Adaptation Fund senior climate specialist Mahamat Assouyouti to assume duty as Minister in Chad


Adaptation Fund (AF) Senior Climate Change Specialist Mahamat Assouyouti has been appointed Minister of Economy, Planning and International Cooperation in his home country of Chad, and will be leaving the Fund soon to fully assume the new post.

Assouyouti has worked at the AF for almost four and a half years since joining in 2019, and offers excellent experience to Chad having led AF’s Results-Based Management framework and active portfolio of projects to which he brought new organizational innovations that helped improve processes amid rapid growth.

His time at AF, which funds concrete adaptation projects on the ground in developing countries and builds country ownership through innovative modalities like Direct Access, will serve him well in Chad where he will have the opportunity to help the country navigate through severe climate and development challenges.

Facing increasing desertification, environmental degradation and declining food sources, Chad is a UN-designated Least Developed Country and experienced unprecedented flooding in 2022 which affected 1.3 million people and displaced over 400,000.

AF Board Chair Antonio Navarra, of Italy, commended Mahamat on the appointment. “This is a grand achievement for Mahamat, and I wholeheartedly congratulate him on attaining the level of minister to serve his home country and wish him all the best in working to help improve lives and conditions in Chad,” he said. “This appointment also reflects very well on the Adaptation Fund and the important tangible, effective work it funds on the ground for vulnerable developing countries, so we are happy to see Chad gain such a highly competent and knowledgeable colleague in Mahamat to lead its important economy, planning and international cooperation activities.”

AFB Vice-Chair Lucas di Pietro, of Argentina, said Mahamat’s appointment will bring a unique perspective to Chad in the face of continually evolving development challenges in the context of climate change. “Mahamat’s many years of experience at the Adaptation Fund channeling real support and action from the global to national levels and ultimately delivering at the local level, combined with his dedication and professionalism, will prove to be a great asset in bringing solutions to the most vulnerable communities of the country,” he said.

In addition to the AF, Assouyouti worked previously for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) as operations coordinator for the executive director and further coordinated the Global Environment Facility (GEF) portfolio for the African Development Bank prior to that, among other posts. He also worked for the French Development Agency and holds a Master’s degree in Economics from Auvergne University in France as well as a Master of Arts in Leadership in Sustainable Finance from the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management in Germany. He brings over 15 years of experience in the environment, climate change and sustainable development fields to serve Chad, and is fluent in English, French and Arabic.

“This is bittersweet news for the Adaptation Fund, which is losing a consummate professional and valuable team leader who has helped the Fund continue to grow and succeed over the last several years. At the same time, it is excellent news for Mahamat and we wholeheartedly congratulate him and celebrate together his new assignment that will enable him to grow professionally and contribute to the development of his country. He will leave a large gap in the AF that we will need to fill, but we also congratulate Chad and its government which is gaining a stellar professional to help address its development and climate challenges,” said Mikko Ollikainen, Head of the Adaptation Fund.

Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, the Global Environment Facility’s CEO and Chairperson, who previously served three terms as Minister of Environment and Energy in Costa Rica, wished him well in the post. “Mahamat’s appointment is great news for Chad and for Africa. I wish him all the best in this post, where I know he will make many positive contributions towards a resilient and sustainable future. I know from my own experience how great an honor it is to serve one’s country, and I wish him every success.”

AF team members also universally praised Assouyouti, calling him an outstanding colleague who brought dedication, passion, vision and determination to the job as well as humility and compassion, and an excellent choice by Chad who is well-prepared to help address its challenges. “I am humbled and honored to accept this position to serve my country,” said Assouyouti. “But it has been a great pleasure working for the Adaptation Fund these last several years and gratifying to see the Fund’s positive impacts to improve climate resilience in vulnerable countries continue to grow and the different processes we put in place to monitor results effectively, as well as increasing collaborations with the other climate funds such as in project scale-up. I appreciate the dedication and support of my AF colleagues as well as the good cooperation with the Fund’s many partner organizations, and look forward to carrying these invaluable experiences into my new position in Chad where I hope to have the opportunity to help improve conditions on the ground for vulnerable communities directly.”