Global and African leaders welcome launch of GCA Africa as “Historic moment to accelerate adaptation” on the continent

16 September 2020 (Abidjan, Ivory Coast) – The Global Center on Adaptation, the solutions broker for adaptation action, today announced the launch of its regional office in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Hosted by the African Development Bank, GCA Africa will work with partners across the continent to scale and accelerate adaptation action that protects African communities from the impacts of climate change.

G CA Africa will focus on programs and action, knowledge acceleration and capacity building and agenda-setting that respond to the acute challenges from the changing climate facing African countries. These include improving the food security of one billion people in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2030 through a program on rural well-being and food security, as well as projects to support communities through water for urban growth and resilience; using nature for more resilient infrastructure; adaptation finance and building youth leadership.

An example of GCA’s transformative approach to accelerating adaptation is a project already underway in Ghana to develop its first national-level assessment of the resilience of its infrastructure systems to climate change. By exploring and showcasing the potential co-benefits of Nature-based Solutions as part of country-level package of investment in grey and green infrastructure, Ghana will function as a demonstration country of how to reduce costs and enhance ecosystems.

This is a historic moment to accelerate adaptation in Africa. Nowhere is the challenge of achieving sustainable development in the face of a changing climate more acute. Our new regional office will support regional and national adaptation efforts by emphasizing and spreading existing best practices on the continent and ensuring their fully fledged integration into broader international adaptation efforts.

His Excellency Ban Ki-moon, Co-Chair of the Board of the Global Center of Adaptation and 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations

I am delighted with the launch today of the Global Center on Adaptation for Africa (GCA) hosted by the African Development Bank. The Bank has committed to doubling its financing for climate to $25 billion by 2025, with over 50% devoted to climate adaptation. Africa must not be short-changed by global climate finance. We will partner with the GCA to mobilize more resources for climate adaptation in Africa.

His Excellency Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank

The devastating effects of climate change, which include severe droughts, floods, reduced agricultural yields, sea level rise and other climate related disasters are on the rise. The launch of GCA Africa is a bold and innovative initiative to galvanize the support needed to significantly scale up adaptation on the continent, identify gaps and connect regional partners to find solutions.

His Excellency Ali Bongo Ondimba, President of Gabon and Chair of the African Adaptation Initiative

More than any other region, sub-Saharan Africa is vulnerable to the impact of climate change which threatens lives and livelihoods and undermines economic growth. After the current crisis, boosting resilience is an urgent priority so it’s vital we share the knowledge and best practice that can help accelerate climate adaptation.

Her Excellency Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund

There is an urgent need to step up the support for people in Africa, and around the world, affected by climate change.  I welcome the Global Center on Adaptation Africa as a crucial partner in delivering the elevated ambition and enhanced action that is needed to make this shift towards a resilient future.

Her Excellency Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations

Millions of lives depend on Africa’s agricultural sector. Adapting and improving its resilience to climate change is therefore a must. By investing in African local food systems we catalyze sustainable value chains and support the vulnerable but small-scale often female producers.

His Excellency Feike Sijbesma, Co-Chair of the Board of the Global Center of Adaptation and Honorary Chairman of Royal DSM

Adaptation to the impact of our changing climate is essential if Ghana is to continue to grow and prosper. We look forward to working with GCA and its partners to meet the challenge of climate change and ensuring resilience is built into Africa’s economic recovery plans.

His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana

Climate change is not only damaging for the environment, but devastating also for development. It is important countries around the world, especially our partners in Africa, work together to address these global challenges. Norway is pleased to be able to support GCA Africa in accelerating this agenda.

His Excellency Dag-Inge Ulstein, Minister of International Development for Norway

GCA is a key solutions broker and center of excellence with a holistic approach, that aims to accelerate adaptation solutions for a climate resilient future in Africa. By working with GCA Africa we will intensify climate adaptation efforts to ensure we integrate solutions to have a coherent response to our climate emergency.

His Excellency Peter Eriksson, Minister for International Development Cooperation for Sweden

With the Africa Adaptation Initiative (AAI), African leaders have shown their readiness to put resilience to climate risks high on their national agendas. We would like to strengthen our support for the AAI. I therefore welcome the establishment of the Africa Office of the Global Center on Adaptation, which will support the AAI.

Her Excellency Dr Maria Flachsbarth, Parliamentary State Secretary to the German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development

The impacts of climate change are already being felt across Africa and will only increase in magnitude. Adaptation is not a nice to have, it’s a necessity. Through our role as a solutions broker, GCA Africa will work closely with partners in every sector to ensure the most effective adaptation measures are shared and scaled across the continent, responding to the growing demand for strengthening resilience to the impacts of our changing climate.

Patrick Verkooijen, CEO of the Global Center on Adaptation

The launch of GCA Africa comes after its first regional office was launched in Beijing by Premier Li Keqiang in June 2019 followed by the launch of its South Asian office in Dhaka by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in September 2020. The GCA Africa launch follows the publication of a GCA policy brief in May 2020, with the African Adaptation Initiative and endorsed by 54 Heads of State and Government which recommended focusing stimulus investment in Africa on resilient infrastructure and food security to overcome the COVID-climate crisis.

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