Africa Resilience Forum 2021 kicked off with a strong focus on climate change, COVID-19 and conflict.
The opening session focused on the competing needs of development and security, especially in the prevailing environment of heightened fiscal constraints, while another focused on climate adaptation, an emerging antidote to the destructive impact of extreme weather.
An estimated 39 million Africans could slip into extreme poverty this year, as a result of the pandemic.
At the same time, countries are facing higher fiscal costs, reducing capacity for the critical investments required to deliver on ambitions such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
African Development Bank President Akinwumi A Adesina highlighted the Bank’s work in climate finance and landmark green projects, including the $20 billion Desert to Power solar energy program, which will provide clean energy to up to 250 million people across 11 countries in the Sahel region.
“Across Africa, rising expenditures on defence and security, increasingly displace development financing on essential services such as education, health, water, sanitation, and affordable housing. This compromises long-term resilience needed to bounce back better. The hydra-headed challenges of this pandemic, insecurity, and climate change, continue to impact young men, women, and children the most.”Akinwumi Adesina, AfDB President
The Africa Resilience Forum is a flagship African Development Bank event which brings together key stakeholders across government, civil society, the private sector, and international partners, to reflect on the continent’s conflict prevention, peace, and state-building initiatives.
This year, the Forum will also serve as a platform to learn about the Bank’s new strategy for addressing fragility and building resilience in Africa (2022-2026).