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Climate change to reduce growth in developing countries – Chiteme

CLIMATE change is likely to reduce economic growth in developing countries, says national development planning minister Alexander Chiteme.

Chiteme has called on African countries to significantly invest in climate change adaptation and mitigation programme to reduce the negative impact on continent’s economic growth.

Speaking yesterday at Hotel Laico L’amitié Bamako in Mali where he featured as a panelist on a ministerial roundtable discussion under the theme: ‘Paradigm shift toward low-emission and climate-resilient sustainable development in Africa’ at the Green Climate Fund (GCF) organised Structured Dialogue with Africa, Chiteme said the impacts of climate change would have a disproportional negative impact on developing countries due to their weak technological capacity and exacerbate poverty.

“Climate change is likely to reduce economic growth in developing countries and significant investments in climate change adaptation and mitigation are necessary,” Chiteme said in a statement issued by the ministry’s spokesperson Chibaula Silwamba.

Chiteme said most African countries like Zambia depended on rain-fed agriculture and the sector was mostly driven by the rural people.

He observed that any variabilities due to climate change in rainfall patterns, such as droughts and other harsh weather conditions, tend to affect food production and living condition.

“This in turn continues to pose challenges in economic growth and development of our countries,” Chiteme said, adding that about 60 per cent of Zambians depend on rain-fed agriculture.

He said reduction in cash crop production was a threat to Zambia’s national economic diversification, job creation agenda and the fight against poverty.

“These are the cornerstones of our development trajectory as spelt out in our Seventh National Development Plan,” said Chiteme.

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