Kampala Declaration on climate change, human mobility now has 48 African countries as members

As many as 105 million people could become internal migrants within the African continent in a business-as-usual scenario
Representatives from 48 African countries gathered in Nairobi, Kenya, for the Conference of States on the continental expansion of the Kampala Ministerial Declaration on Migration, Environment, and Climate Change. Photo: IOM
Representatives from 48 African countries gathered in Nairobi, Kenya, for the Conference of States on the continental expansion of the Kampala Ministerial Declaration on Migration, Environment, and Climate Change. Photo: IOM

A total of 48 African countries have now agreed to adopt the Kampala Ministerial Declaration on Migration, Environment and Climate Change (KDMECC) to address the nexus of human mobility and climate change in the continent. 

The continental expansion of the KDMECC was discussed at a three-day Conference of States that began August 23, 2023. It was co-hosted by the Governments of Kenya and Uganda with support from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). 

It also enabled the African States to develop a common position ahead of the Africa Climate Summit and the Conference of Parties (COP 28). 

Africa is one of the world's most vulnerable continents to the impacts of climate change, the IOM said in a release. Climate change, which leads to an increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, has a direct impact on migration. 

KDMECC was originally signed and agreed upon by 15 African states in Kampala, Uganda in July 2022. The KDMECC-AFRICA is expected to be signed by Member States during the Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi on September 4, 2023. 

The Declaration is the first comprehensive, action-oriented framework led by Member States to address climate-induced mobility in a practical and effective manner.  

There were over 7.5 million new internal disaster displacements last year alone, according to a 2023 report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre. If nothing is done, as many as 105 million people could become internal migrants within the African continent. 

The need to address human mobility in the context of climate and environmental change has increased in global importance and urgency, Mohammed Abdiker, IOM regional director for the East and Horn of Africa, said in the release. 

“The Kampala Ministerial Declaration on Migration, Environment and Climate Change gives us the unprecedented opportunity to support Member State priorities in addressing the challenges while also leveraging migration for sustainable development,” Abdiker said.   

“The KDMECC-AFRICA will ensure that all voices, including those of youth, women and persons in vulnerable situations are the priority of the expanded declaration,” Rebecca Amuge Otengo, ambassador of Uganda to Ethiopia.

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