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Astral Aviation working for Africa’s progress

ABIDJAN/NAIROBI: November 08, 2017. The Green Climate Fund (GCF), set up as a result of the UN Paris Agreement, has partnered with the African Development Bank (AfDB) to pursue climate resilient and low-emission growth on the continent. AfDB says it had raised US$12 billion for low-carbon and climate resilient projects in the past five years.

Established in 2015, GCF is supported by 194 governments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries and to help adapt vulnerable societies to the impact of climate change.

ASTRAL AfricaReporting to the UN Convention on Climate Change (COP 23) in Bonn this week, Board co-chairman Ayman Shasly from Saudi Arabia said the GCF has approved US$2.65 billion in funding for 54 climate change projects and programs in 73 developing countries. Combined with co-financing from other organizations the GCF portfolio is now valued at US$9.16 billion.

"If the fight against climate change is not won in Africa, it cannot be won anywhere else, said Akinwumi Adesina, AfDB president. "Only by defeating the climate change threat in Africa can we reach a global solution," he added.

GCF executive director Howard Bamsey said the partnership with AfDB will be key in unlocking the potential across the African continent to pursue climate resilient and low-emission growth.

"The AfDB has already shown through its climate change action plan that it is committed to helping African countries implement their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement," said Bamsey. "Together, we work for Africa's progress."

Meanwhile Nairobi-based Astral Aviation and UK company Network Airline Management have signed a long-term lease with Air Atlanta Icelandic to operate a B747-400 freighter carrying flowers and vegetables to the UK from Kenya.

Sanjeev Gadhia, Astral Aviation founder and CEO said: "The newly acquired B747-400F from Air Atlanta Icelandic will strengthen our position as a market-leader in perishable exports from Kenya to the UK market. While most foreign carriers are reducing their capacity to Africa, Astral Aviation remains 'cautiously optimistic' of positive growth in perishable exports to Europe."

The new partnership said it expects to handle around 33,000 tonnes of perishables from East Africa to Europe a year. In 2015 Kenya flower exports totaled US$717 million by value and vegetable exports a further US$282 million.

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