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Statement From William Asiko, Vice President of The Rockefeller Foundation’s Africa Regional Office, on the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group 2024 Meetings

The recent African Development Bank (AfDB) Group Meetings in Nairobi, Kenya made important progress in driving climate action and sustainable development on the continent.

For example, the steering committee of the African Carbon Markets Initiative (ACMI), which is supported by The Rockefeller Foundation, unveiled a partnership with the AfDB to foster robust, transparent carbon markets and high-quality carbon credits across Africa. The AfDB’s decision to join the ACMI platform underscores the AfDB’s commitment to establishing a mechanism to support carbon market initiatives on the continent.

Additionally, the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Board voted to approve the use of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) for hybrid capital—enabling the rechanneling of unused SDRs to the AfDB to support increased lending for African countries to advance their sustainable development and climate goals. Collaborating with the AfDB and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), The Rockefeller Foundation has co-hosted several convenings and engaged with a number of governments to move this initiative forward.

The Foundation also led a high-level event on African school meal programs, which improve children’s health and education while supporting local agriculture. The event explored innovative financing mechanisms like debt swaps and sugar taxes and highlighted the need for cross-sector collaboration, strong policies, leadership commitments, and combating illicit financial flows to expand these critical programs.

Innovative, people-centered climate solutions like these and others discussed at the AfDB Meetings offer pathways to support renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, food security, and biodiversity conservation projects, creating green jobs and addressing energy poverty and other development challenges. The upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Azerbaijan (COP29) is one of several important opportunities to build on the progress made in Nairobi and ensure these solutions reach the Africans who need them most.