The East and Southern African Youth Climate Change Alliance in collaboration with Common Market for East and Southern Africa is conducting a strategic workshop in Harare to devise ways to combat climate change and its adverse effects.
The week-long meeting, which began on Monday, is being attended by youths drawn from member countries in Comesa, Sadc and the East African Community. Participants in the workshop said it was time that youths, who are over 60 percent of the continent's population, are involved in issues of climate change that affect their day to day lives.
"This is one of the most important meetings in Africa where young people have been given the platform by Comesa, Sadc and EAC to raise our concerns and proposals on how we can tackle the effects of climate change. We have come up with thematic committees that can assist our communities adapt to climate change," ESA-YCCA co-ordinator Mr Abel Musumali said.
He said communities could adapt to the adverse effects of climate change by engaging in conservation agriculture, use of renewable energy sources and recycling waste, among others. "As we are fighting those effects we are also creating employment for them (youths).
"We are looking at the positive side of climate change, that is, the opportunities which if well utilised will create thousands and thousands of jobs," he said. ESA-YCCA Zimbabwe chapter representative Mr Archieford Chemhere said the meeting would assist in coming up with a co-ordinated approach to dealing with issues of climate change. "The strategic plan is to come up with a co-ordinated approach to deal with issues of climate change," he said.
Ms Mariam Allam, a participant from Egypt said it was important that African countries adopt sustainable ways of production.
"We have high hopes in this meeting, that is, working on promoting a green economy. We are coming from diverse countries and we are working on how we can convince stakeholders and policymakers in our countries to adopt a green economy," said Allam.