THE AFRICAN CLIMATE FOUNDATION

The ACF is the first African led strategic climate change grant-making foundation on the continent. Building on the success of partner organisations like the European Climate Foundation and Climate Works, the ACF was established to provide a mechanism through which philanthropies can contribute to Africa’s efforts to address climate change. As an African-led and African-based foundation, we are committed to supporting African solutions to the climate change challenges facing the continent. We are currently in the process of developing our Africa Strategy and will be establishing regional offices in key African geographies over the next coming years.

WHAT WE DO

Working with philanthropies

We work closely with philanthropic organizations to identify strategic opportunities to support adaptation, resilience and mitigation initiatives on the continent and to unlock new opportunities for sustainable development in Africa.

Partnering with African organizations

We partner with Africa focused organisations working to address climate change and champion climate justice on the African continent. We provide a mechanism through which organisations can access new sources of funding and leverage others.

Supporting thought leadership

We support and develop networks to enable greater knowledge sharing. We are also creating a hub for thought leadership, leveraging existing expertise and knowledge on the continent to interrogate and spearhead new ideas on how to address climate change in Africa.

OUR APPROACH

The challenge that African countries face is how to simultaneously achieve their developmental objectives while adapting to and building resilience against climate change. While our work is primarily focused on climate change, we are also committed to supporting interventions that have the potential to unlock new avenues of development for African countries.

We recognize complexity

We believe that climate change issues cannot be explored or addressed in isolation but must be located within the broader developmental framework, as part of a bigger and more complex system.

We believe in collaboration

We work closely with a range of partners from civil society, academia, government, business, labour and funding organisations both within Africa and across the globe. We believe that co-creation is critical for ensuring that mitigation, adaptation and resilience initiatives are tailored to meet Africa’s specific needs.

We act on evidence

We are committed to drawing on and generating the most current, scientifically robust, and multi-disciplinary data and evidence available to inform our work.

“If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far go together”

OUR WORK

While we already have projects on the ground, we are also in the process of developing our Africa Strategy. This strategy, which will be finalised by the end of 2020, will inform our programmatic focus areas, our Theory of Change and our grant-making strategy. In the development of the Africa Strategy, we are seeking, through an extensive consultation process, to draw on the considerable body of knowledge and expertise on the continent to identify programmes of work that will complement existing efforts to build climate change resilience in Africa. Underlying the development of our Africa Strategy is the belief that climate change cannot be explored or addressed in isolation. We are therefore working to bridge the traditional gap (theoretically and practically) between climate change and development. Preliminary consultation and research by our team suggests that there are five broad thematic areas that the ACF may pursue.

Energy transitions & access

Electricity and energy, more generally, is critical for driving development. However, sub-Saharan Africa remains the most electricity poor region in the world - despite its significant resources. Addressing Africa’s energy security, through the use of its renewable resources, provides countries with the opportunity to support their immediate development objectives, improve the lives of their people and create new economic opportunities in clean energy industries.

Cities

Cities and towns throughout Africa are projected to be home to half of Africa’s population by 2050. At present, financial and capacity constraints are resulting in urban decay and sprawl in many of Africa’s cities. This is impacting on the sustainability of these cities and inhabitants’ quality of life. Renewing urban landscapes in sustainable ways by, for example, deploying clean technology solutions, has the potential to unlock new economic opportunities, reduce existing infrastructure deficits and improve the conditions of citizens.

Ecosystems & livelihoods

Certain landscapes, such as key water source areas, are critical for ensuring the resources necessary to sustain human existence and support development. Competition for land, deforestation, and unsustainable economic activities (like coal mining) are threatening many of Africa’s key biodiversity areas and people’s livelihoods. Protecting these areas and supporting alternative economic opportunities, such as regenerative agriculture, can help to ensure the sustainability of these resources for Africa’s future. There are also potential avoided emissions co-benefits for African countries.

Resource sectors, value chains & infrastructure

To achieve its development objectives, Africa needs to address its infrastructure gap. Climate and other sources of finance could be used to support climate resilient infrastructure deployment. Africa is also host to many of the mineral resources necessary for clean technologies. Ensuring that these resources are responsibly extracted is critical for Africa’s adaptive capacity. The strategic nature of these resources also provides countries with greater bargaining power, giving them more room to extract value through, for example, greater beneficiation. There are also many possibilities across the value chain in clean industries (such as renewable energy technologies) to drive value add for African countries and support new types of manufacturing, industrial capabilities and allied services.

The climate-health nexus

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the vulnerability of the world at large and the developing world in particular to the emergence of new forms of disease. It has revealed the risk that inadequate health infrastructure, existing health burdens (e.g. malnutrition), poor access to medical services and poor social conditions (like overcrowding, lack of access to clean water and sanitation etc.) pose to realizing people’s well-being. It has also demonstrated that the boundaries between climate and health do not exist in reality. Climate change will bring about new health challenges. Many lessons can be drawn from the COVID-19 experience about how to build resilience (through, for example, improved infrastructure, access etc.) against future climate change related health challenges.

OUR WORK

While we already have projects on the ground, we are also in the process of developing our Africa Strategy. This strategy, which will be finalised by the end of 2020, will inform our programmatic focus areas, our Theory of Change and our grant-making strategy. In the development of the Africa Strategy, we are seeking, through an extensive consultation process, to draw on the considerable body of knowledge and expertise on the continent to identify programmes of work that will complement existing efforts to build climate change resilience in Africa. Underlying the development of our Africa Strategy is the belief that climate change cannot be explored or addressed in isolation. We are therefore working to bridge the traditional gap (theoretically and practically) between climate change and development. Preliminary consultation and research by our team suggests that there are five broad thematic areas that the ACF may pursue.

Energy transitions & access

Electricity and energy, more generally, is critical for driving development. However, sub-Saharan Africa remains the most electricity poor region in the world - despite its significant resources. Addressing Africa’s energy security, through the use of its renewable resources, provides countries with the opportunity to support their immediate development objectives, improve the lives of their people and create new economic opportunities in clean energy industries.

Cities

Cities and towns throughout Africa are projected to be home to half of Africa’s population by 2050. At present, financial and capacity constraints are resulting in urban decay and sprawl in many of Africa’s cities. This is impacting on the sustainability of these cities and inhabitants’ quality of life. Renewing urban landscapes in sustainable ways by, for example, deploying clean technology solutions, has the potential to unlock new economic opportunities, reduce existing infrastructure deficits and improve the conditions of citizens.

Ecosystems & livelihoods

Certain landscapes, such as key water source areas, are critical for ensuring the resources necessary to sustain human existence and support development. Competition for land, deforestation, and unsustainable economic activities (like coal mining) are threatening many of Africa’s key biodiversity areas and people’s livelihoods. Protecting these areas and supporting alternative economic opportunities, such as regenerative agriculture, can help to ensure the sustainability of these resources for Africa’s future. There are also potential avoided emissions co-benefits for African countries.

Resource sectors, value chains & infrastructure

To achieve its development objectives, Africa needs to address its infrastructure gap. Climate and other sources of finance could be used to support climate resilient infrastructure deployment. Africa is also host to many of the mineral resources necessary for clean technologies. Ensuring that these resources are responsibly extracted is critical for Africa’s adaptive capacity. The strategic nature of these resources also provides countries with greater bargaining power, giving them more room to extract value through, for example, greater beneficiation. There are also many possibilities across the value chain in clean industries (such as renewable energy technologies) to drive value add for African countries and support new types of manufacturing, industrial capabilities and allied services.

The climate-health nexus

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the vulnerability of the world at large and the developing world in particular to the emergence of new forms of disease. It has revealed the risk that inadequate health infrastructure, existing health burdens (e.g. malnutrition), poor access to medical services and poor social conditions (like overcrowding, lack of access to clean water and sanitation etc.) pose to realizing people’s well-being. It has also demonstrated that the boundaries between climate and health do not exist in reality. Climate change will bring about new health challenges. Many lessons can be drawn from the COVID-19 experience about how to build resilience (through, for example, improved infrastructure, access etc.) against future climate change related health challenges.

MEET THE TEAM

Saliem Fakir

Executive Director


Saliem Fakir has over twenty years’ experience in the field of renewable energy policy and financing. Prior to establishing the African Climate Foundation, Saliem served on the Executive of the WWF South Africa as the Head of the Policy & Futures Unit for 11 years. 

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Evansa Roos

Finance Manager


Evansa Roos is a CA with extensive experience in corporate and public accounting. Evansa was the Head of Finance and the Acting Director at Ikamva Labantu, a Cape Town based NGO supporting just and sustainable futures for impoverished communities. 

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Francis Fick

Executive Assistant


Francis Fick holds a BSc degree in Environmental and Geographical Science from her studies at the University of Cape Town. Francis is a talented writer with an aptitude for problem solving and out of the box thinking and for passionately applying herself to social and environmental challenges. 

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Board & Consultants


Our work is supported by an experienced board and a number of freelance consultants with expertise in Sustainable Economic Development, Policy Research, Human Resources and Organisational Design.  

WHAT WE DO

We work with philanthropies

We work closely with philanthropies to identify strategic opportunities to support Africa’s development agenda through adaptation, resilience and mitigation initiatives on the continent.

We partner with African organizations

We partner with organisations working to address climate change issues and champion climate justice on the African continent. We provide a mechanism through which organisations can access new sources of funding and leverage others.

We support networks & thought leadership

We support existing networks and develop new ones (where necessary) to enable greater knowledge sharing. We are also creating a hub for thought leadership, leveraging existing expertise and knowledge on the continent to interrogate and spearhead new ideas and thinking about how to address climate change in Africa.