Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : New UK projects announced to fight climate change in Africa [September 2023]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 4 September 2023.

UK Minister for Development and Africa Andrew Mitchell announces new projects worth £49 million while visiting Kenya for the first Africa Climate Summit.

  • New climate finance and resilience projects worth £49 million will be delivered across Africa
  • Funding announced as UK minister attends first Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi and reaffirms £11.6 billion international climate finance pledge
  • The UK is committed to the fight against climate change in Africa, delivering on its promise of mutually beneficial and reliable investment

New UK-backed projects worth £49 million will be announced at the inaugural Africa Climate Summit, hosted by Kenya from 4 to 6 September. These projects will focus on mobilising finance for climate action and help people manage the impact of climate change across the continent – 2 critical areas in Africa’s fight against climate change. The funding will help to create jobs, grow economies and improve the lives of women, farmers and at-risk communities.

This delivers on the UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly’s promise of honest reliable investment in Africa when he visited Kenya in December 2022, along with COP26 commitments, demonstrating the strength and capability of UK-Africa partnerships.

This includes £34 million for new projects across 15 African countries to help women, at-risk communities, and more than 400,000 farmers build resilience against the effects of climate change, under the established CLARECIWA and WISER programmes. Early warning systems, such as text alerts, radio and social networks, will help hard-to-reach communities take action before extreme climate events occur, and these projects will also improve water security for more than 1.5 million people.

Seven new climate finance projects will also be launched at the Summit. Investments worth £15 million from UK-backed FSD Africa Investments will mobilise capital from private sources, allowing small-scale businesses to access finance, create innovative products and deliver inclusive tech solutions such as turning desert into land for farming. Together, these projects will improve access to basic services including renewable energy and healthcare for over 500,000 people, generate 3,400 jobs, and provide cheaper and reliable power to households.

UK Minister for Development and Africa Andrew Mitchell, said:

Our partnerships with African countries on green investment and climate resilience are growing economies and improving lives. But more action has to be taken, as those least responsible for climate change are increasingly bearing the brunt of its effects.

The UK is working closely with African partners to fight climate change, boost resilience and help those whose lives are most impacted.

Whilst in Nairobi, the Minister will reaffirm the UK’s commitment to providing £11.6 billion international climate finance over 5 years, and will call for rapid reform of the international financial system to unlock trillions of dollars to combat climate change. He will also welcome the launch of Weza Power, a new partnership between the Government of Burundi and UK-backed company Virunga Power, to expand energy access to almost 70% of Burundi’s population.

In addition, he will visit Nairobi Railway City, a regeneration of the city centre designed by British architects with the latest green technology and KES 11.5 billion of UK investment. This is 1 of 6 climate investment projects fast-tracked by President Ruto and Prime Minister Sunak at COP27. Since the meeting, construction has begun, and ground has been broken at a second project.

Minister Mitchell will also announce details of the third successive Climate and Development Ministerial, hosted by the COP28 UAE Presidency and the UK ahead of COP28, with Malawi and Vanuatu as co-chairs. The Ministerial was first launched by the UK ahead of COP26 to generate tangible outcomes for climate finance access and loss and damage.

Further information

Climate Adaptation and Resilience research programme (CLARE)

£21.5 million of new projects under the CLARE programme. This is a COP26 commitment which is 15% co-funded by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

  • six new projects across fifteen countries
    • three of these projects will work with communities, universities, NGOs and governments in countries across the continent to build long-term water security and resilience while also strengthening social inclusion
    • the other projects will support women smallholder farmers in Uganda to develop climate-resilient practices, enable cross-border pastoralist communities in East Africa to better access and use climate information, and work with the private sector in Kenya for a gender-responsive livestock insurance product

Africa Regional Climate and Nature Programme (ARCAN) £12.5 million

  • Weather and Climate Information Services (WISER): Up to £4.5m of new projects
  • launch of new projects under the third phase of the successful WISER Africa programme, delivered by the UK based Met Office, which aims to improve the uptake of weather and climate information services to strengthen resilience to climate change and extreme weather events; this will build the climate resilience of 3 million people
  • ARCAN is a COP26 commitment

These new projects will:

  • build resilience to floods through strengthening early warning systems in West Africa
  • provide 400,000 farmers and agricultural workers in East Africa with better access to information on the weather and climate, enabling them to prepare and protect their crops
  • provide early warnings of extreme weather to marginalised urban communities across East and Southern Africa, helping to save lives and prevent damage to homes and livelihoods

Cooperation in International Waters in Africa (CIWA): £8 million

  • New UK funding of £8 million to the World Bank’s Cooperation in International Waters in Africa (CIWA) programme, to begin in 2023
  • CIWA supports African countries to manage shared water resources, ensure water systems are more resilient to climate change and help deliver the SDGs
  • support to CIWA comes from the Africa Regional Climate and Nature (ARCAN) programme
  • the UK was a founding donor and supported CIWA with £14.8 million from 2011 to 2018
  • to date, US$7 billion financing has been influenced by CIWA for cooperative management and development of mobilised transboundary waters investments, and 19.46 million people directly benefit from improved water resources management and development projects influenced by CIWA

FSD Africa / FSD Africa investments: £15 million

  • seven programmes across Africa which will provide financing, create start-ups, establish guarantees, and create associations to support green finance across Africa
    • impacts include job creation and improving access to basic services such as clean water and green electricity
    • this will mobilise millions from private sources, allowing small-scale businesses to access: finance; innovative products; funding for renewable energy and carbon capture developers; and support for innovative and inclusive tech solutions across Africa
  • SPARK: £2.35 million equity stake in Spark Energy, helping provide financing to project developers in the Captive Solar, distribution and Energy Efficiency across Sub-Saharan Africa. 1,400 jobs, and lower cost and reliable power supply to households.
  • Acre Export Fund: £10 million commitment toward Acre Export Finance Fund, a US $300 million fund set up to finance the uncovered portion of Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) backed climate aligned infrastructure projects in Africa, further unlocking local capital through a guarantee to local commercial banks. 2,000 jobs and access to basic services including renewable energy and healthcare for over 500,000 people.
  • Catalyst Fund: £3.5 million contribution to the next close of Catalyst Fund, an early-stage accelerator and venture builder focussed on supporting promising climate start-ups across Africa.

Weza Power

  • only 12% of the Burundi’s 12 million people currently have access to electricity
  • over a seven-year period, Weza Power will aim to connect 9 million people. Most of the new household customers currently burn kerosene and charcoal for energy, while businesses have to rely on expensive and polluting diesel generators
  • the project aims to raise US 1.4 billion investment to deliver this, without the government of Burundi needing to raise additional loans

The UK-Kenya Strategic Partnership

The UK-Kenya strategic partnership joint statement can be found here.