First Lady of Sierra Leone Fatima Bio on Monday 4th September 2023, told delegates at the Africa Climate Change Summit that education is a key solution in the fight against Climate Change in Africa. The Summit is being held in Nairobi, Kenya from 4th to 6th September 2023.
Mrs. Bio was speaking during a panel discussion that was opened by the First Lady of Kenya Mrs. Rachel Ruto, on the topic “The Big Opportunity, Education and Skills Development for a Climate Change-Adapted and Green Economy”.
Mrs. Bio gave a backdrop of how the President of Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio believes that in whatever solution you seek for your people, you must ensure that they are educated as without Education, it will be difficult to achieve your goals.
First Lady Maada Bio then posited that: “Educating your people on the importance, challenges and effects of climate change will enable them to know how to fight it”.
She said deploying Modern Technology is now proven to be quite effective in fighting climate change but that technology is a tool that can only be utilized if your population is educated enough to know how to access and operate technological solutions.
As African leaders, she said, it is imperative for them to constantly engage their people on climate change as it is already significantly affecting African Nations.
She continued that the fight against climate change is not a one-man show but it should be a collective effort that warrants the attention of all; especially Africans.
First Lady Fatima Bio who is a member of the United Nations Advisory Board of Eminent Persons on Zero Waste, asserted that: “Gone are the days when we see climate change as a problem out in the West. It is now our problem as Africans so we must deal with it collectively and we must start now!”
She elaborated extensively on the topic, skillfully addressing each component of The Big Opportunity, Education, Skills, Green Workforce, African-Led Education Solution, and finally, “Catalysing a high Ambition Coalition”.
She furthered that Africa as a continent with the youngest and fastest growing population and with abundant natural capital, is well positioned to lead a re-thinking of the skills needed for a green transformation of how humans occupy the World.
“We need to adapt to and mitigate climate change, create resilient and more sustainable economies, and quite importantly, we have to create opportunities to ensure African youth have the skills and the education they need to help drive the global transformation”.
“We must improve facilities at our education and training institutions to ensure our youth reach their fullest potential. Then society, at all levels, can address the triple imperatives of climate adaptation, mitigation, and economic transformation,” First Lady Fatima suggested in her remarks.
On opening the high-level Session, Kenya’s First Lady Rachel Ruto encouraged the esteemed Panelists to speak on the topics extensively to come out with a comprehensive road map for tackling climate change in Africa.
Indeed the Panelists lived up to expectations. The discussions were honest, robust, well-researched, and deeply appreciated as shown by the loud applause from delegates for the esteemed Panelists.