The Global Centre on Adaptation (GCA) on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 announced the launch of its regional office in Côte d’Ivoire.
Hosted by the African Development Bank (AfDB) at its headquarters in the Ivorian capital Abidjan, GCA Africa will work with partners across the continent to scale and accelerate adaptation action that protects African communities from the impacts of climate change.
GCA Africa will focus on programs and action, knowledge acceleration and capacity building and agenda-setting that respond to the acute challenges from the changing climate facing African countries.
The GCA Africa programmes include improving the food security of one billion people in sub-Saharan Africa by 2030 through a programme on rural well-being and food security, as well as projects to support communities through water for urban growth and resilience; using nature for more resilient infrastructure; adaptation finance and building youth leadership.
Commenting on the launch, Ban Ki-moon, Co-Chair of the Board of the GCA and 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations, said: “This is a historic moment to accelerate adaptation in Africa. Nowhere is the challenge of achieving sustainable development in the face of a changing climate more acute. Our new regional office will support regional and national adaptation efforts by emphasising and spreading existing best practices on the continent and ensuring their fully fledged integration into broader international adaptation efforts.”
Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, said: “I am delighted with the launch today of the Global Centre on Adaptation for Africa (GCA) hosted by the African Development Bank. The Bank has committed to doubling its financing for climate to $25 billion by 2025, with over 50% devoted to climate adaptation. Africa must not be short-changed by global climate finance. We will partner with the GCA to mobilise more resources for climate adaptation in Africa.”
Ali Bongo Ondimba, President of Gabon and Chair of the African Adaptation Initiative, said: “The devastating effects of climate change, which include severe droughts, floods, reduced agricultural yields, sea-level rise, and other climate-related disasters, are on the rise. The launch of GCA Africa is a bold and innovative initiative to galvanise the support needed to significantly scale up adaptation on the continent, identify gaps and connect regional partners to find solutions.”
Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund, said: “More than any other region, sub-Saharan Africa is vulnerable to the impact of climate change, which threatens lives and livelihoods and undermines economic growth. After the current crisis, boosting resilience is an urgent priority so it’s vital we share the knowledge and best practice that can help accelerate climate adaptation.”
Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, said: “There is an urgent need to step up the support for people in Africa, and around the world, affected by climate change. I welcome the Global Centre on Adaptation Africa as a crucial partner in delivering the elevated ambition and enhanced action that is needed to make this shift towards a resilient future.”
Feike Sijbesma, Co-Chair of the Board of the Global Center on Adaptation and Honorary Chairman of Royal DSM, said: “Millions of lives depend on Africa’s agricultural sector. Adapting and improving its resilience to climate change is therefore a must. By investing in African local food systems we catalyse sustainable value chains and support the vulnerable but small-scale often female producers.”
Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana, said: “Adaptation to the impact of our changing climate is essential if Ghana is to continue to grow and prosper. We look forward to working with GCA and its partners to meet the challenge of climate change and ensuring resilience is built into Africa’s economic recovery plans.”
Dag-Inge Ulstein, Minister of International Development for Norway, said: “Climate change is not only damaging for the environment, but devastating also for development. It is important that countries around the world, especially our partners in Africa, work together to address these global challenges. Norway is pleased to be able to support GCA Africa in accelerating this agenda.”
Peter Eriksson, Minister for International Development Cooperation for Sweden, said: “GCA is a key solutions broker and centre of excellence with a holistic approach that aims to accelerate adaptation solutions for a climate-resilient future in Africa. By working with GCA Africa we will intensify climate adaptation efforts to ensure we integrate solutions to have a coherent response to our climate emergency.”
Patrick Verkooijen, CEO of the Global Centre on Adaptation, said: “The impacts of climate change are already being felt across Africa and will only increase in magnitude. Adaptation is not a nice-to-have, it’s a necessity. Through our role as a solutions broker, GCA Africa will work closely with partners in every sector to ensure the most effective adaptation measures are shared and scaled across the continent, responding to the growing demand for strengthening resilience to the impacts of our changing climate.”
The launch of GCA Africa comes shortly after the launch of its South Asian office in Dhaka by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in September 2020. Its first regional office was launched in Beijing by Premier Li Keqiang in June 2019.
In May 2020, GCA Africa published a GCA policy brief (https://bit.ly/3hBn04f), with the African Adaptation Initiative and endorsed by 54 Heads of State and Government, which recommended focusing stimulus investment in Africa on resilient infrastructure and food security to overcome the COVID-climate crisis.
The GCA is the lead partner institution for the Climate Adaptation Summit in the Netherlands – the first major gathering of international leaders dedicated entirely to adaptation. The summit takes place on January 25, 2021 and is hosted by Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands.
The GCA is also the Managing Partner to the Climate Vulnerable Forum and Vulnerable Twenty (V20) Group of Ministers of Finance, a group of 48 developing countries highly vulnerable to climate change.