Climate Change in Africa
A race against time
Davinah Milenge Uwella
Davinah Milenge-Uwella is a Senior Environment and Climate Change Officer at the African Development Back. She is the focal point for the Bank’s climate finance tracking and reporting. She also coordinates the activities of the Bank’s Climate Change Coordination Committee (CCCC). Her background is in carbon trading schemes including Clean Development Mechanism and the Gold Standard.
Sometimes as a quick-fix solution to ending poverty, the world’s poor countries including Least Developing Countries (LDCs) resort to cheap but unsustainable exploitation of natural resources: develop now and clean up later! This approach may have been used by developed nations years ago, but times have changed. Today, climate impacts have become more alarmingly urgent, and at the same time climate-smart solutions are becoming more viable and affordable. It would be simplistic bordering on fatalism to adopt yesteryear’s solutions to 21st century development challenges.
Last December at the game-changing global climate summit in Paris, African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina eloquently listed his new flagship programmes, including a catalytic US $300-million fund to support women in business. Fellow panelist Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chair of the African Union Commission, applauded the initiative, but was quick to caution him not to use the funds to buy women simple farm tools like hoes. Zuma’s advice embodies what the fight against climate change, at least for Africa, is about.