COP21: AfDB President meets with African Parliamentarians and civil society

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Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group, held a meeting with African Parliamentarians and representatives of African civil society, on the sidelines of the COP21 climate conference in Paris.

The main purpose of the meeting, held on December 2, was to create a forum to dialogue with African grassroots organizations through their parliamentarians and civil society. It was an opportunity for the Bank President to share his vision on how the institution intends to make climate finance beneficial to those who need it most: the peasants, smallholder farmers and pastoralists.

The Pan African Parliamentarian Network on Climate Change Executive President, Awudu Mbaya Cyprian, who spoke on behalf of group, urged the Bank to support the African Climate Legislation Initiative, an African Parliamentarians and civil society capacity-building and facilitation initiative led by the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance.

The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance’s Political and Technical Affairs Chair, Augustine Njamsnhi, asked the Bank to organise a Forum of African Civil Society, Parliamentarians, farmers, pastoralists and indigenous peoples to exchange views on how the Bank plans to administer climate finance in Africa. He suggested that the meeting be held in the first quarter of 2016 to evaluate the outcome of Paris and plan the way forward.

The Green Economy Civil Society Network in Central Africa’s Executive President, Nicaise Moulombi, presented the African Parliamentarians and civil society common position and commended the Bank for creating the African Natural Resources Center, whose aim is to develop Africa’s natural capital. He called on the President to expand that initiative.

For his part, President Adesina thanked the Parliamentarians and civil society for acting as the peoples’ voices, noting that Africa has one voice and one position on climate issues. “Africa should not be begging when we speak of climate change,” he said. The AfDB’s President took the opportunity to present the Bank’s High 5s, five priorities for the Bank going forward: to Light up Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialize Africa, Integrate Africa and Improve the quality of life for the people in Africa.

“Africa is rich and this wealth belongs to its people. The use of its resources must be made in a transparent and equitable manner. Do your work and remember that you’re Africa’s voices,” he said.