Towards an integrated and climate-resilient Africa and a just energy transition
Of all the continents, Africa is the least responsible for climate change. It has contributed only a tiny fraction of the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for the climate emergency facing the world today. Yet Africa faces the same uphill battle as the rest of the world to cope with the impacts of climate change and to become climate resilient.
Today, Africa remains one of the most vulnerable and least resilient regions of the world to climate change. This is manifesting in every corner of the continent. In the Horn of Africa, millions of people are at risk as a historic drought looms. In the Sahel, climate change is fueling insecurity due to the scarcity of resources. And southern Africa is experiencing deadly rains and floods. Action has never been more urgent.
These challenges induced by climate change affect many countries and sub-regions of the continent. With better regional integration and deeper regional cooperation, African countries could mobilize around collective climate adaptation solutions and accelerate a just energy transition. The regional approach would elevate individual country voices and facilitate access to increased global climate finance.
The urgency of regional climate adaptation and mitigation action is critical for Africa’s future. This is why the African Development Bank is spearheading regional initiatives that intersect climate adaptation, energy transition and sustainability across the continent. The Bank integrates these initiatives into its national and regional strategies, anchoring them in its 5 priorities and integrating them into each operation supported by the Bank.
These operations encompass renewable energy, upgraded transport infrastructure and logistics, industrialization and regional trade, and trade finance – all initiatives geared towards deepening regional integration.
Bank financing in Kenya, Morocco and the Democratic Republic of Congo has supported geothermal, solar and hydroelectric projects that are clean, renewable and provide electricity to underserved households and small business markets. In many cases, these investments provide power across borders and encourage the growth of regional trade.
In agriculture, the African Development Bank focuses on climate change protection and the modernization of agricultural systems. It also increases productivity. This helps more African countries to pursue sustainable practices and move from subsistence to surplus economies. These efforts address the bottlenecks and practices that continue to cause food insecurity, displacement and conflict.
More generally, several initiatives of the African Development Bank are helping to lay the effective foundations of regional commodity-based value chains that will ensure Africa’s food security. Examples include the Bank’s Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) program, the Special Agro-Industrial Transformation Zones (SAPZ) initiative, and broader investments in
physical infrastructure, logistics, information and communication technologies and innovation. These initiatives are also helping to build a strong, surplus-producing, continent-wide agribusiness sector based on modern and sustainable practices.
As part of its strategic approach, the African Development Bank continues to work closely with regional actors such as Africa’s regional economic communities, African countries and development partners to mobilize climate action and financing for climate change. continent. The Bank’s Management is fully confident that with the collaboration of all parties, it will achieve climate justice for Africa.
The author is Acting Vice President for Regional Development, Integration and Business Delivery at the African Development Bank Group.
Source: Forbes Africa