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Celebrating Africa Youth Day and Empowering Youth in Climate Action

Africa Youth Day 2023 brings forth the theme "One Million Next Level is Knocking: Youth-led Movements that Transcend Borders." This theme underscores the incredible potential of the continent's youth to drive positive change and highlights the role of youth-led movements in tackling shared challenges. It is a time to celebrate the remarkable potential of the continent's youth and reflect on their contributions to critical issues like climate action. It's also an opportunity to delve into the additional goals of Africa Youth Day, which include reviewing #Agenda2063's commitments, with a focus on young women's rights, championing young women's contributions to politics, society, and the economy, and engaging both youth and political bodies to drive this agenda forward. It's a day to reflect on initiatives like the Pan-African Climate Justice's "Keep Your Promise Campaign," which seeks to hold nations accountable for their commitments under the Paris Agreement. In this blog, we'll explore the significance of this campaign and how it relates to Botswana's local #KeepYourPromise efforts.

Photo Credit: African Union Youth Program 2023

The Pan-African "Keep Your Promise Campaign"

The Pan-African "Keep Your Promise Campaign" is a groundbreaking initiative that aims to ensure nations uphold their commitments under the Paris Agreement. It highlights the need for global north countries to fulfill their promises and emphasizes the importance of African nations taking leadership in climate accountability. The campaign focuses on five key issues:

  1. Global Stock Take: This involves assessing the progress made by nations in meeting their climate commitments, providing a benchmark for measuring success.

  2. Just Transition: Advocating for a fair and equitable transition to a sustainable future, ensuring vulnerable communities are not left behind.

  3. Corporate Climate Atrocities: Holding corporations accountable for their role in exacerbating climate change and promoting responsible business conduct.

  4. Climate Financing Gap: Addressing the funding gap required for effective climate action.

  5. Global Goal Adaptation: Emphasizing the need to adapt to changing climate conditions and protect vulnerable populations.

The campaign calls on countries, corporations, and individuals to fulfill their commitments, promote accountability, and work towards a more sustainable and just future for all.

Africa Youth Day Goals

  1. Boosting Awareness, Commitment, and Investment in Youth Development

Africa Youth Day aims to raise awareness about the importance of youth development, emphasizing the need for investment and commitment in nurturing the continent's youth. This goal is directly relevant to the climate action agenda, as young people are the driving force behind many initiatives to combat climate change.

The "Keep Your Promise Campaign" recognizes the power and potential of youth in climate action. Young people across Africa have been at the forefront of environmental movements, advocating for a sustainable future. By calling for nations and corporations to fulfill their climate promises, the campaign inherently boosts awareness of the vital role youth play in driving change.

  1. Strengthening Youth Participation

Youth participation is crucial not only in shaping climate policies but also in implementing them. African youth have shown remarkable dedication to environmental causes, demanding accountability and action. The "Keep Your Promise Campaign" underscores the significance of collective action, where youth voices are an integral part of the conversation.

Botswana's local #KeepYourPromise campaign provides a platform for young people to actively participate in climate advocacy. Events like the peaceful walk aim to mobilize and empower youth to voice their concerns and drive change. By strengthening youth participation at the local level, Botswana contributes to the broader Pan-African effort.

The Intersection of Goals: The goals of Africa Youth Day and the "Keep Your Promise Campaign" converge in several key ways:

  1. Youth-Led Initiatives: Both Africa Youth Day and the campaign acknowledge that young people are leading change on the climate front. Empowering youth, raising awareness, and involving them in decision-making processes are central to their success.

  2. Accountability and Investment: Africa Youth Day calls for investment in youth development, which includes supporting their engagement in climate action. The campaign focuses on holding nations and corporations accountable for their climate commitments, ensuring the resources and efforts invested in youth development are meaningful.

  3. Mobilization and Solidarity: Both initiatives seek to mobilize people and promote solidarity among African nations. Recognizing that climate change disproportionately affects the continent, these efforts unite countries and youth in a common cause.

Youth are the change-makers of today, not just tomorrow. Their voices, passion, and resilience are the driving force behind our collective efforts to combat climate change. Their ability to mobilize and influence change is our most powerful tool.

As we celebrate Africa Youth Day, let's embrace the collective power of young people, recognize the importance of gender equality and the vital role young women play in shaping Africa's future, and continue to advocate for climate justice as a fundamental part of this transformative journey. By uniting around these shared goals, we can create a more equitable, sustainable, and just future for Africa and the world. #AfricaYouthDay #KeepYourPromise We will be sharing more details and invitations for the Botswana local #KeepYourPromise campaign launch in the next few days. Follow Botswana Climate Change Network pages on social media for more real time updates on the campaign.

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