Dr Kwaku Afriyie, Minister of Environment Science Technology and Innovation has urged African leaders to leverage investments from the developed partners to combat climate change and improve the livelihood of people.
He said: “we can feel the palpable impact of climate change. We continue to witness increased temperatures, erratic rainfall patterns, severe droughts, and frequent and intense floods. These events have had far widespread reaching consequences on our agricultural productivity, water resources, and overall well-being.”
Dr Afriyie made the remarks at the opening of 5th WASCAL Ministerial Council Meeting in Accra.
The WASCAL Ministerial Council Meeting is the highest organ of the institution, and its meeting is geared towards deepening the relations among the member countries on one side and the German partner at the policy making level.
WASCAL is an international organisation created by 10 West African countries that focus on scientific research and climate services.
The meeting brought together Ministers of States or their representatives from 11 African countries within the EOWAS Sub region.
It was on the theme: “Journey towards climate resilience to improve livelihoods in West Africa: Building sustainable policies and partnerships”.
Dr Afriyie who is also the Permanent Vice Chairman of the Ministerial Council said, “the time has come for us to take action, to build resilience, and to transition towards a more sustainable future” and added that our continent has been and is still being hit hard by climate change.
The Minister commended WASCAL for its leadership in championing the cause of climate reliance in West Africa. “WASCAL has partnered Germany to combat climate change and explore green hydrogen.”
He said “I commissioned the 5.8-million-euro waste-to-energy plant facility in Gyankobaa in the Ashanti Region on behalf of the Government of Ghana. The plant, funded with technical support from the government of Germany is a practical testimony to Germany’s commitment to partnering with West Africa to run a smooth transition from fossil fuel to clean and renewable energy.
“The project is not only improving sanitation by converting the ever-increasing municipal solid waste into energy for productive uses and contributing to sustainable industrial development but also creating business models for successful replication and propagation in 10 other regions in Ghana,” he added.
Dr Afriyie said green hydrogen was a clean and renewable energy source with the potential to revolutionize our energy landscape and significantly reduce carbon emissions.
He said the battle against climate change was not one we as Africans can afford to lose.
Professor Kehinde Ogunjobi, Executive Director at WASCAL, said the organisation now had 12 member countries within the ECOWAS sub region and expressed hope that all 15 member states in the sub region would soon join.
He said there are a few climate scientists in the sub-region and WASCAL aims at training more climate scientists to help support the fight against climate change.