Basic and reliable infrastructure to access drinking water, sanitation, electricity and affordable transportation is pivotal not only to people’s lives but also essential to support basic livelihoods.
Disruption to access this infrastructure due to extreme weather events has a cascading impact. For example, during drought periods, countries relying on hydroelectricity power assets on a river have to deal with energy production issues and need to cater to the increased energy demand with heatwaves. Another example, the flooding of the railway lines, not only impacts the people using the transportation but also the businesses that depend on it. The knock-on effects of infrastructure failure have a lasting impact on lives and livelihoods. Investing in resilient infrastructure has a strong economic case, and more so in Africa, where poor infrastructure continues to hinder economic growth in most countries.
The Global Commission on Adaptation report estimates that every $1 invested in making new infrastructure resilient to climate change could yield almost $5 in benefits. It is crucial that investments in infrastructure in Africa are sustainable and resilient. This requires a fundamental systemic transformation. A revolution in the planning, design, financing, and delivery of infrastructure is urgently needed to meet the acute needs of warming Africa.
This session on resilient infrastructure will focus on developing resilience in the transport and energy systems in Africa with a systems approach. The session will draw from the recommendations of State and Trends in Adaptation Report 2021: Africa and discuss the challenges and opportunities towards the implementation of resilient infrastructure. Gender, inclusion and community involvement in building resilience will be raised as themes discussed through the session.
Chair: Nitin Jain, Global Program Lead for Infrastructure and Nature-Based Solutions
Framing Speaker: Prof. Jim Hall, Professor, Climate and Environmental Risks and Director of Research, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford
Dr. Monica Altamirano, Partner & Public-Private Partnerships Practice Lead, NOW Partners
Mr. Richard Abel, Managing Director, UK Climate Investments, Macquarie Group
Dr. Linus Mofor, Senior Environmental Affairs Officer, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
Mr. Mohamed Nbou, Director of the Climate, Biodiversity and Food Systems Department, United Cities and Local Government – Africa (UCLG Africa)