Building Knowledge and Skills in Natural Capital to Improve Development Finance in Africa

Region & Country
6 months

Teeming with wildlife, biodiverse landscapes, and a wealth of natural resources, Africa relies heavily on its natural capital. For more than 70% of people living in sub-Saharan Africa, the continent’s diverse natural landscapes are critical for sustaining their livelihoods. However, this great wealth of natural capital is often unaccounted for in investment and development decisions, and pressures such as energy and transportation infrastructure threaten to undermine the ecosystems supporting human livelihoods and well being. To address the need for widespread understanding of natural capital and its value in development policies and investments, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is implementing the Natural Capital Academy through the Natural Capital for African Development Finance (NC4-ADF) initiative, a project being led by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Green Growth Knowledge Partnership (GGKP)

Conservation Strategy Fund is developing a course on natural capital for development finance that will provide tools and knowledge for development planning professionals to integrate natural capital finance into their work. The course will be delivered both online and in-person for the Natural Capital Academy. The course format will include presentations and reading materials accompanied by quizzes to gauge the participants’ comprehension of the topics, as well as interactive peer-to-peer learning among cohorts, practical case study examples, and a final applied project exercise. The course will be designed specifically for development finance institutions (DFIs), including members of the African Development Bank, members of partner organizations of the African Association of Development Finance Institutions, and development cooperation professionals, as well as private and public stakeholders. After designing the course, CSF will run both in-person and online pilot training sessions with participants from African DFIs, adjusting the course modules according to the feedback received from these sessions. Finally, CSF will ensure that the course is prepared to be administered by AfDB for many future iterations. 

This collaboration with WWF, AfDB, and GGKP will contribute to more sustainable economic development outcomes through natural capital education for decision-makers, investors, and other stakeholders across Africa. 

Photo: Road construction near Yabelo, Ethiopia
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