Wednesday, January 29, 2020

French Ambassador preaches sustainable poverty eradication

French Ambassador to Botswana, Anne de la Bpache says Botswana should adopt a sustainable strategy of combating and eliminating poverty. Speaking in an interview with Sunday Standard, de la Bpache said there is no use trying to address a problem by creating another problem-implementing projects that will in the future negatively impact the lives of future generations.

African countries will convene for a Financing for Development conference in Addis Ababa, where they have prioritized focal points that will address issues like health facilities, women empowerment and climate protection. A number of poor and developing countries have been granted ‘waivers’ to utilize fossil energy while they are still adopting newer environment friendly technologies; but the use of such fossils will not be allowed in future. The fossils cannot be stopped over night, but the new renewable energy initiatives should be quickly introduced to ensure sustainability. Health facilities are another area of priority and there is need for women empowerment in that regard.

“Women empowerment is close to my heart because women are the engine of every society. Empower women and your country’s economy will soar. They are hard workers. Consider some of the projects they trade in: horticulture, jewelry, leather, dairy products and you will testify to their hard work. Even the way they manage household budgets proves the entrepreneurship in them,” said de la Bpache.

She said France has contributed $100bn for the Green Fund, so has the United States of America and Canada. Other countries have not yet contributed. The Green Fund is one of the tools that countries agreed upon in the past; as aid to poor and developing countries so they can adopt projects that will reduce emission of Green House Gases into the atmosphere. On Civil Society Organizations’ (CSOs) demand for greater focus on mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage, de la Bpache bemoaned the fact that developed countries are still being accused of causing the damage through industrialization.

“No one knew at the dawn of industrialization that steps taken to improve human life then, would lead to the current situation. It was done in good spirit. It is the same as keeping cattle which some African countries do. Cattle produce gases like methane and others-equally contributory factors in global warming. What we should all be focused on is best ways to mitigate the situation or device means of adapting to climate change,” she said.

She nonetheless acknowledged the contribution of CSOs, saying their voice as the link between communities and the political and corporate leadership is vital. She also agreed with CSOs that there should be commitment to technology transfer for mitigation and adaptation. Her country, she said is one of those that freely embrace technology transfer. Once governments have purchased equipment from France-be it from government or private companies- the training of such country’s people is done freely.

“We do not just bring equipment and say use it. We provide training and we encourage other countries to do the same. Hopefully this is one of the resolutions the COP 21 will agree upon,” she said.

“I understand the statement that climate change is the moral obligation of our generation to mean that we should all be concerned that what we are doing today is going to affect the future. This means our younger brothers and sisters and our children are going to experience what they are going to experience due to what we do today. Consequences of the past generation are already felt. There are frequent droughts. Livestock has got little or nothing to eat and drink,” she added.

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