Will you talk a little bit about your interest in climate change and how it relates to your life and your work?
I’m at the receiving end of the adverse effects of climate change. I come from Africa. We have a limited ability to adapt, limited ability to mitigate, limited ability to be resilient, so I am interested in what transpires at climate change conferences like this one. I’m interested in putting in place climate policy that’s gender-responsive, because I know that [women] are even more disproportionally affected by climate change than men.
How did you begin to be interested in that?
It was out of certain need. We put in place an organization to respond to the effects of climate change, even before we knew it was climate change. Because now there are seasons that vary, we are experiencing a 100% crop failure because of prolonged drought, and the violent rains are very destructive. So we put in place an organization… to be able to protect ourselves. It’s global, and what they’re doing is good adaptation.
Did you by any chance hear about the US presidential election? What are your thoughts?
Oh yes. I am very, very disappointed. I am very disappointed in the outcome of the US elections. I followed them really closely, and I listened very keenly to the campaign messages, and I heard the message of hate from the winning candidate—the one that won the election—and the message of hope that was being spread by the one that lost. And we are very, very disappointed; we are very sad. We don’t know what our future holds with a person like that as the head of the world power.
What do you hope for the future?
Well, I don’t know what can happen. My hope for the future is that we should continue—my hope for the future is that humanity continue, that no nuclear wars are present, that there is equality between nations. I’m hoping that the world will be a good place for all of us to live in, without discriminations.
How do you think Donald Trump’s presidency could affect your work in climate change in general?
We are going to have a lot of problems. I think it’s not good news for minorities, it’s not good news for people of color, and it’s not good news even for Caucasians or people—it’s not good news for anyone.