William Ruto, President of Kenya, joins GCA Advisory Board

N airobi, Kenya, 28 September 2023 – William Ruto, President of the Republic of Kenya and Chair of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change has accepted an invitation from Ban Ki-moon, 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations and Chair of the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) and CEO Professor Patrick Verkooijen, to join the GCA Advisory Board.

During a high-level official meeting which took place today at the State House in Nairobi, Professor Patrick Verkooijen and President Ruto discussed a roadmap to guide the mobilization of the financial commitments for adaptation which were made at the Africa Climate Summit hosted by the President in Nairobi earlier this month.

The Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP) Country Compacts, announced during the Leaders’ Dialogue on Adaptation, will drive the doubling down and scaling of adaptation action across the world’s most climate-vulnerable continent. The country-led investment roadmaps, initiated by the Government of Kenya, outline adaptation investment priorities, financing needs, and finance mobilization strategies for implementing climate adaptation measures connected to the priorities outlined in National Adaptation Plans and other national strategies.

Recent research from GCA showed Africa may need a nearly tenfold increase in climate adaptation funding to $100 billion a year if it is to buttress its infrastructure, improve climate early warning systems, and shield its agriculture from climate change.

On accepting the invitation, William Ruto, President of the Republic of Kenya said:

“African governments, businesses and communities have paid heavily for climate-related destruction and disruption, and have already invested heavily in adaptation action, but we need stronger international partnerships to support adaptation more than ever before. The Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program, the world’s largest adaptation program resulting from collaboration between GCA, the University of Nairobi, African Development Bank and the African Union Commission, is the best vehicle we have to mobilize additional funding. I look forward to working closely with Professor Verkooijen and the Board to build on the US$6.7 billion that the AAAP has already invested in resilient climate projects in 27 countries since 2021. By working together I am confident that we will make great progress in ensuring that international commitments to deliver highly strategic and comprehensive adaptation responses are fulfilled.”

Professor Patrick Verkooijen, CEO of GCA and Distinguished Chair of the Wangari Maathai Institute said:

“It is only by adapting to climate change that Africa can reach its potential. Yet promised climate finance—which is necessary to underpin wider development goals—remains critically short of what is needed. President Ruto has played a crucial role in the implementation of the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program across the continent and I commend his leadership in hosting the Africa Climate Summit. I look forward to our continued collaboration to ensure the Summit outcomes are delivered for Africa’s march to sustainable economic transformation and green growth.”

During the Africa Climate Summit, President Ruto announced Kenya will host regional headquarters for GCA in Nairobi:

I have had the opportunity to interact with the Global Center for Adaptation, an international organization based in Rotterdam in the Netherlands, whose constitution is an appealing emblem of our aspirations, from the aspirational design of its global headquarters and futuristic regional headquarters in Nairobi, comprising green walls and roof as well as rain gardens, to the collaborative culture of its staff. Unsurprisingly, the Center is intended to inspire the world to thrive with nature instead of pursuing the dangerous course of seeking to thrive at nature’s expense.”

It is expected the new Africa headquarters will open in Nairobi in January 2025.

Notes to Editors
About the Global Center on Adaptation

The Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) is an international organization that works as a solutions broker to accelerate action and support for adaptation solutions, from the international to the local, in partnership with the public and private sectors. Founded in 2018, GCA operates from the largest floating office in the world, located in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. GCA has a worldwide network of regional offices in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire; Dhaka, Bangladesh, and Beijing, China.

About the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program
The Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP) is a joint initiative of the African Development Bank and the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA). It aims to mobilize $25 billion, over five years, to accelerate and scale climate adaptation action across the continent. This ambition is delivered through the AAAP Upstream Financing Facility managed by the Global Center on Adaptation and the African Development Bank’s climate action window in the ADF replenishment. AAAP works across four pillars to achieve transformational results: Climate-Smart Digital Technologies for Agriculture and Food Security; African Infrastructure Resilience Accelerator; Youth Empowerment for Entrepreneurship and Job Creation in Climate Adaptation and Resilience and Innovative Financial Initiatives for Africa.

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