The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has unveiled a comprehensive set of investments and initiatives during this week’s Africa Climate Summit held in Nairobi, Kenya.
Collaborating closely with Congress, these efforts encompass a commitment of $35 million in fresh investments for the current year.
These endeavours are geared towards aiding communities throughout Africa in bolstering their capacity to withstand the adverse effects of climate change and fostering sustainable economic growth.
Furthermore, USAID is actively endorsing the execution of key initiatives, namely the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE), the Just Energy Transition Partnerships, and international ventures aimed at preserving vital carbon sinks.
In a separate move, USAID has committed an investment of $1.4 million to assist the Government of Kenya in formulating a comprehensive plan for activating its carbon market.
This effort also involves establishing a regulatory and legal framework to ensure the market operates with integrity, transparency, and fairness.
USAID has officially extended its Clean Air Catalyst initiative to include Nairobi, joining its existing initiatives in Jakarta, Indonesia, and Indore, India. The Clean Air Catalyst represents USAID’s flagship campaign to combat air pollution.
Under this expansion, USAID is earmarking $2.9 million to aid local government leaders in the three cities in reducing air pollution, particularly stemming from major sources like transportation and waste incineration.
USAID and Power Africa Invest Millions in African Sustainability
Power Africa has committed to investing $4.8 million in initiatives aligned with South Africa’s Just Energy Partnership investment plan, in collaboration with the United States.
In addition, they are investing $6.3 million to enhance access to electricity through the African Development Bank’s Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa.
They will also allocate $2.7 million to the African Legal Support Facility, which will offer legal counsel for clean energy transactions. These investments build upon over a decade of support for both funds.
During her visit to Tanzania, Deputy Administrator Isobel Coleman revealed that USAID is initiating a significant investment of $8 million to kickstart “Tumaini Kupitia Vitendo” (Hope through Action).
This five-year partnership with the Jane Goodall Institute is aimed at fortifying the management of natural resources at the government, village, and stakeholder levels in Tanzania.
In addition to this, Deputy Administrator Isobel Coleman also unveiled a further investment of $2.1 million in Tanzania to enhance the climate resilience of coastal areas and fisheries as part of the ongoing “Heshimu Bahari” (Respect the Ocean) Activity.
Through the Development Innovation Ventures program, USAID is planning to allocate $1.5 million to facilitate the expansion of Kenya’s BasiGo electric bus transport company into Rwanda.
This investment aims to promote wider access to clean and environmentally friendly public transportation options.
Additionally, USAID has initiated its support for the C40 Cities Finance Facility (CFF), with funding previously announced in June.
USAID’s contribution is strengthening the CFF’s emphasis on adaptation, including assistance to two South African cities in utilising nature-based solutions to mitigate the risk of flooding.
Mobilising Investments for African Climate Solutions
Through its Enterprises for Development, Growth, and Empowerment Fund, USAID is committing an investment of $2.5 million to serve as the initial loss tranche for Acorn’s Cooperative Carbon Finance Fund.
This strategic move will facilitate access to the voluntary carbon market for smallholder farmers and assist the fund in achieving its goal of mobilising $110 million for climate-smart and resilient agricultural initiatives.
Notably, eighty percent of the carbon credit sales proceeds from the fund will directly benefit smallholder farmers.
Additionally, USAID will provide an initial investment of $1.2 million to launch PLANETA (Plataforma de Ações em Natureza para Enfrentar as Transformações Ambientais), a platform dedicated to facilitating investments in ecosystem restoration and enhancing the supportive environment for equitable carbon markets in Mozambique.
Furthermore, in collaboration with Prosper Africa, USAID will jointly invest $1.75 million in two impact investment funds, namely EG Capital and The Catalyst Fund, which are supported by their parent organisation, BFA Capital.
These funds aim to leverage a combined total of $140 million to empower communities to withstand climate-related risks while also supporting high-growth startups and medium-sized businesses across various sectors including food, climate, health, and education in Africa.