Call for Partnerships: Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program

T he Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) works as a solutions broker to accelerate action and support adaptation solutions. Through its global, regional, and country programs, knowledge, and advocacy work, GCA has developed unique advantages to push forward action on the adaptation agenda globally, focusing more on the Africa region where the need for adaptation is great.

Following broad stakeholder engagements and with voiced demand from Africa, the GCA and the African Development Bank joined forces to develop the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP). The Program aims to mobilize $25 billion in financing to support Africa’s adaptation plans over five years. Actualizing the political vision of the Africa Adaptation Initiative, the AAAP is an Africa-owned and Africa-led response to the continent’s expressed needs and priorities to reduce its vulnerabilities to climate change and accelerate adaptation. The AAAP will support all African countries in designing and implementing transformational adaptation of their economies and post-COVID recovery development paths in four action areas (pillars):

1. Climate Smart Digital Technologies for Agriculture and Food Security

This pillar aims to provide and scale climate-smart digital technology and data-driven agricultural and financial services, for at least 30 million farmers in Africa. This will contribute to increased food security for at least 10 million people across 26 Least Developed Countries by 2025. Partnerships are sought to support the generation of knowledge and conduct of agricultural analytics, last mile capacity development, the investment in digital agricultural innovations, and the mainstreaming of climate smart digital agriculture into agriculture investment projects.

2. African Infrastructure Resilience Accelerator

This pillar aims to scale up investment at national and city level for climate-resilient urban and rural infrastructure in critical sectors such as water, transport, energy, and waste management to at least $7 billion and integrate resilience in up to 50% (by value) of new infrastructure projects by 2025. Partnerships are sought around climate analytics, climate-resilient infrastructure diagnostic assessments, structuring investment models for nature-based solutions, national infrastructure policy assessment, assessments of water regulatory frameworks, and Public Private Partnerships for adaptation and resilience.

3. Empowering Youth for Entrepreneurship and Job Creation

This pillar aims to promote sustainable job creation for one million youth directly through education, entrepreneurship, and innovation for action on climate adaptation and resilience in Africa while enabling job creation for adaptation in 50% of African countries through policy reforms. Partnerships to support the youth and adaptation focused policy uptake, gender mainstreaming, digital skills for jobs, climate adaptation-focused capacity building and pre-incubation, will help in realize the goals of this pillar.

4. Innovative Financial Initiatives for Africa

This pillar aims to make significant headway in closing the adaptation financing gap, enhancing access to existing finance, and mobilizing new private sector investment by designing and demonstrating mechanisms that utilize public sector finance to leverage private investment. We seek partnerships for blended finance solutions for adaptation investments, for the integration of climate-related risks in financial decision-making, to support the building-in of resilient financial ecosystems in African countries, the development of Green Banks and National Climate Change Funds, the popularization of Disaster Risk Financing mechanisms, to support the adoption of Adaptation and Resilience debt products and the integration of climate adaptation metrics and taxonomy in the investment units of national and subnational entities.

Accelerating adaptation in these four pillars requires in-depth and on-the-ground understanding to ensure delivery reflects the realities and contexts of the African continent. The African Development Bank and other key project financiers in Africa will address investment needs and GCA will provide upstream technical support.

GCA’s business model centers on working with partners to deliver this identified upstream investment support. GCA’s global expertise as the global solutions broker on adaptation and resilience must be matched with on-the-ground impact with stakeholders who possess specific expertise on local contexts and have a strong track record of delivering resilience building and adaptation. Progress towards the aims of the AAAP’s four pillars can only be achieved through collaboration with partners.

In this context, GCA is calling for partnerships through which the upstream activities of the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program will be delivered.

Expectations from partners

Partnerships under the AAAP will take different forms covering national, regional, and continental initiatives. They will include the joint delivery of projects and initiatives to be undertaken under the AAAP, sub-grantee arrangements, common knowledge generation activities, research and policy collaborations, and others. Partners will be expected to specifically provide details on their core areas of activity and intended areas of collaboration on the AAAP.

How are partners selected

Partners will be selected against their ability to support the work of one or more pillars of the AAAP, clearly identified areas of impactful collaboration, and due diligence processes undertaken to establish institutional credibility and suitability for collaboration. GCA will conduct an ongoing impartial assessment of partner requests but can only provide responses to successfully selected partners. Letters of Intent to partner will be evaluated on a quarterly basis.

What do partners gain

GCA is the only global solutions broker on adaptation and resilience. GCA is collaborating with the African Development Bank, other Multilateral Development and Finance Institutions, and bilateral organizations and philanthropies to advance the AAAP. The AAAP is the foremost comprehensive adaptation program on the continent and has been endorsed by African nations and leaders as the preferred vehicle to implement adaptation. Grants are available for not-for-profit institutions partners to deliver activities in support of the program’s objectives.

Who does this call for partners target

This call for partners is targeted at African, not-for-profit institutions with an excellent track record of working in the context of Africa’s climate change adaptation and resilience. Organizations whose core activities focus on building resilience and adaptation initiatives in Africa across the four priority areas of the AAAP are invited to contact GCA with a proposal to collaborate.

The organization must be a not-for profit entity that has been active for at least 10 years and have the capacity to manage the volume of funds allocated. The organization must prove their ability to implement the activities agreed upon in an efficient and effective manner, and demonstrate gender-sensitive approach.

GCA will consider potential partners that meet the criteria in the following, non-exhaustive list:

  • Demonstrated support of the principles of advancing adaptation and climate action set out in the Paris Agreement;
  • Active engagement in partnerships and initiatives with, inter alia, United Nations, intergovernmental, national, subnational, industry or sectoral, non-governmental and other related organizations in support of climate, environmental and/or social causes;
  • Demonstrated support of the principles of sustainable development, including social and environmental corporate responsibility;
  • Regular monitoring and evaluation reporting;
  • Compliance with recognized environmental and social standards.
  • Exclusionary criteria: The GCA will not engage with any entity whose public image is severely compromised by past activity or advocacy in one of the categories below, or in other areas which may be deemed, at any given time, to reflect negatively on the GCA:
  • Systematic failure to demonstrate support of the core values of the GCA and its commitment to climate action and adaptation;
  • Illicit behaviour, including organized crime, trafficking, corruption, terrorism or violations of internationally agreed sanctions.

How to apply

Interested partners should respond with a brief (2-page) letter of interest outlining specific potential areas of collaboration and should provide evidence of the following:

  • Evidence of registered not-for-profit entity status with a legal presence registered and operating in Africa.
  • A clear specification of the pillar(s) of the AAAP that you are interested in collaborating on.
  • Written evidence summarizing past results and impacts made in the specific area of focus where collaboration is suggested.


Prospective partners are invited to submit a brief letter of interest and annexes reflecting the evidence listed above to:

Amanda Archibong

Senior Programs Officer, AAAP, Regional Office for Africa