On 3 December, Joel Ruet was among the guests at the official launch of the Climate Study Fund (“Fonds d’Étude Climat” or FEC) of the West African Development Bank (WADB), during a COP28 side event organised by the WADB with the support of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). Developed as part of a technical assistance programme financed by the French Development Agency (AFD), the FEC aims to strengthen regional integration, food security and the response to climate challenges within the WAEMU. In 2022, Joel Ruet was consulted on the economic sizing of this fund and took part in the BOAD’s discussions with the WAEMU Economic Commission and the Central Bank of West African States (CBWAS).
This Fund, designed as a “project origination” tool, is intended to counter the tenacious but false belief that there are not enough bankable projects in developing economies, one of the Bridge Tank’s research themes (see our report on commercial bank financing in sub-Saharan Africa), and specifically aims to strengthen the capacity to mobilise financial resources dedicated to climate action in the UEMOA region. Officially approved by the WADB Board of Directors and the WAEMU Council of Ministers last September, the FEC’s mission is to support environmental project developers in carrying out feasibility studies.
The WADB views the Fund’s role as that of a tool to help WAEMU countries overcome the difficulties encountered in financing their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and to remove existing obstacles to the preparation of environmental projects, such as the low financial capacity of climate project developers, the lack of financing for project maturation in WAEMU countries, or the limited technical capacity to draw up the documentation required for financeable climate projects.
The launch event at COP28 in Dubai was also marked by the signing of an agreement between the WADB and AFD covering the replenishment of this fund, with the two organisations represented by Serge Ekue, President of the WADB, and Rémy Rioux, Chief Executive Officer of AFD. The WAEMU was represented by Commissioner Kako Nubukpo, in charge of the Department of Agriculture, Water Resources and the Environment.
From this start-up contribution of CFAF 10 billion, the FEC’s endowment is set to grow rapidly, and then be renewed annually.