Archive How important is COP21 for Africa?

How important is COP21 for Africa?


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Aaron kaah yancho


Some of the world’s poorest people are in the Lake Chad river basin of Africa. Since this once in land lake shrink by more than 70% in the early 1980’s life become miserable   for farmers in this region. More than 42 million people from 6 different Africa countries fend here for a living through rain fed agriculture which as almost gone extinct with the disappeared rainfall and desertification.

People who live in this region are making do with these scanty resources even as the desert keeps encroaching in to farm land. A combination of disappearing resources and the massive expansion of the population is attracting violence on a daily bases. Fulani pastoralist who either migrate by tradition or necessity have seen all their cattle lost to the rising temperatures and diminishing of vegetation. An Oxfam report of the region estimates that  8 out of 10 pastoralist have lost their livestock and life in the region is a “mess”.

Even as these farmers strive to aid one another in this changing climate, Poor information communication infrastructures and the low levels of literacy and ignorance are only helping to exacerbate their woes.

This area of world presents  a poster image of what challenges await not only Africa but poor regions of the globe  if no proper’s financial mechanism are laid down on cop 21to address the impact of challenge changes in the developing regions of the  world. Speaking during the ClimDev Africa Round Table the president of the African development bank Akinwumi Adesina admitted that Africa was hardest hit by climate change. “It is undermining our sustainable and economic development and a threat to the prosperity of the continent”. Adesina remarked. According to Adesina Africa was growing in double digits but climate change is affecting the livelihood of many people on the continent. “We need to invest with funds, capacity building and all technology transfer mechanisms to ensure effective resilience “He added.

Though the lake chad river basin commission LBC and other developing partners have been helping people on the region to adapt to the new tide the UN Secretary

general Ban Ki Moon called what is happening in this region of the world as no accident following the wars in Ivory coast, south Sudan and the Central Africa as a “volatile mix of violence and food security’’.

As the negotiation on Paris intensify and enter gear some members of the Africa group of negotiators acknowledge the challenges for Africa as daring. Tosi Mpanu Mpanu is the former chair of the Africa negotiation group who affirms that providing adequate and timely funding for Africa most especially will drive the continent’s growth and in both a qualitative and quantitative manner. “Funding is vital to drive growth, increase investment and help the various various countries to lower their Greenhouse gas emissions” Mpanu told PAMACC.

Tosi Mpanu Mpanu however admits that Africa needs to keep to the adaptation argument as a major response to the challenges it is facing and that differentiating between the developing and the developed countries must be a fair way of striking an ambitious deal on cop21.

Women in Africa who constitute part of the global poor are in wait for the cop21 response to their plight. In the Lake Chad river basin especially where farmers live on next to nothing and on sand dunes with their food crops drying out  are waiting  and hopeful if  this COP 21 resolutions will open up new avenues for them to tap in to their inner abilities and make fruitful livings though land which is and has remained their only assets. Will present and future generations benefit from these ongoing negotiations?


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