Rome, May 19, 2020
On the occasion of World Africa Day (May 25) and the 5th anniversary of Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Sì, dedicated to the Care of Creation (May 24), Enel Foundation joined a webinar on the opportunities and challenges faced by Africa in mitigating the effects of climate change organized by NGOs Harambee Africa International and Fundación Promoción Social.
Given the current pandemic context, some of Africa’s fragile health, economic and society systems are suffering even more. It’s now vital more than ever that we don’t lose sight of the consequences of imposing additional anthropic damage to the environment and heighten the urgency of carefully planning future adaptation and mitigation actions. The African continent already hosts 3 of the 10 countries worst affected by nature loss by 2050, as reported by WWF. In addition, as the UN Environment Programme outlines, the loss of biodiversity and the consumption and trade of wildlife are among the drivers for the proliferation of diseases transmitted from an animal to a human (zoonoses), like COVID-19.
In this context, the session moderated by Massimo Zaurrini from Africa e Affari, aimed at providing a polyhedral overview of the current state of African development and growth potential. Enel Foundation Director Carlo Papa discussed the paramount role of clean electricity smartly distributed in the path towards a sustainable and resilient development for all Africans.
Prof. Izael Pereira Da Silva, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Strathmore University, and also member of Enel Foundation’s Scientific Committee, spoke on the importance of education in the fight against climate change. Giammichele De Maio from the World Food Programme, discussed food security implications and Gerard Poch from Fundación Promoción Social talked about the NGOs’ challenges in the environment protection and socio-economic development. Finally, Fr. Joshtrom Isaac Kureethadam from the Dicastery for Integral Human Development, delivered a comprehensive overview of the progress achieved on “Laudato Sì: Five Years Later”.