Workshop on ClimDev-Africa youth platform

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 22 January 2015 – A three-day workshop, organized by the ClimDev-Africa Programme, is currently underway at the Economic Commission for Africa’s Conference Center with a view of setting up the ClimDev-Africa Youth Platform (CLAYP). The CLAYP seeks to provide a unique structure for African youth climate initiatives and networks that will facilitate linkages amongst themselves as well as with national, regional, and international partners in a bid to forge a strong and united African youth voice on climate change issues. The platform, premised on the Malabo Declaration that explicitly calls for African youth involvement in climate negotiation processes, aims to integrate the youth into the policy space by bridging the generational gap between the youth and policy makers and by bringing to the fore the particular climate concerns and priorities of the African youth.

The workshop convened close to 15 participants that are actively engaged in climate initiatives from across the various African regions, including the SIDS, to reflect on modalities of establishing such a platform. Representatives of the AUC, one of the three partner institutions of the ClimDev-Africa programme, also took part in the workshop. The timing of the workshop coincided with the meeting of African Group of Negotiators (AGN) on climate change that is being held concurrently in an attempt to make the case for a substantive representation of African youth and their contribution to the shaping of the African Common Position on Climate Change and the global climate negotiation processes.

The workshop recognized the need to capitalize on Africa’s youth dividend, while addressing the twin challenges of climate change and sustainable development. Climate response is a collective effort that requires the participation of all sections of the African population, and particularly the youth. However, the workshop stressed the importance of a robust scientific basis to defend African climate position and the need to link climate science to policy making in Africa.


Photo caption: Cross-section of participants at the CLAYP workshop


Photo caption: Ms. Olushola Olayde, Representative of the African Union Commission (AUC), delivering CLAYP workshop’s opening speech


Photo caption: Ms. Fatima Denton, Direction of ECA’s Special Initiative Division addressing the workshop

In her speech, Ms. Fatima Denton, Director of the ECA’s Special Initiative Division, highlighted the centrality for the African youth to act as the moral conscience, calling them to reflect on their respective roles and their specific areas of intervention, including unpacking climate issues, articulating and communicating concerns and positions, and even revolutionizing processes. She urged to keep the momentum alive through their exuberance, energy and creativity in the build-up towards COP21 in Paris and beyond.  Ultimately, it is a legacy issue, whereby today’s youth just as it should hold accountable the current generation for its climate decisions and actions, will also be held accountable by tomorrow’s youth.

Issued by the Climate for Development in Africa (ClimDev-Africa).