On July 11, 2019, the Green Climate Fund announced a $20 million grant to the African Development Bank’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) program for a climate action project to boost the resilience of women-led farmers’ associations and micro, small and medium enterprises in Ghana’s agricultural sector.
The funds will go to the Financing Climate Resilient Agricultural Practices in Ghana project, following approval by the Green Climate Fund board at a meeting held from July 6-8, 2019 in Songdo, South Korea.
The board members decided to increase the grant component of the funding proposal to provide more concessional resources for women-led farming associations and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in agribusinesses in Ghana.
“The Green Climate Fund has consistently demonstrated its commitment to work with the African Development Bank to jointly deploy the concessional financial resources needed for climate action in Africa. This approval of the 5th funding proposal focused on women affirms our common vision and mission to ensure women are not left behind,” said Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, President of the African Development Bank.
The AFAWA Ghana project is designed to provide affordable and innovative financial products and services for women to adopt technologies and practices that will enhance the resilience of agro-ecosystems and agricultural production. In addition, the project is designed to protect women and communities against climate risks such as drought and flooding in the Savannah agro-ecological zone of Ghana.
The AFAWA program aligns with the Ghana’s Incentive-Based Risk-Sharing System for Agricultural Lending project, with support from the African Development Bank.
“This alignment demonstrates that initiatives for inclusive finance, gender finance and climate finance are intertwined. We cannot afford to treat them as silos, especially in Africa. As part of our support within the Africa Nationally Determined Contributions Hub, we are working with regional member countries to integrate these issues in their country programming to help mobilize concessional finance,” explained Dr. Anthony O. Nyong, Director of the Bank’s Climate Change and Green Growth Department.
Concessional financial products and services through the AFAWA program will help women in savannah regions to access solar irrigation systems and modern processing technologies to help improve value addition, diversification, productivity and profitability.
This AFAWA program will educate women in agro-processing on renewable energy systems, such as off-grid solar and biogas technology. Firewood, charcoal and other biomass-based energy account for more than 90% of energy resources women use for agro-processing, contributing to deforestation and carbon emissions.
An estimated total carbon emission reduction of over 3 million tons will directly contribute to mitigation activities for meeting Ghana’s commitment under the Paris Agreement.
Vanessa Moungar, the Bank’s Director for Gender, Women and Civil Society, concluded “Affirmative measures such as this are critical to help women gain access to land, finance and other tools that enable them to play a pivotal role in enhancing their resilience to the climate risks threatening development and growth in Africa. We are excited to see this AFAWA model replicated across the continent.”
Featured photo courtesy of African Development Bank.