COP27: On Gender Day African Development Bank rallies global support for women to build climate resilience

A panel discussion held on “Gender Day” at the COP27 in Egypt, featured Mary Robinson, former Irish president in its headline. Ms. Robinson demanded a climate fund, dedicated specifically to assist women in grassroots districts win their fight against climate change, and enhance adaptability.

The session themed “Gender Sensitive and climate just finance mechanisms” was organized by the African development bank during the COP27, through which the panel participants urged the necessity to make the facilities customized to support women handy and attainable.

“There is a problem about the visibility, transparency and accountability, and although there is some money floating around, we don’t have a properly dedicated climate fund or a permanent climate fund to support women entrepreneurs in combating climate change,” said the former president, sharing her thoughts.

Showcasing several women-led projects, she illustrated how having easy access to chosen climate resources would boost the productivity of these projects; she added “They had no prospects of getting the money that could be available for their sector – they didn’t even know who was getting the money or where it was going.”

Kevin Kariuki, African Development Bank Group Vice President Vice for Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth, opened the session by mentioning that the bank has initiated the fund for no less than ten capacity building project, all targeting gender and climate through the Africa Climate Change.

He proceeded “Moreover, we are committing $100 million in loans to public and private sector projects to address gender and climate issues,” adding “The Bank is also developing an adaptation mechanism to enable individuals and groups, including women and youth, to borrow money for climate adaptation projects,”

On the quest of promoting “Gender Day” and calling attention to the successes, challenges and issues surrounding gender equality and climate change, the bank hosted some gender-related events, sidelining the main events of the COP27. These events included the launch of the “Gender in Climate Action Accelerator,” a tool that helps private sector companies upgrade gender responsiveness for their corporate climate governance.

This tool will aid governments in promoting gender-sensitive climate sector policies and speed up their green transition process to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development.

Egyptian government, the African Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the French Development Agency, AFD started this initiative collectively.

The panel session, titled “Enabling and Tracking Gender-responsive Green Jobs Recovery,” opened by Rachel Ruto, Kenya’s First Lady, stressed easy information access for women to strengthen their gender-responsive capacity building. According to experts’ opinion, the focus on upskilling and reskilling, which helps women and girls get green jobs, should match the growing efforts for greener economies.

Moreover, the bank held another session, under the name “Accelerating gender-responsive climate investment for a resilient Sahel,” which debated good practices to ramp up gender-responsive climate finance in the Sahel as well.

Acting Director of Climate Change and Green Growth at the African Development Bank, Al Hamndou Dorsouma, shared his remarks, demanding an equal distribution of climate resources in Sahel.

Sidi Mohamed EL Wavi, Director of Climate and Green Economy at the Ministry of Environment in Mauritania, pushed for a quality education for women, underlining the positive effect it’s going to have on their overall representation.