Young climate activists from Africa call for their participation and inclusion at the COP-27

Friday, August 26, 2022

Ahead of the COP-27, young feminist climate activists are calling on global leaders to ensure that African voices and issues are included on the COP-27 agenda. The young activists further demand a loss and damage facility for the most vulnerable countries that contribute less to global emissions yet suffer some of the worst impacts of climate change. Floods and prolonged drought have led to the loss of lives, property, and livelihoods in many African Countries.

This call was made during the young feminists convening on gender and climate change organized by Oxfam, FEMNET and Akina Mama Wa Afrika at Mestil Hotel, Kampala under the theme of transforming gender and climate justice narratives on COP27. The three days meeting brought together over 40 young activists from Uganda, Kenya, Somalia, Rwanda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Zambia and DRC.

The meeting leads to the UNFCCC 27th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 27), which will be held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, from the 7th to 18th of November 2022. It will focus on the implementation and delivery of global commitments bridging gaps towards mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage and climate finance.

As the meeting is being held on African soil, which is the continent with the highest impact on the effects of climate change, Oxfam and partners saw this as an opportune time to raise and amplify the voices of young people who have been at the fore front of climate action and have the greatest stake in a sustainable and equitable future. The convening created space for discussion on the interlinkages of climate change and gender justice.

At the event's opening, Francis Shanty Odokorach, Country Director Oxfam in Uganda, said, “In the face of climate change, we know women and young people become more vulnerable as the care burden increases on women. The social-economic impacts of these crises make young people, especially girls, more vulnerable in search of alternative living. Climate solutions must therefore include the voices of the most affected.”

Renown young Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate added that, “Many people are referring to this as an African COP, but what will make it African is the presence of African climate activists from the African continent, stories and experiences of African communities and not merely holding the meeting on the African soil.” “We must put a human face when discussing the climate crisis.” Vanessa

Hon. Peace Regis Mutuuzo, Minister of State for Gender and Culture Affairs, said that developing countries cannot implement ambitious climate change mitigation targets without sustainable, cost-effective financing from developed countries. Climate Financing must therefore be on the top agenda.

Together, the young people consolidated their collective position to be taken to COP27. Some critical issues they advanced are providing space for young people to speak out, financing the youth agenda and implementing existing policy frameworks for young people's social and economic transformation. The young people also advanced the feminist position on ‘no climate justice without gender justice and young people.

Notes to editors: 

Akina Mama wa Afrika

Akina Mama wa Afrika (AMwA) is a feminist Pan-African development organization founded in 1985. AMwA’s interventions target global, regional, and national development processes with focalized programmes in Africa currently being implemented in Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Zambia, Tunisia, Ethiopia, and Sudan. AMwA’s work is rooted in feminist principles and beliefs guided by the Charter of Feminist Principles for African Feminists which defines our leadership development program and movement-building work. We are proud members of the Solidarity for African Women’s Rights (SoAWR), NGO CSW Africa, the Gender Is My Agenda Campaign, and more recently Tax Justice Network Africa.

FEMNET

The African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET) is a pan- African, feminist and membership-based network based in Nairobi with over 800 members across 49 African countries. FEMNET exists to facilitate and coordinate the sharing of experiences, ideas, information, and strategies for human rights promotion among African women’s organizations through networking, communication, capacity-building and advocacy at the regional and international levels.

OXFAM

Oxfam is a global movement for change that empowers people to create a secure future, just and free from poverty and injustice. We want a world in which everyone can safely speak truth to power, claim their human rights, and build a better future for themselves. We recognize that we cannot achieve this on our own but as a collective power. We, therefore, work in partnership with local and grass-root organisations, civil society, individuals, volunteers, the private sector, and the Government.

In Uganda, Oxfam started in the 1960’s and continues with a Vision of a Uganda free of inequality and Injustice: A society where people, particularly women and young people, claim and exercise their rights and responsibilities and influence decisions that affect their lives. Our work is guided by the Country Strategic Framework (CSF) (2021-2030), organised around four themes: Governance and Accountability, Resilient Livelihoods, Humanitarian preparedness and response and Gender Justice and Women's Rights. To contribute to change that lasts, we mobilize to transform the systems, policies and practices that significantly impact people’s lives.

Contact information: 

Dorah Ntunga: dorah.ntunga@oxfam.org