From Idah Mhetu in Victoria Falls
AFRICA is is hardest hit by the effects of climate change when it contributes less in terms of causes of the ugly weather phenomenon, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.
Officially opening the Sixth Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD) in Victoria Falls on Tuesday, Mnangagwa said Africa pollutes less compared to other global countries, but was the most affected.
Mnangagwa said for African countries to be able to combat climate change and adapt to its effects, countries need to follow the Paris Agreement.
The Paris Agreement brings all nations into a common cause to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects, with enhanced support to assist developing countries to do so.
“The African Continent contributes less to climate change yet it is the most severely affected continent. Mitigation of Climate change must be prioritised in line with the Paris Agreement,” said Mnangagwa.
He said last year’s devastation caused by tropical Cyclone Idai which struck southern African neighbours Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi was a grim reminder that Africa remains the most vulnerable continent as far as climate change mitigation is concerned.
“In Southern Africa, we experienced the wrath of climate change through Cyclones Idai and Kenneth in 2019 as well as the recurring droughts,” he said.
“For us in Zimbabwe, the ripple effects of climate change were felt in every sector of our society, with dire consequences to our food security, hydro power generation and cumulatively, projected economic recovery and growth. Climate change is real, as evidenced by the droughts that are ravaging our continent,” said Mnangagwa.
UN deputy secretary general Amina Mohammed also urged countries to embrace the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Ambition also demands a full embrace of the SDGs by our partners in business, technology, science and academia.
“And it requires the delivery of strong commitments at this year’s major global meetings on climate change, biodiversity, sustainable transport and oceans – all of which are crucial for Africa’s future,” said Mohammed.
The symposium, brings together over 3 000 delegates from all over the continent to deliberate on the best ways forward in terms of implementation of SDGs.