Africa needs urgent global assistance to meet up with insurance premiums which will insure countries against climate change induced catastrophic events which is on the rise.
The insurance which will reduce climate induced displacement across the African continent and help curb the diversion of public funds which could have been used for the development of infrastructure in the countries is said to be the solution to climate change adaptation.
President of the African Development Bank, Akinwunmi Adesina on Wednesday made the call at the Africa Action Day summit on the sidelines of the ongoing Conference of the Parties (COP 22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Marrakech.
“Africa has developed an effective mechanism, the Africa Risk Capacity Insurance to help countries cope with extreme weather events through insurance for catastrophic events, but the insurance premiums are not cheap and this has continued to discourage African countries from insuring themselves against rising catastrophic risks.
“What is needed now is support to assist African countries in meeting the insurance premium cost.
here is the solution. We will like to call on the global finance facilities, the green climate fund and the global environment facility to pay for the insurance premium for African countries to the African Risk Capacity Agency.
“This action whole will insure Africa, it will reduce climate induced displacement of public expenditures in Africa” he said adding that “words of comfort are not enough to pay Africa’s rising bills for adapting to climate change. I urge your excellencies our Presidents to support this call for action”.
According to Adesina, Africa cannot develop in the dark. Africa is simply tired of being in the dark, he said.
He further explained that for this reason the African Development Bank is going to be investing $12billion in energy in the next five years.
The bank, he said has also set up the Independent delivery unit for the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative as demanded by the Presidents.
“These are tough times in Africa, the decline in commodity prices is taking a toll on several countries, constricting their fiscal space. Therefore Africa has very limited space to adjust to and to cope with more exogenous trusts. That is why we must pay close attention to the recent event of climate change that are further worsening the fiscal environment for African countries.
“Climate change is causing major displacement and bordering expenditures across Africa. Monies that should be used to boost investment in growth enhancing infrastructure and energy or job creation for the youth are being diverted to cope with effect of climate change” he said.
A World Bank report says Sub saharan Africa will need between $14 to $17 billion per year for the adaptation of climate change between 2010 through 20150.
The African Risk Capacity was formed in 2012 by African Union member countries alongside a mutual insurer capitalised at $200million which amounted to 131million pounds by the United Kingdom and German Governments with interest free loans. The $350m in insurance premiums paid by African member countries by 2020 will provide members with rapid funds in the event of a natural disaster.
Also speaking at the event which was hosted by the King of Morocco and attended by African leaders as well as the French President Francois Hollande, United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki-moon Urged African countries that have not ratified the Paris agreement to do so as its continent is the most hit by the effect of climate change.
Out of the 50 countries hardest by climate change 36 is in the African sub region, the UN scribe said.
He commended the entrepreneurial spirit across African especially amongst youth noting that they need investment and deserve empowerment.
“With the right opportunities African youth can forge solutions we may not be able to imagine…the Paris agreement can open important business and investment opportunities for Nigeria”.
Africa which accounts for only 4% of the global greenhouse gas emission is worse hit by the effects of the changing climate as it suffers from rising temptations.