The City Mayor of Monrovia, Jefferson T. Koijee is currently in Rimini, Italy representing the Covenant of Mayors of South Sahara Africa (COM SSA) at a panel discussion on sustainable energy and Climate Change.
This year’s conference which is been organized by the Directorate General of International Cooperation and Development of the European Commission focuses on “Sustainable Energy and climate change ” and the role of capital cities in addressing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) with emphasis on goal Seven (Affordable and Clean Energy) and Goal Thirteen (Climate Action).
Mayor Koijee who was selected to represent the 119 signatories capital under the Covenant of Mayors of South Sahara Africa after his splendid deliberation early this year at the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) roundtable conference held in Accra,Ghana from March 7-9, 2018 highlighted that in order to realize a universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services in Africa, we must envision first to expand infrastructure and upgrade technology for supplying modern and sustainable energy services for all in developing countries, in particular, least developed countries, small island developing States, and land-locked developing countries, in accordance with their respective programmes of support.
“African capital cities must begin to improve their infrastructures, open doors for investors, rally the citizen’s participation in response to investors who are investing in energy, add value to our waste; making it resources instead of garbage.”
We can have an affordable and reliable energy by 2030 when we put our minds to work, focus on innovation and providing the enabling space for investment around Africa, Mayor Koijee noted.
Climate change around the globe has become a topical issue which needs to be addressed. The young mayor noted that the situation about climate change in Africa and around the world is causing a serious threat to the survivability of our aquatic species, human lives and endanger our environments making it unsafe for living.
He stressed that there is a need for a collective approach in addressing the situation, calling on the European Union, African Union, UN, World Bank and other international organizations to invest in helping poor African capital cities in addressing this global challenge.
Mayor Koijee lauded the European Union for funding the Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Sahara Africa (COM SSA) and cautioned the European Union that there is more need to be done financially, logistically, technically to help South Saharan cities and municipalities in tackling climate change.
The Monrovia City Mayor also highlighted three important issues that his city is currently faced with. He named floods, Waste management and the overpopulation of the capital as major challenges currently faced by the city government of Monrovia.
He lamented that as a city situated near the Atlantic Ocean, it’s currently devastating for residents of the city during this time of the year where we observe on a daily basis heavy downpour of rain.
“Many residents of my city are made homeless due to the flood situation and prior to my arrival here a few days ago; the situation is becoming more worsening than previous years simply due to the climate change situation.” He said.
“I will like to appeal to the European Union and other international organizations to intervene in arresting this unfortunate situation about flooding in our capital”. Mayor Koijee lamented.
The Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Sahara Africa (COM SSA) which was launched at the COP21 in Paris, seeks to increase access to sustainable energy and to implement local actions to combat climate change and its impacts to urban and peri-urban population (especially the most vulnerable).
The Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Sahara Africa which is the regional chapter of the Global Covenant of Mayors comprises of 119 signatories cities and municipalities in 34 countries, it’s organized to strengthen the capacities of cities to develop and use urban planning and implementing tools in local actions to energy access and combat climate change, and adapt to its impacts.
Currently, 13 cities received direct funding (Grants awarded through the EU delegations in the country) with Liberia been one of the beneficiaries.