The African continent is the most vulnerable to the immediate effects of climate change this was revealed at the recent European Union-Africa Green Investment Forum.
Speaking at the Forum, European Investment Bank President Werner Hoyer said Africa is also responsible for some of the lowest greenhouse gas emissions per head.
“But this is also the continent where mistakes made elsewhere can be avoided. Africa can invest in innovative technologies and make the right choices for a sustainable and inclusive future,” said Hoyer.
African Development Bank (AfDB) President Dr Akinwumi Adesina reminded global audiences of the continent’s vast opportunities for green growth at the forum.
“Africa is a huge market offering incredible opportunities. The recovery pathway offers enormous opportunities. Recovery must be green and build climate resilience. Recovery must boost green investments,” Adesina said in the keynote address.
Adesina identified energy, agriculture and infrastructure as key areas of investment potential for a post-COVID-19 recovery in Africa. With abundant solar, wind, hydro and geothermal energy resources, Africa’s energy transition alone presents a $100 billion per year investment opportunity, he said.
While climate change is a huge challenge for Africa, Adesina urged investors to seize the opportunities it presents, which would be worth $3 trillion by 2030.
The African Development Bank is in the vanguard of investment in climate adaptation, he said, but over 70% of the financing needed will need to come from the private sector to complement public investments.
“The private sector, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, is critical in mitigating climate change and implementing adaptation methods. This calls for innovative approaches to attract and steer financial flows toward low carbon and climate resilient development,” Adesina said.
A greener Africa must also focus on the circular economy, in which waste can be recycled and turned into wealth.
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