US Vice President Kamala Harris is calling for $7 billion in US private sector investment to prepare the African continent to combat the consequences of climate change. Harris made the announcement Saturday on the last day of his week-long tour of the continent.
His agenda includes a visit to a farm on the outskirts of Lusaka, the Zambian capital, where new technologies are applied to increase production, part of his campaign to demonstrate how to secure food supplies despite global warming.
“The United States supports these kinds of innovative solutions to support climate adaptation, mitigation, and resilience,” he said at a press conference with President Hakainde Hichilema on Friday.
Harris, who has previously passed through Ghana and Tanzania, is seeking to boost US efforts to penetrate Africa, where Chinese influence runs deep. The $7 billion announcement is the biggest in terms of money, but it will take a lot of effort to get it done.
African Parks, an NGO, has committed to raising $1.25 billion over the next seven years to expand its nature conservation program. Another organization, the One Acre Fund, plans to raise $100 million to plant 1 billion trees by the end of the decade.
Climate change politics is complex in Africa, which has contributed much less to greenhouse gas emissions than wealthier regions of the world, such as the United States. According to the International Energy Agency, 43% of Africans did not have access to electricity in 2021 and recent widespread blackouts have caused anger.
In Ghana, Harris was asked at a news conference how the West can demand that Africa refrain from using its natural resources, and rich countries would honor their commitment under the Paris accords to provide $100 billion a year to help the poor. poor countries to face climate change.
Harris replied that it is of “global importance that we global leaders tell the truth about the disparities that exist in terms of cause and effect and address those disparities.” He asserted that there were opportunities in the “clean energy economy” that would help generate growth in Africa.
As for money, President Joe Biden has asked for $11 billion in his proposed budget to meet international commitments.
“We are waiting for Congress to do its homework,” Harris said.
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