A new $1 billion fund has been established by the African Development Bank to speed up climate funding for the continent’s young firms.
Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank, made the announcement at a high-level intergenerational dialogue titled “Africa Driving Climate Adaptation Solutions and Jobs” that took place on the outskirts of Nairobi at the Wangari Maathai Institute of Peace and Environment. The African Development Bank provided funding for the institute, which was formally inaugurated in 2022.
The Bank president stated that African youngsters didn’t want “little things being doled out to them” when announcing the $1 billion in extra investment. We must invest in our youth, according to Adesina.
The new funding will help YouthAdapt, a project that the Bank and the Global Centre for Adaptation are working on together. Young African entrepreneurs and micro, small, and medium-sized businesses are encouraged to submit creative ideas that could help the continent become more resilient to climate change.
YouthAdapt has given more than $1.5 million to 33 young entrepreneurs in 19 African nations over the previous two years. Some have increased their profits by 200% since then.
“The youth of Africa are the present. Their opinions and viewpoints are what will alter the continent, according to Adesina. Africa would suffer if investments in youth are not made; failure is not an option.
Graça Machel, Chair of the Graça Machel Trust and the African Child Policy Forum, GCA 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, Kerrie Simmonds, Minister of Foreign Affairs for Barbados, and other dignitaries were present with Adesina.
In his address, Ban urged the young people to not let national boundaries limit them as global citizens. He urged them to insist on their leaders keeping their word when it comes to pledges. Today, challenge your leaders. Vote to make sure that financing and climate adaption are top priorities.
Namwamba emphasized a number of the programs the Kenyan government has started to promote climate adaption. In order to support President William Ruto’s audacious aim to plant 15 billion trees in 10 years, we are recruiting a million young people to join the Green Army as Climate Action Warriors. According to him, this would bring the nation’s forest cover up to 30%.
He pointed out that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Sports for Climate Action Initiative was ratified by Kenya as the first nation. Through the dissemination of best practices, lessons gained, and collaboration, sports organizations will be able to pursue climate change in a consistent and mutually beneficial manner under the program.
The GCA’s Verkooijen stated that Africa faced a difficult decision. Adapt or perish. He nonetheless asserted that the requirement for adaptability presents an opportunity. “We know that you will be unstoppable if we give you the right tools, the right financing, and give voice to the voiceless.”
The Youth4Adaptation Communiqué was also presented at the event, and it calls on world leaders to include young people in decisions about climate adaptation and action. The statement calls for ramping up adaptation finance with a goal of doubling it by 2025, reflecting the ambitions of young people from 135 nations around the world for climate adaption.
On the property of the Wangari Maathai Institute, which bears the name of the late Professor Wangari Maathai, a prominent environmentalist and Nobel winner, Adesina and the other dignitaries planted individual trees. She established the Green Belt Movement and promoted a grassroots strategy for environmental protection by encouraging young people, especially women, to plant trees.
They expressed gratitude for Professor Wangari Maathai’s lasting contributions to social justice and environmental preservation.