The Ministers Responsible for Environment, Science and Climate Change from 12 West African countries have converged on Accra to explore ways to help the sub-region build resilience against the global climate crisis.
The fifth Ministerial Council meeting is being held ahead of the 28th UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP28) to strengthen inter-governmental collaboration in the sub-region and also rally other stakeholders for climate action.
The ministers would discuss ways to leverage technology and scientific research to reduce emissions, as well as promote adaptation and mitigation to climate change.
The meeting is spearheaded by the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL), in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany.
The conference is being attended by ministers from Ghana, Senegal, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Benin, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, the Gambia, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Togo.
The Chairman of the WASCAL Council of Ministers, Prof. Bourema Kansaye, said that given that climate change had exposed Africa to threats of food insecurity, migration and vulnerabilities, it was important for all hands to be on the deck to help deal with those challenges.
He underscored the need for civil society organizations, research institutions, and state and non-state agencies to come together and work towards tackling the menace.
Ghana’s Minister for Science, Environment and Technology, Hon. Kwaku Afriyie, said in his opening remarks that state and non-state actors should work together to leverage scientific research, innovation and sustainable practices to reduce carbon emissions and harness the potential of green hydrogen.
He said the African continent was the hardest hit by climate change, and the collective effort to fight this common security threat will go a long way toward winning the battle.