Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg wants more attention to be paid to the fight against climate change in Africa. She has; therefore, today given a platform to various climate activists from the African continent. “We are focusing on Africa today because the African perspective is receiving far too little media attention,” she said.
During a press conference in Stockholm, 17-year-old Thunberg was in contact by video conference with climate activists Vanessa Nakate (Uganda), Ayakha Melithafa (South Africa), and Makenna Muigai (Kenya) and with South African climate scientist Ndoni Mcunu. This opportunity should be used to give a voice to the people whose stories need to be heard, Thunberg said.
“Africa represents about 5 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions,” but is “most affected” by climate change, stresses Ndoni Mcunu. “Nearly 20 million people have fled the continent because of these changes. And droughts “have put nearly 52 million people in a state of food insecurity”.
“This is the greatest challenge facing our continent,” concludes the scientist. “We are experiencing in our own lives the consequences of climate change. We feel them every day,” Melithafa says.
Makenna Muigai emphasizes that the African heads of state too often ignore climate problems. “I urge African leaders to realize that we will all be affected by climate change and that we should not leave anyone to their own devices.”
“It is now time for the world to listen to the activists from Africa and to pay attention to their stories and deeds,” it finally sounds at Nakate. “If we remain deaf to the call of activists from Africa, it will be very difficult for them to get their message across to their governments.”