HoAI Champions regional Climate Resilience Financing at COP28, expanding private sector partnerships.

Dec. 4, 2023

Dubai, UAE: December 3, 2023, The Horn of Africa Initiative (HoAI) recently convened a high-level dialogue at COP28 in Dubai, UAE, bringing together finance ministers, international organizations, civil society, and academics to address the urgent need to enhance the region's resilience to climate variability and scale up coordination and financing efforts. The initiative is charting a path towards an integrated Horn of Africa.

Under the esteemed leadership of Ethiopia's Finance Minister and the chairman of the Horn of Africa Initiative, the panel included ministers from Djibouti, the Governor of Wajir Province in Kenya, the Executive Secretary of IGAD, the EU Special Envoy for the Horn, WB Vice President for Eastern and Southern Africa and the AfDB Director for Climate Change and Green Growth. Mrs. Boutheina Guermazi, the Director for Regional Integration for Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and North Africa, skillfully moderated insightful discussions.

In his opening remarks, the Chair of the Horn of Africa Initiative highlighted Ethiopia as a pioneering example of investing in green initiatives despite various obstacles. With most funding coming from domestic sources, Ethiopia sets an inspiring precedent. However, he stressed that addressing climate change is a shared responsibility between major and minor emitters. He emphasized the critical role of the private sector in the climate finance architecture, inviting the Arab Development Coordination Group, including BADEA, to join the initiative as members. The HoAI anticipates accepting new members at its 19th Ministerial Meeting in Brussels on December 15, 2024.

During the dialogue, the Executive Secretary of IGAD highlighted its Climate Prediction and Application Center (ICPAC) alarming findings, emphasizing that the Horn of Africa is experiencing increasing aridity and rising temperatures. The region's communities and infrastructure are highly vulnerable, particularly in the borderlands, where governance, fragility, and natural resource management challenges prevail.

Minister Illyas Dawaleh, the Minister of Economy and Finance of Djibouti underscored the significant impact of floods and droughts in the region. Highlighting the urgent need, Minister Dawaleh emphasized the importance of strengthening water and agriculture systems to bolster resilience.

Ms. Annette Weber, representing the European Union, emphasized the critical role of policies and strategies in shaping the climate change and resilience agenda, urging concerted efforts to address the challenges faced by the region.

Boutheina Guermazi, the senior director for regional integration, emphasized the HoAI's commitment to climate resilience through several programs funded by the World Bank. Dr. Victoria Kwakwa, Vice President of Eastern and Southern Africa at the World Bank echoed the need to scale up efforts to address the pressing climate challenges.

The Horn of Africa Initiative is a country-led regional integration platform that brings together seven countries and development partners such as the African Development Bank, BMZ, European Union, and the World Bank. IGAD, a leading regional organization, also contributes to the collaborative efforts.