Wednesday November 9th is Africa day at COP 27 climate summit where the continent is looking at the negotiations in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. Figures speak for themselves. According to NGOs 17-40 million may be forced to migrate internally, just as staple crops and fish harvests are expected to decline by up to 40%.
“I come from Mozambique where 60% of the population live along the coast. And we have cyclones every year, they’re becoming more intense. I have seen communities three years after cyclone Idai in 2019 they are still trying to recover”, says Solani Mhlando, Mozambique’s country director for the World Wide Fund for Nature.
Investments are huge for Africa in the coming years especially in water, protection of the coast and cooling according to a new analysis by the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The organization underlines that only 2% of the private sector invest in adaptation progress.
Makhtar Diop is the managing director of the IFC, the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets.
“For the next 20 years we need about $100 billion of investment in Africa for adaptation. That’s the potential, that’s also what would help end a number of the challenges. That means $5 billion a year would be a level of investment that would be very, very useful and would actually make a difference”, he says.
Despite contributing the least to climate change, Africa remains the most vulnerable region in the world to climate change. The African Climate Foundation believes that climate change interventions could unlock new opportunities for development in Africa. But this requires dedicated efforts according to Saliem Fakir, executive director of the Africa Climate Foundation.
“Having something on the agenda doesn’t mean that the problem is solved. So we have to look at the details of how the funding and the nature of the loss and damages is going to be solved. So that those details are much clearer going forward.” Fakir explains.
Making this transition into a more sustainable economy, industry and food production will require trust between the North and the South. A trust that has soured in the latest year. Adding on the COP agenda the issue of Loss and Damage could give a new momentum but observers remain careful.
While the gestures are there, it is ultimately the reality of the negotiations that will determine whether Africa’s voice has been heard.