African Development Bank Seeks Japan’s Help for Climate Projects in Africa

African Development Bank meets Japanese officials to discuss infrastructure, climate change, and investment in African energy and green tech.

An African Development Bank delegation in Tokyo held meetings at the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), with Mr. Takashi Koyari, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, as well as representatives of several Japanese ministries and corporations.

The team, which is led by Vice Presidents Kevin Kariuki, Solomon Quaynor and Kevin Urama, is in Japan to strengthen partnerships with the Japanese government and corporations and drive investment into key African sectors such as infrastructure, clean energy, and start-up ecosystems.

Welcoming the delegation, Mr. Koyari expressed confidence that the government’s extensive knowledge and experience in water-related infrastructure and disaster management, gained through the implementation and management of national infrastructure systems could provide valuable insights for the African Development Bank’s projects and initiatives.

Quaynor stressed that climate change is an important strategic area for the Bank Group, adding that Africa’s rapid urbanisation is exacerbating climate change. He noted that inadequate urban planning at the subnational level is leading to widespread informal settlement and lack of urban services.

The African Development Bank is taking a comprehensive approach to addressing climate change that focuses on aligning with the Paris Agreement, mobilising climate finance, and integrating climate considerations into all its operations, Kariuki said. He shared the success story of the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) project in Ethiopia, which has moved the country closer to becoming a net wheat exporter, as an example of the Bank Group’s climate interventions.

He also discussed the Bank Group’s Climate Action Window (CAW), a dedicated fund for climate finance in Africa’s least developed countries.

Through the climate action window, we have actually established that there’s more demand. There is a huge demand for adaptation projects.

Kevin Kariuki, Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth, African Development Bank

Several Japanese corporations presented examples of their infrastructure products and activities covering drainage pumps, dam management and renovation, water desalinisation and managing climate-related floods and other extreme weather events.

In response to the presentations VP Quaynor enquired about the potential for a commercial, scalable opportunity with drainage pump vehicles in African cities.

If the drainage pump vehicles are affordable, we could probably see people who want to buy several and actually use it to implement drainage in different parts of town. So, there could be a commercial, scalable opportunity with the drainage pump.

Solomon Quaynor, Vice President for Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization at the African Development Bank

African Development Bank Group Executive Director for Japan, Brazil, Argentina, Austria, and Saudi Arabia Takaaki Nomoto expressed appreciation for the opportunity to engage with the Japanese private sector, stating, “This is a very good opportunity for us.”

He also noted that several corporate participants in the meeting have experience in Africa and that there was potential for collaboration, highlighting the Bank’s focus on quality infrastructure in Africa.

On Monday, the Bank delegation also held meetings with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). The discussions focused on reinvigorating the partnership between the two institutions, which signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2009 covering natural resources, renewable energy, infrastructure, private sector trade facilitation, and liquidity support for the private sector.

The vice presidents emphasised the importance of collaborating with JBIC to encourage Japanese companies to invest in Africa. They highlighted the continent’s vast potential in renewable energy, critical minerals, and green hydrogen production, as well as the need for value addition and local manufacturing in the critical minerals value chain.

The Bank delegation will be in Japan from 17-21 June engaging in a series of meetings. During the visit it also hosted the Japan Africa Business Forum on 18 June in partnership with Keizai Doyukai, the Japanese Business Association.

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