Climate and green financing take centre stage at 2023 AfDB annual meetings


The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group is intensifying its efforts to mobilise domestic and international funds for Africa to combat climate change and its attendant environmental, human, and economic impacts.

The mobilisation of more finance by harnessing the power of particularly, the private sector, together with public funds, is to support the continent’s successful transition to green and inclusive growth, achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, and the Africa Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063.

It is for this reason that the AfDB Group, a Triple A multilateral development finance institution will hold its 2023 Annual Meetings on the theme: “Mobilising Private Sector Financing for Climate and Green Growth in Africa.”

The meetings, which is the 58th Annual Assembly of AfDB and the 49th meeting of the African Development Fund (ADF) will be held in Sharm El Sheikh – also known as the “Land of Peace,” and located at the south tip of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt on the coastal strip along the Red Sea.

Sharm El Sheikh is hosting this year’s annual meetings after Ghana’s capital, Accra hosted the event in May 2022.

It will feature a high a high-level presidential dialogue, launch of the Bank’s flagship African Economic Outlook (AEO), and three thematic knowledge events.

One unique event at this year’s AfDB annual meetings will be the commemoration of Africa Day, where the youth of the continent will interact among themselves and among leaders on Africa’s development answers from the perspective of the youth.

There will also be a spouse event – a social occasion that will allow spouses, accompanying partners and relatives of Governors to explore the culture and tourism of the city of Sharm El Sheikh.

The Presidential Dialogue will bring together Heads of States and Governments and global experts to a dialogue on the changing global financial architecture and the role of Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs).

Speakers will explore opportunities for mobilising resources at scale to finance the mega international initiatives such as Agenda 2030, Agenda 2063 of African Union (AU) and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

The knowledge events will focus on how Africa can harness the power of the private sector in supporting its climate agenda for a successful transition to green and inclusive growth.

The effort to scale up climate and green finance is to help solve the recurrence of climate risks, shocks, and other extreme weather events over the past two decades that Africa has experienced, ensure green growth on the continent, while enhancing livelihoods and creating sustainable jobs, particularly for the youth.

Climate change situation in Africa

According to AfDB, 131 extreme–weather, climate change–related disasters were recorded on the continent in 2020 and 2021, of which 99 were floods, 16 storms, 14 droughts, and two wildfires.

In particular, the number of floods in Africa has increased five-fold since the 1990s, and floods are more extreme than before, with recent data showing that flooding that occurred in 2020 across many parts of East Africa.

The Bank noted Sudan and Kenya have been the worst affected, where devastation have caused substantial human, ecological, and economic losses: 285 deaths reported in Kenya, and 155 deaths, and over 800,000 people affected in Sudan.

Africa is also estimated to have lost annually about five per cent – 15 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita growth between 1986 – 2015 due to climate change-related hazards.

Meanwhile, the continent is said to be the least contributor to global warming and continues to disproportionately suffer from climate-related natural disasters including droughts, desertification, floods, tropical cyclones, heat stresses, and water deficits.

The 2022 African Economic Outlook noted that between US$1.3 trillion and US$1.6 trillion is needed in 10 years (2020 – 2030) to implement Africa’s climate action as expressed in countries’ National Determined Contributions (NDCs).

Secretary General’s welcome speech

In his welcome message ahead of the meetings, Professor Vincent Nmehielle, Secretary General, AfDB Group, noted that the role of the private sector is critical in fostering Africa’s development, especially at a time that the issues of climate change, adaptation, and food security as become paramount on the continent.

He explained that the knowledge event would highlight climate change, adaptation, and food security issues among people in both the public and private sectors, in forging a better development focus for Africa.

“The annual meetings of the Bank present an opportunity for our Board of Governors – the highest decision-making organ of the Bank to deliberate on the performance of the Bank in the previous year,” Prof Nmehielle said.

The Secretary General, during the meetings, the Governors will pass resolutions aimed at making the Bank better, with a Governors’ dialogue being held to “concentrate on issues on climate change, adaptation, and food security.”

AfDB harness $2 trillion for green and climate resilient infrastructure projects Already, AfDB, Africa50 – infrastructure investment platform and Africa Sovereign Investors Forum (ASIF) have signed a letter of intent to collaborate on developing green and climate resilient infrastructure projects across Africa.

The collaboration forms a key part of the Bank’s strategy to harness the estimated $2 trillion of assets under management from African institutional investors including sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and insurance companies for the continent’s infrastructure and industrialisation, Solomon Quaynor, Vice President, Private Sector, Infrastructure, and Industrialisation, AfDB said the partnership with ASIF and Africa50 would enable stronger collaborations on project development and co-financing, mobilisation of capital to fund resilient, green, and sustainable infrastructure and identification of investment opportunities to promote Africa’s infrastructure and industrialisation.

About AfDB

Headquartered in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, the 1964 Organisation of African Unity (now, AU) established multilateral development finance institution, AfDB, comprises of three key entities; the African Development Bank, the African Development Fund, and the Nigeria Trust Fund.

The AfDB’s mission is to fight poverty and improve living conditions on the continent through promoting the investment of public and private capital in projects and programs that are likely to contribute to the economic and social development of the region.

The Bank was borne out of a growing desire for more unity within the continent following an end of the colonial period, with Dr Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina as the Bank Group’s president.

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