“Africa needs to change its development trajectory in order in order to win its fight against both poverty and climate change,” said the African Development Bank (AfDB) Vice President Aly Abou-Sabaa, at the opening session of the Third Annual “Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa”, that took place from 21-23 October 2013 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Addressing about 500 participants, including government officials, policymakers, academia, scientists, researchers, civil society groups, the media and farmers, Abou-Sabaa declared that the African Development Bank remains fully committed to supporting projects and strategic partnerships to achieve climate resilience on the continent.
“Africa has the opportunity to leapfrog rather than re-invent,” he said.
In order to address the various challenges it is facing, energy needs of a growing population, greenhouse gas reduction agenda, growing cities and the need for adequate and sustainable urban services like water, housing, waste management, transport, food), “the continent should take this opportunity to use proven cost-efficient and effective technologies in addressing them,” said Abou-Sabaa.
Focusing on the theme “Africa on the rise: Can the opportunities from climate change spring the continent to transformative development?”, the Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa (CCDA), seeks ways of strengthening Africa’s ability to seize opportunities from climate change to better prepare the continent for transformative development.
The conference was organized under the auspices of the Climate for Development in Africa (ClimDev-Africa) Programme, a joint initiative of the African Union Commission (AUC), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Clim-Dev Africa seeks to strengthen the capacities of Africa’s climate institutions to be able to generate and widely disseminate appropriate, useful and useable climate information. Additionally, the program seeks to enhance the capacity of Africa’s policy makers to be able to use such data routinely in development planning. The AfDB expects to channel a total amount of USD 800 Million for the ten coming years to address climate resilience issues in Africa through the ClimDev Africa Program.
The AfDB is playing a key role as financier, partner, and advisor to African countries to assist them enhance access to available resources as well as capitalize on future financing opportunities.
In that regard, the AfDB, under its Climate Change Action Plan, is investing up to USD 10 billion between 2011 and 2015. These resources will be drawn from the AfDB’s own internal funding, bilateral trust funds and climate finance instruments. The AfDB’s current Investment represents USD 4.3 billion (2011-2012).
The opening session of the conference was also addressed by Alemayehu Tegenu, Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, of Ethiopia, Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission Carlos Lopes, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa.