African Export-Import Bank, Afreximbank, is participating in the inaugural Africa Climate Summit where leading decision makers from Africa and the wider international community will be present.
The Africa Climate Summit ending Wednesday under the theme “Green Growth and Climate Finance for Africa and the World”, discussed Africa’s exposure to climate change and its associated costs with solutions and commitments for action to be formalized in the “Nairobi Declaration”.
The event, convened by the African Union and hosted by the Government of Kenya, provided a forum for government officials, policymakers, climate experts, businesses, civil society organizations and international delegates to develop Africa-centric solutions which can be presented to the broader global community at the forthcoming COP28 in Dubai in November.
Afreximbank’s participation reflects the institution’s recognition of the centrality of climate change amongst Africa’s various challenges as rising temperatures and sea levels, droughts, and floods further constrain the continent’s economic development.
At the Summit, a delegation led by Afreximbank’s President, Prof. Benedict Oramah is contributing to high-level discussions on climate finance and several initiatives to support African states in developing future-proofed, green industries which can accelerate economic development whilst also safeguarding the continent’s and the world’s ecological and climate security.
President Oramah said “the problem hasn’t been the deficit of ideas but the lack of action on the part of almost all stakeholders.
“We must call on developed economies to honour their commitments to developing nations towards climate finance. In the absence of firm global action, Africa is implementing concrete actions and putting forward pragmatic proposals to mobilise global resources to deal with the challenges of climate change”.
Oramah stated that the Bank’s commitment on climate change which it is promoting at the Summit is focused on climate adaptation. Afreximbank is working to coordinate and support programmes which mobilize finance for climate-related initiatives, optimize nature-based solutions on the continent and promote African food security and sustainable water supply as well as investing in improvements to systems which manage and contain disasters when they occur, he added.
Specific proposals and initiatives led by the Bank include a collaboration with Africa Risk Capacity, ARC, to create a product that protects African economies against food security that arises from climate-induced disasters. He disclosed that Afreximbank finances the premiums and provides food import finance, while ARC provides the insurance capacity adding that with funding at just US$1 billion, this product is grossly underfunded and there is scope for the World Bank and capital-rich economies to step in by providing capital to this fund. Secondly, a global carbon tax which many countries have advocated for could also become a major source of liquidity for the climate insurance programme.
In addition, Afreximbank is increasing its support for its member states in navigating an already precarious climate landscape. Through investments in the continent’s infrastructure to lay the groundwork for a low-carbon transition as well as advocacy for Africa’s specific energy needs, it is rallying support for the development of African natural gas and energy reserves which can in turn accelerate the realization of Africa’s renewable energy potential.
The participation of Afreximbank at the Summit follows the Banks’ focused involvement at COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh in 2022 as well as the signing of a US$3 billion Country Programme between Afreximbank and the Government of Kenya on 3 May 2023. As part of the programme, the Government of Kenya was the first country to access Afreximbank’s recently introduced Climate Change Adaptation Facility.
Commenting on the Bank’s participation in the Africa Climate Summit, President Oramah said: “I am pleased that Afreximbank’s significant influence and expertise will contribute to the essential discussions taking place at the Africa Climate Summit here in Nairobi this week.