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Africa loses up to 15% of its GDP per capita annually because of climate change –African Development Bank Acting Chief Economist Kevin Urama


Africa has been losing from 5 to 15% of its GDP per capita growth because of climate change and its related impacts, but needs about $1.6 trillion between 2022 and 2030 to meet its nationally determination contributions[1], says African Development Bank Group Acting Chief Economist and Vice President Kevin Urama.

Speaking at a panel discussion—titled “African Countries Ownership in Determining Climate Agenda”— on the side-lines of the Egypt International Cooperation Forum(link is external) (Egypt-ICF 2022) in Cairo on Wednesday, Urama urged developed nations to bridge the “climate financing gap.”

Several senior officials represented the bank at the event, notably its vice president for power, energy, climate and green growth, Dr Kevin Kariuki, and its vice president for private sector, infrastructure and industrialization, Mr. Solomon Quaynor.

 “Collectively, African countries received only $18.3 billion in climate finance between 2016 and 2019” Urama said. “This results in a climate finance gap of up $1288.2 billion annually from 2020 to 2030.”

The chief economist added: “These sums reflect how the crisis is. Climate change affects Africa severely, while the continent contributes to only 3% of global emissions. The global community must meet its $100 billion commitment to help the developing countries and African economies to mitigate the impacts of the climate change and to adapt to it.  Investing in climate adaptation in the context of sustainable development is the best way to cope with the climate change impacts, adding that gas must remain included in the continent’s plan for the gradual transition to clean energy.”

Urama highlighted that since the 1850s, countries have managed to transition away from coal, and used gas as a transition to cleaner energy. He also affirmed that Africa had great potential in terms of green investment opportunities that private sector, including banks, could tap into.

Egyptian Environment Minister Yasmine Fouad highlighted Egypt’s National Strategy for Alignment for both climate mitigation and adaptation. She said it had five key pillars.

Fouad explained: “The first pillar focuses on how we can adopt a low greenhouse path, which centers on the sectors around renewable transport, gas, industry and waste. The second one relates to adaptation and how best to make the communities more resilient. The third and fourth ones are focused on how to protect coastal zones and have more accessibility and availability of water. The last one is about the need for developing more smart and integrated concoctions and that's the stereotype of a strategy on climate”.

Fouad added: “To fight climate change, you cannot rely on the government alone, nor the private sector alone but it’s an integration between the government, civil society and the private sector.”

Ghada Wally, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and Director-General of the United Nations Office in Vienna said: “Women and young people, are among Africa’s best assets and stressed the importance of exploring avenues to tap into this significant asset for the sake of the continent’s sustainable development.”

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