Mahmoud Mohi El-Din — Egypt’s climate champion gives a recorded message at the last day of the two-day Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development
They also urged the international community to fulfil its commitment to provide developing countries with $100 billion in finances per year to adapt and deal with the climate crisis.
The third edition of the forum was held under the theme ‘Africa in an Era of Cascading Risks and Climate Vulnerability: Pathways for a Peaceful, Resilient, and Sustainable Continent’ and organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cairo International Centre for Conflict Resolution, Peacekeeping, and Peacebuilding in partnership with the Swedish government and the African Development Bank (AfDB).
In a recorded message, Mahmoud Mohi El-Din — Egypt’s climate champion, special envoy on financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the executive director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) — said that there is no room to talk about global political cooperation while there are regions suffering from food crises, climate change vulnerability, and conflicts like the ones in Africa.
He also noted that the war in Ukraine, along with the COVID-19 pandemic, have deepened the troubles the continent is beset by, especially that its countries need to spend around 35 percent of their GDP to invest in water, food, and infrastructure amid the ongoing challenges.
Africa’s financing needs in this regard edged up from $2.2 trillion to $2.4 trillion amid the ongoing challenging time, he said.
“The COP27 is a platform through which Egypt will adopt a local and regional approach for the development of the continent,” he said, calling for availing the room for the private sector and multilateral finances provided by IFIs to mobilise finances in this respect.
Mohi El-Din also touched upon the sustainable debt issue in the continent, which is aggregated by the impacts of both the war in Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If creditors cannot introduce a solution to deal with this issue, all efforts of investing in the continent’s water, energy, and food security will be at risk. We have to work on channelling the required finances for the continent’s development from the private sector as well as IFIs to achieve Africa’s SDG Agenda and the ‘2063 Africa We Want Agenda’”, Mohi El-Din explained.
Kevin Urama, acting chief economist and vice president for economic governance and knowledge management at the AfDB, noted that financial commitments for climate action need to transform from pledges and promises to implementation on the ground to avoid the severe impacts of climate change on Africa, which is responsible for only 3% of global carbon emissions.
He stressed that the global climate action inflow structure shows that the most vulnerable countries to climate change in Africa do not receive any of these inflows, while inflows to other countries on the continent leave much to be desired.
In this respect, Urama pointed out the role the African Development Fund plays in mobilising concessional finances for Africa to mitigate and adapt to the climate crisis.
He also asserted the need to scale up the fund’s finances, adding that it managed to allocate £45 billion in finances to support the continent just in time for its 50th anniversary.
For her part, Elizabeth Spehar, assistant secretary-general for peace building support at the UN, said that $50-70 billion are allocated annually in peace building finances.
She affirmed that innovative solutions are crucial to address the peace and security challenges on the continent by working under public-private-partnerships (PPPs) and with the private sector to avail extra finances to address such an issue.
She added that there is also a need to resort to non-traditional donors in this regard as well as mobilising local finances.
Over the past two days, the Aswan Forum discussed the avenues the continent can approach to achieve its sustainable development and have access to the required finances amid the ongoing multifaceted crisis that also affects its peace and security.