Apart from the many intense negotiations that characterized the just ended United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP22) from November 7 to 18 in Marrakech, Morocco, as well as the volumes of terms of agreement entered into, there was another milestone at the conference.
This was when scores of journalists from the African continent unanimously agreed to form the African Network on Climate Change devoted to reporting on the many climate change challenges affecting the continent.
The journalists as well as many stakeholders are of the strongest conviction that reporting on these challenges will help scale back their many negative impacts of climate change on the continent.
The group will be known as the African Network of Climate Avant-gardists Journalists (abbreviated in French RAJCA).
The network brings together more than 70 journalists, representing 40 countries on the continent, with the objective of following up on the outcomes of the just ended COP22 as well as the assessment of and reporting on environmental issues in Africa.
This initiative should lead to a better assessment of the decisions taken by Heads of State and Government present in Marrakech during COP22.
RAJCA will disseminate and promote all relevant information of promises to be fulfilled, produce reports and articles highlighting initiatives that fall within the framework of sustainable development, and mobilize other African journalists to focus more on issues related to climate change.
A provisional administration was set up until its general assembly in the first quarter of 2017 with Abdoulaye Thiam of Senegal (Le Soleil) selected as president. Other officers are 1st vice-president, Souley Moutari, Niger (Le Sahel); 2nd vice president, Alice Lawson, Togo (IciLomé); secretary general, Moulay Najim, Mauritania (Points Chauds); and deputy secretary general, Laudes Martial M’Bon, Republic of Congo (Tam Tam d’Afrique).
Elected as treasurer is Naim Baba Ahmed, Chad (ONRTV); assistant secretary for gender, Elisa Anyangwe, Cameroon (Le journal de Brazza, correspondent).
Secretaries in charge of environmental issues are Hussein Nagah, Egypt (Al Akhbar); Leonela Borges, Cape Verde (Cape Verde National Television); Onassis Mutombo, Democratic Republic of Congo (L’Avenir); secretary in charge of new technologies, Mehdi Alioui, Algeria (Huffington Post); secretaries in charge of the AAA initiative, Ouadih Dada, Morocco (2M TV); and Khemais Ben Fredj, Tunisia (Al Wataniya TV); permanent secretariat, Marwa Tellal, Morocco (Communication Department of the COP22 Steering Committee); and coordinator is Farah Achab, Morocco.