President Samia pushes for green growth

  • …Says Africa holds the key to solving climate challenges

KENYA, Nairobi PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan has underscored the need for African countries to capitalise on the continent’s potential to find solutions for climate crisis.

Speaking during the Africa Climate Summit 2023 in Nairobi, Kenya yesterday, President Samia said Tanzania was leading the way by demonstrating strong momentum in driving green growth, whereby almost 95 per cent of the energy is from hydro and natural gas.

“As Africans, we have no choice but to capitalise on our potential, to offer solutions, to bring growth and decarbonisation as well as creating resilience in our communities and economies,” President Samia noted.

She said that the interplay between development and climate change is undeniable and needs interlink demand integration as well as solutions that will provide opportunities for the socio-economic development of Africa.

“Our continent is highly impacted by the changing climate… it is nevertheless holding the key to solving climate challenges” Dr Samia noted.

According to President Samia, the 2023 report on economic development in Africa shows the potential of the continent to capture a technology-intensive global supply chain.

“It provides unique insight into Africa’s centrality to the green transition that will clearly transform our continent’s economies… It is said that all metals and minerals that are important and strategic for low carbon transition are abundantly found in Africa including chromium, lithium, natural graphite, nickel, niobium, rare earth metals and silver,” Dr Samia said.

Speaking about offering of critical minerals to the world, Dr Samia said that Tanzania has huge deposits of some of critical minerals needed today.

“Helium is present around Lake Rukwa basin, Nickel deposit around Lake Victoria, graphite reserves at southern eastern part of the country… We also have other deposits of critical minerals including copper, lithium and rare earth elements,” the head of state said.

However, the president said that Tanzania and the whole of African continent still face unprecedented impacts of climate change with limited capacity to finance the mitigation and adaptation needs.

“As we head towards COP 28, we have to raise African voices on the need for special establishment and capitalisation of a special fund for Africa… The contribution and pledges which are given by advanced countries have to say what percentage goes to Africa and not just blanket pledges,” she added.

President Samia also invited state leaders to participate in Africa’s Food Systems Forum (AGRF) Presidential Summit on Thursday in Dar es Salaam.

Kenyan President, William Ruto who is the Chairperson of the Committee of African Heads of States and Government on Climate Change, said that the summit was an opportunity to design effective strategies for securing community and forging transformative partnerships that will drive climate action in the direction and at a rate required to pull the continent and planet back from the brink of a climate change.

“Climate change is greatest challenge not only to the well-being of humanity but to every existence of life on Earth,” Mr Ruto said.

President Ruto said that three things were important in Africa including speed to access any meaningful resources, skills and affordability for all to pay the same.

“This event is both Africa’s climate summit and a global pre-COP28 convention… Africa is meeting and Africans are talking and the world is listening… We must use this opportunity to lead the world in a new direction towards a future that holds immense promise for both Africa and the entire world,” he added.

Speaking earlier, European Union President, Ursula von der Leyen said that the summit is a crucial step to prepare the upcoming COP 28 summit and to make sure that Africa’s voice resonates around the world and that Africa’s priorities as a continent that is most affected by climate change are well recognised.

“I am here not only to listen but also to bring Europe’s offer to ally at COP 28 and work together on all issues of the agenda…However, different our two continents may look, we share the same interests when it comes to climate action,” she said.

Ms Leyen said that huge potential for renewable energy and clean hydrogen, raw materials critical, incredible nature, biodiversity and young workforce of Africa can help clean up global energy systems and supply chains while creating good jobs.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that the people of Africa and the world as a whole need action to respond to deadly climate extremes.

“Today, I renewed my call for the world to step up climate action to avoid the worst effects of climate change, keep global promises to provide essential support, and help Africa make a just and equitable transition to renewable energy,” he said.

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