By Dibo Willis-Ambetsa
First Lady Rachel Ruto has called for the training of the youth on climate mitigation to empower the future workforce on the development of a green economy.
Mrs Ruto, who was speaking at a meeting of female leaders, the youth, private sector representatives and donors at the Africa Climate Summit First Lady’s pavilion, further noted that the training would help in poverty alleviation, combating the effects of climate change, and building a more resilient, inclusive society.
“Empowered women and youth are the drivers of change in communities. By equipping them with knowledge and skills, we can amplify their impact as champions of clean energy and sustainable practices,” she stated.
She observed that the impact of climate change is already being felt around the world, creating a significant shift in the global economy.
“In Africa, climate change is exacerbating environmental challenges, leading to increased droughts, floods, and heat waves, which are threatening agricultural productivity, food security, and economic development,” she said.
With its youth population expected to double in the next two decades, Africa has the opportunity to drive the global de-carbonisation agenda, which could generate $35 billion in revenue from green products and 800,000 new jobs by 2030, she added.
To ensure a successful and equitable transformation, the First Lady said a majority of young people, especially those from marginalised backgrounds who are disproportionately unemployed, under-employed, or in unstable work within the informal economy must be equipped with requisite knowledge.
“Translating the climate crisis into an opportunity for Africa will require new skills, new forms of leadership and the up-skilling of those in impacted industries and communities. It will require a significant scale up in investments in education and skilling, as well as the creation of the respective normative and policy framework,” she said.
The Africa Climate Summit, hosted by President William Ruto, offers a platform for leadership from the continent to put forth solutions to green various sectors including energy, manufacturing, agriculture, land and ocean use and infrastructure.
The First Lady called for the development of a charter to establish a High Ambition Coalition to be presented by African First Ladies and other global female leaders at COP 28.