EJN Grantees Attend the Africa Climate Summit

a row of people standing
EJN Grantees Attend the Africa Climate Summit

The inaugural Africa Climate Summit (ACS), held in Nairobi, Kenya from 4-6 September, was held to address the increasing exposure to climate change and its associated costs. During the ACS, African leaders discussed sustainable solutions to global climate challenges and were called upon to make more ambitious pledges and commitments.  

The EJN East Africa team and several EJN grantees were in attendance, including Melody Chironda from All Africa, based in South Africa, Sarah Mawerere of Uganda Broadcasting Corporation, David Casimir, from Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation and Gerald Tenywa from New Vision Uganda. The Kenyan cohort included Milliam Murigi of People Daily, Dominic Kirui, a freelance journalist, Joyce Chimbi, Inter Press Service, Peter Muiruri, The Standard, Sharon Atieno, Science Africa News, Arnold Ageta of Tidal Wave News, John Mwilwatsi of Pamoja FM, Jackson Ambole from Kenya Times, Juliet Akoth and Lenah Bosibori from Talk Africa, among others. 

With guidance from EJN staff, the journalists successfully completed the arduous accreditation process, and made the most of their time at the international summit. “I was pleased to see so many of our past workshop attendees and story grantees,” said Kiundu Waweru, East Africa Wildlife Journalism project manager. For the last four years, he has worked with journalists in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda to improve the quality and quantity of climate and environmental journalism in the region. Joining him at the summit was Jackie Lidubwi, Project Coordinator, EJN Africa. 

Besides connecting them with sources and putting the discussions into perspective, the EJN team helped organize a press conference with USAID, one of the project donors. At the press conference, Gillian Caldwell, USAID’s Chief Climate officer, announced investments to support climate action.  

“Pending availability of funds, the initiatives include $35 million in new investments this year,” said Caldwell. “These activities will support communities across Africa to build their resilience to climate impacts and sustainably grow their economies. They also support the implementation of the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE), the Just Energy Transition Partnerships, and global efforts to conserve critical carbon sinks.” 

EJN staff and Fellows also attended UNEP’s fourth annual International Clean Air Day, and heard from speakers including Gillian Caldwell from USAID, Wanjira Mathai from World Resources Institute and health officials. The city’s governor, Johnson Sakaja, unveiled a mural depicting roadside pollution and its impacts on health, particularly on children.  

mural on street
A large-scale art installation in front of the office of the Nairobi Governor Jackson Sakaja was unveiled on the sidelines of the Africa Climate Summit. It was inspired by Ella Roberta Adoo Kissi Debrah, who died from severe asthma three weeks after her ninth birthday and is the first person in England to have air pollution listed as a factor in her death.  Her mother has since become a global advocate for low emission zones for neighborhoods near busy highways and is pushing for Ella’s Law which makes clean air a human right / Credit: EJN. 

Banner image: (L-R) Kiundu Waweru, Project Manager, East African Media Coverage of Wildlife and Conservation, Gillian Caldwell, Chief Climate Officer, USAID, Mercy Tyra, Murengu FM, Jackie Lidubwi, EJN’s Africa Project Coordinator, Milliam Murigi, People Daily, Dominic Kirui, freelance journalist, Beatrice Wamalwa, USAID, and Sarafina Robi, Kenya Broadcasting Corporation / Credit: EJN. 

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