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Africa-Europe: “Our house is burning, let’s not let it burn”

GRANDSTAND. It is a real call for a COP27 in support of the green innovations launched together by Africans and Europeans.

By Members of Afro-European civil societies*

“In Africa and Europe, green entrepreneurship players are acting in parallel to develop solutions to climate and environmental challenges. However, their paths still cross only too rarely,” say members of Afro-European civil societies.

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NOTe members of civil societies committed to protecting the environment see COP27 as an opportunity to cooperate across borders and achieve the common goal of preserving our planet and shared prosperity.

Actors mobilized on our respective continents, we were brought together for the first time at the new Africa-France summit in Montpellier in October 2021. We then presented joint recommendations to public decision-makers, in particular during President Emmanuel Macron’s trip to Cameroon. last July. These courses of action are the fruit of reflections and experiences lived on our two continents, Africa and Europe.

Indeed, climate change has appeared there like Gulliver in the kingdom of the dwarves, a new situation with which we must now deal. Faced with the disruptions caused, we have the shared conviction that we can implement solutions that are pragmatic, effective and fair.

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Africa and Europe are rich in ancestral know-how and potentially decisive innovations in the fight against climate change. However, their circulation between the two continents remains insufficient. While forums for political dialogue continue to multiply, such as the Africa-Europe Foundation or the Dialogues prior to the Montpellier summit, few research institutes and incubators dedicated to green entrepreneurship promote transmission of knowledge and innovations on both sides of the Mediterranean.

It is for this reason that we are proposing the creation of an Africa-Europe Institute for green innovation which will make it possible, on the one hand, to promote research and development and, on the other hand, to identify, popularize and pass on existing know-how. Within it, African and European scientists, entrepreneurs and environmentalists would join forces to promote synergies between the solutions deployed on the two continents and structure areas of cooperation in the areas of biodiversity conservation and the fight against climate change. climatic.

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In Africa and Europe, green entrepreneurship players are acting in parallel to develop solutions to climate and environmental challenges. However, their paths still rarely cross. Faced with the insufficient circulation of information between entrepreneurial ecosystems, we propose that a support tool for green entrepreneurship be developed which allows the transfer of knowledge and skills identified by the Africa-Europe Institute for green innovation. This tool would also facilitate contacts through a mapping of actors, operators and available funding.

Although enthusiastic, we are not naïve. We know that people have worked for decades to find solutions to the challenges posed by climate change. We are fully aware of the obstacles to full trust cooperation between countries. And we keep in mind that many other crises are capturing the attention of governments today. Despite this, we remain convinced that sharing the same planet encourages us to work collectively for lasting solutions to our common challenges.

READ ALSOCOP27: why it is so important for Africa

The rapprochement brought about between African and French civil societies on the occasion of the Sharm el-Sheikh Conference actually illustrates a broader movement of association between African and European civil societies who note that our house is burning, but who refuse to let it waste away. Decision-makers from Africa and Europe, we invite you to support our common approach so that we can do our part to respond to this emergency.

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* Jeanne Rosy Esso, vice-president council new Africa-France summit; Arlande Joerger, founder of Ewosmart; Sarah Pellerin, entrepreneur; Jacques Jonathan Nyemb, chairman of the council for the follow-up and recommendations of the new Africa-France summit; Ileana Santos, co-founder of “I am committed to Africa”; Djibo Almoustapha Boubacar, head of Fasam Terre verte; Tamarah Moutotekema Boussamba, founder and CEO of Agridis; Andy Costa Avelo, environmentalist, cycling ambassador in Africa, president of the NGO MyDream For Africa, CEO Durability Cabinet; Maxime Jong, consultant on issues of inclusive economic development and ecological transition; Asmaou Karim, vice-president.

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