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Tunis, 8 November 2010 - The African Development Bank (AfDB) launched the African Carbon Support Project (ACSP) on Thursday, 4th November 2010. ACSP is designed to assist project developers in the continent in accessing carbon finance to ensure the commercial feasibility of their projects.
Supported by a grant from the Fund for African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA), ACSP will address the policy and operational implications of current discussions on the global carbon finance framework, especially with respect to the private sector in Africa. The ACSP will also help develop appropriate preparation documentation for specific projects able to benefit from the carbon finance mechanism. The project will be managed by the Bank’s Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department in collaboration with the Private Sector and Microfinance Department. ACSP is in line with current efforts by AfDB to establish instruments that will enhance the participation of African countries in the carbon markets.
Carbon Limits Managing Director, Taurleif Haugland, signed the agreement as the service provider selected to implement the ACSP work program. AfDB regional integration department director, Alex Rugamba, signed for Bank. Japan’s Executive Director at the AfDB, Masahiro Kan, attended the event along with the Energy, Environment and Climate Change department Director, Hela Cheikhrouhou and her private sector counterpart, Tim Turner.
After the signing, Mr. Rugamba remarked that the ACSP represents a major milestone for the AfDB and Africa, particularly because it will help African RMCs to access a greater share of the USD 2-3 billion per annum currently being traded through the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).
Mr. Haugland affirmed the timeliness of the ACSP in view of current discussions on enabling international protocols for financing climate change mitigation, and affirmed Carbon Limits’s commitment to provide the necessary technical support for eligible projects to access the carbon market.
For his part, Mr. Kan observed that the project will help the Bank, regional members and borrowers to implement the CDM mechanism established by the Kyoto Protocol and reiterated Japan’s commitment to supporting African development through FAPA.
Mrs. Cheikhrouhou and Mr. Turner both expressed their high hopes for ACSP, as well as their gratitude to the Japanese government for providing the financial assistance through FAPA. Mr. Turner stated that the EPSA Initiative had “turbo-charged” the Bank’s private sector operations over the past five years, adding that the Bank looked forward to concluding an EPSA “II” agreement soon.
FAPA is a component of the Enhanced Private Sector Assistance Initiative (EPSA), a Japan-AfDB billion-dollar joint initiative to promote private sector development in Africa. The FAPA trust fund provides untied grants for technical assistance and capacity building for private sector projects and African institutions. Since FAPA's creation in 2006, Japan has contributed USD 32 million while the AfDB has contributed USD 10 million. On 21 October 2010, the AfDB Board ratified the conversion of FAPA into a multi-donor trust fund. The Austrian government is set to join FAPA by year-end. FAPA commitments to date total about USD 29 million, covering 33 projects across the African continent.