African Leaders Gather for Climate Action and Trade Summit

Delegates from various countries and organizations have gathered in Midrand, South Africa, for the Sixth Parliament of the Pan-African Parliament.

The theme of the meeting is ‘Accelerating the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area’. The Pan-African Parliament (PAP) and the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance are the organizers of the third summit.

They have been collaborating to raise awareness of the role of combating climate change in Africa.

The summit will explore the current challenges facing the continent and how to achieve a fair and sustainable transition and implement the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) that align with Africa’s development goals and economic realities.

The President of the Pan-African Parliament, Hon. Chief Fortune Charumbira, emphasized the need for a result-based approach to the deliberations to ensure that the summit produces concrete solutions to the fight against climate change.

“We need a strong institutional arrangement out of this summit and leadership must play a big role in this. Without leadership, nothing will be achieved. Let’s avoid repeating what we have said in the past. We need to interrogate why developed countries are not respecting what they have committed to” said Hon. Chief Fortune Charumbira, President of PAP.

Hon Charumbira urged his fellow leaders that there is urgency in deliberating with a goal and on the route to achieving that every missing voice has to be included for through inclusivity attaining a solution will be eased.

The core agenda is to deliberate on what can jointly work for the common good of the African continent in order to attain the universal growth of the African countries. 

This event is essential considering it has managed to attract members from the PAP Bureau, all Permanent Committees, members of the Committee on Rural Economy, Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources; parliamentarians from national and regional parliaments, African Union (AU) institutions, critical stakeholders, and resource persons from relevant institutions and community representatives.

According to Dr. Mithika Mwenda, Executive Director of PACJA, the African continent is already living in a critical moment in history where the future of planet Earth is unforeseen and the generations to come depend on actions that are to be actualized now in response to the crisis. 

Dr. Mwenda called for actions to be actualized by leaders in unison with courage and ambition as they uphold the principles of climate justice and human rights.

“Based on the Sixth synthesis report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released on 23rd March this year, it was confirmed that human-induced global warming is already causing widespread and irreversible impacts on our natural and human systems, and these impacts will only worsen with further warming. We call on leaders to increase their ambition and action to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, as agreed in the Paris Agreement. The time for action is now. Africa cannot wait,” said Dr. Mithika Mwenda.

The convention awaits the President of Kenya Dr. William Ruto’s arrival for the address being the Chair of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC).

In a statement issued on Tuesday, State House spokesperson Hussein Mohamed said Kenya remains a strong actor in the Pan-African Parliament and President Ruto’s address to the Parliament reaffirms Kenya’s dedication to climate action and demonstrates its commitment to fostering consensus among African nations on vital agenda items that profoundly affect the lives and future of the African people and nations.

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