President William Ruto urged nations to embrace a new era of cooperation and collective action to address climate change and build a prosperous and peaceful world in a powerful speech on November 21, 2023.
Ruto addressed a session of the EU Parliament in Strasbourg, France, where he emphasised on the importance of the EU-Kenya and EU-Africa cooperation.
The President is currently on a two-day state visit to Germany and France, where he will meet with leaders from both countries to discuss strengthening economic ties and promoting climate action.
Ruto acknowledged the scars of colonialism that continue to stymie African progress, emphasising the need to move beyond outdated narratives and focus on shared opportunities. He emphasised the potential of climate change to serve as a “levelling force,” uniting nations in the face of a common threat.
Ruto emphasised the importance of reciprocal partnerships, technology transfer, and equitable capital flows in calling for a shift away from adversarial North-South and East-West dynamics. He emphasised that Africa, with its vast renewable energy potential, young workforce, and abundant natural resources, holds enormous promise for long-term development.
The President emphasised the importance of the inaugural Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi in September 2023, which culminated in the Nairobi Declaration. This declaration outlines a vision for Africa’s role in addressing climate change and achieving sustainable, equitable prosperity.
“We have the world’s biggest untapped renewable energy potential,” Ruto asserted. “The youngest and fastest growing workforce and human capital and relevant natural resources and assets. Sixty percent, for example, of the world’s best solar potential is in Africa.”
Ruto expressed also optimism about the future, stating, “There exists a real opportunity, an opportunity to reach sustainable, equitable prosperity for all of humanity.”
He envisioned a future in which Europe accelerates its transition to net zero emissions and Africa provides security and stability to its people.
President Ruto concluded by urging the European Parliament to join forces with Africa in creating a more prosperous, equitable, and sustainable world.
He emphasised the importance of collective action in the face of common challenges, urging nations to leave a legacy of foresight, collaboration, and solidarity.
This is Ruto’s first address to the EU parliament as a Head of State.