AfDB’s first symposium on Climate Change calls for increased focus on resilience building

The African Development Bank hosted earlier this week a symposium to mark the bank’s Climate Change and Green Growth Day.

The symposium, the first of its kind, was held under the theme: “Moving from emergency relief to building resilience.” It came in the wake of two devastating tropical cyclones, Idai and Kenneth, which ripped through five African countries – Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and the Comoros within a month.

Idai, the worst cyclone in history to hit the African continent, is estimated to have caused more than 1,000 deaths and $1 billion in damages. The Bank announced a special relief fund of $1.7 million for Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi, specifically for the immediate humanitarian relief effort in the worst affected areas.

The Bank is doing more to confront these emergencies — but because the threats from extreme weather events are predicted to intensify, longer-term actions for disaster risk management are needed, especially in disaster risk reduction through resilience building.

In an address to the symposium, AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina said African nations must focus on building resilience against climate change and renew efforts to save resources spent on weather-related emergency relief to better address the needs of the vulnerable.

“Africa must be more active in finding solutions to the scourge,” Adesina said in opening remarks, read on his behalf at the symposium.

“As a continent, we must be resolute in our efforts to find solutions. Africa must not be a passive bystander in this effort,” Adesina said, referring to global efforts to curb the impact of Climate Change on livelihoods.

The two-day event featured two panels and an exhibition on the achievements made and challenges faced in addressing climate change through Bank activities across all sectors.

The first panel explored approaches, opportunities and challenges in building resilience in Africa, while the second discussed financing and business models for building climate-resilience in Africa.

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