climate change planning
The World Bank has released a plan for Africa to address climate change and poverty. Image: Pexel.com

The World Bank has unveiled the Next Generation Africa Climate Business Plan (NG-ACBP), a detailed roadmap aimed at helping countries in sub-Saharan Africa to address climate change and poverty.

The plan calls for countries to seize the opportunity to scale-up climate resilience to grow their economies and reduce poverty, redouble efforts to increase energy access, and take advantage of sustainable and innovative approaches to leapfrog into greener development pathways. 

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The World Bank will focus on five key areas namely food security, clean energy, green and resilient cities, environmental stability, and climate shocks as part of the plan over the next six years.

The bank aims to train 10 million farmers on climate-smart agricultural approaches, expand integrated landscape management over 60 million hectares in 20 countries, increase renewable energy generation capacity from 28GW to 38GW to increase access to clean electricity, and outfit at least 30 cities with low carbon and compact urban planning approaches. 

Without the rapid deployment of inclusive, climate-informed development, 43 million additional people could be pushed below the poverty line by 2030 in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the World Bank.

And as such, the World Bank is recommending sub-Saharan African countries enact policy reforms that recognise the realities of climate change, in order to strengthen recovery and promote long-term growth.

Using climate change mitigation measures to create employment

The bank is calling for policies that help address the sizable infrastructure gap in a green and resilient manner, using less carbon-intensive materials and technologies while creating more competitive job opportunities. 

The launch of the plan follows the bank investing $33 billion in 346 climate action projects in Africa over the past six years.

Ousmane Diagana, World Bank vice president for West and Central Africa, said: “The climate challenge cuts across every priority – poverty reduction, agriculture, job creation, women’s empowerment, fragility, and more.

“Countries, therefore, have to tackle it in multiple ways, including by helping cities develop in clean ways, making climate-smart agriculture practices the norm, improving clean, green, and affordable energy, and putting people and communities at the forefront in order to improve lives and protect the future.”

Hafez Ghanem, World Bank vice president for East and Southern Africa, adds: “Africa’s main challenge is to adapt to climate change by investing in more resilient agriculture and food systems, building infrastructure that resists extreme weather events, protecting its coastal cities, and enhancing disaster preparedness systems.

“At the same time, green technologies provide an opportunity for growth and job creation. This is especially true in the energy sector where renewables have become a source of clean and inexpensive energy, bringing the goal of universal access to electricity within reach.”

The Next Generation Africa Climate Business Plan is available online.