African Development Bank President Dr. Akinwumi Adesina and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) President Odile Reinaud-Basso have agreed that their organizations would step up cooperation to enhance resilience among African businesses. The two development bank heads held talks earlier this month at this year’s global climate summit (COP27) in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
Adesina highlighted that “climate adaptation in Africa was a key condition to preserving economic growth and maintaining social cohesion on the continent.”
Reinaud-Basso confirmed EBRD’s commitment to support the implementation of the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP), an initiative jointly launched in 2021 by the African Development Bank and the Global Center on Adaptation. The program is mobilizing $25 billion by 2025. These funds will help accelerate climate adaptation action in Africa through initiatives in four priority areas: food security; resilient infrastructure; youth entrepreneurship and job creation; and innovative climate adaptation finance.
Global heating entails rethinking of how infrastructure, cities, and financial systems are designed and operated. This requires effective partnerships between public and private actors and strong engagement with civil society.
By partnering and working closely with government institutions, public utilities, local enterprises and communities, multilateral development banks like the African Development Bank and EBRD can play a catalytic role in developing the approaches to finance that underpin this transformation since financing models use both public and private channels.
Multilateral development banks can also support the development of innovative financing products using blended finance approaches and developing market-based instruments that reward enterprises investing in climate resilience projects. Both institutions will collaborate to further develop the African Development Bank’s Adaptation Benefits Mechanism. They will explore innovative non-market approaches under Article 6.8 of the Paris Agreement.
The African Development Bank and EBRD will expand their cooperation in all these areas of work in the context of the Africa Accelerated Adaptation Program. They will prioritize support to countries and clients to understand physical climate risks and scale up adaptation investments.
Reinaud-Basso said: “Africa has the potential to become a global leader in climate adaptation solutions and services and we want to expand our cooperation to support Africa fulfill its potential.
Adesina said he and his EBRD counterpart were both fully aligned on the need for multilateral development banks to adjust their business models to respond to the multiple crises they face, including climate change, and the task of building resilient economies.
“While preserving their triple-A rating, which must remain the cornerstone of multilateral development banks’ business model, MDBs must find avenues to secure more risk capital to leverage more private sector investments,” Adesina said. He added: “One of these in the short term is the reallocation of a portion of their International Monetary Fund Special Drawing Rights from wealthy countries to MDBs. These can apply a multiplier factor of 3 to 4 on it. Both the African Development Bank and the EBRD are ready to implement this option, which will offer significant value for money to the countries that will provide SDRs.”