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Africa loses 300,000 women, children annually to firewood smoke – AfDB

At least 300,000 women and children are lost annually in Africa to smoke from firewood, according to the African Development Bank (AfDB).

Akinwumi Adesina, president of the AfDB Group, disclosed this at a breakfast meeting with journalists ahead of the bank’s annual meetings in Accra, Ghana, on Monday.

Adesina said women were mostly affected in a bid to prepare decent meals for their families while children get involved, trying to help their mothers.

According to him, nine out of the 10 most vulnerable countries to climate change were in Africa while the continent is also the second most vulnerable region to climate change globally.

Adesina said climate change was stifling African economies, as the continent loses $7 billion to $15 billion to its effect. This amount is expected to rise to 50 billion dollars annually by 2040.

“Africa which accounts for just four percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions is short-changed by climate finance. Africa’s financing needs to address climate change ranges between $1.3 trillion and $1.6 trillion dollars in 2020 to 2030.

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“Africa is not getting enough resources to tackle climate change. The continent gets only three percent of total global climate finance.

“Climate financing mobilised globally falls short of Africa’s needs by 100 to127 billion dollars per year between 2020 to 2030.

“As per Paris agreement, African countries are committed to reducing their carbon emissions through energy transitions.

“The AfDB is spearheading investments in renewable energy. More than 86 percent of the energy generation investments by the Bank are in renewable energy,’’ he said.

Adesina said the continent would not rely only on renewables rather; it needed a combination of renewables with natural gas to ensure stability and energy security.

“Natural gas must be part of Africa’s ‘Just Energy’ transition systems. It should be noted that even if Africa triples the use of gas for gas-to-power, it will contribute less than 0.67 percent to global carbon emissions.

“So, Just Energy Transition must not short-change Africa’s growth and development, especially stable energy to power its industrialisation,’’ he said.

The bank’s annual meetings opened on Monday in Accra, Ghana and will end on May 27. NAN

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