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Africa In Retrospect Ahead Of COP27

By Shingirai Vambe.

On several occasions people have disagreed with the policies that Africa is urged or forced to adapt, as a measure to respond to climate related issues, which have drawn the attention of the whole world yet not being fairly treated, or maybe it’s based on the state at which they are regarded.

In this article, we are sharing as well as going to get answers to what exactly should Africa look at, especially now, at the height of high political temperatures across the continent.

The vagaries of climate change have since increased. Nature is taking its shape and some have since distanced themselves to the narrative being shared by the western and eastern countries because of various valid reasons which precisely speak to particular challenges each country is facing.

Cop 27 is the United Nations 27th Conference of Parties which Countries and their leaders are participating to lobby, share and make proposals in response to the natural disasters which are regarded as human induced.

The focus being that to apply the 17 Sustainable Developmental Goals (SDGs) in each and every country in the world, the practice would need a behavioral change to a number of things such as reduction in deforestation, management of waste and making use of water in a sustainable manner for a health living.

Africa, among other continents, is the richest in all the minerals, flora and fauna, yet they are the largest borrowers of funds and majority of citizens have decided to migrate to Asian and European countries for greener pastures.

Credit to WFO file pic

The response towards climate change has been politically motivated with the fear that, whatever is being asked by other countries to adapt is by way, to disadvantage Africans.

How has been the response?
Not 100 percent sure, but would precisely say majority of the countries in Africa have turned a deaf ear due to major problems that affect them daily.
Africans face food shortages and suffer political instability leading to economic meltdowns which may result in them failing to properly respond. Since 2012 there has been a rise in coups across Africa, some dictators have been deposed while others have died their natural deaths.

Since the borrowing basket has been increasing, why not sell what Africa has and trade for whatever they may require and not food?

Only recently after the fall-out of Russia and Ukraine when majority realized that even after allocation of the bigger chunk of money to Agriculture, Zimbabwe was still importing grains from Russia? Debts and debts have accumulated yet all the farms are occupied and reports are that of good results from the Agric sector.

As part of the mitigatory measure planting of trees has become an everyday event in response to the vagaries of Climate Change, Africa is one continent with the largest forests in the world, with little or no recognition, they have been cut due to continuous increase of population and shortage of electricity as well as lack of innovation to value add.

Developed countries aren’t worried about the Tsotso stoves, bio-gas digesters and or other means to reduce or make power available; they are coming up with innovations which are positive responses to their nearest problems.

What is the problem with Africa? China is one country without granite stone, but they have managed to do granite carvings beyond what men can ever imagine, still Africa remains poor at the same time, expected to participate and request a fair treatment at these conference of parties.

Reasons of attending COPS may differ, but how can the African voice be amplified, remove the borrowing basket and start to practice, reduction of disaster risks through systematic efforts to analyses and manage the casual factors of disasters, including reduced exposure to hazards, lessened vulnerability of people and property, wise management of land and the environment, and improved preparedness for adverse events.

Is Africa prepared?

First things first, the stomach needs food, clean drinking water and energy for production and or manufacturing.

Politics of the day has proved to be the worst to convince people to abstain from their means of living when it’s against the required standards.

Politicians also make political decisions, such is the case in the land redistribution exercise in Zimbabwe, resettled farmers cleared the land in a way they saw best fit but affecting the eco-system, in some cases increasing evaporation of water, siltation to mention just a few and that alone may not require funding but a well thought idea of restoration.

The increase in human wildlife conflict is as a result of destruction of forests, few sources of water for animals have dried up and the only resort will be places where people access water, but how has this gone too far, survival of the fittest, without proper line of work or employement, citizen resort to whatever is nearer to them for survival.

However, the survival of their livestock has always been a cause for concern, as they may be attacked or affected by diseases like foot and mouth, January diseases, heart water, etc.

Cases may not be the same, but the whole of Africa after the COP26 last year, only received 2% from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and one may wonder, would that be enough? What’s the reason for continuous participation in these programs?

This was rightly answered by the World Bank, country director to Zimbabwe, Majorie Mpundu that due to geo-political situation, in Zimbabwe 44% of the population is living in extreme poverty, political and economic instability being major drivers of impoverishment.

However environmental studies shows, an increase of disasters, poor management because these, we’re not familiar with as a people, Cyclones, earthquakes, whirlwinds to mention just a few. Climate experts claim it’s the depletion of the ozone layer through emission of greenhouse gases.

How much do Africans understand in this definition, even if they do, are they in a position to adapt?

Political leaders across the continent have failed to directly engage with people in different spheres of life, to appreciate the subject instead, they would take the opportunity to drive their political agendas and the response become poor depending on recipients.

First world countries have also contributed, making Africa ignore everything else including ways to create a sustainable or value add their resources and start focusing on climatic wars which they are facing as a result of massive industrialization especially on the banning of coal, which is currently being used to generate electricity in Zimbabwe.

Developed countries are already moving to electric vehicles, which can’t be afforded by majority of Africans even to maintain.

These critical issues are of paramount importance during COPs and maybe, decide to have different meetings, Africa attend to its challenges as Africa with African leaders while Europe and Asia do the like wise.

Increased production and trade between African countries is one area which may unite and bring countries closer in addressing relative problems. Creating an African continent without borders of trade is one way to conquer climate change, economic and political crisis.