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Making climate finance work for Africa


Project Reference: TAAF-0001

Within just a few months of the launch of the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), our rapid response service fast-tracked a new project for the African Development Bank (AfDB) to provide urgent technical support on climate finance for the continent.

In February 2010, the United Nations Secretary-General established a ‘High-Level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing’ (AGF), consisting of Prime Ministers, ministers, leading economists and investors, and including the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) President, Dr Donald Kaberuka.  The AGF was charged with making recommendations on mobilising financial support to help developing countries fight climate change ahead of the 16th Conference of the Parties, held in Mexico in November and December 2010. In light of Dr Kaberuka’s representation on the AGF, the AfDB requested support from CDKN both to enhance the Bank’s understanding of AGF outputs, and to facilitate the Bank in contributing an African-specific position in AGF meetings.

Africa has contributed the least to historic greenhouse gas emissions, yet it stands to be hit hardest by the effects of climate change. Many parts of the continent will suffer a drastic fall in agricultural productivity, while its people will be increasingly exposed to water stress, coastal flooding, and a possible major expansion of vector-borne diseases such as malaria. Currently, Africa receives only a third of the funding it requires for its short-term development, adaptation and mitigation needs.

The AGF periodically releases a series of technical documents outlining proposals to raise financial support to combat climate change. Anthony Nyong (of the AfDB’s Climate Change team) outlined to CDKN his specific requirements for support to Dr. Donald Kaberuka. CDKN’s rapid response service, which complements its focus on longer-term engagements, worked with Vivid Economics, an economics consultancy with an expertise in climate finance, to deliver this work. The Network selected Vivid Economics based on their breadth and depth of climate finance expertise; their ability to partner with key African stakeholders; and their capacity to respond to multiple, simultaneous requests.

The AfDB received support aligned to its specific needs, including:

  • Support material such as briefing papers to help enhance the AfDB’s understanding of the AGF’s recommendations on climate finance.
  • Preparation of written text to support the AfDB’s contribution to Working Group papers on climate finance, which were then discussed in AGF meetings.
  • The preparation of position papers for the AfDB on ‘the African Perspective’ to ensure there are considerable benefits for the African continent from the AGF recommendations.

CDKN funding: £46,000

Project Manager: Olivia White

Photo credit: World Economic Forum.
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