“As future’s custodians, our voices matter”: Africa's Children on Climate Conversations

Credit: Jesuits Justice and Ecology Network Africa (JENA)

Children in Africa are calling on governments and African leaders to involve them in conversations around the climate and processes leading to “environmental decisions”.

In a statement issued at the end of the Global Child-led Climate Change Summit Committee (GCCCS), which the Jesuits Justice and Ecology Network Africa (JENA) and the African Union (AU) organized alongside other partners, representatives of Africa’s children also ask global leaders to facilitate the visibility of the advocacy of Africa’s children on climate issues.

“It’s imperative that African governments consult their people, especially children, on environmental decisions. As the future’s custodians, our voices matter,” they say in the statement following the August 31- September 2 Summit.

The representatives of Africa’s children add that leaders on the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent need to “prioritize a comprehensive educational reform focusing on climate change and conservation, and digital empowerment to foster green initiatives in schools.”

African governments, they further say, “must allocate resources transparently and equitably, ensuring marginalized communities benefit from investments.”


In the statement addressed to Kenya’s President, William Ruto, AU Chairperson, President Azali Assoumani of the Comoros, and delegates participating in the inaugural African Climate Summit in the capital city of Kenya, Nairobi, Africa’s children representatives urge global leaders to allow children in Africa to contribute solutions to the challenges they suffer amid “climate-induced child rights violations”. 

"We seek the world’s support in empowering our advocacy. Allow us to highlight climate-induced child rights violations and share our solutions,’’ they say. 

Africa’s children representatives further call upon world leaders to ensure transparency in the global carbon trade to safeguard vulnerable communities in Africa.

“Encourage national and international entities to empower African communities in biodiverse investments,” they say, adding that transforming the environment is “an imperative we must meet for the sake of our children, and our shared future.”

The representatives of Africa’s children underscore the need to include young people on the continent in environmental conversations, describing the present moment as critical.

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“Let us not forget that we, the youth, are not just the future; we are the present. We stand at a crossroads of life or death, and the choices we make today will shape the world that the generations after we inherit,” they say, and call for the reshaping of the world “into one where every child, regardless of nationality or circumstance, can live in a world that is just, fair, and sustainable.”

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.