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Droughts, floods may undermine Africa’s economic progress – Afreximbank

African Export–Import Bank (Afreximbank) says the increasing frequency of droughts and floods over the last two decades may undermine Africa’s economic progress.

Prof. Benedict Oramah
Prof. Benedict Oramah, President Afreximbank

Prof. Benedict Oramah, President Afreximbank, said this in Cairo, Egypt, at an online seminar on scaling up climate finance in Africa, a statement issued by Afreximbank stated.

The seminar was jointly organised by Afreximbank and Agence Française de Développement (AFD).

It is part of their shared effort to foster sustainable development as the continent recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Oramah said that though Africa contributed less than four per cent of global Carbon (IV) Oxide (CO2) emissions, it remained the most vulnerable region to the adverse effects of climate change.

“Climate mitigation and adaptation projects are often inhibited by the inconsistent accessibility of funding caused by a lack of clear policies and regulatory frameworks on climate change.

“Too much bureaucracy, as well as a lack of clarity are holding us back when progress is vital.

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“For Africa to fulfil its ambitious economic aspirations, African governments, development institutions and the international community must work in concert.”

According to him, the continent’s economic progress should not be slowed by climate change.

He said the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) should galvanise the economies and marshal the best of entrepreneurship and collaboration.

“We welcome this opportunity and wish to affirm our strong support for climate initiatives. There can be no better partner than AFD, which has the skills and commitment to drive the change we need,” he said.

Rémy Rioux, Chief Executive Officer of AFD, said that the partnership between Afreximbank and AFD, was built over the past five years.

He said that it was a shining example of effective coordination of Public Development Banks (PDBs) based on shared objectives.

Rioux added that the partnership also supported the development of African economies and mainstreaming of the fight against climate change into their financial activity.

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“As we face the COVID-19 pandemic, I am convinced that the 450 PDBs that operate around the world, including 95 across Africa, at sub-national, national, regional, international and multilateral levels, can further contribute to scaling-up climate finance for sustainable development.

“In this endeavour, PDBs will gather for the first time ever on Nov. 12 in Paris at the Finance in Common Summit to design new forms of prosperity that put people and planet first.

“By forming a coalition of financial actors, PDBs can bring timely and coordinated responses to global challenges.”

The event aimed at increasing participants’ knowledge of the opportunities and challenges associated with aligning economic development and climate finance to strengthen sustainability and resilience across Africa.

The attendees agreed that the creation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA) would help nations across the continent deliver long-term sustainability, development and security.

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They added that the AfCTA would help boost cross-sector collaboration, financial partnerships and the promotion of trade.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to reinforce resilience across African nations.

“Participants in the event agreed that countries should aim to increase their capacity to face external shocks, reduce dependence on a small set of commodities and accelerate low carbon growth.

“They emphasised the importance of unlocking new resources to finance sustainable investment that enhance Africa’s long-term competitiveness and resilience.”

The bank estimated that the negative effects of climate change in Africa are already depressing the continent’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2.8 per cent annually (around $100 billion).

Afreximbank is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution with the mandate of financing and promoting African trade.

By Folasade Akpan

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