By all means this is not an ordinary week. This week President Obama visits Israel, China’s new President visits Russia, and Iran’s supreme leader delivers a speech for Iran’s New Year even as the 10th anniversary of US invasion of Iraq is marked. Amidst all the hustle and bustle, let me take this early opportunity to wish my Iranian friends on campus a happy New Year!
Moving back a little bit to the previous week(s), news from UNEP’s news desk reveals the endorsement of the Africa Adaptation Knowledge Network (AAKNet) as a key tool for creating a coordinated approach to climate change adaptation in the vulnerable continent.
According to UNEP, AAKNet was established in April 2012 – to create a pool of knowledge that would enhance effective adaptation measures across Africa – and aims to support planning and implementation of climate change adaptation through sharing valuable knowledge and experiences with governments, regional authorities, and communities facing similar climate challenges, along the way overcoming such obstacles as fragmentation, lack of alignment of practices, insufficient understanding of end users and overlap.
Africa is particularly susceptible to climate change for a variety of reasons: its reliance on rain-fed agriculture, limited supply of fresh water, widespread poverty and disease, weak institutions, variable access to information and technology, complex disasters and conflicts, and inadequate access to basic services.
It is my considered opinion that with considerable support from development partners and political goodwill on the part of the African governments, AAKNet will prove very resourceful in so far as spurring real action on climate change in the continent is concerned. Through the network, member countries will learn from each other’s experiences by sharing success stories and even learning from hiccups in the process, for example the case of Kenya’s Climate Change Authority Bill that was fronted by the Kenya Climate Change Working Group.
Now on to a slightly different topic, allow me to use this platform to once again call on the international community and other friends of Kenya to continue being even more supportive of the country and its people as they journey through this very delicate yet important moment in the country’s history. And to Kenyans from all walks of life, the onus is on you to ensure that the politicians do not ruin your lives and nation-state with their selfish political interests veiled in words such as democracy and justice. Best wishes my country wo/men!