President Lungu joins other African leaders in addressing Covid – 19, climate change

 President Lungu joins other African leaders in addressing Covid – 19, climate change

President Edgar Lungu has joined other African leaders in addressing the double impact of the COVID – 19 pandemic and climate change.

President Lungu said the the COVID – 19 pandemic and climate change had continued to create crises for world.

President Lungu said this through Health Minister, Jonas Chanda, during the Africa COVID – 19 -Climate Emergency and the Importance of Scaling Up Climate Change Adaptation – through the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Programme (AAAP).

The Head of State said the impact of Climate Change in Africa had manifested itself through extreme whether events such as droughts and unprecedented flooding, coupled with pest invasions on crops.

He said Zambia had not been spared from the events as the country had experienced drought and dry spells, seasonal flash floods and extreme temperatures.

“These extreme events have put pressure on African Government’s budgets through unplanned expenditures and have caused the diversion of resources away from other development priorities”,President Lungu said.

The Head of State expressed optimism that Climate Change adaptation programmes would offer solutions that mitigate the negative effects.

“In Zambia, Government is already undertaking measures through various initiatives with support from Cooperating Partners.

These projects aim to enhance the adapative capacity of vulnerable farmers through smart agriculture practices.” said President Lungu.

The President noted the reduction in revenue collection in the past year adding that it was below target by 8.7 per cent in 2020, while expenditures increased due to interventions on COVID-19 by 14 percent.

He also revealed that growth in 2020 contracted by 3 per cent.

President Lungu encouraged partners to fully operationalise initiatives such as Green Financing and Green Bonds in countries such as Zambia to close the financing gap especially during a time when countries were faced with liquidity challenges.

The African Development Bank and the GCA convened the Leaders’ Dialogue on the Africa COVID-19 -Climate Emergency in collaboration with the United Nations Secretary-General and the Champion of the African Adaptation Initiative.

The event brought together African Heads of State and Government, Bilateral Partners, Heads of International Organizations and Development Agencies.

The Independent Observer

John Sakala is a Journalist yearning for independent journalism