By Foday Moriba Conteh
During the launch of Kenya’s Financing Locally Led Climate Action (FLLoCA) Program at the ongoing Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi, on the 4th September, 2023, President Bio delivered an address in which he extended his congratulations to the Kenyan Government for its innovative homegrown initiative and expressed his intent to replicate it in Sierra Leone.
“I wish to congratulate my dear brother and friend, President Ruto, for successfully launching this innovative initiative-a great example of a homegrown solution to a homegrown problem,” President Bio stated during his speech. He emphasized the importance of addressing climate impacts at the local level, as these impacts disproportionately affect vulnerable communities.
President Bio expressed his commitment to implementing the FLLoCA initiative in Sierra Leone, specifically targeting the country’s 446 wards. He also expressed interest in establishing bilateral, South-South Cooperation with Kenya to conduct assessments and formulate a similar program in Sierra Leone further highlighting the potential for such cooperation to expedite the development of bankable projects and attract private investment.
Additionally, President Bio highlighted Sierra Leone’s vulnerability to climate change, noting that it ranks among the 20 most vulnerable countries to its effects. He cited various climate-related challenges such as storm surges, flash floods, pollution, deforestation, biodiversity loss, and increased prevalence of pests and diseases. The President emphasized the need for immediate action to protect valuable ecosystems and communities’ livelihoods.
Sierra Leone is actively working on a coordination and reporting mechanism for all climate-related activities and projects across Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies. This mechanism aims to facilitate and coordinate the country’s climate change programs and projects in alignment with national priorities and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
President Bio concluded by highlighting the significant achievements in raising climate awareness, building technical and institutional capacities, and integrating adaptation concerns into national development dialogues through a consultative and bottom-up approach.
The Africa Climate Summit, hosted by President Dr. William Samoei Ruto, emphasized the potential for Africa to play a crucial role in the global de-carbonization effort. President Ruto noted that trillions of dollars were seeking “green investment opportunities,” and Africa had the resources and untapped potential to lead in climate-resilient economic growth and job creation.
He underscored the importance of developing climate-proof avenues for growth and job creation, positioning Africa as an essential player in the global economy while achieving shared prosperity.