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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

AYCA debuts, unites African youth for global climate action

The African Youth Climate Assembly (AYCA), the official youth engagement mechanism of the Africa Climate Summit, has made a debut as a dynamic and inclusive conference that seeks to unite and amplify the voices of African youth and children in the global fight against climate change.

African Youth Climate Assembly (AYCA)
President William Ruto of Kenya speaking at the opening of the African Youth Climate Assembly (AYCA) in Nairobi

From September 1 to 3, 2023, in Nairobi, Kenya, the milestone event brings together a diverse cohort of young leaders, activists, innovators, and change-makers from across Africa.

Under the theme “African-led Solutions to Global Challenges”, The African Youth Climate Assembly serves as a rallying point, drawing attention to the unique climate-related vulnerabilities faced by African countries and highlighting the region’s substantial contributions to global climate solutions. This assembly will emphasise the need for collaborative and immediate action, reflecting the urgency echoed in international climate agreements.

The assembly will formulate the Africa Youth Declaration, a declaration/policy statement), which will presented to the AU and Heads of States and Government at The Africa Climate Summit holding from September 4 to 6, 2023, highlighting key asks by African youth.

The Africa Youth Climate Declaration serves as a representation of youth voices from across Africa at the preceding climate moments that include the UNGA, UNSG Climate Ambition Summit, COP28 and beyond.

Elizabeth Wathuti, AYCA Lead Coordinator, noted: “Climate change remains one of the most pressing challenges of our time, and its effects are particularly pronounced in Africa. AYCA acknowledges the diverse challenges and opportunities that different regions face and will bring together young leaders, activists, innovators, and thinkers from all corners of Africa, creating a space for collaboration, education, and action. By nurturing the passions and ideas of Africa’s youth, the assembly aims to plant the seeds for a sustainable future, where the continent leads the way in combating climate change.”

Key Objectives of Africa Youth Climate Assembly:

  • Amplifying Voices: AYCA aims to provide a platform for African youth and children to raise their voices, share their experiences, and contribute their unique perspectives to the global discourse on climate change.
  • Idea Exchange: The assembly will foster the exchange of innovative ideas, strategies, and solutions, empowering participants to address climate challenges at local, national, and regional levels.
  • Showcasing Solutions: AYCA will spotlight impactful projects and initiatives led by youth and children, highlighting their contributions to sustainable development and environmental protection.
  • Policy Influence: By uniting youth voices, AYCA seeks to influence policy decisions and advocate for effective climate policies that prioritise the needs and aspirations of African communities.
  • Networking and Collaboration: Participants will have the opportunity to network, collaborate, and form lasting partnerships, catalysing collective efforts towards a more resilient and sustainable future.

In light of COVID-19, AYCA is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of all participants. The assembly will follow all recommended health and safety protocols, including virtual attendance options for those unable to travel.

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