…with their Mobile phones. In 2011, I travelled in more than 18 African countries to organise the Apps4Africa Climate Change Challenge. Thanks to my friend and co-founder of the Hive Colab Jon Gosier, the US State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs and Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs co-sponsored Apps4Africa: Climate Challenge, which consisted of three regional competitions focused on using mobile technology to address local climate change challenges.
These competitions where linked to three regional workshops organized by the U.S. Agency for International Development and the State Department as part of the broader Adaptation Partnership.
The project objective was to:
- Raise African publics’ awareness of climate change adaptation and of U.S. Government engagement in Africa on climate change adaptation issues.
- Support the growth and development of civil society and private-sector networks in Africa, and between Africa and the United States, that address climate change adaptation.
- Build on the lessons learned from the Adaptation Partnership workshops.
- Highlight African solutions to local climate change adaptation challenges.
Eight years on, I still think events like Apps4Africa must take place again across the continent, and we must use mobile phones to educate Africans on Climate changes issues and take actions. According to GMSA “By the end of 2018, there were 185 million unique mobile subscribers in West Africa, an increase of nearly 10 million over the previous year. Future growth will largely be driven by young consumers owning a mobile phone for the first time; more than 40% of the sub-region’s population are under 18 years old”.
Content related information should be created and added to the national curriculum to alert youngsters about climate change. Young people all over the world are inspired by Swedish Climate Change Activist who is calling for the world to wake up, find a new path and take meaniful actions. We can use the power of mobile phone penetration in Africa to educate, campaign and ask the government to take steps toward climate change challenges. This now very urgent.
Mobile phone and technology can address critical issues such as:
- Agriculture (Distribution, cultivation of the soil). Early Warning and Disaster Preparedness, Resource Management, Recyling.
- Forestry/Deforestation, Transportation/Traffic/Emissions, Food Security, Livestock, Health and Sanitation
The Africans youth must fight for Climate Change. African governments need to act as a matter of urgency. We must have serious conversations about climate change but also use the power of mobile phones and technology to educate our people. At the moment the world climate change is a buzzword for the African youth. I’m convinced that Africa’s innovators, entrepreneurs, and young leaders will determine its future and they need to play a role in the climate change crisis before it is too late. The inaction in Africa is very scary. Collective efforts are critical. No more excuses and waiting for the west to solve the climate challenge for us.