Home Features AU-FAO Summit Drives Climate Funding Focus for African Agriculture

AU-FAO Summit Drives Climate Funding Focus for African Agriculture

by Grace Kisembo

African leaders and international partners gathered in Addis Ababa last month for the AU-FAO High-Level Side Event on Climate Finance for Agriculture and Food Security. The event, held alongside the 37th Session of the Assembly of the AU Heads of State and Government, underscored the urgency to unlock funding for African farmers as they bear the brunt of climate change despite contributing minimally to its causes.

The summit built on the outcomes of COP28 and the Nairobi Declaration on Climate Change. Participants called for the mobilization of funds to aid African agriculture to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change, which disproportionately harm smallholder farmers across the continent.

East and West Africa: Climate Finance Ground Zero

Both East and West Africa are severely impacted by climate change. Drought in the Horn of Africa continues unabated, while West African nations grapple with severe floods and unpredictable rainfall patterns that decimate crop yields.

“Our farmers in Kenya cannot keep up. Erratic rainfall renders even the most meticulous crop planning useless,” lamented Dr. Beatrice Ruto, Kenya’s Minister for Agriculture. “Without a massive upscaling of resilient infrastructure and climate-smart practices, our food security is hanging by a thread.”

Ruto’s words echoed the sentiments of leaders across the continent.

Inadequate Funding and the Need for Innovation

Despite receiving the largest share of climate-related development finance in sub-Saharan Africa, FAO reports indicate that funding levels remain desperately inadequate to support the needed transformation of African agriculture. Figures show a 12% decline in contributions in 2021 compared to 2020.

“We need to fundamentally rethink our approach to climate finance,” stated Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission. “Innovative mechanisms like debt-for-climate swaps, green bonds, and results-based financing must be prioritized to give African nations the resources needed for long-term resilience.”

The event concluded with a strong call to action. African leaders, alongside the FAO and development partners, pledged to increase advocacy, streamline funding channels, and support the adoption of climate-smart agriculture across the continent.

The time for action is now. Without dedicated and innovative climate funding mechanisms, the future of African food security and the livelihoods of millions of farmers remain highly precarious.

Related Posts