Africa's private sector commits to scaling up climate action pathways

Africa’s private sector has affirmed its commitment to scale up climate action pathways for resilience and green industrialisation of Africa.

This is a collaboration of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), the African Climate Foundation (ACF), the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the Africa Business Council (ABC).

The commitment was made through the Africa Private Sector Commitment to Scaling up pathways to climate resilience and green and call to action through a statement signed by more than 20 private sector entities across Africa at the high-level side event during the ongoing 28th Conference of the Parties (COP 28), in Dubai.

Africa’s private sector, which accounts for 80 per cent of total production, 67 per cent of investment, and employs 90 per cent of the working-age population, is crucial in addressing global warming.

However, the continent faces challenges due to its high levels of social and economic vulnerability.

“Africa has an opportunity to be part of global value chains while at the same time establishing resilient continental value chains and supply chains that will support green development,” said Faith Ngige, Climate Business Information Network Coordinator at KEPSA.

Ms Ngige added: “Engaging the private sector to invest in climate action as substantial active implementers and solution providers is essential if we are to accelerate the transformation to low-carbon resilient societies.”

Speaking at the forum, the Regional Principal Regional Officer for climate and green growth at the African Development Bank Dr Olufunso Somorin, lauded the private sector for playing a significant role in climate action through the power of agency in transforming climate finance into solutions using technology, resources and technical know-how.

Scale of financing

“The scale of financing and resources required to tackle climate change is not yet proportionate to the adaptation needs of Africa. There is a need to re-engineer a model for the private sector financing instruments and incentives that fit the needs of Africa,” he said.

To enhance adaptation solutions for Africa, local technology is key in ensuring that Africa adapts to the changing climate. It’s a zero-sum game to get climate financing only to procure foreign technologies that do not serve our needs.

“Africa must ensure that our technologies are utilised for the decarbonisation of value chains,’’ said Eng Ahmed Kamal, executive director, technical and climate change advisor- Federation of Egyptian Industries.

According to Nasra Nanda, CEO of Kenya Green Building Society(KGBS), as Africa experiences rapid urbanisation, cities will experience the pressure of rural-urban migration, putting more pressure on service delivery in the cities.

“This presents an opportunity to adopt green and resilient measures for the cities to make the cities cope with the new dawn,’’ said Ms Nanda.

Dr Eugene Itua, the CEO, of Natural Eco Capital and Facilitator of Circular Economy and Natural Capital, Sustainability Policy Commission, Nigerian Economic Summit Group, implied the role of natural resources in Africa’s Sustainable development and climate change.

Sharing on the balance between industrialisation and Africa’s just transition, Lulamile Makaula from South Africa’s National Business Initiative called for the need to ensure inclusion and balance of just transition for procedural justice, distributive justice and restorative justice 

Allen Wallis, Advisor Africa Climate Foundation, reinforced the power of collaboration and partnership between public, private and philanthropy.

“Going forward, there is a need to harness this synergy for directing climate action in Africa,” he said.

Ms Reshma Shah, Director of Sustainability Equity Group, shared the banks’ contribution to climate action by supporting members to transition and invest in climate resilience, adaptation and mitigation solutions.

The meeting brought the private sector from Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt.

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