Give it to President William Ruto. He sure knows how to work and move a crowd.
This was evident when the Kenyan Head of State delivered a five-minute speech on climate change and financing to youth at the Champs de Mars, Paris in France, earning him a thumping applaud.
Nearly every sentence Ruto delivered was met with cheer, clapping, and chants, much to the delight of many.
What Ruto said;
“I bring you greetings from Kenya, the land of the greatest marathoners. From the youngest continent in the globe. I wish the joy and confidence exuded by all of us here could be shared around the world.
The people of Kenya, Africa, and many parts of the world live in the reality of the new normal. The climate crisis is getting worse every year with millions losing their lives and livelihoods to drought, flash floods, heatwaves, cyclones, and wildfires. Luckily, the solutions to make a difference are in our hands.
And when I see you, I see the future, and I see the solution to the challenges that exist in our globe. We have the necessary technology and finance today and it is possible for all of us to act together to course correct. What has gone wrong, we have it in our power to get it right. It requires solidarity, equity, and fairness.
Africa has the greatest potential for renewable energy- from solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal. Kenya is already leading the way with 92 per cent of our grid being green. At this global citizen event, we call for a global financial system, that is fit for purpose. One that does not pit the West against the East, the North against the South, or emitters against those who don’t emit, or the developed against the developing. We want a financial system that is fair and transparent and it isn’t too much to ask for a fair system.
A financial system that does not advantage emitters and disadvantage low-income countries. A system that supports climate-positive growth and green industrial growth powered by renewable resources to help us all decarbonize. It should also help Africa and the global south with affordable finance that can help us all attain our goal of low carbon and resilient world and obtain the Paris Agreement of net zero by 2050. Our next frontier is building climate and pandemic-resilient health systems. Together, we can build a better future, for people and the planet.
Thank you, asanteni sana, and see you in Nairobi in September for the Africa Climate Summit.”
It would not go unnoticed on netizens as many lauded the president for what they termed, “a very good speech and a powerful example.”
Osman- Barkhad on Twitter wrote: “President Ruto is setting a powerful example for Africa and beyond! His eloquence and leadership shine through, and it's inspiring to see an African leader taking such proactive steps towards tackling the urgent issue of climate change.”
Environmentalist and climate change advocate Anita Soina said, “Thisssss! we got it right.”
Your Excellency, @WilliamsRuto.
This is so very powerful. The future is in youth. Together, we must be resilient, fair, solid and transparent in fighting against the climate crisis to which the youth are vulnerable. — Venance Majula (@VenanceMajula) June 23, 2023
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The president, who is in Paris, France for the Global Financial Pact Summit has been very vocal on issues of climate change and chiding the West and international financial institutions to make them more responsive to the needs of Africa.
It would seem that Ruto is on his continued charm offensive of the West, wooing foreign nations, as he stamps foot as the defacto sheriff.
Since ascending to office last year, Ruto has established himself in the diplomatic space and has almost been out of the country every two weeks. His speeches on Africa regaining her financial power, and on peace and security matters within the region and the larger continent have attracted praise and criticism in equal measure.
And now, many wonder how the president will score on foreign policy given his very strong opinions.