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AfDB Announces $1bn to Boost Access to Climate Finance for Africa’s Youths

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has announced a new $1 billion fund to accelerate climate financing for Africa’s youth businesses.

President of the bank Akinwumi Adesina made the announcement during a “High-Level Intergenerational Dialogue: Africa Driving Climate Adaptation Solutions and Jobs”, held at the Wangari Maathai Institute of Peace and Environment on the outskirts of Nairobi.

The institute, funded by the AfDB, was officially opened in 2022.

Adesina said the additional financing will boost YouthAdapt, a joint initiative between the Bank and the Global Centre on Adaptation.

The Bank chief said African youths didn’t want little things being doled out to them, saying the bank has no option but to invest in our youths.

According to him “Africa’s youth are the present. It is their views and perspectives that are going to change the continent. Failing to invest in the youth will hurt Africa, failure is not an option,” he said.

Over the past two years, YouthAdapt has provided more than $1.5 million to 33 young entrepreneurs across 19 African countries. Some have gone on to raise their profits by 200%.

Adesina was joined by the 8th Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki-Moon; Graça Machel, Chair of the board of trustees of the Graça Machel Trust and the African Child Policy Forum; GCA’s CEO Patrick Verkooijen; Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Youth Affairs, the Arts and Sports, Ababu Namwamba; Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, Norway’s Minister of International Development; and Kerrie Simmonds, Minister of Foreign Affairs for Barbados, as well as other dignitaries.

In his remarks, Ban told the youths that, as global citizens, they should not be held back by national boundaries.
He urged them to hold their leaders accountable for the promises they make.

Namwamba highlighted some of the initiatives the Kenyan government has launched to drive climate adaptation.
“We are recruiting a one million youth Green Army as Climate Action Warriors to support President William Ruto’s ambitious plan to plant 15 billion trees in 10 years.” This, he said, would increase the country’s forest cover from 12% to 30%.

He noted Kenya was the first country to ratify the Sports for Climate Action Initiative under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Under the initiative, sports organisations will be able to pursue climate action in a consistent and mutually supportive fashion through disseminating good practices, lessons learned, and collaboration.

The GCA’s Verkooijen said that the choice before Africa was a stark one. “Adapt or die.” Still, he said that the need for adaptation offers opportunity. “We know that if we provide you with the right tools, the right finance, and give voice to the voiceless, you will be unstoppable.”

The event also featured the presentation of the Youth4Adaptation Communiqué, which urges global leaders to make room for the youth in decision-making on climate adaptation and action. The communique, reflecting the climate adaptation aspirations of young people from 135 countries worldwide, also urges a scaling up of finance for adaptation with a target of doubling it by 2025.

Adesina and the other dignitaries each planted a tree on the grounds of the Wangari Maathai Institute, named for the renowned environmentalist and Nobel laureate, the late Professor Wangari Maathai.

She founded the Green Belt Movement and pursued a community-based approach to environmental conservation – working with young people particularly women to plant trees.

They expressed admiration for the late Professor Wangari Maathai’s strong legacy of environmental conservation and social justice.


By Dare Akogun

Dare Akogun

Dare Akogun is a dynamic media innovator, strategic communication professional, and seasoned climate and environmental sustainability journalist with over 10 years of influential contributions to the media industry.

He Currently serving as the Head of Digital Media, Senior News Editor, and a presenter at Sobi FM 101.9, a leading radio station in Ilorin, Nigeria.

Dare is on a mission to leverage his media innovation expertise and project management skills to produce high-quality, accurate, and engaging content, while advocating for reduced fossil fuel consumption, especially coal, to combat effect of global warming.

He has covered comprehensively environmental issues and COP conferences, including COP28 in Dubai last year , COP 27 in Egypt, and the United Nations Least Developed Countries conference in Doha, in 2023.

He is a recipient of fellowship to be part of a 15 team of journalists selected worldwide to cover the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue 2024.

He has a Master's Degree in Mass Communication, from the University of Lagos, a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the Lagos State University and also a
Certification in Business Administration and Management, from the Babson College, Massachusetts, United States of America.

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