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AfDB to integrate natural capital into African finance


This week, the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, Green Growth Knowledge Platform, and other partners will launch a new initiative on integrating natural capital into development finance in Africa.

This initiative, called the Natural Capital for African Development Finance Programme NC4-ADF, is supported by the Worldwide Fund for Nature and the German federal ministry for economic cooperation and development through its agency Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit.

Other partners include the United Nations Environment Programme, the Mava Foundation, the International Institute for Sustainable Development, and the Economics for Nature partnership, with the goal of giving a central economic role to natural capital.

“The inclusion of natural capital in development finance is essential for post-Covid-19 recovery,” says Vanessa Ushie, director of the policy analysis division at the AfDB’s African Natural Resource Centre.

“The bank recognises that nature-based approaches are key to addressing biodiversity and climate emergencies. It is working to integrate natural capital into infrastructure financing, investments, and economic policies in Africa,” she says.

Natural capital, which includes land or carbon storage resources, such as water and fisheries, accounts for between 30% and 50% of the total wealth of African countries, although it is often not included in economic measures such as national output.

Moreover, international development institutions take little account of natural capital in development financing projects.

In the face of climate change, natural capital is a key asset supporting inclusive and green growth.

The NC4-ADF programme, which started in 2020 and will run until 2022, plans to integrate natural capital approaches into development financing in Africa.

Participants in the launch meeting, including ministers and heads of international institutions, will discuss how to establish a common vision that embraces natural capital, particularly in the development projects and programmes of multilateral development institutions.

Rabah Arezki, the chief economist and vice president of the AfDB, will give a keynote address.

Government representatives from Nigeria, Tanzania, Madagascar and Mozambique, whose countries are participating in the programme, will take part in the event.

The results of a pilot infrastructure project conducted using natural capital approaches in Tanzania, with support from the AfDB and Germany, will be presented during this webinar.