Hundreds of activists from across Africa on Monday September 4, 2023, took to the street in Kenya’s capital Nairobi to peacefully demonstrate against the inaugural Africa Climate Summit currently ongoing at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi.
The protesters were carrying placards that read “less talk, more action,” the activists marched from Nyayo Stadium to Green Park Bus Terminus, where they met for the “Africa People’s Climate Assembly.” They claim the Africa Climate Summit lacks legitimacy and shows no sign of solving the genuine and rising climate issue.
According to Ikal Ang’elei, a Turkana indigenous activist, the policies advocated at the Africa Climate Summit will continue to plunder African resources while consolidating power and money in the hands of a few wealthy individuals. According to Ang’elei, Africa produces 4% of climate crises yet bears the brunt of environmental changes.
“We want a radical shift in how climate change is being addressed. The Summit is one thing but they are made elsewhere. Those responsible for climate change are not adequately financing mitigation measures. We are not begging, we are demanding,” she said.
The Africa People’s Climate Assembly aims to provide an inclusive platform for civil society organizations, grassroots movements, indigenous communities, artists, youth activists, academics, think tanks and other stakeholders to collaborate, share knowledge, and propose actionable transformational solutions for climate-compatible development in Africa.
“The focus will be on African people’s agency and the vast possibilities at hand to achieve an inclusive and prosperous Africa,” Ang’elei added.
The assembly, which will also take place on Tuesday, will include a People’s Climate Concert and a cultural evening vigil to remember victims of climate disasters and climate activists, as well as a reminder of the urgent need to prioritize climate action.
President William Ruto was the guest speaker at this event. He called on African leaders to work in unity so as to come up with better policies in regard to climate change.