A university teacher, Prof. Victor Ojakorotu, said in Lagos on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 that governments in Africa were not making enough investments to secure the environment to protect people from hazards.
Ojakorotu, who made the statement in an interview with a correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria, said the investments being made by many governments in Africa were negligible to mitigate various environmental problems, including climate change and other challenges.
“The reality is that these environmental problems are the root cause of conflicts in Africa.
“Many of the intra and inter-state conflicts have links to squabbles over land, water and other natural resources,” he said.
Ojakorotu, a lecturer at North West University in South Africa, said that environmental problems were among the most pressing developmental challenges plaguing the African continent.
“Our continent’s environmental problems have resulted to a rise in intra and inter-state politics, diplomacy and multi-lateral agreements to curb the negative scale of the socio-economic and political problems brought about by the environment.
“Therefore, the need to ensure environmental sustainability through increased investments to mitigate adverse environment by our political leaders in Africa cannot be under-estimated.’’
The don stressed that African scholars needed to engage more on issues relating to environmental security of African countries.
“A group of African scholars have resolved to engage this problem by calling for well researched papers which shall be complied into a manual to provide guidance towards the continent’s policy direction.
“We are collaborating with a United Kingdom-based university to enable African scholars in the diaspora to contribute to lessening the scourge of climate change and other environment hazards on our people,’’ he said.
North West University is already collaborating with the University of Bradford in the United Kingdom to organise a three-day conference with theme: “Environmental Security, Diplomacy and Conflict in Africa’’ as part of efforts to design a blueprint to address the problem.
The conference is billed to hold from July 25 to 27, 2019 at the University of Bradford.
By Ikemefuna Okudolo