While speaking at the ongoing Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi, former United Nations Secretary-General H.E. Ban Ki-moon has unveiled an ambitious collaborative $10 Billion initiative with the potential to drive green growth, economic development, and food security in Africa and the Middle East. The initiative, dubbed the “Africa and Middle East SAFE Initiative,” is set to mobilize at least USD $10 billion through public-private partnerships to benefit millions of people across the two regions.
According to a statement, the Africa and Middle East SAFE Initiative aligns closely with global aspirations, particularly the Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG2) of Zero Hunger and the priorities of COP28 Presidency.
“The Africa and Middle East SAFE Initiative can potentially mobilize at least USD10 billion of needed investment through
public-private partnerships benefiting millions of people.”
The multi-billion-dollar initiative plans to scale up climate-resilient agriculture and transform food systems. It comprises two key frameworks: the Technical Assistance Fund (TAF) and the Investment Platform (IP). These frameworks are designed to support green investments, promote climate-smart agriculture for rural farmers, and create green jobs.
Key Objectives of the Africa and Middle East SAFE Initiative
- Irrigating 2 Million Hectares: The initiative aims to enhance agricultural productivity by irrigating 2 million hectares of African farmland, increasing the resilience of these areas to climate challenges.
- Supporting 10 Million Smallholder Farmers: With a particular focus on women and young farmers, the initiative seeks to empower 10 million smallholders to adapt to changing climate conditions and improve their livelihoods.
- Addressing Food Security: Food security is a top priority, and the initiative aims to address this issue in both Africa and the Middle East by enhancing agricultural productivity and accessibility to food.
- Creating 2 Million Green Jobs: As a driver of economic growth, the initiative is expected to generate 2 million green jobs, contributing to employment opportunities in the regions.
- Exporting 2 Million Metric Tons of Food: The initiative envisions exporting 2 million metric tons of food crops to the Middle East, valued at approximately USD $2 billion, thus fostering economic development.
A Call for Opportunity-Oriented Climate Action
Kenya’s President, William Ruto, emphasized the importance of seizing opportunities within climate action.
“An opportunity-oriented focus on climate action is the engine for propelling Africa into a real of stability and prosperity… We must see in green growth not just a climate imperative, but also a fountain of multi-billion-dollar economic opportunities that Africa and the World are primed to capitalize on,” President William Ruto.