Africa needs unconventional ideas, financing solutions to support development: Sisi in AfDB meetings

Ahram Online , Tuesday 23 May 2023

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said Africa needs unconventional ideas and financing solutions to address pressing issues such as climate change and sustainable development.

The 58th Annual Meetings of the Board of Governors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) being held in Sharm El-Sheikh on Tuesday. Photos courtesy of Egyptian Presidency


El-Sisi made his remarks on Tuesday during the opening ceremony of the 58th Annual Meetings of the Board of Governors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the 49th Meetings of the Board of Governors of the African Development Fund.

This year’s meetings take place in Sharm El-Sheikh from 22-26 May, under the theme "Mobilizing Private Sector Financing for Climate and Green Growth in Africa."

During his address, the president emphasized the urgent global challenges and their profound impact on the African continent, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

"Africa requires $200 billion annually to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), $144 billion annually to address the repercussions of COVID-19 and $108 billion annually to fund infrastructure development projects."

Additionally, he pointed out that the African continent needs nearly $3 trillion through 2030 to tackle the impacts of climate change, including drought, desertification and declining agricultural yield.

"The drought-related threats on the continent countries have resulted in losses estimated at $70 billion and led to a decrease in agricultural production growth by about 34 percent,” El-Sisi explained.

The president underscored the crucial role of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in providing appropriate financing for African development while also mitigating its financial risk.

El-Sisi highlighted the importance of revising multilateral financial institutions’ lending criteria and conditions to enable countries to access soft loans (loans with little or no interest) that suit their economic realities.

Furthermore, the Egyptian president emphasized the necessity of stimulating the private sector's involvement in financing eco-friendly projects while maximizing clean energy sources.

Egypt’s central bank head also speaks

Hassan Abdalla, governor of the Central Bank of Egypt and chairperson of the AfDB’s Boards of Governors, also spoke at the opening ceremony about Africa’s funding shortfall.

"Africa has been promised $30 billion in climate financing. However, the [African] continent has received only 12 percent of that amount."

​"International financing organizations should also support Africa's abilities to fund infrastructure projects," he stated.

He further added that "it is crucial to mobilize the private sector to direct more investments towards environmentally friendly projects, shift from debt-based investments to actual capital investments and enhance the partnership between the public and private sectors."

Africa: Dearth of climate finance

In his speech, the AfDB Group President Akinwumi Adesina said that developed countries should fulfill their climate pledge to provide $100 billion per year to finance climate action in developing countries.

The AfDB is spearheading climate adaptation efforts across the continent and has devoted 63 percent of its climate finance to adaptation, the highest among all multilateral development banks, he said.

"Just to be clear, Africa is being shortchanged by climate finance. The continent will need $2.7 trillion by 2030 to finance climate change needs as per the nationally determined contributions of Africa," he further added.

"We made a commitment to provide 40 percent of our total financing for climate finance; we have exceeded that today," he stated, noting that the actual number has reached 45 percent.

According to him, private sector financing for climate in Africa would have to grow by 36 percent annually to reach $213 billion per year.

The Bank and the Global Centre for Adaptation have launched the African Adaptation Acceleration Programme (AAAP) to mobilize $25 billion to support Africa's adaptation to climate change. It has also established Alliance for Green Infrastructure (AGIA), in partnership with other institutions, to mobilize $10 billion in private investment for green infrastructure in Africa.

The bank is planning to launch on Wednesday its annual African Economic Outlook report, a flagship publication on the state of African economies.

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