 general congress was held under the theme, “accountability and stock taking.”
According to the Executive Director of PACJA Dr Mithika Mwenda, Africa is the most impacted by climate change but the least responsible and informed.
“We need to empower our local communities both with the resources and right knowledge to enable them better fight climate change” said Mithika.
Climate change accordingly impacts vulnerable communities in Africa in particular and the world at large such as smallholder producers, indigenous people, women, children, youth, many of whom live in fragile ecosystems and rely on natural resources for their livelihood.
Experts agree that the combined impact of the climate crisis, COVID 19, deepening debt burden, Russia-Ukraine war and skyrocketing food and energy prices, resulting into increased cost of living for millions of people across the globe, especially those at the frontline of climate change impacts, necessitates urgent concerted action both at grass root and international levels.
It is against this backdrop that PACJA and its partners are calling for collective efforts and the needed resources to drive innovative actions of the ground.
Dr Mithika lauded the multiple partners that have stood by the strong civil society movement in the African continent to push the various stakeholders to action in addressing climate change.
“Our actions cannot be successful without the support of these donor institutions and we are calling on all to come on board so that we can better strengthen our engagements” Mithika said.
It should be recalled that the President of the African Development Bank Group Dr Akinwumi Adesina reiterated on the power of civil society organizations last year in a climate conference in Ivory Coast, harping on their contribution in pushing the Bank’s effort to build the continent’s resilience to climate change.
“We will need civil society organizations, to strongly advocate for and support the 16th replenishment of Fund, as it holds great promise for supporting the most vulnerable in the face of climate change devastation,” the Bank chief said at the climate forum.
One of the actions driven very powerfully in the African continent as pathways to address climate change crisis is the embrace of renewable energy. PACJA says one of its strategic initiatives in the climate change drive is ensuring a people-centered energy transition in Africa through civil society engagement.
According to Dr Augustine Njamnshi, coordinator of the African Coalition for Sustainable Energy and Access, ACSEA renewable energy has to be put at the center of all climate change actions.
“The ACSEA project aims to strengthen civil society’s role in promoting and implementing sustainable energy transition initiatives including renewable NDCs in Africa, influence renewable energy policy development at domestic, national and global levels” Njamnshi said.
PACJA new Board Chair Najwa Bourawi from Tunisia also emphasized on the need for a sustainable energy transition in Africa for the continent to meet its needs for socio-economic development.
“The time is critical. We must act quickly in the renewable energy transition to address the shocks of climate change that are affecting the African people,” Najwa said.
The General Congress also saw the election of members to head the executive council of PACJA and heads of different committees of the board of the organization for the next three years. These committees include the technical and political committee, the finance and administrative committee, the ethics and arbitration committee, the recruitment and credentials committee. Also elected to the continental committee was the Isaiah Esipisu, the Continental Coordinator for PAMACC.