On the 25th of May the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Kingdom (U.K.) signed an agreement to fund up to U.S. $ 2 billion in climate projects in Africa. The agreement was signed in the context of the AfDB annual meeting that took place in Accra, Ghana. At COP 26 in Glasgow, the U.K. had already announced its intention to support the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Programme endorsed by the African Union in order to upscale African plans to increase climate resilience. The financial guarantee measure was announced at COP 26 by then Prime Minister Boris Johnson and dubbed the ‘Room to Run’ guarantee, to be issued to the AfDB.
Two projects have already been identified as the first to benefit from the Room to Run financing mechanism. These are the El Asfar Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) in Egypt which will be implementing a project on the reuse of treated wastewater in agriculture. The El Asfar WWTP is one of the largest wastewater treatment plants in Africa and the Middle East.
In Senegal, the AfDB will finance a project providing sustainable and climate resilient access to safe water and sanitation services to some 1.45 million people, of which 51% are women.
At the opening of the AfDB annual meeting, AfDB President Dr Akinwumi Adesina stated that while Africa’s cumulative climate financing needs had been estimated at $2.7 trillion between 2020 and 2030, climate financing resources were only flowing to Africa in trickles. “Africa receives only 3% of global climate finance, of which 14% is from the private sector, the lowest in the world,” Adesina said.