African economies worsened by pandemic; Kenyatta says as he calls for external support

Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta has on Tuesday, April 6th 2021 pointed out that the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic has worsened the impact of climate change on Africa’s economies whilst calling for external support for countries to boost the economy.

The President made this comment during a virtual leaders’ dialogue organized by Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) to discuss issues relating to African Covid-Climate Emergency.

The high ranking dialogue is in line with the Paris Agreement which requires member states to prepare, communicate and maintain successive nationally determined contributions (NDCs) towards climate change. The NDC embodies efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. 

Taking his turn to address issues, Kenyatta said, “we do this in recognition of the fact that Africa is one of the most vulnerable continents to climate change and climate variability, a situation aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic.”
“Multiple systemic shocks are now simultaneously threatening African communities: a health-crisis, an economic crisis, and a food security crisis, all compounded by the climate change crisis,” the President added.

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Uhuru Kenyatta also alleged in his statement that, the pandemic has, for the first time in 25 years caused a drop in the continent’s GDP by over three percent in 2020. 

He further claimed that Covid has pushed 40 million Africans into extreme poverty; due to this, Kenyatta argued that, in order for individual countries on the continent to successfully restart their economies and also deal with the climate issues, they will require improved access to finance. 

The East African country’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) budget was pegged at US$ 4.4 billion as an annual implementation cost for adaptation priorities of which Kenyatta called for support to implement.
“While we can realistically mobilize domestic resources to meet 13 percent of this cost, we would need our external partners to support us to fund the remaining 87 percent,” Kenyatta said

“I must underscore the need to leverage on the private sector and international finance if we are to achieve this Climate Adaptation agenda. It is only through partnerships that we can strengthen and accelerate resilience on the continent,” he added.

The dialogue also saw the participation of other dignitaries such as the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guteress, the US Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen who represented President Joe Biden and others.

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