Call to mobilise African capital for climate action

Africa needs to explore domestic options to boost financing for climate action, including leveraging African capital to build confidence in local markets. 


This article is sponsored by UN ECA

This is one way that Africa can take full advantage of its resources to bridge the financing gap, panellists said at a side session on sustainable green financing mechanisms for Africa at the weekend. 

With only about $300bn of the $3 trillion required to meet the continent’s ambitious climate goals available to it, new courses of action are urgently required to provide the financial fillip that the continent needs. 

Veronica Jakarasi, chief director of the Climate and Meteorological Service, Zimbabwe, said quality policy and regulatory frameworks as well as setting clear targets were critical to attracting green finance. 

She pointed out that African countries have already been compelled to take action on climate change, citing Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe’s response to the El Nino-induced droughts. 

“So we need to capacitate the ministries of finance so they can take the resources that have been channelled to adaptation and mitigation and leverage international financing to support sustainable and low carbon development projects.”

Nqobizitha Dube, Climate Finance Manager at the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe, charged banks to get involved in climate actions, by demonstrating the business case for climate investment and also by devising innovative derisking mechanisms.

Within Africa, green bonds and localised carbon markets could see the continent take control of its climate effort, he added.

The ECA has set up the SDG-7 Initiative to help African countries to devise bankable projects that can attract financing. 

According to Linus Mofor, Senior Environmental Affairs Officer at the ECA’s Climate Policy Centre, the initiative has 3 pillars – sustainability, governance and finance. 

Through its Africa Climate Resilient Investment Facility, the ECA is also supporting investments to make them climate resilient. More African capital, however, would need to be mobilised to support climate actions. 

“When we invest our own pension and sovereign wealth funds in, say, US treasury bonds, we are sending a signal that we don’t have confidence in our own economies so how can we ask them to come and invest?”