A recent report has shown that in addition to conflict,
climate change is contributing to food insecurity across some parts
of the continent: ''224 million people are now reportedly
under-nourished on the continent, an increase of over 20 million in
recent years. The reasons for this are complicated but related to
the increasing pressures of extreme weather events. Rising
temperatures and a greater prevalence of droughts across the
continent has led to repeated crop failures.'' Widely read and
widely shared, this topic is not trending in Africa.
Africa's environment is under serious threat, and along with it
the very livelihoods of it's people. The Guardian report on the cocoa industry in
Ivory Coast highlighted how the country's rainforest cover is being
destroyed at a staggering rate- going from covering 25% of the
country to just a mere 4% in just two decades.
Source: The Guardian
At the same time, ''Africa has the highest levels
of severe food insecurity, affecting 27.4% of the
population - almost four times that of any other region.''
according to the report cited in the Guardian. As our environment
is destroyed for short term economic development, we place
ourselves at the mercy of changing climate conditions.
Africa needs a mind shift when it comes to
protecting the environment, and the future of it's people on the
continent. A shift that will begin to look at development in Africa
with the belief as they say that, ''We do not inherit the earth
from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children''.
The role of creativity
Looking towards our leadership and expecting them
to develop the will and ambition to tackle climate change related
issues is not the way forward. Maybe the hope lies with us the
people. As citizens we have shown that we are capable of developing
our own solutions and setting trends that others will follow. If we
can leapfrog the West in mobile money, we can leapfrog the West in
protecting what's left of our biodiversity and redesigning economic
development so it benefits both people and planet. Africans are
creative, and it's time we bring that creativity and innovation to
saving the only continent we have.
Creativity and innovation can power a greener
Kudzayi Ngwerume is Environmental
Communications EMEA & ESCP Europe Executive Master in Marketing and Creativity
(EMMK) Class of 2016.
Feeling inspired by Kudzayi's blog? To
follow in her footsteps, check out ESCP Europe and its Marketing
& Creativity programmes:
ESCP Europe Business School
MSc in Marketing & Creativity
Executive Master in Marketing and Creativity