Women and children key to climate solutions


…AFRIWOCC communique highlights

A communique from the maiden Africa Women and Children Conference (AFRIWOCC) has highlighted the distinct ways impacts from the climate crisis on women and children in Africa can be mitigated.

The communique followed the conference’s conclusion in Accra. Themed ‘Amplifying the voices of women and children in climate action’, it sought to address the adverse effects of climate change on vulnerable groups, and also document indigenous knowledge and innovations in climate change solutions.

Participants at the conference discussed the importance of presenting a unified African message on climate action, particularly concerning its effects on women, children, youth and persons with disabilities.

Among other things, the conference concluded that inadequate institutional capacity and high levels of gender inequality have compounded the adverse impact of climate change in Africa, particularly for women and children; the climate crisis in Africa has had an adverse effect on food security which disproportionately impacts women and children, leading to widespread  malnutrition, poor health outcomes, conflict and increased exposure to violence; and Africa’s youthful population presents both an opportunity and a challenge to social cohesion if the right investments are not made in positive climate action.

The rest are: climate action narrative must shift from a problem-based approach to identifying and seizing opportunities for innovation, creative solutions, education and empowerment, particularly for women and children; efforts must be made to create spaces for the voices of African women, children and young people in climate discussions at all levels; and financing for green initiatives exists, but is not readily accessible to women and the youth who are climate change agents.

The conference also recommended a series of measures to address some of the key observations. They include gender-balanced delegations to climate change conferences; the adoption of indigenous and locally-led interventions; capacity building and involvement of traditional authorities in climate action; prioritising women and children issues in government policies; integrating climate education into basic school curricula; and designing gender-sensitive programmes with development partners, among others.

The recommendations from AFRIWOCC 2023 will be explored and potentially refined for adoption at the Africa Climate Summit/Week in Nairobi-Kenya during September, and the UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP) 28 in Dubai later this year, the statement added.


AFRIWOCC is a biennial conference convened by Samira Bawumia under the Samira Empowerment and Humanitarian Projects (SEHP) to create true inclusivity for women and children across the African continent – through meaningful dialogues and the showcasing of innovative solutions to issues confronting women and children in Africa. Each year, the conference adopts a prevailing area of focus as a theme.

This year’s edition brought together about 800 participants and exhibitors from across Africa, including high-level dignitaries such as the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo; Vice President of Liberia, Jewel Taylor; and Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the South African Minister for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities.

The conference also received solidarity messages from Deputy-Secretary of the United Nations, Amina Mohammed, and Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Also present were high-ranking government officials from various African countries, members of parliament, development partners, traditional leaders, students and leading figures in climate action across Africa

The next edition of AFRIWOCC will be held in 2025.

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