African government leaders at the United Nations (UN) Climate Summit have pledged support for youth leadership in charting a sustainable future for the continent.
The statements of endorsement came on Thursday at the launch of a new project by the Green Energy Mission Africa (GEMA), a non-profit aimed at spurring Africa’s youth into an active role in the clean energy transition.
The YouthVoltAfrica initiative revealed at COP28 will provide young Africans with knowledge, skills and opportunities to help address energy poverty while driving renewable energy ambitions, Leadership reports.
Nigeria’s Minister of Youth and Development, Jamila Bio Ibrahim, emphasised the landmark significance of greater youth inclusion in the climate agenda.
“The launch of the YouthVoltAfrica project marks a significant milestone in our commitment to empowering African youth.
“The involvement of youth in the transition agenda is paramount,” she added.
The National Climate Change Council (NCCC) Director-General, Dr. Salisu Dahiru, also aligned Nigeria’s goals with the imperative for youth to lead sustainability planning.
“Addressing climate change requires innovative efforts. The YouthVoltAfrica project aligns seamlessly with our goals at the National Climate Change Council, empowering the youth to be active contributors to sustainable development.
“This initiative not only tackles energy poverty but also underscores the importance of youth leadership in shaping a resilient and low-carbon future for Africa. We stand committed to supporting initiatives that drive positive change and environmental stewardship.
”The launch of the YouthVoltAfrica project coincides with UNFCCC COP28, a globally recognized platform for discussing climate change challenges and solutions.
“By aligning with this prestigious event, Green Energy Mission Africa seeks to harness the collaborative efforts and expertise of global stakeholders to foster partnerships and drive substantial progress in advancing the energy transition agenda in Africa,” he told the delegates.
Founder and CEO of Green Energy Mission Africa, Abubakar Shuaibu, remarked that, “The launch of the YouthVoltAfrica project is a beacon of hope and empowerment for the youth of Africa.
“It is a testament to the transformative potential that lies within our young minds. This project is not just about addressing energy poverty; it is about igniting a spark of innovation, resilience, and leadership in our youth.
“By providing them with knowledge, skills, and opportunities, we are laying the foundation for a sustainable Africa, where the next generation plays a pivotal role in shaping a greener and more prosperous future.
“Together, let us embark on this journey of change, where the energy transition becomes a catalyst for empowerment and sustainable development.”