UK pledges Sh8 billion for climate projects in Africa

UK Minister for Development and Africa Andrew Mitchell.[Shutterstock]

The UK has announced Sh8.98 billion (£49 million) for new climate finance and resilience projects in Africa at the first Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi.

The summit, which runs from September 4 to 6 2023 at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), brings together Heads of State and dignitaries from across the continent to discuss solutions to the climate crisis.

The funding is part of the UK’s Sh2.13 trillion (£11.6 billion) commitment for international climate finance over five years, said the UK Minister for Development and Africa Andrew Mitchell.

“The UK is committed to fighting climate change in Africa and supporting green investment and climate resilience. The new UK-backed projects will create jobs, grow economies and improve the lives of millions of people across the continent,” Mitchell said.

The projects include Sh6.23 billion (£34 million) for initiatives to help women, at-risk communities, and more than 400,000 farmers cope with the effects of climate change in 15 African countries.

Another Sh2.75 billion (£15 million) will go to Financial Sector Deepening Africa investments to mobilise private capital for small-scale businesses that offer innovative and inclusive tech solutions, such as turning desert into land for farming.

Seven new climate finance projects will also improve access to renewable energy, healthcare and other basic services for over 500,000 people, generate 3,400 jobs, and provide cheaper and reliable power to households.

Mitchell also called for rapid reform of the international financial system to unlock trillions of dollars to combat climate change.

He welcomed the launch of Weza Power, a partnership between the Government of Burundi and UK-backed company Virunga Power, to expand energy access to almost 70 per cent of Burundi’s population.

While in Nairobi,  Mitchell is expected to visit the Railway City, a green regeneration project designed by British architects with KES 11.5 billion of UK investment. The project was fast-tracked by President Ruto and Prime Minister Sunak at COP27 last year.

Mitchell will also announced details of the third Climate and Development Ministerial, hosted by the COP28 UAE Presidency and the UK ahead of COP28, with Malawi and Vanuatu as co-chairs. The Ministerial aims to generate tangible outcomes for climate finance access and loss and damage.