Launched during the COP22 which was held in Marrakesh from 7 to 18 November 2016, the « Initiative for the Adaptation of African Agriculture to climate change » (AAA Initiative) aims to contribute to food security in Africa, to improve the living conditions of vulnerable farmers and to promote the employment in rural areas by promoting adaptation practices to climate change, building the capacity of actors and channeling financial flows to the most vulnerable farmers. The AAA Initiative responds to the call of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change by helping African countries to implement their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Hence, the AAA Initiative promotes the implementation of tangible projects on soil management, agricultural water management, and climate risk management. It is based on the instruments advocated by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change: transfer of technology, preparation of appropriate agricultural policies and strategies, establishment of "bankable" projects meeting the criteria of development partners and donors and promoting South-South cooperation. The AAA Initiative also contributes to meeting the broader challenges of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN Member States.
The AAA Initiative was welcomed by Africa Action Summit held on November 16, 2016, on the sidelines of COP22 under the presidency of the King of Morocco Mohammed VI, who promoted an African initiative, and who said on this occasion that: " Aware of the vulnerability of the agricultural sector and of its vital importance, Morocco is actively preparing for the implementation of the "Adaptation of African Agriculture (Triple A) initiative . This innovative system promotes the adoption and financing of solutions to increase productivity and ensure food security."
During COP22, the AAA Initiative has been very active in placing the adaptation to climate change at the top level of the international community concern. Indeed, the Marrakesh Proclamation, adopted by all Parties at COP22, called for “strong solidarity with those countries most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, and underscore the need to support efforts aimed to enhance their adaptive capacity, strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability”, claiming USD $100 billion mobilization goal for the Developed Country Parties.
During the second ordinary ministerial session of the AU “Technical Special Committee for agriculture, rural development, water and the environment”, which was held in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), from 2 to 6 October 2017, the Ministers called upon the AU Commission to (i) to grant its support to the AAA Initiative as a means of advocating for the adaptation of African agriculture to climate change and (ii) catalyze the financing and the development capacities to the adaptation of African agriculture projects. Further, the relevance of the AAA Initiative has been underscored by international organizations, donors and financial institutions.
The AAA Initiative is supported by the following 33 African countries: Morocco, Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau, Côte d'Ivoire, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mali, Malawi, Mauritius, Mauritania, Nigeria, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sudan, South Sudan, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Tanzania, Togo and Zambia.
The First Annual Conference of the AAA Ministers took place in September 2016, in the city of Marrakesh, in preparation of the COP22. The Conference, was attended by nearly thirty African ministers, as well as the presidents and representatives of national and international institutions and organizations, business leaders and scientists. Following the conference, the Scientific Committee of the AAA Initiative organized a high-level expert meeting at COP22 on November 13, 2016 under the theme: “About the Adaptation of African Agriculture: From Science to Action”. The discussion focused on how to mobilize funds for Africa to transform and adapt its agriculture to a changing climate. The event presented the most promising agricultural climate adaptation strategies for the continent, which could deliver food security to the 230 million people still suffering from chronic hunger in the region.
The AAA Foundation was launched in January 2019, under the impetus of His Majesty the King Mohammed VI, with the mandate of implementing the objectives of the AAA Initiative, but also to provide assistance, advisory, capacity building and technical assistance to decision makers, local institutions, project holders, and farmers in Africa. The Annual Conference of the AAA Ministers has then become enshrined in the AAA Foundation's statutes, as an advisory body in charge of identifying the programs of actions needed to achieve the adaptation of African agriculture to climate change.
The Second Annual Conference of the AAA Ministers is organized under the banner «Food Security Facing Climate Change». It aims to advocate for sustained efforts to ensure food security in Africa against a backdrop of accelerating climate change by mobilizing international financial resources. The conference brings together key financial and technical institutions, donors, the private sector, research and development institutions, universities and scientists to fostering the upscaling of the adaptation of African agriculture to climate change. It will also gather the Scientific Committee of the AAA Initiative, composed of leading international experts and scientists, ensuring the scientific and technical relevance of the way ahead.
The Second Annual Conference of the AAA Ministers is organized during two days 4-5 November 2019, hosted by Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (Morocco). The first day is devoted to the Scientific Day, led by the Scientific Committee of the AAA Initiative, for examining key issues for the African agriculture, as well as the way forward to fostering financial resources and the role of the private sector, to ensure Food security in Africa under the pressure of climate change. In parallel of the Scientific Day, the Donors Roundtable will discuss ways to mobilize the necessary funds for the identification and implementation of agricultural projects in Africa. During the second day, the African Ministers of Agriculture will meet for advising on vision and strategic routes for the AAA Initiative.
Scientific Day - 4 November 2019
The four panels gathered by the AAA scientific committee will present and discuss during the scientific day the four following themes: “soil”, “water”, “risk management” and “finance”. It is expected to develop specific actions following the meeting, toward promotion and implementation of tangible projects on these themes.
Panel 1. Soil Health and Climate Change Adaptation in Africa
Soil health and climate change are intrinsically linked. On the one hand, soils are the second largest carbon sink after oceans. On the other hand, rising temperatures and changing precipitation patterns can lead to soil erosion, fertility loss and a decline in soil’s ability to secure food production. There is a growing and long-standing recognition among both policy-makers and soil specialists that soil degradation is one of the root causes of declining agricultural productivity in Africa and that, unless the process of degradation is controlled, many parts of the continent will suffer increasingly from food insecurity. Unfortunately, there is no consensus on the exact extent and severity of soil degradation or its impacts in Africa as a whole. Lack of soil information and knowledge is considered to be one of the foremost obstacles for reducing land degradation, improving agricultural productivity, and facilitating the adoption of sustainable land management among smallholder farmers.
There is an urgent need for proactive interventions to arrest and reverse soil degradation in this continent. Current soil management practices may not be robust enough to deal with the impacts of climate change, whereas sustainable land management practices may improve carbon sequestration in the soil. In recognition of the importance of the sustainable management of soils and increased sequestration of carbon to the soil, Morocco launched the AAA initiative. This initiative is in synergy with other initiatives (e.g: 4pour1000) to increase the awareness about those non-renewable resources.
This panel aims to highlight the importance of the soil in the development of sustainable solutions for climate change adaptation in Africa, particularly in agriculture, and calling for a synergy between different initiatives on the sustainable management of soil. Indeed, the panel aspires to answer the following questions:
- How climate resilient soil management in Africa can improve soil adaptation capacity to climate change in support of food security?
- Would a soil information system developed for Africa contribute to the best soil management practices for adaptation to climate change?
- Can precision agriculture tools be implemented in Africa and can they contribute to Africa adaptation to climate change?
- What are some of the other pertinent initiatives that can leverage AAA programs toward Africa adaptation to climate change?
Panel 2. Enhancing food security through building water resilience in Africa
Climate change is affecting all countries, but Africa will be particularly hit in terms of food security, water management and extreme weather phenomena such as droughts, floods and cyclones. Africa is characterized by a low adaptive capacity that is reflective of the current state of water management, with the result that the number of victims from disasters is relatively higher than in other regions. Both climate variability and climate change must be tackled alongside the other factors that make-up water insecurity on the continent.
Climate projections and hydrometorological records provide abundant evidence that water resources are vulnerable and can be strongly affected by climate change, with wide-ranging consequences for human societies and ecosystems. Robust projections of these models imply decreasing water availability in northern and southern Africa regions, and increasing water availability in eastern equatorial Africa. So dry regions will become drier and wet regions will become wetter. Adaptation strategies will differ.
Water security is both an increasing concern and an imperative for sustainable agriculture development and food security in Africa. Africa’s utilisation of its available water resources remains at a very low 5% due to limited investments in water resources development and management. Africa’s water infrastructure deficit is a serious challenge to the continent’s socio-economic growth prospects. Investment levels have been, so far, inadequate. The African governments should promote an enabling environment, including appropriate legislation, public-private partnerships, community involvement and economic incentives that will foster water infrastructure development for food security and sustainable growth.
This panel aims to highlight the importance of water in Africa and aspires to answer the following questions:
- What are the key issues in building water resilience in Africa and what significant regional differences exist?
- What is the role of water infrastructure in mitigating natural disasters, enhancing socio-economic development and sustaining ecosystems?
- Why is an integrated approach to building the resilience of freshwater resources so important for Africa?
- Food security is in part ensured by appropriate irrigation development. What is the scorecard and what is the picture across Africa of good practice to be emulated, small or large scale?
- How should African countries address the potential impacts of growing human pressures, ecosystem declines and climatic influences on water resilience and food security?
- How can we build stronger and more effective partnerships between the public and private sectors to build Africa's water security?
- How do we build capacity at the regional, national and local levels to address the issues that confront Africa in water security?
Panel 3. Climate Risk Management: Agricultural Insurance in Africa
All economic activities are subject to various sources of hazards. Agriculture is subject to many risks, in particular climatic hazards and price volatility on the markets. These risks lead to relatively high variability in terms of crop production and income. In the face of climate risks, two strategies are generally implemented:
- The first is to act in the prevention of climate change, through ex ante actions that avoid or limit variability in production. Different agricultural techniques make it possible to be less dependent on the climatic conditions: no till systems, irrigation and drainage, use of crop varieties adapted to the local environment, integrated pest management, fight against soil erosion, etc.
- The second strategy is to act in response to a climatic hazard to compensate for the loss of income related to the decrease in production. The intervention can be public (for example: compensation during a natural disaster) and / or private (for example: crop insurance).
Prevention is not enough; it is necessary to be downstream of the risk to limit its impact on the income of the farmer. Risk management strategies fall into three categories: risk can be assumed, transferred or managed. Nevertheless, in recent years, an increasing number of pilot programs in Africa have introduced agricultural insurance (including index-based insurance) to manage the covariant risk (a risk affecting a large number of people at the same time) in the agricultural sector.
On the strength of its successful experience in Morocco, Mutuelle Agricole Marocaine D’Assurances (MAMDA) has supported African countries in the development of agricultural insurance. Thus, since 2016 cooperation agreements have been signed in the framework of South-South cooperation with eight African countries (Côte d'Ivoire, Rwanda, Tanzania, Madagascar, Nigeria, Ghana, Burkina Faso and Zambia). Many challenges specific to the African context must be overcome. As such we can mention for example, the depth and quality of yield and / or weather data, the absence and / or reliability of meteorological stations, the state budgets limiting the subsidy to premiums and the structuring of the agricultural insurance ecosystem (organization of insurance, existence of cooperatives, etc.). The combination of the weight of agriculture in African economies and the devastating effects of disasters on agricultural production will lead to the inevitable use of insurance as an efficient means of risk mitigation and rural finance development.
This panel aims to highlight the importance of agricultural insurance in Africa and aspires to answer the following questions:
- What is the interest of African countries in developing agricultural insurance in the context of climate risk management?
- What are the challenges to take up to set up this type of product?
Panel 4. Financing the adaptation of African agriculture
In Africa, agriculture accounts for between 25% and 70% of Gross Domestic Product in most countries and employs over 70% of the labor force, mainly in small family farms. Despite this major socio-economic role, agricultural productivity remains below that of other regions of the world and this deficit is worsening in the face of the effects of climate change. In order to encourage farmers to adopt improved technologies and practices needed to increase agricultural productivity, improve resilience to climate change and generate more income, there is a need for increased investment in the sector. This requires increased public investment as provided for in the Maputo Declaration, but also better access to private financing, including banking. Indeed, a major constraint farmers face in investing in the sustainable management of their land is the lack of access to finance since only 6% of African farmers benefit from bank credit. Several factors contribute to this situation: fragmentation of farms, multiplicity and diversity of financing needs, lack of guarantees and insurance, lack of organization of agricultural sectors, etc.
However, despite the complexity of financing agriculture, Morocco has convincing experience: with the Morocco Green Plan, Morocco has strengthened, modernized and diversified its agriculture, relying in particular on the access of farmers to bank financing. A leader in the sector for nearly 60 years, Crédit Agricole du Maroc has set up an innovative system that has helped finance more than 30% of Moroccan farmers regardless of their size or risk profile. This system is based in particular on the complementarity between the traditional commercial bank, “Tamwil el Fellah”, a subsidiary of agricultural mesocredit and the ARDI Foundation, a subsidiary of rural microcredit, complementarity which allows to cover all the financing needs of the farms to develop their projects.
Thus, funds mobilized internationally through the AAA Initiative can be redeployed and distributed to their ultimate beneficiaries, i.e. farm managers of varying sizes and characteristics empowering them to invest in climate smart agriculture.
Tested for a decade and enjoying international recognition, this unique model is suitable for African countries whose agricultural sectors are, for the majority of them, facing the same challenges as for Morocco. Aware of the urgency of the climate issues and partner strongly mobilized within the AAA Initiative, Crédit Agricole du Maroc has undertaken to share its expertise in Africa, in the field of agricultural financing in order to support the development of projects for the adaptation of agriculture to climate change across the continent. Moreover, in addition to bank financing, many impact funds have emerged in recent years, in perfect alignment with the desire of investors, to generate not only a return on financial investment but also to create value for farmers, especially for the youngest among them, and promote the development of sustainable agriculture (LDN Fund, etc.).
This panel aims to highlight the importance of financing AAA programs in Africa and aspires to answer the following questions:
- What are the interactions and complementarities among different financial operators?
- What are the mechanisms to maximize synergies and strengthen adoption by African farmers of sustainable and resilient practices?
Donors Roundtable - 4 November 2019
INTRODUCTION: The challenges confronted Africa in the face of climate change are enormous. This requires both international and domestic sources of funding. And their distribution is a key issue for the continent: it is essential that funds are well distributed among countries and also distributed in a more balanced way between adaptation and mitigation issues. Adaptation remains to this day the poor relation of climate financing despite the continent's growing needs. The continent's current resources are not sufficient to offset the impact of these temperature increases. The UNEP Report on the gap between needs and opportunities for adaptation to climate change indicates that the costs of adaptation, even if emissions are reduced, are likely to be two to three times higher than expected, and thus indicates that expenditures will prove to be even higher.
ADAPTATION COSTS: The analysis in this case of adaptation costs for all developing countries could reach up to $150 billion by 2025/2030, and between $250 and $500 billion per year by 2050. This scenario is also possible by assuming that other major measures have been taken to reduce emissions to the required level, i.e. to limit the increase in global temperatures during this century to 2°C above pre-industrial levels. For Africa alone, this cost already represents 7 to 15 billion dollars per year for adaptation by 2020 and could reach 50 billion dollars per year in 2050 even with a stabilized warming below 2°C.
INTERNATIONAL LEGAL FRAMEWORK: The legal obligation of developed countries to finance the fight against climate change in developing countries is clear. Under Article 4.3 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), developed countries have committed to provide funds to cover "the full agreed costs incurred" related to climate change in developing countries. In plain terms, these are the additional costs of transitioning from fossil fuel-based economic growth to low-carbon development that is resilient to climate change. It is in this context that developed countries committed in Copenhagen at the end of 2009 to jointly mobilize $100 billion per year by 2020, starting with $30 billion between 2010 and 2012 to restore trust between the parties and launch a number of initiatives quickly (so-called "fast-start" financing). But since then, the countries of the South still do not know whether the developed nations will honor the commitment made. In the absence of a common language of definition, monitoring these flows presents enormous difficulties. Fast-start" financing has shown the limits of the commitment made in Copenhagen: a large part of the flows has proved to be existing and re-labelled Official Development Assistance. A part of the
funding was actually humanitarian aid budgets or, in some cases, financed climate or eco-friendly projects (e.g. "clean" coal-fired power plants, large dams).
MULTIPLICITY OF CLIME FUNDS: The complexity of the global climate financing process comes from the multiplicity of funds, the channels through which they are disbursed and the understanding that exists from one point to another. Contributing countries claim to have achieved the Fast Start target, while at the same time the volume of medium-term climate financing has been more uncertain than ever and public financing has increased very little since the end of 2012. Thus, the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) revealed that only 45% were committed, 33% allocated and about 7% disbursed. If climate financing has increased, it is often in the context of stagnant ODA: what amounts to undressing Paul to dress Pierre with the same euro. As for the multiplicity of funds and disbursement channels, even if it increases the access possibilities of beneficiary countries, it nevertheless makes the process very complex. This is demonstrated through the difficulties of monitoring, accounting for, verifying and reporting on the effective and equitable use of climate finance. The current climate financing mechanisms put a severe strain on the coherence of financing and compliance with commitments, but are very insufficient in relation to the needs expressed. Very insufficient and inappropriate financial flows in response to climate change Thus, despite the high needs and commitments under the Convention, financing is still lacking in almost all developing countries.
AFRICA: Africa is too often the poor relation of donors: it is estimated that 1 to 2 billion dollars are mobilized each year for Africa's adaptation to climate change through different sources (climate funds, bilateral aid, etc.). But more accurate CFU3 data shows that since 2003, only $2.309 billion has been allocated (through climate funds) to 453 projects and programs in sub-Saharan Africa, including $600 million approved in 2014. Only 45% of the funding provided is dedicated to adaptation measures, which is significantly less than the $7 to $15 billion per year estimated to be needed to finance the region's adaptation needs alone until 2020. Given that more than 45% of Africa's population lives in countries with the lowest adaptive capacity in the world, it is crucial to invest in basic social service systems, as well as in institutional capacity building. The benefits of financing climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts are enormous when it comes to building policy capacity. It is a catalyst and can at the same time contribute to the fight against poverty and sustainable development in Africa.
The purpose of this Donors Roundtable is to foster the necessary financial resources to achieve the adaptation of African agriculture to climate change.
Panel 1: Prioritization and Anchoring of Climate Financing
- Presentation of the Climate Smart Investment Plans (CSAIPs) development vision and process and the role of AAA.
- Presentation of the results and possibilities for the implementation of the CSAIPs.
- Importance of multi-country exchanges on climate financing.
Panel 2: Regional strategies to mobilize climate financing, AAA as the agriculture arm of AAI
- Presentation of regional strategies to mobilize climate finance in African countries.
- Status of climate finance in Africa and future trends.
- Presentation of results of the first dialogue on the implementation of the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) for agriculture in Africa, held on 22 and 23 July 2019 in Rabat.
- Role of the private sector in popularizing market-level adaptation/financing or subsidies and public finance? Policy choices or parts of a “holistic” system.
Panel 3: Private Sector
- How to facilitate the effective engagement of the private sector in climate action in African agriculture?
- How to build Private Public Partnership in climate financing for African agriculture?