AfDB and Canada have created a $104,8 million gender responsive Climate Fund for Africa.
The Canada-African Development Bank Climate Fund (CACF) is aimed at providing concessional loans to climate change-related projects with a strong gender-responsive component. The funds will be capitalised through a combination of a $104,8 million (CAD122.9 million), repayable contribution.
This will provide concessional loan for both sovereign and non-sovereign operations, plus a $7,9 million (CAD10 million) grant contribution for complementary technical assistance. The AfDB will administer the Fund.
Canada’s Minister of International Development, Karina Gould said the investment, with its strong gender footprint, recognised “the critical role that women need to play in climate action and supports their efforts to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.”
“Climate change is one of the most important challenges of our time…And, although we are all affected by it, we in Canada know that not everyone is affected equally…that means that vulnerable and marginalised people are bearing the brunt of this crisis,” said Gould, speaking at a virtual signing ceremony on 17 March 2021 to conclude the agreement, held on the sidelines of the Canada-Africa Clean Growth Symposium.
As a concessional facility, CACF resources will be deployed in innovative low-carbon technologies, renewable energy, climate-smart agriculture, sustainable forestry, water management and climate-resilience projects. The fund will finance climate change related projects in the AfDB’s regional member countries, including those that demonstrate a strong gender equality focus. The empowerment of women and girls will be an objective across all CACF concessional financing, aiming at direct, measurable gender equality outcomes.
Building back better means building resilience into climate and gender funding
AfDB president Dr Akinwumi Adesina, commented: “In building back Africa, climate resilience is very important… This is why I’m delighted and thrilled with the Canada-African Development Bank Climate Fund that we are launching.”
“These resources that you are making available, it’s very unique, in helping us with adaptation. First, it is long-term financing. It will provide long-term capital to the private sector and to the public sector. It also provides it at affordable levels for countries… What I like most about it is that it looks at multi-sectoral use of this financing… all these things are very important to support Africa in climate adaptation and mitigation,” Adesina said.
The AfDB’s financing for climate has increased fourfold from 9% of its total portfolio in 2016, to 36% by 2019 and is on track to achieve its target of 40% of total portfolio by the end of 2021. The Bank has committed to providing $25 billion in climate financing by 2025.
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The Canada-Africa Clean Growth Symposium, co-hosted by Canada, Ethiopia and Senegal, brought together economic and business leaders from the public and private sectors from Canada and sub-Saharan Africa to explore innovative ways to grow their economies, while reducing emissions and building resilience to climate change.
The sessions focused on a blueprint for a green economy, incorporating socioeconomic development, while ensuring sustainable management of natural resources, minimising waste and pollution and following climate-resilient and low-carbon development pathways.