May 19, 2020

The future of climate change in the African region

Sustainability
Renewables
Climate Change
Leah Netabai
3 min
The future of climate change in the African region

Following COP25, Business Chief takes a look at the future of climate change in the African region. 

Boosting women involvement in climate change

Discussions at COP25 talks, highlighted the magnification of socio-economic shifts happening due to climate change. In particular farmers. “Experts pointed to data indicating that the struggle to earn a livelihood pushes many farmers to migrate to cities in search of casual work. As a result, the women left behind in the villages must care for the family.”

“It is impossible to address climate change when 50% of the population was ignored,” stresses Anthony Nyong, Director for Climate Change and Green Growth at the African Development Bank (AfDB). “You cannot achieve sustainable development without ensuring gender equality. They are two sides of the same coin. Progress made so far is commendable but not enough.”

To promote gender equality, the AfDB has committed to providing US$20bn over five years to promote women’s participation in agricultural enterprises in West Africa. 

A united front

The African region in recent months has witnessed devastating natural disasters as a result of climate change. Although this region contributes the least to global warming emissions it is among the most vulnerable to be affected. Main sectors that contribute to Africa’s socio-economic development that are being affected by climate change include, agriculture, livestock and fisheries, energy, biodiversity and tourism.

“The climate disaster issues confronting the continent demand a predictable and unified response,” said UN ASG Mohamed Beavogui, Director General of African Risk Capacity, an agency of the African Union that helps governments respond to natural disasters. “Africa needs to move towards market-based innovative financing models to achieve a strong, united, resilient and globally influential continent. The future of Africa depends on solidarity.”

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Regional power acceleration

In addition to cultural shifts, AfDB has validated a study report on enhancing regional and subregional power projects to enhance access to energy and integrate across the continent. 

Previous attempts across the continent have stalled due to being considered commercially unviable or unbankable. “The programme intends to boost private investments, enhance cross border power trading, and expand regional integration by accelerating the resolution of technical, legal, regulatory, financial, procurement, environmental and social issues for large-scale projects in Africa,” said AfDB.

“To overcome the diverse constraints in Africa’s power sector, the African Development Bank launched the Regional and sub-Regional Power Project Acceleration Programme. It provides incentives for development finance institutions to mobilise financing for the power sector through regional and sub-regional connectivity,” said Angela Nalikka, the Bank’s Manager for National and Regional Power Systems.

For more information on business topics in the Middle East and Africa, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief MEA.

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