Managing Director's Remarks at the Leaders’ Dialogue on Adaptation Action in Africa and Inauguration of the Global Champion for the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program

July 7, 2022

Excellencies, Dear Friends:

Let me start by congratulating wholeheartedly President Kenyatta on your appointment as Global Champion for the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program.

Mr. President, your international leadership has already inspired others to step up climate action. We need Champions like you to mindfully scale up global adaptation and its financing; that is so important for the most vulnerable countries.

Your appointment could not be timelier. The challenges we face are tremendous.

People everywhere face a sharp increase in the cost of living, and food insecurity is dangerously rising in many regions. 

Many African countries must also contend with frequent extreme weather events that bring human tragedy and socio-economic disruption. Over the medium term, annual economic growth in Africa can decline an additional 1 percentage point with each drought.

This underlines the urgency for the green transition to include investments in resilience. But these investments come at a cost.

Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa need to spend at least 2 – 3 percent of GDP per year on adaptation. No country can do it alone, especially since many have elevated debts in the wake of the pandemic crisis.

So, it is critical for the international community to meet or exceed the goal of providing $100 billion in climate finance to developing countries each year, and importantly, to make sure a sizable amount of the climate finance goes to adaptation in addition to mitigation.

At the IMF, we are also stepping up, helping our members tackle climate change through policy advice, data, and capacity development. And with our new Resilience and Sustainability Trust, we will provide affordable financing so vulnerable countries can address longer-term challenges.

And in this work, we are partnering with others on the ground, including the Global Center on Adaptation.

As you, Mr. President, we believe building resilience helps turn challenges into opportunities. Prevention is not only more cost-effective than spending on disaster relief. But also investments in infrastructure, social safety nets, and climate-adaptive agriculture create jobs, raise incomes, and improve living standards. This is why the AAAP and its upstream financing facility are so important.

Your compatriot, Eliud Kipchoge once said: “100 percent of me is nothing compared to 1 percent of the whole team.”

Mr. President, under your Championship, I am convinced our global team will continue to grow to accelerate climate adaptation for the benefit of all. 

Thank you.

IMF Communications Department


Phone: +1 202 623-7100Email: