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Press Release: Italy joins Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa with USD 8-million contribution, raises continent’s green energy potential (15.12.2015)

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At the global climate summit in Paris on December 10, the Government of Italy announced a USD 8-million contribution to the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) managed by the African Development Bank (AfDB). Italy’s capital infusion substantially raises the value of SEFA from USD 87 million to nearly USD 95 million, enabling it to continue scaling up its assistance to African nations to unlock private investments in sustainable energy. Italy joins the Governments of Denmark, the United Kingdom and the United States in support of SEFA.

The Italian contribution comes at a critical point for climate change. As Governments meet in Paris to map out their evolving approach to global climate response, practical actions such as Italy’s announcement can help ensure that developing countries have the support they need for building their renewable energy sectors in their quest for fundamental sustainable development.  

“Italy is pleased to contribute to Africa’s sustainable energy development, particularly by supporting the development of more renewable energy projects, as well as AfDB President Adesina’s ambitious ‘New Deal’ to electrify the whole continent in the next 10 years,” stated Francesco La Camera, Italy’s Director General, Ministry for the Environment, Land, and Sea. “SEFA’s objectives are fully in line with our Government’s commitment to support African countries’ work to achieve economic development which is both green and inclusive. As our Prime Minister Renzi said during this summit gathering, Italy wants to ‘be among the protagonists of the fight against selfishness, on the side of those who choose non-negotiable values like the defence of our Mother Earth.’ We believe that joining forces in SEFA is an opportunity to do that.”

SEFA is an important element in the AfDB’s landmark New Deal on Energy for Africa, which looks to solve Africa’s huge energy deficit by 2025 under the pivotal leadership of AfDB’s new President, Akinwumi Adesina. SEFA was launched in 2012 to address several constraints to the development of Africa’s renewable energy sector, including a lack of bankable projects coming to market, limited access to finance for small and medium-sized projects, and challenging policy environments for private investment in the energy sector.

“AfDB deeply welcomes Italy and is grateful for its contribution to the SEFA partnership,” said Alex Rugamba, AfDB’s Energy, Environment and Climate Change Director. “SEFA plays critical role in opening the door for more private sector engagement in delivering energy infrastructure as well as connecting more Africans to modern energy sources, using technologies which are not damaging to our global environment.”

Press Release: Ethiopia first country to launch ClimDev-Africa Special Fund project (26.08.2015)

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The ClimDev Africa Special Fund (CDSF) launched its first project in Ethiopia on August 3 to help the country cope with, and build resilience to, climate change by enhancing capacity in climate monitoring, data analysis, interpretation, forecasting and dissemination for use in national decision-making.

The project entitled “Strengthening Climate Information and Early Warning Systems for Climate Resilient Development and Adaptation to Climate Change in Ethiopia – (SCI-EWS)” will be implemented over a span of three years at a total cost of EUR 1 million.

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Speaking at the launch, Ato Alemayehu Tegenu, Ethiopia’s Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, noted that, “Enhancing the capacity of the country’s National Meteorology Agency by promoting strategies that effectively manage risks; reduce vulnerability; and maximize opportunities associated with climate variability, change and extreme weather events for different socioeconomic sectors, is central to our commitment to build a fully climate resilient green economy by 2025.” Improved service delivery and cost recovery systems as a result of the project, are expected to generate additional income for the Government to ensure the future sustainability of the system together with the National Meteorological Agency.

Justus Kabyemera, AfDB ClimDev-Africa Special Fund Coordinator further stated, “This project exemplifies the importance of the ClimDev-Africa Special Fund to help mitigate the challenges associated with gathering and relaying important climate-related information on the continent – a critical step to help countries deal with climate change-related risk. In countries such as Ethiopia, in which climate change is not only recognized as a real threat, but as an opportunity as well, working towards sustainable adaptation and mitigation will help it achieve rapid economic development by promoting safe agricultural investments and boosting industrial growth.”

In addition to Ethiopia’s Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy and staff, the launch was also attended by representatives from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, the African Union Commission, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the African Development Bank (AfDB), ClimDev-Africa, and non-governmental organizations.

Following the launch, relevant National Meteorological Agency staff attended a three-day workshop on AfDB project implementation rules and procedures, such as procurement and monitoring and evaluation.

Ethiopia is the first country to benefit from the Fund.

About ClimDev-Africa Special Fund

Launched in November 2014, the ClimDev Africa Special Fund (CDSF) is the funding arm of ClimDev Africa, a joint programme between the African Union Commission, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the African Development Bank. Housed at the AfDB, it is a demand-led fund that pools resources to finance investment activities on the ground across Africa for the generation and use of climate information for climate-resilient development. Grants are provided to projects in line with the ClimDev-Africa Programme’s goal, purpose and results areas and are implemented by national and regional organizations at all levels on the continent.

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