Business Climate Community Development

The Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative on the cards

Climate change impacting livelihoods

The Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative (CABRI), in conjunction with the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), the International Budget Partnership (IBP) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has announced the launching of the Inclusive Budgeting and Financing for Climate Change in Africa (IBFCCA) programme, a SIDA-funded initiative, the Centurion has revealed.

This is a 5-year programme with an initial 12-month inception phase followed by a four-year implementation phase which aims to respond to the climate change impact on Africa.

It also seeks to encourage institutional change, strong leadership, and buy-in across government and amongst state and non-state accountability actors. The inception phase has an allocation of USD 1.2 million, funded by Sida.

The SIDA Head of the Regional Section Ulla Andrén said an effective response to climate change must include women and budget allocations for mitigation.

The CABRI Executive Secretary, Neil Cole indicated that it was crucial that the budget of the nation reveals the investment that will be able to mitigate and adapt to climate change which will affect the livelihoods of the most African populations.

Without climate change adaptation, the Net Present Value of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stream between now and 2050 for the African continent will fall by between 6 percent and 12 percent. This is according to the recent African Public Expenditure on Adaptation (APEA) analysis.

“The impact will be up to two times higher for 18 countries including ten in West Africa, five in East Africa, Mozambique and two island states. Countries with diverse economies are often most resilient, and African economies that are more dependent on agriculture are especially vulnerable,” APEA highlighted.

In addition to these economic impacts on African countries, it is widely acknowledged that climate change-induced weather hazards disproportionately threaten the livelihoods and lives of those who are poor and marginalized, particularly women and girls.

The IBFCCA programme, therefore, recognises that adaptation to climate change is a pressing issue for Africa’s most vulnerable populations.

It also recognizes that to date, climate change has been addressed largely as an “environment” issue in Africa and led by ministries of environment, which are generally not well placed to manage an effective response to an issue that affects and requires actions by a broad range of sectors.

In addition, with growing macro-economic impacts and links to expenditure and revenue policy, there is a strong case for ministries of finance to become involved in climate change policy and to mobilise the wider national and local budgetary processes involving government, legislatures, development partners, and civil society.

In response to these multipronged challenges, the IBFCCA programme supports stronger links between climate change policy and the budget process, with the ministry of finance as the key interlocuters and highlights the role of women in climate change integration.

The overarching objectives of the programme are aimed at reducing climate change impact, especially for women, help identify and promote opportunities for low carbon growth.

As a gender-related intervention, the IBFCCA programme is also aimed at drawing attention to the impact of climate change on women.

In some African cultures, women have a strong role in promoting social cohesion, which is key to building resilience.

Unfortunately, due to a range of structural and socio-political reasons, women are often excluded from formal policy formulation and accountability processes.

The programme seeks to encourage African governments to take gender issues into account when designing actions that respond to climate change.

This will require efforts to recognize, engage and support women as active and informed agents. Equally, African governments need to ensure that climate change is considered when designing actions that promote gender equality, and this will require greater awareness about climate change.

The IBFCCA will be tackling the climate change challenge on several levels with the inception phase being open to the whole of Africa at two levels of engagement with focus countries and associated countries.

Two focus countries have been identified based on existing work and engagement with climate change Ghana and Uganda.

Associate countries will participate in the South-South peer learning and exchanges with countries that have a strong interest and some experience in climate change planning and budgeting such as Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Tanzania, and Zambia.

The programme has three components which include; South-South learning on integrating climate change in fiscal and budget planning, led by CABRI. This focuses on pan-African dialogue and knowledge management.

The second one is Country-based work led by UNDP which will support two-country actions in the Inception Phase with the first be a country review and the second will support piloting a new budget/finance practice.

The last and the third objective is on climate finance governance work led by the IBP and IIED which will involve a structured programme of accountability assessments and capacity building for partner Civil Society Organisations in two countries that is Ghana and Uganda.

For the upcoming activity, the inception phase will comprise four virtual peer learning and exchange events. The first peer learning and exchange on the integration of climate change into budgeting and finance will take place on 23 and 24 February 2021.

It will provide a platform for knowledge sharing and facilitate South-South learning on approaches used to integrate climate change into budgeting and finance, with a focus on Africa. Officials from African ministries of finance, planning, environment, and other relevant line ministries will be invited to participate and present their experience with climate change integration.

The IBFCAA programme aims to work primarily with African expertise. There will be a variety of short-term opportunities for experts with experience that covers both climate change and public finance management. The programme welcomes contact from African experts interested in this work.

About the author

Byron Adonis Mutingwende