Nordic Development Fund Approves AFRI-RES Climate Funding

Stockholm (NordSIP) The Nordic Development Fund (NDF), the joint multilateral development finance institution comprising Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden which adheres to and implements the coordinated development assistance policies of the Nordic countries, has approved funding of €5 million for AFRI-RES, a facility supporting climate proofing of Africa’s long-lived infrastructure investments.

AFRI-RES is aimed at strengthening the capacity of governments and institutions across Africa, including river basin authorities, Regional Economic Communities and power pools alongside the private sector in order to plan, design and implement infrastructure investments resilient to climate variability and change, according to the publication All Africa. AFRI-RES arose out of a partnership between the World Bank, the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the African Development Bank, and the African Union Commission, and is designed to promote the integration of climate change considerations into the planning and design of long-lived infrastructure investments throughout Africa.

Promotion

Headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, the NDF’s objective is to finance climate change investments in low-income countries, having thus far financed 190 development assistance credits valued at €1 billion. As such, the AFRI-RES investment will be an infusion for the continent-wide Programme for Infrastructure Development (PIDA), which will require investments of approximately US$ 70 billion by 2020, most of which will be in sectors sensitive to climate change such as energy, water, transport and agriculture. The cost of meeting Africa’s infrastructure deficit is around US$ 93 billion annually, according to the World Bank’s 2010 Africa Infrastructure Country Diagnostic report.

“Fit-for-purpose infrastructure is essential for the socio-economic transformation of African economies and attaining regional integration,” said Abdalla Hamdock, Acting ECA Executive Secretary. “The support comes at a time when the ECA is repositioning its Africa Climate Policy Centre as the knowledge centre for climate resilient development policies in support of Africa’s new development paradigm as framed by the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the continent’s Agenda 2063, recognizing that climate change and development are two sides of the same coin.”

World Bank Vice President for Africa Makhtar Diop also praised the NDF for prioritising and supporting investments in climate-resilient infrastructure. “We thank NDF for their generous support of AFRI-RES, which is a key component of the World Bank’s $19 billion Africa Climate Business Plan to strengthen, power and enable the continent’s resilience,” he said.

Aage Jørgensen, Country Program Manager and AFRI-RES Project Manager at NDF, explained that AFRI-RES would adopt methods developed in an earlier World Bank-ECA project and develop them further in ways relevant to the assistance of African governments, planners and private developers to help them integrate climate change in project planning and design. “The facility will complement ClimDev by focusing on a longer time horizon, for example, the life span of long-lived investments such as power stations and reservoirs and develop an integrated approach to decision-making, going from climate projections, to assessment of impacts, to planning and design of options aimed at minimizing negative impacts,” he said.

Picture (c) shutterstock Galyna Andrushko