Africa Climate Week is a crucial annual event that brings together governments, civil society organizations, businesses, and individuals to address the pressing challenges posed by climate change in the African context. This year’s event, 4th-8th September 2023 takes an innovative approach, with African civil society organizations spearheading an alternative People’s Climate Summit at the Green Park, Nairobi. This groundbreaking initiative kicks off with an African Public Protest- “The Real Africa People’s Climate March” on the 4th October 2023 from Nyayo Stadium at 9AM, followed by a series of events and discussions, and culminates into a People’s Climate Concert, and the beginning of the 3 day long “Alternative People’s Climate Assembly.
Laudato Si’: A Call to Protect Our Common Home
The encyclical “Laudato Si'” by Pope Francis emphasizes the urgent need to address climate change, environmental degradation, and their impact on the world’s most vulnerable populations. It calls for an integrated approach to ecological, social, and economic issues. Pope Francis underscores the moral responsibility to care for the planet and each other, urging nations and individuals to take immediate and comprehensive action to protect our common home. We believe that the African governments will actively participate in the African Climate Week/Summit with an open and kind heart, open to discuss the real threats of Climate change, climate injustices and adopt sustainable practices to safeguard the most vulnerable creation within our midst.
Climate March: Mobilizing Voices for Change
As Laudato Si Movement and as part of the Africa wide Civil Society organization actively supporting the “Real Africa People’s Climate Summit”, we call on all African governments to stop being caricatures in the western exploitation of Africa and her resources. We also add our voice in calling out the greed-driven investments in the fossil fuel industry across Africa, especially in the proposed East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline, in The Okavango delta, in Mozambique. Through the “Real Africa Peoples’ Climate March” we will be creating a space for concerned citizens to voice their demands for climate action. This march, organized by the African people is a real sentiment, urging policymakers to prioritize sustainable solutions, adaptation, and mitigation efforts across Africa.
Catholic Response to Fossil Fuel Projects in Africa
Catholics are called upon to align with the principles of environmental stewardship in “Laudato Si'” and oppose any proposed new fossil fuel projects in Africa: Oil drilling in Okavango, oil investments in Uganda/Tanzania (EACOP), Mozambique gas projects, and Nigeria’s delta region have significant environmental and social ramifications. Catholics can raise awareness, advocate for clean energy alternatives, and support organizations striving to protect the environment and local communities. This is possible as has been recently witnessed by the South Catholic Bishops conference taking a class suite against polluters in South Africa.
Addressing Minerals Colonialism and Exploitation
The exploitation of Africa’s mineral resources by the West is a historical injustice that continues to impact the continent. Many African nations face economic and environmental challenges due to extractive industries. It’s imperative to foster fair and sustainable partnerships, advocate for responsible mining practices, and ensure that the benefits of resource extraction are equitably distributed among local communities.
Uniting Africa’s Resources for Sustainable Development
The need for African nations to unite as a cohesive continent, leveraging their natural resources in a sustainable manner, is paramount. By prioritizing intra-African cooperation, fair trade, and responsible development, the continent can create a self-reliant economy that benefits all its citizens and protects its unique ecosystems for generations to come.