AFRICA – The Global Center on Adaptation, a global body that works towards creating a climate resilient future, has opened a regional office for Africa to support efforts aimed at accelerating the continent’s efforts to combat climate change.

The launching ceremony of the regional office located was attended virtually by Several regional and global leaders including 8th UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, co-chair of the Global Center on Adaptation, Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo and his Kenyan counterpart, President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Also, in attendance were; IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group and Patrick Verkooijen, CEO of GCA.

Hosted by the African Development Bank at its headquarters in the Ivorian commercial capital, Abidjan, GCA Africa will work with partners across the continent to accelerate adaptation action that protects African communities from climate change.

African leaders present welcomed the opening of the regional office of the Global Center on Adaptation, voicing hopes it will spur the continent’s efforts to combat climate change.

In speeches marking the virtual launch of GCA Africa, the leaders said the Center could also provide an impetus for a more resilient recovery after COVID-19, which they said had compounded climate-induced vulnerabilities.

“In the post-COVID period, our objective should not only be to recover and build better but to do so in a climate-conscious way,” said Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde.

President Akufo-Addo while welcoming the opening of GCA Africa, expressed the hope that it will work to scale up the “bright spots” of adaptation on the continent.

“We look forward to working with GCA and its partners to meet the challenges of climate change and ensuring resilience is built into Africa’s economic recovery plans.”

H.E Nana Akufo-Addo – President, Ghana.

African Development Bank President, Dr. Akinumwi Adesina on his part said, opening the regional office, marked a major milestone in the Bank’s drive to build climate resilience for Africa.

Adesina, who began his second five-year term as Bank President this month, said one of his key priorities over the next five years is for the Bank to drive investments in green growth and climate finance for Africa.

“As a Bank, we are committed to helping Africa build back from the COVID-19 crisis, better, stronger and with greater health and climate resilience,” he said.

Adesina added Bank’s financing for climate had quadrupled, from 9% of its total portfolio in 2016 to 36% by 2019. “By the end of 2021, we will reach our target of 40% of the total portfolio.”

He further revealed that the Bank has committed to providing $25 billion in climate financing by 2025.

The GCA is hosted by the Netherlands, working from its headquarters in Rotterdam with a knowledge and research hub based in Groningen.

Opening of the Africa office is part of the body’s goal of establishing a worldwide network of regional offices which started with a global innovation hub for climate adaptation in Beijing.

The GCA Africa programs include improving the food security of one billion people in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2030, providing support to communities through water for urban growth and resilience; using nature for more resilient infrastructure; adaptation finance; and building youth leadership.

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