Africa Needs to “take action from within” in Fighting Climate Change: Bishop in Angola

Bishop Dionísio Hisiilenapo of Namibe Diocese in Angola. Credit: Radio Ecclesia

Countries in Africa need to take the lead in fighting climate change and not wait for solutions from outside the continent, the Catholic Bishop of Namibe Diocese in Angola has said.

Speaking to Radio Ecclesia Angola on the United Nations 28th Conference of Parties Climate Conference (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bishop Dionísio Hisiilenapo said, the answer to Africa's climate problems depends on politicians since they determine governance policies.

“We need to rethink the way in which Africans participate in world events. I also think that Africa should take its own measures, not just depend on the UN or COP 28,” Bishop Hisiilenapo said during the Sunday, December 3 interview.

He underscored the need for Africa “to take action from within” if it must save itself, “instead of being teleguided.”

“Africans should really be members in their own right, so that they can make decisions and not just be artificial members of the United Nations,” the Angolan Catholic Bishop emphasized, and continued, “We are very much guided and managed, even on the strong issues that are killing us, from outside.”


The response the challenge of climate change, the Local Ordinary of Namibe said, “depends on the politicians because they are the ones who determine and order social or climate policies.”

“But the community as a whole, we the faithful and all the people, each of us must do our part,” he went on to say, adding that taking action is urgent because “we Africans are the ones to suffer more from climate change than those countries that pollute, or produce a lot of rubbish or have factories that destroy the ozone layer.”

He further lamented, “As some technicians, experts, say, Africa contributes almost nothing to the greenhouse gases, but is the one that suffers the consequences.”

Reflecting on the case of Angola, Bishop Hisiilenapo said the Southern African nation is already suffering from the consequences of climate change, starting with the unusual rains in November. 

“It means that something is actually abounding, and you know the real consequences, the flooding in the end, so Angola also has to prepare itself, in terms of the desert, in terms of its cities, the pollution,” he said.

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The 57-year-old Angolan Bishop who has been at the helm of Namibe Diocese since his Episcopal Consecration in September 2011 further decried infrastructural limitations in the country, saying, “The problem is also that our physical structures aren't prepared for the rains and don't have maintenance rehabilitation.”

“I think another big problem is the maintenance of our bridges and our roads,” Bishop Hisiilenapo said, and continued, “Angola's problem is a problem of conscience and of thinking about the future generations.”

João Vissesse is an Angolan Journalist with a passion and rich experience in Catholic Church Communication and Media Apostolate.