On November 8, the Africa Climate Change Fund held a public stakeholder engagement event titled “The Role of the Africa Climate Change Fund in building African climate finance readiness and resilience” in “Le Pavilion de la Francophonie” on the sidelines of the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow.
A panel discussion was held with climate experts, Africa Climate Change Fund project owners, partners and high-level country representatives to raise awareness about the Fund among climate change stakeholders. The event, moderated by Arona Soumare, Principal Climate Change and Green Growth Officer at the African Development Bank, showcased the Fund’s work supporting African countries in unlocking climate finance through a portfolio of 16 projects.
Soumare introduced the session with a quote from the recently published OECD report on climate change indicating that of the top 10 African countries receiving climate finance, only two are from Francophone Africa. He pointed to language barriers and inadequate capacity as some of the reasons for this. He reiterated the role of the Africa Climate Change Fund in bridging the gap and offering opportunities to entities that otherwise would not have access to climate finance.
Cécile Martin-Phipps, Director of the Francophonie Institute for Sustainable Development, indicated that through the institute, the International Organization of Francophonie supports Francophone African stakeholders with mobilizing climate finance, building capacity, and funding climate resilience projects, especially initiatives that focus on women.
The Minister of Environment, Sanitation and Sustainable Development of Mali, Modibo Koné, acknowledged the relevance of the Africa Climate Change Fund to Africa and invited the Bank to increase its visibility and encouraged international climate funds and partners to increase its funding capacities. The Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of Côte d’Ivoire, Jean-Luc Assi, acknowledged the support of the Africa Climate Change Fund, among others, to the accreditation of two national entities with the Green Climate Fund.
The Africa Climate Change Fund interim coordinator, Audrey-Cynthia Yamadjako, provided an overview of the Fund, its current portfolio and new programs. She said: “The Africa Climate Change Fund, through its action of building the climate finance readiness of African countries, and its unique objectives of targeting local communities, national institutions and NGOs, is an instrument showing great complementarity with the international climate funds and promoting direct access. The huge interest received during our calls for proposals and requests for more engagement received from member countries shows that more needs to be done and more resources are required in the Africa Climate Change Fund to continue its action.”
Susan Steffen and Jean Lemire, respectively representing Global Affairs Canada and the Government of Quebec, reiterated their commitment to the Fund, especially its support to countries and gender and resilience activities.
Africa Climate Change Fund project coordinators from Côte d’Ivoire, Mali and Senegal shared their experiences as Fund beneficiaries. Jean Yves Ande indicated that the Fund’s project has enabled Côte d’Ivoire to mobilize an additional $6 million from the Adaptation Fund to tackle climate-smart agriculture, helped to mobilize $62 million to establish a multi-risk early warning system and $10 million to promote agriculture-related products. Drissa Doumbia said the Africa Climate Change Fund project contributed to strengthening the technical capacities of the Agency for Environment and Sustainable Development of Mali and supported the development of a climate finance mobilization strategy. Alioune Kaere added that the project in his country, which is ongoing, will contribute to increasing the capacities of the municipalities in Senegal to access climate finance and facilitate access to information for cities.