- Ruto is part of a new breed of African leaders who are focused on sustainable development and environmental conservation.
- This generation of leaders is aware that Africa's future depends on how well the continent manages its natural resources and environment.
In 2007, I had the privilege of helping the Mo Ibrahim Foundation launch its leadership prize in Kenya.
At that time, the skill set for African leaders was very different. Good governance, democracy, and human rights were the main priorities, alongside development.
Climate change was not yet a significant part of the conversation. This past weekend, I was a guest at the Mo Ibrahim Foundation event in Nairobi, where the conversation was quite different.
Climate change was a central topic of discussion, and it was clear that President William Ruto was particularly passionate about combating it.
In a candid conversation with Mo Ibrahim, Ruto highlighted the urgent need for global climate investment and the lack of African voices in global discussions on climate change.
President Ruto drew attention to the fact that African nations are the least responsible for climate change but are disproportionately affected by its consequences.
Widespread droughts, floods, wildfires, biodiversity loss, land degradation, and desertification have resulted in food insecurity, displacement, poverty, and conflicts across the continent.
He emphasized that the impact of climate change on Africa is severe and urgent and requires immediate collective action.
One of Ruto's valid points was the lack of investment in climate change mitigation and adaptation in Africa.
Even though African nations are among the most vulnerable to its effects, they receive a disproportionately small amount of global climate finance compared to other regions.
Ruto called for the situation to be rectified, emphasizing that wealthy nations need to support African countries in their climate adaptation and mitigation initiatives.
Moreover, Ruto drew attention to the lack of African voices in global discussions on climate change. He emphasized that African countries must be represented at major climate events and platforms.
Such participation can help to raise awareness of the urgency of the situation in Africa and ensure that African perspectives are fully considered in global climate change discussions.
As I listened to Ruto speak, I was struck by how this global issue requires a man of his generation to push it forward.
Ruto is part of a new breed of African leaders who are focused on sustainable development and environmental conservation, recognizing that these issues are crucial for the future development of the continent.
This generation of leaders is aware that Africa's future depends on how well the continent manages its natural resources and environment.
Ruto has also been a vocal advocate for youth empowerment, education, and employment, recognizing that the youth are the backbone of Africa's future.
He has been involved in initiatives aimed at promoting smart agriculture and environmental sustainability.
His commitment to sustainability has been recognized globally, and he has been invited to speak at several high-profile events, such as the Climate Action Summit in New York.
Ruto's conviction on climate change is particularly significant given the work of the late Wangari Maathai, who was the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for her work on environmental sustainability and empowering women.
Maathai's legacy looms large, and It is evident that Ruto sees the benefit of elevating the environmental conservation and sustainability agenda as a significant imperative for Africa.
Being a Kenyan and a daughter of Africa fills me with immense pride to witness two of my fellow countrymen taking initiatives in an area that will have a long-lasting impact for generations to come.
Earlier in the week, we heard from Joyce Banda at an event arranged by Ellen Sirleaf, the former President of Liberia and a 2017 Ibrahim Prize Laureate.
Banda was emotional as she talked about the climate destruction in Malawi. Her experience highlighted the urgent need for action to address climate change on a global scale.
The devastation and loss of life that Malawi is currently experiencing due to climate change is a warning to the rest of the world that urgent action needs to be taken.
President Ruto is the right candidate to galvanize African leadership in tackling climate change.
His commitment to sustainability, coupled with his vocal advocacy on the issue, makes him an influential African leader on the global stage.
Africa has a unique role to play in the global fight against climate change, and Ruto is working towards ensuring that Africans have a seat at the table.
In conclusion, the climate crisis is one of the most significant issues facing our planet today, and it requires collective action.
African leaders led by President Ruto must join hands and work collaboratively with global climate change actors to combat the pressing challenge of climate change.
The global community also needs to support Africa in its efforts to combat climate change by providing financial assistance and technology transfer.
Together, we can create a brighter, greener, and more prosperous future for Africa and the world.