Climate change is a global crisis that requires collective action from every nation and citizen. The African continent, in particular, is already feeling the impact of climate change, with prolonged droughts, erratic rainfall patterns, and rising temperatures posing significant challenges to sustainable development. As such, it is critical that young African leaders are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to address the climate crisis and promote good governance.
In this regard, the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) has been instrumental in training and empowering young leaders from across the continent. Six South Sudanese alumni of the program recently traveled to South Africa to attend an international symposium on climate change and governance.
The symposium, which was held in Johannesburg, brought together young African leaders, policymakers, and experts to discuss strategies for addressing the climate crisis and promoting good governance. The South Sudanese delegates were among the participants who shared their experiences, insights, and solutions to the challenges facing their country and the continent as a whole.
The six South Sudanese alumni of the Mandela Washington Fellowship are all passionate about climate change and have been actively involved in promoting sustainable development in their country. They have been working with local communities to raise awareness about the impact of climate change and to promote sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, and environmental conservation.
The South Sudanese delegates at the symposium included Mary Akoye, a YALI alumna who is the founder and director of the South Sudanese Women Empowerment Network (SSWEN). SSWEN is a community-based organization that seeks to empower women through education, economic empowerment, and advocacy. Mary Akoye has been at the forefront of promoting women’s participation in environmental conservation and sustainable development in South Sudan.
Another delegate was Simon Lado, a YALI alumnus who is the founder of the South Sudan Renewable Energy Association (SSREA). SSREA is a non-profit organization that seeks to promote renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency in South Sudan. Simon Lado has been working to promote solar energy, biogas, and other renewable energy solutions to address the energy needs of rural communities in South Sudan.
Other South Sudanese delegates at the symposium included Juma William, a YALI alumnus who is the director of the Youth Empowerment Network (YEN), which seeks to empower young people in South Sudan through education, entrepreneurship, and advocacy. Juma William has been working to raise awareness about the impact of climate change on youth and to promote youth-led initiatives to address the climate crisis.
The other three South Sudanese delegates were Elizabeth Wani, Peter Deng, and Joseph Lual. Elizabeth Wani is the founder of the South Sudanese Environmental Conservation and Agriculture Network (SSECAN), which seeks to promote sustainable agriculture and environmental conservation in South Sudan. Peter Deng is the founder of the South Sudanese Youth Association for Development (SSYAD), which seeks to empower young people through education, entrepreneurship, and leadership training. Joseph Lual is the director of the South Sudanese Institute for Good Governance and Human Rights (SSIGGHR), which seeks to promote good governance, human rights, and democracy in South Sudan.
The South Sudanese delegates at the symposium shared their experiences and insights on how to address the climate crisis and promote good governance in their country. They highlighted the need for more investment in renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and environmental conservation. They also emphasized the importance of promoting women’s participation in environmental conservation and sustainable development.
Overall, the participation of the six South Sudanese alumni of the Mandela Washington Fellowship in the international symposium on climate change and governance is a testament to the importance of investing in young African leaders. By equipping them with the knowledge, skills, and networks necessary to address the climate crisis and promote good governance, we can