Ready to be Africa’s Climate Bank?

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Ready to be Africa’s Climate Bank?

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A Mapping of Climate-related Policies, Programs and Practice at the African Development Bank

November 22, 2011
Lindlyn Tamufor, Joshua Klemm and Liane Schalatek

The African Development Bank (AfDB) is a public development bank that lends money and gives grants in Africa. The Bank’s influence has been rapidly increasing on the continent along with its lending to high-risk sectors such as major dams, biofuels and extractive industries. In early 2011, AfDB indicated its intention to establish and manage an Africa Green Fund to support African states that individually lack the knowledge and technology to secure needed global climate funds. In the context of the expected widespread impacts of climate change on the continent, the Bank is positioning itself as a strategic partner that will help African states resolve the dilemmas posed by sustainable development and climate change adaptation.

Within this context, it is appropriate and necessary to interrogate the Bank’s actual track record on sectors and initiatives related to climate change, as these can provide clues to the Bank’s suitability to manage any future infusions of funds to address climate change in Africa.

This mapping represents largely a desk review of AfDB’s engagement, commitments and, when possible, implementation of work surrounding climate change and environmental sustainability.

In all, the Bank’s track record of tackling climate change is minimal. While it has typically approved good and progressive policies, strategies, and frameworks that discuss most of the pertinent issues, actual implementation of policies has ranged from low to non-existent.

The Bank has made important commitments to tackle climate change, yet actual efforts have been plagued by a lack of buy-in from senior management and the board. However, the tide appears to be turning, as the Bank has begun to appreciate the opportunities that climate leadership could bring.

Click here to read Ready to be Africa’s Climate Bank? - Executive Summary (11 pages, pdf, 885KB)

Click here to read Ready to be Africa’s Climate Bank? (59 pages, pdf, 1.38MB)