GCF Readiness resources boost Senegal’s climate capacities

GCF Readiness support to Senegal

  • Article type Story
  • Publication date 21 Dec 2021

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is helping Senegal build its ability to tackle climate change through Readiness funding. This is a special type of support GCF provides to developing counties in the form of grants and technical assistance to build national capacities – outside of GCF’s USD 10 billion portfolio of climate finance projects and programmes.

A primary goal of GCF’s Readiness support is to enhance the capacity of national institutions in developing countries to efficiently engage with GCF. GCF has approved 11 climate finance projects in Senegal, financing a total of USD 164.4 million. Seven of these are  multi-country climate action initiatives. These projects demonstrate Senegal’s capacity to access a variety of climate financing resources and to engage regionally for robust climate change action.

The Republic of Senegal is in West Africa, with a national territory of 196,722 km and a population of about 16.3M inhabitants. The country has three climatic zones – a desert zone in the north, a semi-arid zone in the centre, and a tropical savanna zone in the south. It is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, especially to rising sea levels and coastal erosion.

The economy of Senegal is dependent largely on climate sensitive sectors such as agriculture, fishing, and tourism, which generate about 60 percent of its national employment. Despite having a good potential for developing renewable energy solutions, the country’s economy is dependent on fossil fuels, and its estimated CO2 emissions per capita are 0.7 tons.

A large proportion of the country’s population lives in rural areas, and only about 44 percent of the rural population has access to electricity. Senegal is in need of not only planned urban development, but also rural electrification - without increasing its dependency on fossil fuels. The national government is therefore developing climate-related measures and policies to reduce fossil fuel consumption, while moving the country towards a renewable energy-based economy.


Transitioning to renewable energy

Senegal has indicated it is adopting a new development model and, through its “Plan for an Emerging Senegal” (PES), making the country an emerging economy by the year 2035. Achieving this goal implies a widescale national transformation, including restructuring the energy sector and attaining universal energy access by 2025. In 2010, Senegal adopted one of the first national renewable energy laws in West Africa. It has the first solar photovoltaic module manufacturing facility in the region. Senegal is engaged in several regional and local renewable energy related projects, including those promoting rural electrification and reducing CO2 emissions.


Senegal and the GCF

GCF supports Senegal in enhancing country ownership and improving its access to climate-related resources. This is aligned with GCF’s strategic objective of significantly increasing direct access funding to developing countries, along with improving the speed, predictability, efficiency, effectiveness and transparency of GCF’s climate finance support. GCF is enabling the country’s transition to renewable energy through seven projects that will improve renewable energy generation and access. Six of these projects are multi-country projects and one is a country focused project – the Solar Rural Electrification Project (AESER).

Senegal has received Readiness support from GCF through six approved grants. The first Readiness support grant was approved in 2015 to establish and strengthen the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MESD) as the National Designated Authority (NDA), which acts as the country’s official liaison point with GCF. The subsequent Readiness grants supported the development of strategic frameworks for engaging with GCF, including preparing a country programme, applying for accreditation of Direct Access Entities (DAEs), and enhancing the country’s governance to ease access to climate finance.

Since 2015, Senegal has direct access to GCF’s financial support through a national DAE, Le Centre de Suivi Ecologique (CSE). CSE was the first regional DAE to be accredited in Africa. In 2019, the Attijariwafa Bank (AWB), a regional bank, was also accredited as a DAE for Senegal. Direct access to GCF support was further strengthened in 2020 with the accreditation of La Banque Agricole (LBA), a national bank. Senegal’s climate governance structure, which includes the three DAEs, allows the country to receive GCF’s financing for a wide range of projects in climate change adaptation, mitigation, and cross-cutting areas.

See more about these initiatives here.


GCF Readiness support to  Senegal in numbers

RPSP grants approved


USD approved


USD disbursed



Key Lessons

Senegal has established a robust climate change governance and planning structure, with the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development as a GCF National Designated Authority and the three DAEs. This has allowed the country to access climate financing resources from GCF. This is evident in the six Readiness grants and the 11 funded projects in Senegal which have been approved by the GCF Board.

The improved access of Senegal to climate financing is also enhanced by the different geographical scope and nature of work of the three DAEs: (1) Le Centre de Suivi Ecologique is a Senegal-based institution with regional activities and core capacities in climate monitoring, environmental impact assessment, and the design and implementation of nature-based solutions for enhancing resilience and climate change adaption;(2) the Attijariwafa Bank (AWB) is a regional bank; and (3) La Banque Agricole (LBA) is a national bank.

Senegal’s structure of mobilising climate finance resources supports the achievement of Senegal national’s objectives towards achieving its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Also, its committed engagement in multi-country projects supported by GCF enables important South-South cooperation for sharing implementation experiences and synergising national efforts across borders, leveraging of finances and capacities through multi-stakeholder participation, and scaling-up and replication of climate change mitigation and adaptation solutions.

In addition, Senegal is taking a multifaceted and integrated approach to address national and regional climate change challenges by accessing GCF’s financial resources. It is implementing a wide range of financial solutions. These include concessional loans targeted at different scales of climate change solutions, equity financing, equity with technical assistance, blended financing; as well as a diverse range of regionally/nationally/sub-nationally appropriate ‘technological’ interventions.

This multi-level approach through collaboration between GCF and Senegal furthers positive climate action and helps to achieve sustainable development goals. This is designed to boost  national and regional momentum, while helping GCF achieve its mission of driving a paradigm shift toward low-carbon climate resilient development.