Young People Demand Global Leaders Double Adaptation Finance by 2025 to Secure Africa’s Future

N airobi, Kenya, 4th September 2023 – Young people from 135 countries around the world are calling on leaders to urgently scale up adaptation finance and include young people in adaptation decisions and action. The Youth4Adaptation Communiqué presented at the Intergenerational Dialogue: Africa driving climate adaptation solutions & jobs convened by the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) and the Wangari Maathai Institute (WMI) during the Africa Climate Summit, presents the views of young people from 51 African countries. Their message to decision-makers is clear: Young people are critical partners in adapting our world, a vision that can only become a reality by doubling adaptation finance by 2025.

Ban Ki-moon, 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations and Co-Chair of the Global Center on Adaptation; Ababu Namwamba, Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Youth Affairs, Sports and the Arts; Dan Jørgensen, Danish Minister for Development Cooperation and Global Climate Policy; Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank and Global Center on Adaptation Advisory Board Member; and Graça Michel, Deputy Chair of The Elders joined the Intergenerational Dialogue with other leaders to discuss the importance of fostering youth leadership, creating adaptation jobs, and mainstreaming education and training on climate adaptation.
Speaking during the event, Ban Ki-moon, 8th Secretary General and Chair of the Global Center on Adaptation emphasized the global importance of Africa’s youth climate leadership:
“When young people are given negotiating muscle and real influence in the world, they will create a better future for all of us.  Young people are forced to bear the brunt of climate change. They should be given the chance to successfully adapt.”
Professor Patrick Verkooijen, Chief Executive Officer of the Global Center on Adaptation and Distinguished Chair of the Wangari Maathai Institute, stressed that the adaptation agenda is a jobs agenda, and that – when done right – adaptation has the potential to create employment opportunities while protecting communities from the impacts of climate change:
Our latest research shows that climate adaptation finance flows to Africa must increase up to ten-fold to over US$100 billion per year by 2035. At the bare minimum, countries must deliver on the promise made at COP26 to double adaptation finance to adapt our world. Africa’s young people are more relevant to its prosperity than ever before but they need more financial resources to transform climate adaptation into a new growth agenda for the continent.”
Presenting the Youth4Adaptation Communique to decision-makers, Baliqees Salaudeen, a member of the CEO’s Youth Advisory Panel from Nigeria and coordinator of GCA’s African Youth Consultations on Adaptation, shared:
We, young people from over 135 countries around the world, are calling on leaders to urgently scale up adaptation finance and to include young people in adaptation decisions and action.
In response to their call, Dr. Adesina Akinwumi, President of the African Development Bank announced the African Development Bank and Global Center on Adaptation will invest USD$1 billion into the YouthAdapt program. YouthAdapt is an annual competition and awards program for youth-led enterprises (50% women-led) jointly organized by the Global Center on Adaptation, the African Development Bank and Climate Investment Funds (CIF) as part of the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program YouthADAPT flagship pillar. The challenge seeks to boost sustainable job creation through support for entrepreneurship and youth-led innovation in climate change adaptation and resilience across Africa. The competition invites young entrepreneurs and Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises in Africa to submit innovative solutions and business ideas that can drive climate change adaptation and resilience.

Highlighting the importance of education and capacity-building for adaptation action,Ban Ki-moon, 8th Secretary General and Chair of the Global Center on Adaptation and Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, Norway’s Minister of International Development launched the Toolkit for Youth on Adaptation & Leadership, developed by GCA and the CARE Climate Justice Center to equip young people with the knowledge and skills to engage in climate adaptation policy, advocacy and action. Developed in collaboration with 40 youth organizations from Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe, the Toolkit is available in English, French and Arabic. GCA is currently seeking partners to roll out the Toolkit to young people across the African continent.
Further underscoring the importance of education and capacity-building for adaptation, Professor Patrick Verkooijen launched the first Kenyan Masterclass on Climate Resilient Public-Private Partnership Infrastructure in partnership with the University of Nairobi during the Dialogue. The masterclass in Kenya for infrastructure practitioners from the Kenyan government and implementation agencies compliments the delivery of a National Roadmap for Infrastructure Resilience in Kenya. This will inform the implementation of the Government of Kenya National Adaptation Plan, which has allocated $20bn for resilient infrastructure and is undertaken as part of the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP)  a joint initiative between the African Development Bank and GCA, that is mobilizing $25 billion, over five years, to accelerate and scale climate adaptation action across the continent.
The Intergenerational Dialogue also emphasized the importance of taking a whole of society approach, highlighting the importance of taking locally-led adaptation. On behalf of the community from Mukuru, an informal settlement in Nairobi, Peris Saleh called on leaders to prioritize the needs of the poor. “ In Mukuru we actually have a plan,” she said. “We know how we can protect ourselves from the heat and floods. We need your help to make it happen.”
Notes to Editors
About the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP)
An Africa-owned and Africa-led program, the AAAP, is a joint initiative between the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Global Center on Adaptation (GCA), mobilizing $25 billion for adaptation in Africa by 2025 through four pillars: food security, resilient infrastructure, youth entrepreneurship and job creation, and innovative climate adaptation finance. The African Union endorsed AAAP’s two financing mechanisms. The first mechanism is the AAAP Upstream Financing Facility hosted by GCA, which has already influenced over $5.2bn in investment for adaptation in Africa since its inception in 2021. The AfDB administers the second financing mechanism through the climate set aside under the ADF-16 replenishment, which builds on the AfDB’s commitment to finance $12.5 billion of adaptation programs – half of the AAAP investment target.
About the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA)
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 its headquarters in 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.

Related posts: