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VIDEO: Southern Africa Climate Finance Partnership boosts countries’ readiness to access funds

The Southern Africa Climate Finance Partnership (SACFP) has released two new videos in which programme participants share their experiences of  taking part. They have all been learning and receiving support on how to access Green Climate Fund (GCF) finance to address climate change adaptation and mitigation priorities in their countries.

The SACFP, a programme implemented by SouthSouthNorth (SSN) – with funding from the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Swiss Agency for Development (SDC) – since 2017, aims to assist Southern African countries to access and implement climate finance from the world’s largest climate financing institution, the GCF.

The first film highlights the progress made in ‘Catalysing a regional climate finance knowledge network in Southern Africa’ and reviews the stakeholders’ experiences. Participants reflect on the advantages that come from the south-south knowledge brokering approach adopted by the project.

The process of accessing GCF funding is a complex one, especially as institutions new to the world of climate finance were required to come to terms with an evolving framework of requirements. As Chrispen Maseva, the Chief Environmental Expert from the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe, described when reflecting on the start of his journey: “You feel very anxious. You just ask yourself, am I not up to speed with what is required?” The events hosted by SACFP over the past four years bring together stakeholders from different southern African countries and institutions. The platforms encourage collaboration to “build a foundation upon which we are able to be effective as a region, working together”, as stated by Olympus Manthata, the Head of Climate Finance at the Development Bank of Southern Africa.

The second video ‘Enhancing capacity to access climate finance in Southern Africa: Experiences of SACFP stakeholders’ showcases examples of how the project has achieved several key outcomes, including:

  1. An increased sense of agency among key institutions and individuals. Boineelo Sealetsa, a Senior Economist at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development in Botswana, commented on how the SACFP gave her institution a “head start…[and provided] new approaches” to access the GCF. Within the Development Bank of Namibia, Maano Nepembe was one of the champions working towards gender mainstreaming within the organisation. “The project has assisted us to draft a gender safeguard standard. We can now start to mainstream gender in our policies and processes” she stated.
  2. Greater connectivity and improved cooperation between key stakeholders at both national and regional levels. The programme revealed several important opportunities to overcome obstacles to GCF access and implementation through increased cooperation and collaboration between institutions. As Gibson Mundende from FBC Holdings Limited in Zimbabwe stated: “Allow me to thank SSN for introducing us to Development Bank of South Africa and other climate stakeholders in the region. They had walked the journey. So they were taking us through the real-life examples of climate finance implementation”. The journey to climate finance is a complex one and, as Olympus Manthata stated, “We have found that you learn a lot from doing, and part of that journey is that you don’t walk it alone”.
  3. A new appreciation for strategic approaches to accessing the GCF. As Bosa Gaofiwe from the National Development Bank of Botswana noted “looking at our policies isn’t only good for GCF. Refining them and improving them is good for governance in general. And this will place us in a much better position to access funding, not just from the GCF but from any other global funding mechanism that exists”. Collaboration and working together as a region helps to catalyse these more strategic approaches among institutions. Gibson Mundende summed up the journey to achieving climate finance beautifully, when he stated: “there are opportunities from what we see as challenges…we think we have thorns, they are opportunities in another way”.

The above ‘impact stories’ are the result of the generous participation of key project stakeholders who came together in February 2020 for the SACFP Learning Journey 2020, a monitoring, evaluation and learning event held in Tshwane and Magaliesberg, South Africa. It allowed SSN to gather valuable data in exploring both the successes and challenges of the programme; thereby informing the design of the next three years as the SACFP moves into its third phase – thanks to funding from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

About the Southern Africa Climate Finance Partnership

The SACFP is a project of SSN that seeks to foster a regional partnership between six countries (Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe). The project aims to support country-owned and managed climate finance portfolios that can access finance from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and other climate finance avenues, mobilising private investment where possible. The programme moved into a new phase in April 2020 (Phase III 2020-2023) and will seek to further the outcomes achieved to date.

 

Image: fish and fish processing industries, Namibia, credit World Bank.

 

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