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CAAF24: Climate Action Africa Commences Billion Trees Initiative

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In its effort to secure the future of Africa against destructive climate change impacts, the Climate Change Africa (CAA) has commenced the process of planting at least one billion trees across Africa by 2035.

This was disclosed by Grace Oluchi Mbah, Co-Founder and Executive Director of CAA at the ongoing Climate Action Africa Forum (CAAF24) in Lagos, Nigeria, riding on the theme:  Brighter Economies, Brighter Future”.

The event created a viable platform for policy makers, innovators and experts across various divides to converge and to chart the way forward for Africa’s urgency for climate actions.

In addition to the billion trees initiative, the CAA also announced $20 million fund in its support for the Pan African Climate Action Fund.

This $20 fund, co-created by dedicated Africans, seeks to empower small businesses and startups driving change in the energy, agriculture, circularity, and transportation sectors.

According to Mbah, these moves have become imperative to mitigate environment threats that could affect over 130 million susceptible people on the continent.

She said: “The challenges are stark: Africa is warming nearly faster than any other region, with 130 million people at risk from rising sea levels. Yet, for me, the most personal impact of climate change is on smallholder farmers—like my mother—who make up 60% of our population and produce 90% of our food. Their lives and livelihoods are on the frontlines of this existential threat.”

According to her, “how we react to the challenges we encounter is up to us, the stories we choose to write of ourselves is up to us.  We at Climate Action Africa live on the premise that a small group of thoughtful, committed individuals can change the world.”

She urged the Forum that Africa should not relent to continually innovate and invest in the future it wants.

The desired future, according to her, is sustainable, green, prosperous and harmonious with nature, adding that this is the story of Africa CAA choose to write.

“It is this drive that motivates us to boldly announce today the launch of our Billion Trees for Africa Initiative under our community programs.

“This ambitious project aims to address environmental degradation and enhance the ecological and economic resilience of African communities.

“As we celebrate the vibrant innovations happening across our continent. Following the registration of over 800 innovators for the CAAF24 deal room, and the selection of outstanding projects for today’s pitch, we reaffirm our commitment to nurturing innovators and climate solutions through our new Pan-African Green Economy Program (PAGE).

“Created in partnership with IDEA AFRICA and the Founder Institute, PAGE aims to support 5,000 innovators across the continent by 2035.”

Another key speaker at the forum, Rukia El-Rufai, Special Advisor to the Nigerian Vice President on NEC and Climate Change, also emphasized that that simply acknowledging the importance of nature is not enough.

She highlighted the need to move beyond low-value carbon credits and educational barriers that hinder attracting financing for climate solutions.

Similarly, she stressed the importance of a strong business case alongside environmental benefits. El-Rufai commended the forum’s theme, “climate-smart,” because it underscores the need for economic growth alongside emissions reduction.

Meanwhile, Michael Oluwagbemi, Programme Director of the Presidential CNG Initiative, reflected on the day’s discussions and emphasized the importance of actionable steps and sustained commitment to climate initiatives.

He gave a thought-provoking example of Lake Chad which has shrunk considerably in size. He reiterated the critical role of innovation, investment, and collaboration in driving Africa’s climate agenda forward.

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