The limited engagement of the private sector is a major barrier to developing innovative and scalable climate adaptation solutions in West Africa, Mr Komlan Messie, General Secretary, West Africa Civil Society Forum (WACSOF), has observed.
From the perspectives of civil society, Mr Messie said, the private sector held a huge potential to leverage financial resources, new technology and services for climate adaptation initiatives in developing countries while still targeting the poorest households and respecting human rights.
He was delivering the opening address at a Best Practices and Learning Workshop on the West Africa Dialogue on Private Climate Financing (CISU Project) in Accra on Tuesday.
The CISU Project, implemented from January 16 to February 2017, was designed to contribute to the debate on climate financing with a focus on how the private sector or businesses can fund climate adaptation initiatives in West Africa. In other words, the CISU Project was designed to engage civil society, the private sector and public policy makers on harnessing private sector financing for climate change adaptation.
Representatives from five civil society partners from Ghana, Burkina Faso, Togo, Niger, Nigeria and Mali attended the two-day workshop which ended yesterday.
The workshop, organized by Oxfam in Ghana, provided a platform for the different partners across the project to share lessons, results and key outcomes during the implementation process of the CISU Project.
In his remarks, Mr Zakaria Sulemana, Inequality Programmes and Campaigns Manger, Oxfam in Ghana, said Oxfam was working with WACSOF, ABANTU for Development and SOS Sahel to research on climate adaptation and to build capacity to advocate for the private financing of climate adaptation and to support advocacy in that regard.
WACSOF is the civil society umbrella of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), covering the 15 countries of West Africa.
Source: ISD (G. D. Zaney)