Over 100 participants at the 1st Climate Change and Opportunities for Sustainable Business in East Africa Conference have developed a Communiqué that will be presented at the upcoming United Nations Climate Conference (COP21) in December 2015 in Paris, France.
The Minister of Water and Environment, Hon. Ephraim Kamuntu who is scheduled to lead the Ugandan delegation to the 2015 Climate Change Conference (COP21), officially opened the Kampala Conference held on 12th November 2015 on the theme: Supporting the 2015 Paris Climate Change Conference: Climate Change and Opportunities for Sustainable Business in East Africa.
Hon. Kamuntu commended the Royal Embassy of Norway, Makerere University-Uganda, and University of Bergen-Norway, for organizing the conference aimed at exploring and demonstrating through workable models/approaches that sustainable solutions and technology can be enhanced to create business opportunities for the mutual benefits.
“This Conference is timely; for it presents the East Africans with a platform to discuss and come up with a message on climate change and business opportunities that we would like to be captured by over 190 countries in COP21 in 2015. This is a commendable consultative and participatory approach, and I thank the Embassy of Norway, the University of Bergen in Norway, and Makerere University, Kampala for organizing this important conference,” the Minister said.
In the communiqué, the participants comprising government officials, delegation from East Africa and Norway, members of the private sector, development partners and key industry figures, the academia and media recommended to the United Nations Conference of the Parties Conference (COP21) the following:
- The prioritization and mainstreaming of South-North collaborations especially in the areas of research and innovation that are key to attaining climate-friendly development and eventually developing sustainable business enterprises into national policy frameworks.
- Based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, the urgent streamlining of climate financing initiatives including but not limited to carbon markets to enable up-scaling of existing technologies on a massive scale such as the use of solar energy, wind and thermal resources as well as energy saving clean cooking technologies.
- That the Academia, Private Sector and Government form a strong alliance that commercializes research findings, technology and technology transfer as well as innovative approaches towards climate-smart business opportunities at all levels.
- That Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Faith-based organizations, the private sector and the media embrace networking as a mutually beneficial avenue for sharing and disseminating business programs supported by national and regional policy frameworks as well as build capacity of stakeholders to implement viable climate change and business linkages.
Addressing the participants at Serena Hotel Kampala, Hon. Kamuntu said that the effects of climate change in Uganda are already evident in the agricultural sector; affecting the productivity of seasons which have culminated in adverse effects in combination with increasing population growth rate.
“Uganda’s current growth rate indicates that 60% of the population consists of young people below 18 years and 78% of the population is the youth under 35 years. With this kind of population, it will be a wise opportunity and blessing for the country to invest in and develop skills of these young people in order to have a dynamic labor force for Uganda’s economy. However we must recognize that if this is not handled, the combination of climate change with the increasing population can be a disaster,” he stated.
The Norwegian Ambassador to Uganda H.E Susan Eckey said for the world to be able to find solutions to climate change, countries should develop a system for national reporting.
“In the climate meeting in Lima last year, countries agreed to not only set national goals before the Paris conference but also to enhance necessary action, and we see that countries are willing to do more than before. More than 150 countries responsible for 90% of gas emissions have already set their climate goals. These goals show that the transition to the low emission societies has begun,”she said.
Her Excellency informed the participants that Norway has set three top priorities ahead of the upcoming Paris conference. These include: a long term vision; countries to update and upgrade their climate goals every five years; and a system for national reporting.
Highlighting the issue of temperature change and its adverse impact on human and natural systems, the Rector of University of Bergen, Prof. Dag Rune Olsen said that by the end of this year 2015, the global average temperature may have a positive milestone of about 1 degree Centigrade above industrial levels as predicted by the UK Meteorological Office.
“This climate change has wide spread impact on humans and natural systems. The increase in temperature will also have widespread impact on bio-diversity, food security as well as affect public health. We shall also witness the increase to geo-hazards. The human influence on the climate system is clear and the recent emissions of greenhouse gasses are the highest in history, that leads us to the reasons as to why the upcoming meeting-the COP21 in Paris is important,” he explained.
Prof. Olsen revealed that the Africa Progress Report shows that Africa can seize climate and all energy opportunities. The new research on the climate economy shared by Lord Stern also illustrates the opportunity to transform and expand the supply of hydroelectric solar Power energy in Africa, which will spur development and reduce on the negative environment effects.
According to the Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu, global attention today is focused on climate change as a critical driver for development. Prof. Ddumba-Ssentamu mentioned that East Africa and Norway have initiated several joint efforts to address the impacts of climate change while harnessing business opportunities.
“The effects of climate change already have profound and irreversible impact on economic social and environmental systems. They are manifested in several forms including drought, erratic rainfall patterns and other extreme weather events that threatens human health and infrastructure, agricultural production and food security, water and other natural resources and sustainability that are the very core of human survival and economic development. It is therefore very urgent that we come up with both mitigation and adaptation majors that will help us to deal with the evolving climate,” he remarked.
During the conference, participants also discussed the effects of climate change on trade and business, social economic opportunities and development, human health, environment and continental prosperity. Through the various discussions and presentations held, the participants indicated that the high prevalence of food shortages faced by East African countries is caused by the high illiteracy rate and unawareness, marketing bottlenecks, poor agricultural practice, resource depletion and degradation.
Giving the East African perspective on mitigation and adaptation strategies carried out by Makerere University so far, Prof. Samuel Kyamanywa noted that the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) has integrated aspects of climate change at undergraduate level and introduced new regional Masters programmes. He also shared that the College has developed seeds for rangeland forages, drought and disease resistant varieties of crops as well as carried out extensive research on indigenous multipurpose tree species that can absorb carbon dioxide from the environment.
In a presentation titled, Converting the Climate Change message into suitable business, Mr. Ssewagudde Christopher, Representative from Innovation Norway said: “The emerging opportunities for alternative livelihoods, asset building, improving scientific knowledge for value addition projects, up-scaling, replication and sustainability, institution of linkages and the importance of participatory approaches and addressing cross-cutting issues in business like mainstreaming gender, indigenous knowledge, HIV/AIDS, child protection and disability have changed the standards of living as well as creating more business opportunities for East African people.”
The participants recognized that sustainable solutions and technology can be harnessed to create business opportunities for the mutual benefit of East Africa and Norway in line with international targets including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
They also appreciated the support provided by the United Nations through Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Conference of the Parties towards an international agreement of dealing with the Climate Change adaptation and Mitigation.
During the conference, the Minister of Water and Environment Hon. Ephraim Kamuntu, H.E. Susan Eckey and Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu were presented with signed copies of a book entitled Responsible and Profitable: Strategies for Sustainable business models by Authors Sveinung Jørgensen and Lars Jacob Tynes Pedersen. The book connects Business with Climate Change and provides knowledge on how countries can utilize opportunities availed by the current climate change.
Article by: Mak Public Relations Office
Veteran Professor changed Makerere and Higher Education
When Professor John Ssebuwufu ambled up to receive a certificate of recognition for his ‘exceptional’ contribution to higher education from the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) at Makerere University (MU), he was thinking of many things, such as rewarding staff, that he could have done differently to impact university education more.
But he did what he could have done, under the circumstances.
He presided over MU (in 1993) when student enrolment was 5,000 and left in 2004 when the population was surging to more than 15,000.
He emphasised the use of information communication technologies in almost all the institutions he had been involved in and sent many academic staff on exchanges to boost research and innovation. Now, more African universities engage in ground-breaking research.
So, he proceeded to accept his recognition and make his acceptance speech, which was mostly about gratitude.
Ssebuwufu, 74, who is currently the chancellor at Kyambogo University and the vice-chancellor of the University of Kisubi, is credited for his exemplary leadership and pragmatic methods that have shaped higher education in Uganda and Africa as a whole.
Japan Africa Dream Scholarship (JADS) Program 2021/2022
The Japan Africa Dream Scholarship (JADS) Program is a capacity building project by the AfDB and Japan which was initiated in 2017 with the aim of providing two-year scholarship awards to highly achieving African graduate students to enable them to undergo post-graduate studies (i.e. a two-year Master’s degree program) in selected priority development areas on the continent and Japan. The overarching goal the AfDB and the Government of Japan seek to attain is to enhance skills and human resources development in Africa in under the Bank’s High 5s agenda (i.e. “Feed Africa”, “Light up Africa”, “Industrialize Africa”, “Integrate Africa” and “Improve the quality of life of the people of Africa”) and key Japanese development assistance initiatives. JADS core areas of study focus include energy, agriculture, health, environmental sustainability, and engineering. The program also seeks to promote inter-university collaboration and university-industry partnerships between Japan and Africa. Upon completion of their studies, the JADS scholars are expected to return to their home countries to apply and disseminate their newly acquired knowledge and skills in the public and private sectors, and contribute to national and continental socio-economic development.
About the JADS program
The JADS Program is open to applicants from AfDB member countries with relevant professional experience and a history of supporting their countries’ development efforts who are applying to a graduate degree program in energy development and related discipline. The program does not provide scholarships to any other graduate degree program.
The scholarship program provides tuition, a monthly living stipend, round-trip airfare, health insurance, and travel allowance.
Upon completion of their studies, the beneficiary scholars are expected to return to their home countries to apply and disseminate their newly acquired knowledge and skills, and contribute to the promotion of sustainable development of their countries.
Who is Eligible to Apply?
The program is open to those who have gained admission to an approved Masters degree course at a Japanese partner university. Candidates should be 35 years old or younger; in good health; with a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in the energy area or related area; and have a superior academic record. Upon completion of their study programs, scholars are expected to return to their home country to contribute to its economic and social development.
- Applicant requests for information and application forms and procedures from the chosen JADS partner university. For any inquiries, please contact JADS@AFDB.ORG
- Applicant completes required documents and sends them to the university.
- University evaluates and selects applicants.
- University sends selected candidates to the AfDB.
- AfDB reviews submissions from universities, prepares and approves the final list.
- AfDB contacts selected awardees, and informs the universities.
WHS Regional Meeting Africa 2021: Finance Chairperson’s Update
SOPs: Our plan is to have 200 sets of people in different spacious rooms…Prof. Tonny j. oyana, finance chairperson whs regional meeting africa
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