Moroccan monarch challenges Africa to unite

The king said African leaders must submit concerted proposals in connection with the fight against climate change.

Morocco Monarch King Mohammed VI

He told the opening of “Africa Action Summit” on Wednesday in Marrakech (Morocco), that it is important for the continent to speak with one voice, demand climate justice and mobilisation of necessary resources.

The king said African leaders must see the ongoing 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), as an opportunity to submit concerted proposals in connection with the fight against climate change.

He disclosed that all types of vulnerabilities are concentrated in Africa, as there are already 10 million climate refugees in the continent.

The king warned that by 2020, nearly 60 million people will be displaced because of water scarcity, if no measures are taken.

Mohammed VI said the immense freshwater reservoir of Lake Chad has already lost 94 per cent of its surface area and is facing the risk of drying up once and for all.

He recalled that 4 million hectares of forest, twice the global average, are lost each year in Africa.

He said African agriculture, which consists predominantly of subsistence farming, employs 60 per cent of the African workforce, yet “our crops suffer from severe disruptions, and our food security is seriously jeopardized”.

The king stressed the importance of identifying measures and mechanisms needed to support the implementation of flagship programmes.

Mohammed VI said it includes, ensuring institutional capacity building in Africa, as well as seizing opportunities and studying the implications of low carbon development in the fields of energy, technological innovation and “green” jobs.

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