The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) in Cairo jointly organised an online seminar on scaling up climate finance in Africa.
The seminar took place as part of their effort to foster sustainable development as the continent recovers from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, according to a Tuesday press statement.
The event was hosted by Benedict Oramah, President and Chairperson of Afreximbank, and the AFD’s CEO and Chairperson of the International Development Finance Club (IDFC) Rémy Rioux.
It aimed to “increase participants’ knowledge of the opportunities and challenges associated with aligning economic development and climate finance to strengthen sustainability and resilience across Africa”.
Recommendations from the seminar will be discussed during the “Finance in Common” (FiC) Summit that will be held on 11-13 November 2020.
“Though Africa contributes less than 4% of global CO2 emissions, it remains the most vulnerable region to the adverse effects of climate change,” Oramah said, “Droughts and floods have increased in frequency over the last two decades and risk undermining the continent’s economic progress.”
Meanwhile, Rioux said, “The partnership between Afreximbank and AFD, built over the past five years, is a shining example of effective coordination of Public Development Banks (PDBs) based on shared objectives, supporting the development of African economies and mainstreaming the fight against climate into our financial activity.”
He added, “As we face COVID-19, I am convinced that the 450 PDBs that operate around the world, including 95 across Africa, at sub-national, national, regional, international and multilateral levels, could further contribute to scaling-up climate finance for sustainable development.”
He noted that the PDBs will gather in this endeavour for the first time on 12 November in the French capital, Paris, for the Finance in Common Summit. There, they will design new forms of prosperity that put people and the planet first.
“By forming a coalition of financial actors, PDBs could bring timely and coordinated responses to global challenges,” Rioux added.
The attendees at the webinar agreed that the creation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA) will help nations across the continent deliver long-term sustainability, development, and security. These will be boosted by cross-sector collaboration, financial partnerships and the promotion of trade, the statement noted.
“It is estimated that the negative effects of climate change in Africa are already depressing the continent’s GDP by 2.8% annually (around $100bn),” the statement highlighted.
In order to tackle climate challenges in Africa, availability of new funding dedicated to climate finance and sustainable development was identified as a priority. Through their ability to mobilise and channel financing, PDBs have a yet untapped opportunity to act as a catalyst in the transformation of the financial system towards climate action and SDG promotion, the statement added.