300 African female journalists representing media houses from across Africa participated the third edition of ‘Les Africaines’ forum in Casablanca, Morocco to deliberate on the theme: climate change and its impact on the African continent.
The journalists from 54 countries were reminded of their role to contribute and raise awareness to the public on the issue of climate change and its impact on African countries, contribute to enrich the knowledge of African public opinion on the impact of global warming, and on the adaptation, mitigation measures to be adopted.
The journalists were also advised to foster greater visibility of the climate issue in the African media, and of all aspects of developments that this issue impacts, whether on the environmental, economic or social,
Speaking at the opening of the forum, Mrs Fathia El Aouni president of the Pan African committee ‘Les Africaines’ said, the theme of the meeting was to educate, discuss and debate on what can or should be done as a nation to face and find solutions for the Climate change.
She said, Climate change is now affecting every country on every continent. It is disrupting national economies and affecting lives, costing people, communities and countries dearly today and even more tomorrow.
This Forum will be an ideal opportunity and act as a center stage for knowledge expansion in the field of climate change for the female journalists drawn across Africa which will enable them understand and address the impact of climate change. She added.
Mrs El Aouni noted, there is currently a looming water scarcity, which when not addressed would coerce almost 25 million people to migrate yearly.
African countries, she said, should join hands and cooperate, so that they could learn from the best experiences and practices on how to protect and adapt to climate impacts.
Somali Media Women Association (SOMWA ) Executive Director Maryan Seylac who represented Somalia in the Casablanca forum was invited and met a lot of strong, inspiring and talented African women journalist, she expressed how honored she was to be part of the Pan African Women Journalists.
“It was a great honor and privilege to be attending such conference which has a great historical significance. It’s really a pleasure meeting such amazing women journalists across Africa”
Somwa Executive Director Maryan Seylac discussed how climate emergency is wreaking havoc across the world, and particularly the poorest countries, she said, in Somalia, where I hail from, Last year, at least 300,000 people including 200,000 children were forced to flee their homes in the town of Beledweyne following heavy rains which continued to fall across Hiraan and Bakool regions of Central Somalia. Nearly 85% of the residents of Beledweyne, normally home to nearly 400,000 people, have been affected by the floods.
Climate change is a pivotal issue for the African continent, to the point of determining its development, and therefore its future, for the coming decades. Africa must therefore today negotiate a decisive turning point. From the evolution of weather conditions, which has effects on agricultural and food production, to the rise in sea levels, which increases the risks of floods, the consequences of climate change are global in terms of effects. Without immediate action, it will be much more difficult and costly for Africans to adapt to the future consequences of these changes.
Finally the journalists were notified how African women journalists can initiate the change and become the change agents, they were urged to continue with the debate in their respective countries until the right linkages and outputs were attained.
The event of the climate change in Africa was made possible by Les Panafricaines, a Morocco based organisation, Morocco government in collaboration with 2M, a public multimedia company in Morocco that initiated the forum in 2017.