Nordic Development Fund approves 5m euros for climate change funding in Africa

The Nordic Development Fund (NDF) has approved five million Euros for the funding of Africa Climate Resilient Investment Facility (AFRI-RES),  the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has said.

A statement on the commission’s website on Tuesday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, said that AFRI-RES, an Africa-based facility  to support climate proofing of Africa’s long-lived infrastructure investments, was aimed at strengthening the capacity of governments and institutions.

The institutions include river basin authorities, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), power pools and the private sector.

According to it, AFRI-RES would promote the integration of climate change considerations into the planning and design of long-lived infrastructure investments in Africa.

It added that AFRI-RES was conceived as a partnership between the World Bank, ECA, African Development Bank (AfDB) and the African Union Commission (AUC).

A central function of AFRI-RES is to facilitate interaction between policy makers, financiers, project developers, and scientific and engineering experts in order to develop and mainstream new practices that deliver climate resilient infrastructure in Africa.

Abdalla Hamdok, ECA Acting Executive Secretary, said that fit-for-purpose infrastructure was essential for the socio-economic transformation of African economies in attaining regional integration.

He said that with a huge infrastructure deficit, Africa has the opportunity to adopt a new climate economy approach to meet its development agenda.

This, he said would be supported by quality infrastructure that were resource efficient, safe, resilient to climate change and uncertainty and also be transformational.

“The support comes at a time when the ECA is repositioning its African Climate Policy Centre as the knowledge centre for climate resilient development policies in support of Africa’s new development paradigm.’’

Fatima Denton, ECA Special Initiatives Division Director, said that soon, AFRI-RES would catalyse a paradigm shift towards a climate-resilient green economy approach to planning development investments on the continent.

“AFRI-RES will help ensure that climate resilient investment practices are adopted by different financiers active in Africa, thereby boosting the share of overall development financing for Africa with resilience co-benefits.

”AFRI-RES will provide project-level technical assistance for climate resilience assessments in pre-feasibility or feasibility studies, climate risk management actions in the structuring of public-private partnership agreements or contracts.’’

Makhtar Diop, the World Bank’s Vice President for Africa said that climate variability and change are jeopardizing Africa’s hard-won development achievements and its aspirations for further growth and poverty reduction.

“We thank NDF for their generous support of AFRI-RES, which is a key component of the World Bank’s 19 billion dollars Africa Climate Business Plan to strengthen, power, and enable the continent’s resilience.”

Aage Jørgensen, Country Program Manager and AFRI-RES Project Manager at NDF, said that AFRI-RES would adopt results and methods developed in an earlier World Bank-ECA project and move them forward in practical and relevant ways.

He said that this would assist African governments, planners and private developers to integrate climate change in project planning and design.

The Nordic Development Fund is the joint development finance institution of the five Nordic countries and in this programme it aims to facilitate climate change investments in low-income countries, the statement added.

(Source: NAN)

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