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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

USAID Unveils $35 Million Pledge to Bolster African Climate Leadership

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Nairobi, Kenya – In a significant announcement at the Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi, Kenya, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has unveiled a comprehensive suite of investments and initiatives aimed at supporting climate action across Africa. In collaboration with Congress, USAID has committed $35 million in new funding for the current year. These initiatives are designed to empower African communities to fortify their resilience against climate-related challenges while fostering sustainable economic growth. Moreover, they align with the implementation of key initiatives such as the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE), the Just Energy Transition Partnerships, and global endeavors to safeguard vital carbon sinks.

Bolstering Kenya’s Climate Leadership

USAID is directing $1.4 million towards assisting the Kenyan government in crafting a robust carbon market activation plan, along with a comprehensive regulatory and legal framework. These efforts are designed to uphold the market’s integrity, transparency, and equity.

Expanding the Clean Air Catalyst to Nairobi

USAID has officially expanded its flagship Clean Air Catalyst initiative to Nairobi, alongside its ongoing efforts in Jakarta, Indonesia, and Indore, India. With a commitment of $2.9 million, USAID will work closely with local government authorities in all three cities to combat air pollution stemming from major sources such as transportation and waste incineration.

Enhancing Support for Power Africa and the Just Energy Transition Partnership

Power Africa is set to channel $4.8 million towards advancing initiatives aligned with South Africa’s Just Energy Partnership investment plan, in partnership with the U.S. African Development Foundation and the Departments of Energy, Commerce, and State.

Furthermore, Power Africa will invest $6.3 million in the African Development Bank’s Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa to enhance access to electricity. Additionally, $2.7 million will be allocated to the African Legal Support Facility to offer legal counsel for clean energy transactions, building on a decade-long history of support for both funds.

Investing in Ecosystem Conservation and Critical Carbon Sinks

During her visit to Tanzania, Deputy Administrator Isobel Coleman announced USAID’s commitment of an initial $8 million to launch “Tumaini Kupitia Vitendo” (Hope through Action), a five-year partnership with the Jane Goodall Institute. This initiative aims to bolster the management of natural resources by government bodies, villages, and stakeholders in Tanzania.

Deputy Administrator Isobel Coleman also disclosed a $2.1 million investment in Tanzania to enhance the climate resilience of coastal areas and fisheries. This forms a part of the ongoing “Heshimu Bahari” (Respect the Ocean) Activity.

Advancing PREPARE and Investing in Urban Resilience

Through the Development Innovation Ventures program, USAID is set to invest $1.5 million to scale up access to clean, eco-friendly public transportation. This support will be extended to Kenya’s BasiGo electric bus transport company, facilitating its expansion into Rwanda.

USAID has officially initiated support for the C40 Cities Finance Facility (CFF), with the contribution backing an increased focus on adaptation. This includes assistance for two South African cities in implementing nature-based solutions to mitigate flood risks.

Mobilizing Investment in African Climate Solutions

USAID, through its Enterprises for Development, Growth, and Empowerment Fund, will allocate $2.5 million to Acorn’s Cooperative Carbon Finance Fund as a first loss tranche. This move will enable smallholder farmers to access the voluntary carbon market, with 80% of the proceeds from carbon credit sales directed towards these farmers.

Furthermore, USAID has allocated an initial $1.2 million to launch “PLANETA” (Plataforma de Ações em Natureza para Enfrentar as Transformações Ambientais), a platform aimed at facilitating investment in ecosystem restoration and strengthening the foundation for equitable carbon markets in Mozambique.

Lastly, USAID and Prosper Africa, through the Prosper Africa Catalytic Investment Facility, will jointly invest $1.75 million in two impact investment funds, EG Capital and The Catalyst Fund, supported by its parent group BFA Capital. These funds have a combined objective of leveraging $140 million to help communities build resilience against climate risks and invest in high-growth startups and medium-sized businesses across sectors such as food, climate, health, and education within the African context.

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