COP26 ends with funding commitments below Africa’s demand
The 26th climate summit of the Conference of the Parties (COP) closed at the end of last week, with few requests from Africa present in the final agreement of the conference. For example, instead of including specific funding for climate change adaptation and mitigation, which African negotiators had requested, the final agreement suggests plans to fund the Santiago network, which specializes in providing assistance. loss and damage technique. Indeed, in a tweet, a Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate criticized the United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom for “stripp[ing] the concept of a “fund” in the text of the COP decision – sweetening it instead of holding a workshop ”.
In addition, although developed countries have failed to deliver on their pledge of $ 100 billion a year in climate finance by 2020 to developing countries, participants pledged more funding, and the $ 100 billion target. dollars is now expected to be reached by 2023. In fact, the COP26 President, Alok Sharma, has said that around $ 500 billion will be mobilized by 2025. Notably, these commitments fall short of the demand of 1, $ 3 trillion per year presented by the African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change.
In other climate finance news, on November 13, African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina announced his commitment to mobilize $ 6.5 billion in financing for the Great Green Wall by 2025 during of COP26. The organizers of the Great Green Wall of Africa, which began in 2007, envisioned a wall of trees that would stretch across the Sahel as part of efforts to combat desertification. Having only planted 4 percent of the original target, the project encountered a few obstacles: As temperatures have risen and rainfall has decreased in recent years, many trees have died. In response, the focus of the initiative shifted to a series of smaller projects to stop desertification.
Meanwhile, a long-lasting drought in Kenya continues to threaten food security in the region. Indeed, northern Kenya has received less than 30 percent of its normal rainfall since September 2021, resulting in its worst short rainy season on record in decades. As a result, the United Nations (UN) predicts that 2.4 million people in the country’s northern region will struggle to find food in November, up from an estimate of 1.4 million earlier this year. In fact, Al-Jazeera reports that resource shortages resulting from the drought have increased tensions over land use. Notably, severe and moderate acute malnutrition among children and pregnant and lactating women is at its highest level in three years, according to Wajir County Health Director Somow Dahir.
For more on this topic, see the recent commentary by Louise Fox, senior non-resident AGI member, “Africa’s youth lost out in Glasgow”.
United Nations sets up repo bond market in Africa
Earlier this month, the United Nations announced the launch of a Liquidity and Sustainability Facility (LSF), which will serve as a repo market for African bonds. The LSF will allow bondholders to use African bonds denominated in foreign currencies as collateral when borrowing. The UN hopes that the increased utility of African bonds will make them more lucrative and, therefore, lower interest rates on bonds, saving governments billions of dollars in debt service. Both private and public lenders have expressed interest in providing financing. Africa Export-Import Bank and French asset manager Amundi are among the investors expected to contribute to an initial loan account of $ 200 million by early 2022. Project representatives are also convinced that the LSF can obtain a portion of the $ 650 billion in approved Special Drawing Rights. by the International Monetary Fund in August aimed at helping developing countries overcome the pandemic.
The African private sector is also finding avenues for additional financing. African companies have raised $ 2.5 billion in funding this year, which is, according to Biter Bridges Intelligence, the highest number of African companies raised in a single year. This increase in foreign funding follows a year in which foreign investment in Africa fell 12%. Private equity has focused on African fintech including Chipper Cash, a company that helps consumers send money across borders and has raised $ 150 million in Series C funding this this month.
US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken visits Kenya, Nigeria and Senegal
On Monday, November 15, US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken began a five-day visit to sub-Saharan Africa, visiting Kenya, Nigeria and Senegal. During the visit to the region, his first as Secretary of State, Blinken plans to “advance American-African collaboration on shared global priorities, including ending the COVID-19 pandemic and rebuilding ” a more inclusive global economy, tackling the climate crisis, revitalizing our democracies and advancing peace and security.
On Wednesday, Blinken met with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, whose country is the only country in sub-Saharan Africa currently serving on the group of non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, to discuss the conflict in neighboring Ethiopia and the recent coup state in Sudan. . Specifically, during deliberations with Kenyan government officials, Blinken and his counterparts discussed Ethiopia’s ongoing internal conflict and its risk of destabilizing the Horn of Africa more broadly. Furthermore, in an effort to resolve the military takeover in Sudan, Blinken pioneered the idea of unfreezing financial aid to Sudan if the current military leaders restore civilian leadership.
Security was also on the agenda in Nigeria, where Blinken met with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari to discuss challenges with Boko Haram. He also referred to the country’s recent decisions which do not take into account the “democratic principles of a free press and digital freedom, peaceful demonstrations and dissent, as well as respect for human rights”, account given Nigeria’s ban on Twitter, assault on protesters, and undue government influence over the press. These last months.
On Saturday, Blinken will travel to Senegal for the final leg of the three-country African tour. He is expected to visit the Institut Pasteur in Dakar – a local biomedical research center that will produce Moderna COVID-19 mRNA vaccines – to underline the strength of America’s trade relations with Senegal and highlight female entrepreneurship in the field. countries, among other topics.