Africa urged to decolonize systems and establish Policies for Climate Justice


The University of Nairobi’s Institute for Development Studies (IDS) held an engaging webinar “A Just Transition for Africa” that brought together activists, scholars, and policymakers to discuss the imperative of transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable and sustainable energy, with a focus on climate justice, particularly in the African context.

Fadhel Kaboub, a renowned Associate Professor of Economics at Denison University and President of the Global Institute for Sustainable Prosperity was one of the keynote speakers. He outlined a compelling roadmap for a just green transition on the continent stating “We can’t decarbonize a system that hasn’t been decolonized yet,” highlighting the necessity of decolonizing systems to achieve true progress across various sectors.

Prof. Kaboub emphasized the need for Africa to develop a long-term strategic vision to address challenges such as climate change, economic injustice, and political disenfranchisement. He argued that Africa must stop being a cheap raw material provider and dumping ground for obsolete technologies and industrial outputs. He also analysed 2019 Kenyan trade data, revealing a significant trade imbalance between exports and imports, highlighting economic vulnerabilities and the need for fundamental transformation.

Prof. Kaboub warned against adopting false solutions such as carbon markets, carbon capture and sequestration, solar radiation geoengineering, natural gas as a transition fuel, nuclear energy, and green hydrogen, viewing these as either ineffective or counterproductive to the continent’s long-term goals. He urged urgent action against the climate crisis, inequality, poverty, and injustice, advocating for a radical restructuring of the global economic architecture and a Pan-African transformative vision. “The time for action is now,” he asserted

Seble Samuel, a renowned advocate for environmental justice, highlighted the urgency of adopting a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, emphasizing that a global, cooperative effort is essential for a fair and rapid phase-out of fossil fuels.

 The treaty has garnered widespread support, endorsed by over 2,515 civil society organizations, 113 cities, and 101 Nobel Laureates. This global backing underscores the growing recognition that fossil fuels are the primary contributors to climate change, and that a shift to renewable energy is not just necessary but urgent.

Seble emphasized the need for international cooperation, especially considering Africa’s unique challenges. While the continent boasts a vast renewable energy potential, millions still lack access to electricity. Decades of reliance on fossil fuels for export have left many African nations vulnerable.

Seble Samuel’s lecture served as a striking reminder that the world has the possibility for 100% renewable energy access by 2050. However, accomplishing this will necessitate strong international collaboration and a commitment to end the fossil fuel era. The webinar reaffirmed the university’s dedication to fostering discussions that spark significant action towards a sustainable future.



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