COMESA Secretariat is working with the African Union Commission (AUC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) regional office to assist Member States develop bankable climate smart projects that will attract financing from the private sector.
According to COMESA Climate Change Advisor Dr Mclay Kanyangarara, Member States have not benefited from the available finances meant to support adaptation, resilience and mitigation of climate change in the COMESA region and on the continent.
Speaking in Harare, Zimbabwe during the training workshop for Member States on Green/Climate Financing, Dr Kanyangarara attributed this to lack of awareness of the huge financial resources that are readily available from the developed world to assist Africa combat effects of and mitigation of climate change.
The training which took place on 1st and 2nd August 2019 attracted experts in disaster management, mitigation, agriculture, planning, finance and representatives from the private sector. They deliberated on ways to strengthen Member States’ capacities to access, manage and deliver national and international climate finance more effectively and the benefits of private sector engagement in climate action.
Dr Kanyangarara observed that most countries first need to build their capacities and know-how to tap these resources and effectively implement the programmes.
“We need to develop innovative financing strategies that will help us access the resources to deal with mitigation, resilience and adaptation of climate change…Unlocking this huge potential is the prime purpose of this gathering,” he added.
Zimbabwe’s Minister of Lands Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Rtd Hon. Chief Air Marshall Perence Shiri observed that Climate change mainstreaming in National Development Planning and Budget remains relatively low in most African countries due to other competing needs or limited awareness to the decision makers.
“…there is need to lobby our national governments to integrate climate action in development planning as well as budgeting processes to demonstrate country readiness to tackle climate change as well as attract international finances,” Minister Shiri said.
During the training, COMESA was called upon to conduct an assessment of the status of preparedness for Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of Member States and assist in the review of the NDCs.
Representatives from different African countries joined by the AUC, UNDP, African Development Bank (AfDB), Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA), the Commonwealth Secretariat (COMSEC) and the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe participated in the training. Others were drawn from the National Designated Authorities for the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) focal persons from the AU Member States.