By Ochieng’ Ogodo
[NAIROBI] ClimDev Africa initiative has received a financial shot in the arm from the European Union through an 8 Million Euro grant to support Africa's response to climate variability and climate change by developing African policy capacity.
The grant agreement is part of the Global Climate Change Alliance funding, a programme in which the European Union and the most vulnerable Developing Countries are working together to tackle climate change.
The grant is expected to enhance the capacities of the African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) at ECA and the Climate Change and Desertification Unit at AUC to carry out their activities under the ClimDev Africa programme for three years.
It was signed at the United Nation Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) by Hamdok Abdalla, Deputy Executive Secretary of UNECA and Gary Quince, Head of EU Delegation to the African Union in the presence Rhoda Tumusiime, AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture on April 27.
ECA, he said, considers this grant agreement very important because it will help address one of the greatest global challenges of the 21st century –climate change.
Tumussime said the agreement came at a time when increased attention is being paid to climate change issues in Africa and when the African Union is trying to mobilise all its partners to this effect.
She thanked the EU for the comprehensive capacity building assistance it has provided to the Commission within the framework of the Africa-EU partnership.
Quince noted that a great deal of climate information already exists but that it is not in a format that is easily digestible to users, particularly to decision makers and planners, and at the other end of the spectrum, to farmers and investors.
The challenge, he said, lies in developing a mechanism to make available user-friendly information that is understood and used widely in Africa. He said that the ClimDev programme has a key role in coordinating these efforts, and in developing synergies with relevant environment, climate and security programmes.
ClimDev Africa, he sad, was one of the flagship initiatives under the Africa-EU Partnership on Climate Change and Environment.
ClimDev Africa is a tripartite initiative between the African Union Commission, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the African Development Bank. Under the political leadership of the AUC, the programme’s three partners together deliver an African strategic approach to climate change and sustainable development.
The three components of the programme include the Climate Change and Desertification Unit (CCDU) of the AUC. CCDU will coordinate the African strategic policy on climate change and desertification, both severely affecting economic developments in Africa.
The African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) of the ECA has a strong analytical core of expertise and leads many programmatic activities supporting the improvement and use of information in climate change and development decision making through knowledge generation and sharing, advocacy and consensus building, and technical cooperation. It is also the Secretariat of the Programme.
The ClimDev Special Fund (CDSF) is managed by the AfDB and is a demand-led fund that pools resources to finance investment activities on the ground across Africa for the generation and use of climate information for climate-resilient development at all levels. CDSF grants will be implemented by national and regional organisations on the continent.
ClimDev Africa programme has been mandated by African Heads of State and Government, as well as Africa’s Ministers of Finance, Planning and Environment, to respond to the urgent challenge that climate change poses to the advancement of Africa’s development objectives.