Climate change should not disrupt Africa's development

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Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete said on Tuesday climate change should not derail Africa's development goals.

"Our region cannot afford to allow climate change to derail our development goals, rob us of our most critical resources and mock our best efforts as we strive to give our people the future they want," he made the remarks while addressing the UN climate change summit in New York.

A statement issued on Wednesday by State House in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam said President Kikwete was speaking on behalf of members of the Committee of African Heads of State and Governments on Climate Change.

He noted that addressing climate change in Africa should take into account food security, poverty eradication, socio-economic development, environment and livelihood sustainability.

"At this summit we need to ensure that African countries are part of driver states in the search for solutions, and not just frontline countries for the impacts of climate change," Kikwete said.

Kikwete said Africa's promising prospects in medium-term economic growth could be derailed by climate change.

For example, he said, economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa) averaged 6.5 percent in the last decade (2004-2013), with some slowdown in 2009.

This average level of growth of 6.5 percent is expected to be maintained in 2014 and 2015 both at levels higher than 3.6 percent and 3.9 percent average for the global economy in 2014 and 2015, respectively, said the Tanzanian leader.

He said what Africa wanted was for developed countries to take concrete actions to reduce the heat trapping emissions and to meet their commitment in terms of financial and technological support to the continent.

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