Canada and AfDB sign gender lens Climate Fund for Africa

canada AfDB storyThe Government of Canada and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have signed an agreement formalising the Canada–African Development Bank Climate Fund (CACF), a transformative special fund aimed at providing concessional loans to climate change-related projects with a strong gender-responsive component

The fund will be capitalised through a combination of a US$104.8mn repayable contribution, aimed at providing concessional loans for both sovereign and non-sovereign operations. The AfDB will administer the fund.

Speaking at a virtual signing ceremony to conclude the agreement, held 17 March on the sidelines of the Canada-Africa Clean Growth Symposium, Canada’s Minister of International Development, the Hon Karina Gould, said the investment, with its strong gender footprint, recognised “the critical role that women need to play in climate action, and supports their efforts to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.”

Climate change is one of the most important challenges of our time…And, although we are all affected by it, we in Canada know that not everyone is affected equally…that means that vulnerable and marginalised people are bearing the brunt of this crisis.”

As a concessional facility, CACF resources will be deployed in innovative low-carbon technologies, renewable energy, climate-smart agriculture, sustainable forestry, water management and climate-resilience projects.  The fund will finance climate change related projects in the AfDB’s regional member countries, including those that demonstrate a strong gender equality focus. The empowerment of women and girls will be an objective across all concessional financing of the CACF, aiming at direct, measurable gender equality outcomes.

“In building back Africa, climate resilience is very important… This is why I’m delighted and thrilled with the Canada-African Development Bank Climate Fund that we are launching today,” said AfDB president Dr Akinwumi Adesina.

The AfDB’s financing for climate has increased fourfold from 9% of its total portfolio in 2016, to 36% by 2019, and is on track to achieve its target of 40% of total portfolio by the end of 2021. The Bank has committed to providing US$25bn in climate financing by 2025.

The Canada-Africa Clean Growth Symposium, co-hosted by Canada, Ethiopia and Senegal, brings together economic and business leaders from the public and private sectors from Canada and sub-Saharan Africa to explore innovative ways to grow their economies, while reducing emissions and building resilience to climate change.

The sessions focused on a blueprint for a green economy, incorporating socioeconomic development, while ensuring sustainable management of natural resources, minimising waste and pollution, and following climate-resilient and low-carbon development pathways.

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