By Bojosi Morule, Communications
Four interns from the International Justice Project attended a program on July 3 at the Permanent Observer Mission of the African Union to the United Nations titled The International Day of the African Child: Renewable Energy and the Youths of Africa: Post 2015 Sustainable Development Agenda. The program was put together and moderated by Ugoji Adanma Eze, the President of the Eng Aja Eze Foundation.
The meeting focused on renewable energy and the involvement of African youth in making the continent environmentally sustainable while still providing power for both rural and urban populations. The growing population of Africa is creating a high demand for electricity and causing an energy crisis.
However, the overall feel of the program was hopeful. The development of sustainable architecture and renewable energy technologies give a positive outlook for energy in Africa. Olivia Fussel, President of Carbon Credit Capital, noted that financing energy from both private and public sources is crucial. Fussel further stated that her organization believes solar is the answer to the energy crisis in Africa. Several panelists stated that renewable energy can be used to promote sustainable development while keeping climate change and environmental issues in check.
Africa has the youngest population in the world. The growing number of youth in the nation could provide a work force that could learn about and implement renewable energy practices. The nations of Uganda and South Africa are leading the continent in renewable energy practices.
Jeanne d’Arc Byaje, the Deputy Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of Rwanda to the United Nations, noted that the African child must be linked to renewable energy sources. There was also a call to make an effort to curb environmental damage. Poverty in the region is exacerbated by climate issues and the frequency of extreme weather conditions. Thus, finding renewable energy sources is important for the future of the continent.
An IJP summer intern, Bojosi Morule, contributed to this talk by giving a brief summation on the events that took place in South Africa on June 16, 1976 that led to that day being a public holiday known as Youth Day in democratic South Africa, as well as International Day of the African Child worldwide.