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African Development Bank features at Mozambique’s Growing Blue Event
The African Development Bank is focusing on building risk management systems and resilience for countries vulnerable to climate change, it told participants at the recently concluded high level conference on the Blue Economy held in Maputo, Mozambique.
The conference, themed: Growing Blue: Sustainable and Shared Exploitation of the Ocean, was hosted by the government of Mozambique from May 23-24 May, 2019 and chaired by Mozambique President Filipe Nyus. Heads of states, ministers and leading policymakers from the African continent attending the two-day meeting, discussed ways to devise strategies to harness the potential of the ocean economy for the sustainable development of its citizens.
In his address at the opening session, made on behalf of Bank President Akinwumi Adesina, Professor Anthony Nyong, Director for Climate Change and Green Growth at the African Development Bank, said: “The Bank is putting forward an ambitious vision to support countries like Mozambique build resilient and self-sufficient systems of adaptation and risk management to say no to future climate disasters.”
Mozambique, along with three other African countries - Tanzania, Zimbabwe and the Comoros, was hit by two devastating tropical cyclones, Idai and Kenneth, in March and April, causing widespread destruction to lives and infrastructure and $1 billion in damages. The Bank responded with a multi-pronged response plan for the three countries, providing emergency assistance to the affected countries and a medium-term plan to meet the reconstruction needs of the affected areas, including a climate risk insurance plan.
Bank representatives participated in multiple sessions, including one on oceanic energy where local content and value addition to natural gas development was emphasized. They also joined in dialogue on regional fisheries’ initiatives in monitoring control and surveillance, and contributed to a side event on business opportunities for the private sector organised by the Confederation of Economic Associations or CTA, Mozambique private sector association.
The Bank, in conjunction with the World Bank, also organised a side event - “Financing the Blue Economy” with the objective of setting up a permanent platform to follow up on and turn initiatives within the sector into specific projects.
The Bank team, led by Nyong and Pietro Toigo, the African Development Bank Country Manager for Mozambique, showcased the institution’s strategic framework for investment in Blue Economy value chains. This included innovative financing products such as Blue Bonds, integrated resources management to harness coastal and marine resources through marine spatial planning, multi-use economic zoning including marine protected parks, blue ports, and eco-tourism ventures.
Closing the side event, Mozambique Minister of Finance and Governor of the African Development Bank Adriano Maleiane said “Africa and Mozambique need to invest in the resilience of their Blue Economies and mobilize innovative financial products.”
The biennial international Growing Blue conference is supported by Norway and other multilateral partners. This year’s theme focused on the importance of the seas and oceans as a source of life to humanity.