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The lack of appropriate climate information is a major obstacle to addressing the challenges of climate change in Africa, and has led to calls by African leaders and development partners to improve the provision and use of appropriate climate information to promote planning for sustainable development in Africa. As part of the effort to address climate change challenges in Africa, the Climate for Development in Africa Program (ClimDev-Africa or the “Program”) was designed as a joint initiative of the African Development Bank (“AfDB” or the “Bank”), the Commission of the African Union (“AUC”) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (“UNECA”). The Program has been endorsed at regional meetings of African Heads of State and Government and by Africa’s Ministers of Finance, Planning, Economic Development, and the Environment. Its purpose is to explore actions required in overcoming climate information gaps, for analyses leading to adequate policies and decision-making at all levels.
The AfDB accepted the request from the AUC and UNECA to establish the ClimDev-Africa Special Fund (“CDSF” or the “Fund”) and to administer its resources for demand-led interventions. The Board of Directors of the Bank sought and received the approval of the Board of Governors for the establishment of the Fund. The ClimDev-Africa Special Fund was established by the Bank’s Board of Governors on 27th May 2010.
The CDSF forms one of the three elements of ClimDev-Africa, the others being the African Climate Policy Center at UNECA, and the Climate Change and Desertification Control Unit at the AUC. All of the three elements received mandates from the highest level of African Policy makers, Heads of Government and Ministers of Finance, Planning and the Environment. Each has its own set of formal documents in addition to the ClimDev-Africa Framework Programme Document (CFPD) which was developed by the ClimDev-Africa Secretariat to define the linkages between the three elements of the program.
The goal of the CDSF is to pool resources to contribute to sustainable development and, in particular, poverty reduction by preparing and implementing climate-resilient development programs that mainstream climate change information at all levels in Africa. The objective of the CDSF is to strengthen the institutional capacities of national and sub-regional bodies to formulate and implement effective climate-sensitive policies.
The ClimDev-Africa Programme Special Fund (CDSF) supports operations in the following three main areas:
The immediate beneficiaries are the group of “Policy Makers” that ClimDev serves including Regional Economic Communities (RECs); River Basin Organizations (RBOs); National governments (including NMHs); Parliamentarians; and African negotiators. The ultimate beneficiaries are rural communities with climate sensitive livelihoods; communities vulnerable to climate sensitive diseases; communities dependent on uncertain water and other natural resources, communities at risk of disasters, and communities with poor energy access.
The fund has not yet become effective as the UA 20 million (approximately €22.4 million) required by the Instrument has not been secured. However, steps are well underway to operationalize the Fund including the opening of a bank account and the preparation of Operational Procedures Manual.
The governance structure of the Fund consists of a) the ClimDev–Africa Programme Steering Committee (CDSC) that reports to the Programme Executive Board which comprises the Chief Executives of the AfDB, AUC and UNECA; b) the AfDB Board of Directors, and its governance structure, and c) a CDSF Coordination Unit headed by a Coordinator. Overall decision-making with regard to CDSF operations will be carried out through two main organs: the Steering Committee and the AfDB Board of Directors. For purposes of Programme Coordination, the CDSF Coordination Unit will liaise with the ClimDev-Africa Secretariat.
CDSF resource requirements for the three-year period 2012-2014 amount to €144 million to finance and manage 72 projects. Whilst UA 20 million is required immediately for the Fund to become effective, the resource mobilization goal for 2012 is to secure the €32 million required to implement the 2012 work program. In order to acquire adequate and stable funding for CDSF, a high level resource mobilization strategy has been prepared for CDSF which will be carried out in collaboration with the Program partners over the coming years. The donor roundtable meeting is being organized by the ClimDev Africa Partners and is hosted by the Government of Sweden on the third week of April 2012 at the SIDA headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden as an initial and critical step to implement the resource mobilization strategy.
The current process for accessing resources from existing global climate funds is cumbersome and fraught with procedural hurdles that make timely delivery to needy African countries and regions difficult. The operational procedures of CDSF was designed to ensure a fast-track process for the review, approval and implementation of operations financed with the resources of the CDSF and the experience and knowledge acquired by the Bank in administering similar funds.
The design of the program takes account of lessons learned from previous continental exercises where institutional fragmentation impaired achievement. The joint management arrangements, where AUC, ECA and AfDB collectively take decisions for the implementation of the activities seek to ensure institutional coherence.
The Bank has over the years built strong partnerships with key climate institutions both within and outside the continent, and is currently providing support to ACMAD, ICPAC, AGRHYMET and other continental climate change initiatives.
To deal with overlapping sub-regional mandates, the operation of ClimDev-Africa will take account of ongoing assessments of the capacities and capabilities of the Regional Economic Communities and other sub-regional organizations. As a result, care will be taken in the implementation of the program to clarify mandates, build sub-regional capacity, and progressively build the involvement of sub-regional organizations within ClimDev-Africa’s operations.
ClimDev Africa is a home grown African solution initiative to the overwhelming challenge of climate information, and the deep-reaching implications this issue has on sustainable development and green growth on the continent.
Technical Department and Task Manager
Siham Mohamedahmed, NRM Expert, Natural Resources and Environment Management Division Tel: (216) 7110 2259
Partnerships and Cooperation Unit Focal Point
Khadidida Diabi, Principal Cooperation Officer, Tel: (216) 7110 3002