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AfDB president. Akinwumi Adesina. Pic credit AfDB
AfDB president, Akinwumi Adesina, discussed the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative and the Bank’s New Deal on Energy for Africa with COP21 and G7 leaders.

Earlier this month, the AfDB president Akinwumi Adesina, addressed a delegation of ministers representing more than 40 nations in Paris to push for a ‘New Deal on Energy in Africa’ to solve Africa’s energy crisis.

During the address, the AfDB president also called for a binding agreement toward limited carbon dioxide emissions at the forthcoming COP21 being held in Paris in December.

Adesina outlined the importance of COP21, as presenting a unique opportunity to reach a lasting agreement on limiting carbon dioxide emissions, and charting the way for transformative partnerships to address the adverse effects of climate change.

To this end, he stressed, Africa’s voice is crucial for a successful outcome at COP21.

AfDB president raises key issues

Adesina also called for strong political will, sharply focused partnerships and ambitious financing programmes to address climate and its impact on the millions of people whose livelihoods are under threat.

Adesina said: “We need to support initiatives that address risks associated with climate change, and build disaster-response capacity and recovery programmes for those who are most affected.

“This includes building their assets, providing catastrophic bonds, weather index insurance schemes, and crop/livestock insurance for farmers and rural populations.”

The AfDB president highlighted three sectors for urgent action:

  • building integrated and resilient energy systems, including both conventional and renewable energy
  • smart agricultural, land use and forestry systems
  • boosting urban renewal – creating more resilient cities, with efficient water systems and smart, climate-friendly infrastructure

Africa’s green growth path

While endorsing Africa’s position on the need for more resources to address climate change adaptation and mitigation, Adesina assured world leaders of the Bank’s strong support for Africa’s transition to inclusive and green growth.

He affirmed that the Bank will champion the implementation of the ‘polluter pays’ principle and work with member countries and partners to support governance reforms, continental risk transfer and risk-sharing schemes. In addition, they will build institutions that will support greater social and economic resilience in the face of climate change.

AfDB to expand support

The AfDB president announced that the Bank will expand its support to African countries to solve their energy and food security challenges, while ensuring inclusive and green growth.

“Together, we must end Africa’s energy crisis and unlock Africa’s enormous energy potentials – both conventional and renewables,” he said.

“This is why the African Development Bank strongly supports the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative and will cooperate with all stakeholders to launch a New Deal on Energy for Africa that will accelerate energy supply and access across the continent.”

COP21 and G7 support for Africa

During his visit, Adesina met with Khalid Fahmy and other COP21 and G7 delegates to discuss the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative and the Bank’s New Deal on Energy for Africa. Adesina secured their support for the Bank to provide leadership to drive this Africa-led initiative.

The Bank will host the drafting team of the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative at the Bank’s Headquarters on 16 September to finalise the action plan for the Initiative.

On 17-18 September, Khalid Fahmy will attend the High Level Consultative meeting on the New Deal on Energy for Africa convened by Adesina in Abidjan.

The AfDB president also held bilateral talks with Laurent Fabius and Helene Le Gal, Adviser to the President of France, and senior officials of the Agence Française de Développement to discuss strategic partnerships between the Bank and France.