AFRI-RES builds capacity of African stakeholders on climate resilience

Dakar, Senegal, 30 November 2022 (ECA) - Over the next decade, Africa needs an annual investment of up to USD 170 billion for long-lived infrastructure (such as roads, dams, irrigation systems, and power stations) to close the vast infrastructure services deficit on the continent.


At the same time, failure to integrate climate change in the planning and design of power and water infrastructure could, in the driest climate scenarios, result in up to 60 percent loss of hydropower production potential in river basins such as the Zambezi. Thus, increasing consumer expenditure for energy up to three times the corresponding baseline values. 


A joint World Bank and Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) study indicates that climate change could lead to a shortening of roads' rehabilitation life cycles, resulting in steep increases in maintenance and periodic rehabilitation costs. 


In the worst climate scenarios, precipitation's stress on the roads can make rehabilitation costs 10 times higher (compared to historical climate conditions). Also, the pressure imposed by flooding can lead to a 17-fold increase.


Hence, Linus Mofor, a senior environmental affairs officer leading the portfolio of work on energy, infrastructure, and climate change at the African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC), advises that investments must be climate-proofed to perform and yield returns under future climate.


At the same time, infrastructure investments in Africa must be climate resilient to climate variability and longer-term climate change to support and sustain Africa's growth and accelerate the eradication of extreme poverty.


To build resilience and safeguard Africa's trillions of dollars needed to close the continent's huge infrastructure gaps, the African Climate Resilient Investment Facility (AFRI-RES), the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) and The African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (IDEP) have completed a training of government officials and other stakeholders to ensure countries have a critical mass of expertise to support resilient infrastructure building.


The training workshop aimed at raising awareness and strengthening the capacity of senior decision-makers to plan, design, and implement investments in resilience to climate variability and change in the transportation, energy, agriculture, water, and ecosystem sectors.


At the same time, integrate climate resilience in investments in road infrastructure and hydropower projects and monitor and evaluate the strength of projects such as under the PIDA second phase.


The three days training workshop took place at the African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (IDEP) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in Dakar, Senegal. IDEP is the training arm of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), created in 1962.


IDEP director Karima Bounemra said the training offered online and in person training as a response to the increased recognition of the negative impacts of climate change on the performance of long-term infrastructure projects in Africa. 


"With African governments spending up to nine percent of their limited budgets to respond to extreme weather events, ensuring these projects are resilient to climate change impacts is critical for attracting investments, particularly from the private sector," adds Bounemra.


Bounemra noted that for the continent to achieve the agenda 2063 vision of Africa We Want, PIDA phase II - the continental infrastructure blueprint must be delivered.


"Ensuring that PIDA projects are climate resilient is therefore of utmost importance, and that is why the AFRI-RES program prioritized the need to enhance awareness and capacity for the integration of climate resilience in the second phase of PIDA," says Bounemra


AFRI-RES is implemented as a partnership of UNECA, African Union Commission (AUC), World Bank, African Development Bank (AfDB) and AUDA-NEPAD, with funding from the Nordic Development Fund. 



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Economic Commission for Africa

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