AfDB now supports 30 countries to advance on environment-smart projects with GEF: annual report

04/05/2015
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The African Development Bank (AfDB) is an implementing agency for the Global Environment Facility since 2008. The relatively young portfolio has 28 projects over 30 countries on the continent according to the 2014 AfDB and GEF annual report released on Monday, May 4. The portfolio size has been multiplied by 10 during the last five years and is now worth more than USD 200 million. The Bank’s catalytic role in financing Africa’s development contributes significantly to synergies and coordination among development partners and the private sector. The USD 218 million AfDB-GEF portfolio has leveraged more than USD 1.27 billion in co-financing. The AfDB has mobilized a minimum of USD 5 for each USD of GEF funding.

Investments have been made in all GEF focal areas, in particular developing approaches in private sector financing. The report highlights the diversity of the portfolio: around three-quarters of the total amount is focused on climate change mitigation projects with other projects in land degradation, biodiversity, international waters and others multisectoral. As a result of a diversified approach to combatting climate change and responding to environment challenges on the continent, the Bank has mobilized funding from three GEF managed trust funds: the GEF Trust Fund, the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), and the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF). With 50% of the resources funded by LDCF, AfDB is one of the lead agencies for this fund and therefore also demonstrates its capacity to mobilize external resources for climate change adaptation for the continent.

After the release of the report, Kurt Lonsway, Manager of Environment and Climate Change at the African Development Bank, said, “On a global scale, Africa is not flagged as a major emitter of the green house gases. However, the continent is becoming the most exposed region in the world to the impacts of climate change. The growing partnership between AfDB and GEF is poised to addressing the climate changes challenges on the continent.”

To improve the efficiency of the AfDB and GEF project implementation, some challenges related to the length of the project preparation process, institutional arrangements, and sustainability or reporting were also identified in the report.

The report further highlights two key projects which started to be implemented in 2014: the African Climate Technology Finance Centre and Network and the African Renewable Energy Fund (AREF). The Centre and Network was funded with USD 14.4 million from the GEF. It is designed to support the development and transfer of climate technologies in African countries as a way to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and vulnerability to climate change. The project provides a platform for disseminating knowledge and brings together key stakeholders to develop innovative climate change financing mechanisms. The USD 130 million AREF was launched in March 2014 with the Sustainable Energy Fund and the Global Environment Facility as lead sponsors, each contributing to equity investment. AREF has so far reviewed 131 deals for a potential renewable energy capacity of 4,000 MW.