On August 12th and 13th, Youth from the East African Community (EAC)’s five Partner States namely Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda,Tanzania and Uganda met in the beautiful city of Kampala, Uganda for the EAC Regional Youth Summit under the theme “Climatic Change in East Africa”. This summit was attended by a total of 30 Youths from these partner States.
It brought together delegations from youth organisations that engage themselves in addressing climate change and environmental issues at large, including Rwanda Green Initiative, YouthCAN Tanzania as well as the Catholic Youth Network for Environmental Sustainability in Africa (CYNESA).
The EAC Youth summit on Climate Change first took place in Mwanza-Tanzania in 2014, where it was attended by a large number of youth, approximately three hundred, from the EAC region. After the mwanza summit, there were less efforts to implement the resolutions which had been arrived at. As a result, the Kampala Summit was called upon so as to give youths an opportunity to discuss and prepare a manifesto demanding the EAC partner States to take up measures now, to protect the environment in the entire region.
After the summit, a team of delegates from each partner State was appointed to represent the manifesto to the General Secretary of the EAC in Arusha in September.
As for now, the team of delegates is finalizing the manifesto which is expected to be presented in Arusha at the end of September 2015.
Among others, it was observed that there is a need to join hands as one people with one destiny to combat climate change. It was pointed out that youth organisations that have being dealing with climatic change need to pull their efforts together as well. Moreover, the EAC needs to promote and support this initiatives that have being existing on the ground.The aim is to make sure there is sustainability!!
In addition, considering that the youth in the EAC are the majority population forming more than 68% of the whole population in the region, it was observed that they need to be the major stakeholders in the process of making laws and implementing policies. Youth need to be more engaged in decision making processes at the front line.
The Kampala summit delegation is looking forward to the response from the General Secretary and the partner States at large on how this manifesto is going to be implemented.
More information will be communicated by the delegates as they receive updates on the same.
Catholic Youth Network for Environmental Sustainability in Africa (CYNESA), Tanzania Chapter.