Tuesday, December 5, 2023


Akinwumi Adesina: Why Africa’s GDP must be revalued

Akinwumi Adesina: Why Africa’s GDP must be revalued
September 05
21:04 2023

Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), says Africa’s carbon sequestration capacity must be accounted for in its overall gross domestic product (GDP).

Carbon sequestration is the capturing and storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) in plants, soils, geologic formations, and the ocean.

Speaking on Tuesday at the Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi, Kenya, Adesina said Africa has a rich natural wealth and the largest carbon mass, yet the emissions it sequesters are not being accounted for.

“We must revalue the wealth of Africa by accounting for the proper valuation of our abundant natural resources, including the diverse forests that sequester the carbon,” he said


“The Congo forest basin is the world’s largest carbon mass, larger than the Amazon forest. Yet Africa’s rich nature wealth and the global value of this carbon it sequesters for the world are not accounted for, in the estimation of its GDP.

“It is not enough to praise Africa for its rich natural capital, its GDP must take that into consideration. Africa’s GDP must therefore be revalued based on its carbon sequestration and biodiversity to provide global public goods.

“If this is done, the test to adjust the GDP ratio of several African countries must offer more funds to support their economy, including investing in the greening of their economies.


“We must therefore turn Africa’s economies green, not because others asked us to do so but because it is in our interest to do so. Africa must develop its own carbon markets, properly drive it and turn its vast carbon sinks into new sources of enormous wealth.”


Adesina enumerated initiatives that the AfDB will be financing to tackle climate change in Africa.

The AfDB president said the bank hopes to address issues bordering on food insecurity, power, marginalised groups, youth entrepreneurship and climate disasters.


He said addressing the climate crisis requires action at three levels – meeting the $100 billion climate finance pledge at the global level; changing the global climate financial architecture to prioritise the needs of Africa; and accelerating action on climate adaptation at the national level.

“That is why the African Development Bank has committed to providing $25 billion towards climate finance by 2025,” he said.

“We have also launched the African adaptation acceleration programme together with the Global Centre on Adaptation (GCA), the largest climate adaptation programme in the world.

“We must fully unlock Africa’s renewable energy potential. That is why the African Development Bank is implementing a $20 billion designated power programme to harness the power of solar and deliver electricity for 250 million people.


“We must power every home, every school, every hospital and provide stable, affordable and reliable power.”

Adesina also announced a $1 billion initiative to support youth-led solutions as well as a $72 billion to support African countries in ensuring food security within the next five years.


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