Climate Financing Challenges in Focus at African Economic Ministers’ Conference

Climate Financing Challenges in Focus at African Economic Ministers’ Conference

As African Finance and Economic Development ministers gather in Zimbabwe to discuss the continent’s development challenges, climate change emerges as a formidable obstacle. The 42nd meeting of the Committee of Experts of the Conference of Ministers of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development (COM2024) convenes in Victoria Falls with a focus on “Financing the transition to inclusive green economies in Africa: imperatives, opportunities, and policy options.”

Disproportionate Burden of Climate Change

Antonio Pedro, deputy executive secretary at the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), emphasizes the disproportionate burden Africa bears due to climate change. The continent faces a myriad of climate-related challenges, including prolonged droughts, devastating floods, and out-of-season storms, exacerbating humanitarian crises and economic vulnerabilities.

Africa’s Suffering in the Face of Minimal Emissions

Despite contributing only four percent of global carbon emissions, Africa bears the brunt of climate change impacts. This contrasts starkly with major emitters like China, the United States, and the European Union. The continent grapples with diverse climate effects, from droughts to cyclones to floods, underscoring the urgency of addressing climate financing gaps.

The Call for Resource Mobilization

COM2024 underscores the pressing need for substantial financing to support Africa’s transition to sustainable power generation and the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Estimates suggest an additional $194 billion annually, equivalent to 14 percent of Africa’s GDP, is required. However, mobilizing such resources remains a formidable challenge, highlighting flaws in the current global financial architecture.


The Loss and Damage Fund and Its Challenges

African hopes for the Loss and Damage Fund, established at COP27 in Egypt, are tempered by challenges in accessing funds from high-emitting nations. Grudge payments into the Fund prove elusive, prompting calls for African states to seek innovative, homegrown financing solutions for climate adaptation and mitigation.

Zimbabwe’s Call for International Support

Zimbabwe’s finance minister, Mthuli Ncube, stresses the imperative of international support in financing Africa’s transition to inclusive green economies. Acknowledging the cost involved, he underscores the need for investment in renewable energy sources and environmentally friendly initiatives.

Harnessing Carbon Markets

Some African nations are turning to carbon trading as a homegrown financing solution. The Africa Carbon Markets Initiative (ACMI), launched in November 2022, seeks to capitalize on Africa’s untapped potential in carbon credit production. Countries like Kenya, Malawi, Gabon, Nigeria, and Togo are collaborating with ACMI to scale up carbon credit production, aiming to unlock revenue and create employment opportunities.

Pan-African Collaboration for Sustainable Development

In addition to national efforts, pan-African collaboration is vital for sustainable development. The involvement of diverse stakeholders, including financial institutions, youth representatives, academia, and development partners, fosters dialogue and action towards addressing Africa’s economic and social challenges.


As African leaders convene to address the continent’s development agenda, the issue of climate financing emerges as a critical focal point. With the disparity between minimal emissions and significant climate impacts, Africa faces an urgent need for innovative financing mechanisms to support its transition to incl usive green economies. Collaboration, both domestically and across the continent, is essential in realizing Africa’s sustainable development aspirations amidst the challenges posed by climate change.

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