Spain and Switzerland donate $10 million to help African cities redevelop & economically revitalize in a climate-resilient manner

On November 17, 2022, in partnership with the African Development Bank Group, the Swiss Confederation through the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and the government of Spain announced additional financial support to help cities and rural regions in African countries redevelop in a resilient manner, since they are bearing the brunt of climate change.

Commenting on the announcement, Ambassador Dominique Paravicini, the SECO’s Head of Economic Cooperation and Development and the Swiss governor for the African Development Bank affirmed Switzerland’s recognition of the importance of cities for economic revitalization, and their impact on and vulnerability to climate change.

After successfully establishing its African Cities Program, the Urban and Municipal Development Fund should now be enabled to scale-up its valuable support to more cities throughout the African continent. SECO consequently increases its contribution by CHF 4.9 million. A part is intended for cities in emerging economies such as Egypt, Ghana and South Africa. Switzerland expects its contribution to have a catalytic effect on other potential donors to raise contributions to the Fund,” Paravicini said.

Switzerland and Spain confirmed they will each donate approximately 5 Million euros to the African Development Bank Group’s Urban and Municipal Development Fund (UMDF), a thematic trust fund that helps African vulnerable countries to spur equitable green and climate resilient urbanization.

Africa is projected to face the fastest urban growth rate in the world: at around 3.2 per cent per annum. By 2050 it is expected that around 1.5 billion people will live in Africa’s towns and cities: an additional urban population of 900 million people.

Thanking the partners, for the support, Mike Salawou, director of the Infrastructure & Urban Development Department at the African Development Bank Group, said “The support from the governments of Switzerland and Spain is precious. This additional budget will boost the UMDF activities, allowing us to support better urban governance and planning, and ensure that partner cities develop sustainably in a climate-optimized manner.”

At the same time, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, African countries remain the most vulnerable to climate change, and are the least prepared to deal with its impacts.

Senior Advisor in Climate Finance in Spain’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, Ramón López Pérez, concluded “Spain recognizes the significant role the African Development Bank Group plays in fostering the economic and social progress in Africa. In times of uncertainty and despite the current generalized budgetary constraints following the extraordinary expenses due to the response to COVID-19 pandemic, this new contribution reaffirms the strong support of Spain to the AfDB.

Photo courtesy of African Development Bank Group.

See African Development Bank Group website.

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