International Solidarity Conference on Climate Change for the African and the Mediterranean Regions

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International Solidarity Conference on Climate Change for the African and the Mediterranean Regions

Tunis, 19 November 2007 - The African Development Bank Group and Tunisian Authorities are co-organizing an International Conference on "International Solidarity for the Protection of Africa and the Mediterranean Region from Climate Change" in Tunis from 18-20 November.

As a side event, the Bank Group is organizing a workshop on Climate Risk Management and Climate Adaptation Policy. On the second day of the conference, Dr Mandla S.V. Gantsho, Vice President, Infrastructure, Private Sector and Regional Integration, made a keynote address on the "Role of Multilateral Development Banks in Promoting Clean Investments in Africa: African Development Bank Perspective." In his address, the Vice President indicated that the outcome of the meeting will enhance the voice of Africa and the Mediterranean regions in Bali and beyond, adding that the region "cannot afford to delay to act". He then gave an overview of the effects of climate change in Africa and highlighted the thrust of the Bank’s strategy in three main areas: Energy for Development, transition to a low carbon economy, and climate adaptation.

The Vice President stressed that the Bank is focusing on widening rural energy access, assisting its Regional Member Country (RMC) access to clean energy, and developing a climate risk management and adaptation policy to provide support to RMCs. He then highlighted three challenges that African countries, individually and collectively, must address in order to promote sustained economic growth, social development, security and poverty reduction, namely:

  • how to accelerate progress towards access-for-all to reliable and affordable energy supplies;
  • how to play a more effective role in international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change;
  • how to adapt to inevitable climate changes.

Concluding his remarks, the VP noted that "the scope and complexity of the challenge is such that a concerted and collaborative effort is required by all key players on a global basis".

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Onike-Houra Nicol Phone: +216 71 10 32 27