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The African Development Bank says there are plans in the pipeline to establish a $100 billion ‘Africa Green Fund’ to address the issues of climate change confronting the continent..
Prof. Mthuli Ncube, Chief Economist and Vice President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) said at a press conference in Addis Ababa during the Africa Economic Commission (AEC) Conference on Green Economy and Structural Transformation that the Fund is still being conceptualised and depending on how fast progress is made in identifying sources of funding the Fund will kick-start.
He said the money is expected to come from countries in the north and from Africa. He mentioned among others, pension funds as some of the sources from which the money would be raised.
Later in an exclusive interview with ghanabusinessnews.com, he said the Fund is designed around the climate change issue. “It is just to make sure that this opportunity around climate change, doesn’t become a curse, but only becomes an opportunity,” he said.
He told ghanabusinessnews.com that the fund would be used to finance green projects in infrastructure such as dams, hydro-electric power generation, geothermal, wind farms, and any form of clean energy will fall under the umbrella of the Fund.
He said the Fund will also cater for the AfDB’s socio-economic programme such as the Sahel programme in Mali to address the challenges posed by desertification by reducing its impacts on farmers. It would also be used to provide irrigation schemes for farmers to reduce their dependence on the rains, he said.
He is hopeful that the Bank will be able to capitalise the Fund and launch it as soon as possible.
Economists, environmental experts, civil society and government representatives are meeting in Ethiopia at the African Economic Conference 2011 under the theme ‘Green Economy and Structural Transformation’ to discuss and push for structural changes in African countries’ towards a green economy as the continent and the whole world is being faced with the challenges of climate change.
On Monday October 24, 2011, Prof. Emmanuel Nnadozie, Director of Economic Development and NEPAD Division, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa told journalists at a Sensitization Workshop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia that “The impact of climate change is huge on the economy and the people,” he said as can be seen in the shrinking of natural resources such as the Lake Chad, and sea erosion at Keta in Ghana.
He said the devastating impact of climate change is already costing Africa a lot already.
The requirements in terms of financial requirement for climate change adaptation programmes in Africa he said is said to be around $20 billion to $30 billion per year.
“Mobilizing this resources is a great challenge and even if the resources are available, accessing is a problem,” he said.
He called on African countries to do two things by instituting policies to adapt to climate change and adopting an economic transformation strategy that does not worsen the problem, ” because it pays nobody for Africa to contribute to climate change which is already affecting Africa worse than anyone else,” he said.
According to Prof. Nnadozie, Africa must adopt a green economy strategy which promotes sustainable development, uses less carbon and more renewable energy.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Listen to Prof. Ncube on the attached audio.