By: Foday Manneh
The former coordinator of the African Rising, Muhammed Lamin Saidykhan, has said holding world leaders accountable will help address climate change. African Rising is a pan-African movement fighting for peace, justice, and dignity.
Saidykhan made this call in announcing his new role as a member of the executive of Climate Action Network International (CAN-I), the world’s most prominent climate change network.
“We must collectively and consciously hold our leaders accountable. Only in this way can we urgently address the consequences of their actions that brought us to this state of global climate catastrophe.”
Saidykhan grew up in Niamina Dankunku in the Central River Region of The Gambia, where families, including his own community, are farming.
However, over the years, climate change has been forcing thousands of young people to migrate to Europe in search of greener pastures.
“The alarming impact of climate change weighs heavily on the lives and livelihoods of people worldwide, especially those of us living in the so-called ‘global south.
“People and nature are dying at increasing speed, and there is a great need for a global revolution that will allow us all the opportunity to live and enjoy lives of dignity,” he added.
Saidykhan, a well-known human rights and democracy activist in Africa and beyond, firmly believes that the spirit of “Ubuntu” (meaning solidarity) would help fight climate change.
“I am hopeful that my skills, knowledge, wisdom, connections, and experience, coupled with those of other great team members and the powerful infrastructure at CAN-I, will help to transform the world and deliver the collective social change the world needs now in the face of the destruction of our climate.”
Muhammed Saidykhan served as the coordinator of the African Rising for six and retired in August 2022. He now works with CAN-I and 1800 organizations as members of 130 countries on climate and social justice issues.