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+++ Global climate strike: Africa roundup +++

September 20, 2019

Thousands of protests and events are planned all around Africa to call for urgent action against climate change. Get the latest news on the Friday for Future climate strike.

People march and carry placards in Nairobi's climate strike
The climate march in Kenya's capital Nairobi was one of the first to kick off in AfricaImage: Reuters/N. Mwangi

- In Africa, thousands of people plan descending on the streets to protest inaction on climate change

- The protests come ahead of the United Nation Climate Action Summit on 23 September 

- Young people say their lives at the ones are stake as they face living in world reshaped by climate change

All updates in Universal Coordinate Time (UTC/GMT)

15:00 As many of the climate strikes wind up in Africa, we leave you with video of school children marching in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, What you can hear in the video, but can't see, is the Tanzania Police Brass Band in full uniform leading the rally as it parades through the streets pf the capital. 

14.00 Rufisque, Senegal. More than 200 school children and students have ridden and walked through the dusty streets of Rufisque, a mid-sized town some 30 km from the capital, Dakar. Many carried signs saying, "legui, legui", meaning "now, now" in the Wolof language widely spoken in Senegal. After the rally, the climate activists gathered for several hours of activities that included theater performances, speeches and impassioned pleas to save the environment.

13:40 Accra, Ghana. Accra's mayor accompanied a group of youths to deliver a petition to the Ministry of the Environment to demand climate justice. 

Adjei Sowah, Mayor of Accra (as told to Ghanaian media house, My Joy Online
“City action is essential in tackling the climate crisis, but cities can’t do it alone.”

People march holding a sign 'act now for climate justice'
Small but vocal protest in Kampala called for the government to do more to flight climate changeImage: Simone Schlindwein

13:00 Kampala, Uganda The climate strike in Uganda's capital is over. Several hundred students and climate activists gathered earlier in the day at Constitutional Square for the march organized by various youth and environmental organizations such as Act Now and the Climate Action Network. At the meeting point, rap music blared, street skaters performed stunts and drinks were given out. Serenaded by the University of Makerere's marching band playing the national anthem, the marchers set off for parliament where the organizers handed over their demands in the form of a letter to politicians.  

Edwin Muhumuzu, Team Leader, Youth Go Green Uganda (as told to NTV News Uganda)
“I am very much aware that the Constitution of Uganda, Article 39, stipulates that every citizen of this country has the right to a clean and safe environment. Then how are we implementing that clause?” 

Angel, Protester, Kampala
"I am protesting because we want to keep the climate green. We have many environmental problems in Uganda, because the forests are being razed and wetlands are being drained. We have to protect the planet, there is no planet B.”

Chimney stacks pump out smoke from a power plant
South Africa produces some of Africa's dirtiest airImage: Reuters/S. Sibeko

Did you know?

Africa isn't a big source of greenhouse gas emissions responsible for climate change. It is home to 14% of the world's population but only responsible for 7% of the world's emissions. Several African countries, though, prove an exception to the rule. 

South Africa is continent's largest producer of green house gases, ranking 14th in the world, thanks to its heavy dependence on coal power. The country produces “more carbon dioxide than Britain, despite having 10 million fewer people and an economy one-eighth the size,” according to The Economist magazine.

11:30 Cape Town, South Africa. The rally has reached Parliament where the crowd is listening to speeches. 


Photo of corn fields covered in water in Malawi following Cyclone Idai
Africa is ill-equipped to deal with extreme weather events such as Cyclone Idai that are expected to become more commonImage: picture-alliance/Xinhua News Agency/K. Jali

Did you know?

Africa is the continent most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, according to the United Nations. This could take the form of extreme droughts, flooding and storms. With their high rates of poverty and reliance on traditional agriculture, African countries are less able to adapt to climate change. 10:00 Cape Town, South Africa. Rally is getting started to march on Parliament.

Chantal Dette, African Climate Alliance, Cape Town
"What motivates me the most is that about a year ago my country was suffering water shortages and drought. We faced the 'day zero' scenario when the taps will be turned off. People in the Cape Flats [the townships on the outskirts of Cape Town] were really suffering."

10:00 Johannesburg, South Africa. The climate change action strike is underway. 

Did you know? 

According to the Climate Action Tracker, Ethiopia is one the countries doing most to tackle climate change in the world. 

08:00 Uganda: March underway in the Sebei region of Uganda, where many events and rallies are planned for today, including in Kampala. 

Protesters hold signs as they take part in the climate strike
Kenya is expected to see more droughts and floods due to climate changeImage: Reuters/B. Ratner

07.00 Kenya: The climate strike in Nairobi has kicked off. Protesters are demanding an end to coal-power plants and more renewables in Kenya. It seems that almost everyone there is holding a sign, ranging from: “Protect God's creation” to “The seas are rising and so must we” Wind energy blows me away”, "Be part of the solution, not pollution” and “There is no planet B”.


07:00 Kaduna, Nigeria. The city of Kaduna has started its one-day Sustainability Summit to be followed by a clean-up day on Saturday as part of a push to raise awareness about the need to protect the environment. 

Luisa von Richthofen and Andrew Wasike in Nairobi, as well as Uwais Abubakar Idris in Abuja contributed to this article.