The President of the European-African Green Investment Forum, Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, told delegates during a virtual forum held over the weekend, that the African continent boasts vast opportunities for green growth.
In an effort to raise private and public capital for greening opportunities in Africa, the event saw leading government and business role-players convene alongside prominent academia as part of the European Investment Bank’s Forum.
Adesina identified energy, agriculture and infrastructure as key areas of investment potential for a post-Covid-19 recovery in Africa. He told delegates that with the continent’s abundant solar, wind, hydro and geothermal energy resources, Africa’s energy transition presented a $100 billion per year investment opportunity. Especially agriculture is leading the way with large investment in climate-smart crops towards building more resilient food systems. Climate-resilient infrastructure offers investment potential of between $130 billion and $170 billion, Adesina said.
Speakers during this hybrid-Forum, emphasised the need for building a greener Africa, collectively. President Joe Biden on Thursday committed to cut carbon emissions by 50-52% below 2005 levels by 2030.
Josefa Sako, African Union Commissioner called for “everyone to come on board” and said it has become necessary to recognise the historical responsibility of the developed world for climate change.
Werner Hoyer, European Investment Bank President, said partnerships forged in addressing the Covid-19 crisis should now be applied to climate change. He acknowledged that Africa could be the most vulnerable to the immediate effects of climate change while being responsible for some of the lowest greenhouse gas emissions per head. “Africa can invest in innovative technologies and make the right choices for a sustainable and inclusive future,” Hoyer said.
In a recorded message during the opening session, António Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, said the gathering was an opportunity to strengthen partnerships and boost investment in Africa for the benefit of all. It is predicted that by 2030, opportunities on the continent could generate USD 3 trillion.
Despite the African Development Bank being in the vanguard of investment in climate adaptation, more than 70% of financing needs will need to be generated by the private sector to complement public investments. Especially small and medium-sized enterprises were mentioned as of critical importance in mitigating damaging climate change.
The European Commission’s External Investment Plan was lauded and the World Bank once again committed itself to strong partnerships with Africa.
“Africa is already green. Africa just needs to get greener. What is needed now is more euros to back Africa’s green growth. Think about the tremendous green investment opportunities available today and many more that will emerge into the future. Think differently, think Africa,”- Dr Adesina, Green Investment Forum.