African Development Bank (AfDB) president Akinwumi Adesina launched the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP) on January 25 to mobilise $25-billion to scale up and accelerate climate change adaptation actions across Africa.
The launch announcement occurred during the Climate Adaptation Summit 2021, hosted by the government of the Netherlands and the Global Centre on Adaptation (GCA).
The AAAP – a joint initiative between the AfDB and the GCA – is expected to scale up innovative and transformative actions on climate adaptation across Africa, Adesina said during the inaugural Ministerial Dialogue on Adaptation Action, held as part of the summit.
“Our ambition is bold – to galvanise climate resilience actions, support countries to accelerate and scale up climate adaptation and resilience, and mobilise financing at scale for climate adaptation in Africa.”
Adesina was joined in addressing the summit by Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte, former United Nations (UN) secretary general Ban Ki Moon, current UN secretary general Antonio Guterres, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and India Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
World Bank president David Malpass and International Monetary Fund MD Kristalina Georgieva also spoke at the event.
The ongoing Covid-19 crisis formed a backdrop to the meeting, a fact Rutte acknowledged in his opening statement. The Netherlands has taken a lead role globally in harnessing the energy and entrepreneurship of the youth and developing nature-based solutions. He hopes this year will be a year of heightened international ambition and action on climate change, after a difficult 2020. “This conference will help achieve that goal.”
In acknowledging the “huge gaps” remaining in financing for adaptation in developing countries, Guterres called for 50% of all climate finance provided by developed countries and multilateral development banks to be allocated to adaptation and resilience in developing countries.
“The AfDB set the bar in 2019 by allocating over half of its climate financing to adaptation,” he added.
A number of speakers acknowledged Africa’s vulnerability to climate change, as well as Africans’ innovative responses to challenges.
Ghanaian president Nana Akufo-Addo said his country was working with the private sector with the assistance of the Green Climate Fund, “to establish a multimillion-dollar green fund to support our climate adaptation interventions and our efforts to transition to renewable energy.”
Adesina thanked Ki Moon for his role in the establishment of GCA’s regional office for Africa in Abidjan in 2019, which is hosted by the AfDB. The bank’s head participated in three sessions and outlined a number of AfDB initiatives, including the $20-billion Desert-to-Power project to create a solar zone in the Sahel, the largest in the world.
“Our Youth Adaptation flagship will unlock $3-billion for the youth, support 10 000 youth-led small and medium-sized enterprises in climate resilience and build capacity for one-million youth on climate adaptation,” Adesina said.
The AfDB’s Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation initiative has leveraged $450-million and provided 19-million farmers in 27 countries with climate-resilient agricultural technologies, raising average yields by 60%.
Adesina also acknowledged that the presence of US special envoy for climate, newly-appointed John Kerry, provided a boost to global climate efforts.
“With you in charge, and the strong and palpable leadership of US President Joe Biden, we are re-energised on the global agenda on climate change.”