The African Development Bank (AfDB) has unveiled an ambitious $1 billion plan aimed at providing insurance to more than 40 million farmers across Africa, protecting them from the negative impacts of climate change. The presentation of the plan was held in Dubai during a side event of the COP28 underway in the Emirati city.
Called the Africa Climate Risk Insurance Facility for Adaptation (Acrifa), the plan aims to mobilize concessional funds, high-risk capital and grants to support Africa’s insurance sector. AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina highlighted the importance of protecting farmers and countries from weather-related disasters, as well as stimulating private sector investment in agriculture by mitigating risks.
“Their only insurance is to pray… that when they plant it will rain. Pray when they harvest that there is no rain or pest devastation and pray when they market their crops that prices do not collapse,” Adesina said, highlighting that more than 97% of African farmers do not have agricultural insurance.
Acrifa (which was presented in September during the Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi) is the result of a collaboration between governments, development agencies, the insurance sector and the private sector. Cindy McCain, executive director of the World Food Programme, praised the program, saying it will play a crucial role in protecting smallholders, pastoralists and small businesses from climate impacts.
During the discussion following the presentation, Ibrahima Diong of the African Risk Capability Group and Bogolo Kenewendo, Special Advisor to the United Nations Climate Change High-Level Champion, expressed confidence in Acrifa, underlining its potential to stimulate investment and resilience in systems African agri-food.
The issue of environmental data has emerged as a critical challenge. Hope Murera, CEO of the Insurer Training Center Zep-Re Academy, raised the issue of acquiring quality data to establish appropriate pricing. The need for collaboration was highlighted by Bridget Gainer of Aon, one of the world‘s leading risk management firms.
In closing, the Bank’s Vice President for Agriculture, Humanity and Social Development, Beth Dunford, highlighted the importance of Acrifa in bringing together key players.
“The insurance market in Africa is huge,” Dunford underlined. “This tool will bring together key actors to facilitate outreach at scale, to create linkages between actors and to enable insurance to reach more of the continent’s most vulnerable people.” [Da Redazione InfoAfrica]
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