Rome, Jan 28 – Italy’s Prime Minister Giuiseppe Conte cut the ribbon for the new ‘Africa Centre for Climate and Sustainable Development’ in Rome today.
This Centre will provide a fast-track, demand-driven mechanism for African countries to access grant resources that support policies, initiatives, and best practices on climate change, food security, access to water, clean energy, and accelerating progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa.
The Prime Minister was joined by Sergio Costa, Italy’s Minister of Environment, Graziano Da Silva, Director General for the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and Achim Steiner, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The Centre has its roots in a declaration endorsed by the G7 meeting of the Environment Ministers in 2017. It was established to facilitate coordination among the G7 and African countries on common initiatives in Africa to achieve the goals set by the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda.
As the request of the Italian government, UNDP has agreed to host the Centre, using its extensive country office network and programmatic hubs, and global expertise and knowledge, to enable countries to access the resources available through it. UNDP will partner with FAO in this endeavor.
“I would like to thank the Italian government and the Ministry of the Environment in particular for the opportunity to partner with them and our sister agency FAO on this Centre,” said Achim Steiner. “Africa remains a continent of many opportunities. With its youthful population and numerous natural resources, the next frontier of development is certainly on this continent.”
Steiner continued, “Yet, despite these opportunities, the continent still has up to 330 million of its population living in poverty and up to 60% of unemployed Africans are young people. It is my hope that this Centre can help to speed up progress and quickly resource national development priorities in these countries to address these challenges and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”
UNDP works in 170 countries and territories, to achieve the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion. As the largest implementer of climate action in the UN System, UNDP works with countries to turn their climate goals into action. UNDP’s current Climate Change portfolio in Africa is large and diverse, implementing 216 projects in 41 countries, worth over $828 million in grants. 33% of this work is on adaptation to climate change.