When the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) came into existence in 2008, it was designed to create a systemic approach that would embed climate solutions directly and over the long-term into economic development. It begins with a programming phase that encourages development partners to engage in constructive dialogue with pilot country governments and key stakeholders and results in a national investment plan that specifies investments complementing key development and climate response priorities. Today, as outlined in our recent 2013 annual report “Financing Change,” 16 African countries - a third of Africa’s nations - have completed the CIF programmatic phase and are now moving projects from the concept stage to implementation.
In Mozambique, thanks to Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR), incomes in project areas are expected to increase by 150 percent, poverty is expected to be reduced by 42 percent, forest fires by 75 percent, and 1,500 ha of forests are expected to be restored. In Niger, project areas are expected to see a 10 percent reduction in crop losses and a significant increase in annual agricultural production, while rural poverty is expected to be reduced by 52 percent.
As a result of the work being conducted by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Forest Investment Program (FIP) in the Mbuji-Maya/Kananga and Kisangani basins in the Democratic Republic of Congo, it is projected that there will be CO₂ reductions of 4 million tons, the creation of 20,000 rural enterprises, and the provision of 30,000 improved cook stoves.
Working with the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) and local Nigerian financial institutions, the AfDB is helping local financial institutions to invest in clean energy which will result in increased energy efficiency in key development sectors.
In Kenya, the AfDB and the Scaling Up Renewable Energy in Low Income Countries (SREP) are working together with the Kenyan government to fully realize the generation potential of the Menengai geothermal steam field. When the development of this steam field is complete, it will produce up to 400 MW of power, enough to provide new energy connections for 500,000 households and 300,000 small businesses.
Of course the systemic path to climate-smart prosperity is not without its challenges. It is challenging to build climate-friendly capacity in countries with weak institutional infrastructure or in those facing dire poverty and a virtual absence of basic energy and other services. It is also challenging to further engage the private sector in developing the continent. Breaking down barriers to an enabling environment and connecting African private sector entities to sources of international climate finance are vital to the future development of African communities.
Nonetheless, the 16 African countries with CIF investment plans have embraced the CIF’s systemic approach and have made an explicit commitment to do what it takes to ensure their development embeds climate action as a central tenet. Continuing the systemic approach is essential if these countries are going to succeed on their climate-smart development path, leading to sustainability and, ultimately, greater national prosperity.