Rabat- Africa faces an uncertain future with the impacts of climate change ahead. While the continent’s citizens are still unsure about the consequences of the climate crisis, the solution to the problem is clear: more funding for climate mitigation and adaptation.
As the continent has not received the promised financial support from more developed countries, it is now seeking private and public partners to help pull back from the crisis. Plans to source financial assistance from banks and international bodies could help the continent be more prepared for the evolving battle against climate change.
“Climate change fuels migration, instability, and conflict in Africa,” Mohamed Atani, head of communications at the United Nations Environment Program, told the Spanish news outlet, El Pais.
The magnitude of the problem calls for significant investment. This is reflected in the theme of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) in Dakar Senegal, “Securing people’s well-being and ensuring environmental sustainability in Africa”.
At AMCEN 2022, Antoni Okon Nyong, of the Global Center for Adaptation, spoke about how the center will use private financing to support its initiatives. His organization has collaborated with the African Development Bank and has promised to provide $12.5 billion dollars to fund their African Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP). The program currently has a total budget of $25 billion dollars to be used over a five-year period.
The center recognizes the rate of climate change impacts is higher than the rate at which the continent is able to adapt, yet they know spreading their finances over too many sectors would decrease the quality and quantity of noticeable development.
Consequently, they have targeted four areas for improvement, one being digital agricultural systems. Nyong highlighted that “people are farming in Africa as my grandmother did and that needs to change.”
Another area focuses on resilient infrastructure. Nyong emphasized that 70% of Africa’s infrastructure is yet to be built, adding that “now is the time to build and do it right.” Investments in youth were the third area the center is looking at. Notong pointed out that the median age in Africa is 19.7 years, which calls for a renewed focus on education for youth to learn about climate development systems.
Finally, the spokesperson for the program noted that “there is money in Africa, it is just accessing the money can be difficult.” He concluded that “therefore we are going to help businesses that have accessible resources by working on submitting their proposals, something that a lot of initiatives fail to do.”
Money from the ocean
Existing financial plans that incorporate the public and private sectors involve the use of Blue Bonds, a scheme implemented for coastal Africa, helping to develop maritime-related livelihoods and biodiversity.
Blue Bonds are financial instruments based on the concept of the better-known Green Bond. The program provides reassurance to investors to invest in government programs backed by the massive fund. The program is an alternative to short-term value investments that harm the environment through exploitation. Global giants invest in the fund, including the World Bank, and The Global Environment Facility.
Citing their website, the “blue economy is valued at $3 trillion making it the world's seventh largest economy based on GDP.” In 2020, the Seychelles, located on the East African coast, managed to invest their national debt into a positive ocean protection project.
The President of the African Development Bank Dr. Akinwumi Adesina pointed out that “Africa’s financial actors need to work together creatively to mobilize global financial resources at a scale that can support local innovation, that drives climate-resilient and low-carbon development on the continent.”