Kofi Adu Domfeh
October 11, 2014
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has launched a €33million Fund on the sidelines of the Fourth Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa (CCDA-IV) in Marrakesh, Morocco.
The ClimDev Africa Special Fund is aimed at building regional capacities in climate information gathering and dissemination to overcome challenges posed by climate change.
The first ‘Call for Proposals’ offers private and public sector institutions and organizations the opportunity to access financing to build viable, reliable and regular climate information sources.
Coordinator for Special Initiatives at the AfDB, Ken Johm, says though the Fund is not enough to meet climate information needs of Africa, he hopes it will “be demonstrative enough that others can also benefit and learn from such experiences”.
Climate change makes Africa’s poor, especially smallholder farmers, increasingly vulnerable – with about 37 percent of the continent at risk desertification.
There is therefore the need to stimulate growth through the translation of climate information into practical action.
The AfDB has committed to support countries adapt to the negative effects of climate change, ensure food security and support good land, water and forestry management good practices.
Climate information services enable better integration of the water, energy and land nexus, which are critical along the entire agricultural commodity value chain, says Dr. Fatima Denton, Coordinator of the Africa Climate Policy Center (ACPC).
“Our deepest conviction is that climate change remains a double edge sword,” she said. “It constitutes the greatest challenge of our times, but it is also Africa’s greatest opportunity to widen out ripples of prosperity across our continent.”
The Climate for Development in Africa (ClimDev-Africa) programme is entrusted with a mandate to improve climate information services in support of African development agenda. It is jointly implemented by the African Union Commission (AUC), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Development Bank (AFDB).
Consolidating the potential for agriculture, using climate information services, will have a multiplier effect in catering for our youth, shared prosperity, and providing food, water and energy security, observed Dr. Denton.