BY CHARLES ABUEDE
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has said that it will double the available fund on climate change in Africa to $25 billion between 2020 and 2025 from the initial $13 billion spent in the last 5 years to lead and champion the efforts on climate resilience on the continent.
Kevin Kariuki, AfDB vice president for power, energy, climate, and green growth, disclosed this on Wednesday during a virtual news conference in preparation for the bank’s 2022 annual meetings to be held in Accra, Ghana.
Kariuki said the bank would fund and support African countries to become resilient both in adaptation and mitigation between 2020 and 2025 while ensuring that Africans benefit immensely from the objectives of the banks.
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“AfDB is championing and leading efforts on climate change and between 2020 and 2025 we intend to double available funds to $25 billion from $13 billion, to drive climate change resilience. In cognisance of the fact that Africa’s greatest interest is on adaptation, we dedicate over 50 percent of the climate finance budget to helping countries adapt to climate change, like 67 percent last year. Be rest assured that AfDB has committed funds and that leaves that the people of Africa can benefit immensely from the objective of the bank.”
On supporting energy transition plans in Nigeria, Kariuki asserted that “AfDB is very much willing to finance renewable energy plans by countries in the areas of gas and renewables but will not be ready to finance projects on coal. Nigeria is one of the few countries that has evolved its nationally Determined Contributions into a long-term strategy which is translated into a foundational document for long term strategy. We are keen to support all African countries in their energy transition plans; we are ready to support Nigeria in developing her transition plan by translating those plans into a viable pipeline of projects.
“We can’t be able to quantify the amount because we do not have a clear view of the projects that will emanate from the strategy,” he said.
Also, Martin Fregene, director of agriculture and agro-industry at the AfDB, at the virtual conference monitored by Business a.m. said that the bank had set aside more than $1 billion to cushion against the current food price crisis.
He stated that the fund, which was up to the tune of $1.5 billion, would be utilised to support farmers with fertiliser in the wet season of the southern hemisphere to bridge the supply gap in fertiliser while also explaining that the bank was on a mission to help farmers produce more than 100 million tonnes of food that would reach 200 million people.
Briefing journalists on the main agenda of the forthcoming summit of the bank in Accra, Ghana come May, Vincent Nmehielle, secretary-general of the AfDB Group, noted that the theme of the meeting, ‘Achieving Climate Resilience and a Just Energy Transition for Africa’, was highlighting critical areas of importance to any country’s development and it will avail stakeholders the opportunity to know what the bank was doing and what governments of countries had done in various areas of intervention.
“The AfDB is a catalyst that enables or provides platforms to countries who are willing and have the hunger to articulate and fund projects to operate in the digital space and other developmental priorities,” Nmehielle remarked.