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News 25 August 2022

Desmond Appiah joins Clean Air Fund, as we expand to Ghana

Former advisor to the Mayor of Accra, Desmond Appiah, is leading our work in Ghana. This marks our first formal expansion into Africa, which is often hit hardest by the climate crisis.

Former advisor to the Mayor of Accra, Desmond Appiah, has joined the Clean Air Fund to lead our work in Ghana. This marks our first formal expansion into Africa, where air pollution is a growing problem. The continent is often hit hardest by the effects of climate change.

With over two decades of experience in business and sustainability projects, Desmond has a strong record of advocacy for clean air and environmental leadership. He previously served as Program Manager for the African Cities for Clean Air (AC4CA) initiative of the C40 Climate Leadership Group. Prior to that, he was C40 City Advisor, and Chief Resilience and Sustainability Advisor to the Mayor of the City of Accra at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly.

This appointment builds on Clean Air Fund’s work in African cities, through our partnership with C40. Calls are growing for investment in air quality projects across the continent, where air pollution contributed to over 1 million deaths in 2019 – the second biggest killer after HIV/AIDS. 

Our work in Ghana will see us engage with city and national leaders, community groups and academic institutions to better understand the prevalence and impact of air pollution, and advocate for solutions. A locally-led and sustainable approach will help us to accelerate systemic change in a continent bearing the brunt of the climate crisis.

I’m delighted to start working with the Clean Air Fund to advance the clean air movement in Ghana and across Africa. Addressing air pollution presents a real opportunity to tackle the unique impacts of the climate crisis in Africa, and to support an informed path to sustainable development for the continent.”

Desmond Appiah

Desmond has extensive experience in coordinating city-level sustainable development plans in areas pertaining to air quality, climate change and disaster planning. He also served as city lead for WHO’s Urban Health Initiative’s BreatheLife Accra Project, focused on improving air quality in the city.

The Clean Air Fund has plans to start operating in another African country in 2023.

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Photo: Clean Air Fund’s Desmond Appiah and Jane Burston meet with Elizabeth Naa Kwatsoe Tawiah Sackey, Mayor of Accra. Credit: Accra Metropolitan Assembly.