News Archive June 2016

tralac’s Daily News Selection

The selection: Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Erastus Mwencha: ‘Sino-Africa cooperation: taking stock’ (The Herald)

Justin Yifu Lin: ‘Beyond aid and concessional borrowing: new ways of financing development in Africa’ (pdf, Bank of Tanzania)

‘The State of Economics, the State of the World’: download the presentations (World Bank)

Africa in the next 50 years: revisiting Africa’s economic planning (pdf, AfDB)

To gain deeper insight into the relevance of economic planning as a model of policy making and development in Africa, the Development Research Department seeks to undertake a series of studies on economic planning in Africa, drawing lessons from countries that have successfully used this type of model to accelerate economic transformation and development. One such country is South Korea. Experience from other East Asian countries and those in South Asia and Latin America, as well as African countries with successful planning experiences will also be used as examples. Drawing lessons from South Korea and other countries would therefore provide African policy makers with requisite knowledge to stir their economies onto a sustainable growth path for accelerated poverty reduction and inclusion. The specific roles and contributions of the consultant will cover the following tasks: [Download the EOI]

Six things to consider when doing business in Sub-Saharan Africa (The National Law Review)

Market data deficit makes it harder to do business-as-usual: For an investor, the data deficit in Africa makes decision-making harder. When it comes to market and research analysis, conducting diligence on prospective local partners, or assessing customers’ credit history, investors need to be aware that traditional means of data gathering and analysis are often unavailable, which requires alternative approaches. While the data gap is narrowing thanks to the increasing use of mobile communications to collect information, at this point, on-the-ground presence remains the best way to mitigate this problem. [The authors: Witney Schneidman, Adele Faure, Khadijah Robinson] [2015 Africa Country Policy and Institution Assessment Factsheet (World Bank)]

Brexit updates from Mauritius, Rwanda, South Africa, Namibia, Uganda and Tanzania:

Brexit: Mauritius will need to have a bilateral trade agreement with the UK, PM says (GoM)

Notwithstanding the scenario that will govern the EU/UK trade relations, Mauritius will need to have a bilateral trade agreement with the UK to safeguard its trade interests. In the event UK decides to maintain the EU commitments towards the Member States which have signed the Interim EPA, namely Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, Zimbabwe, there may not be any need for a fresh trade agreement. In the eventuality that the UK would wish a change from the current Interim EPA model, Mauritius would have to enter into consultations with the UK over a new agreement safeguarding our trade interests. This reply was given yesterday in the National Assembly by the Prime Minister, Sir Anerood Jugnauth, to a Private Notice Question pertaining to measures that are now being taken to deal with the impact of BREXIT on Mauritius. He pointed out that the Technical Committee is also examining the five principal options of Economic Partnership which UK may choose as a model for negotiation during the two-year transition period.

South Africa: Western Cape outlines potential Brexit impact (GCIS)

The analysis was conducted by the [Western Cape's] Department of Economic Development and Tourism’s Economic Planning unit and the Department of Agriculture’s Business Planning and Strategy directorate. “There are several factors which will influence the economic impact of the UK’s exit. The vote could preceed two years of negotiations. A comprehensive analysis of the effect will only be clearer once the EU announces how it will relate to the UK, outside of the EU relationship,” said MEC Winde. Key observations and figures on trade with UK and EU highlighted in departments’ analysis include:

Rwanda: Brexit unlikely to affect economy - Rwangombwa (New Times)

Britain’s exit from European Union is unlikely to have any adverse impact on the Rwandan economy, central bank governor John Rwangombwa has said. “The biggest impact would be on our reserves, but the good thing is that we do not have much reserves in the currencies that have been hit such as the Pound Sterling, which has depreciated by about 10%,” he said. Rwanda’s reserves in the Pound Sterling is 1.1%, while with the Euro its only 0.2% of the total reserves. A majority of Rwanda’s reserves are in the US Dollar, at 83.2%. “Our trade with UK directly is about 2% of exports and 1% in imports,” Rwangombwa said. Indirectly, however, the impact could be with the EU as exports to the bloc stand at about 20%.

Brexit not likely to be catastrophic for Namibia (The Namibian)

The vote by Britain last week to leave the European Union is not likely to be catastrophic in the short term, given the declining role of the UK as Namibia's trading partner over the past five years, Namibia Equity Brokers said yesterday. Preliminary 2015 trade statistics from the Namibian Statistics Agency reflected how trade with the whole EU bloc has changed over the last five years, with exports dropping 38% to N$9,5 billion, and imports surging 62% to N$6,5 billion. “We note how trade with the UK has plummeted as exports fell 86% to N$893 million, and imports dropped 75% to N$413 million. Over the same period, exports to the EU (ex-UK) fell by 6% to N$8,6 billion, while imports surged 152% to N$6,2 billion,” the firm said yesterday. [Brexit: Uganda Shilling weakens against the dollar (Daily Monitor), Economic implications of Britain's EU exit for Tanzania (The Citizen)]

The UK's trade and investment relationship with Africa: 2016 (pdf, Office for National Statistics, UK)

Export competitiveness, regional trade integration could spur South Africa’s export growth (dti)

“It is imperative that South Africa leverages the devalued currency and the capabilities that exist to drive a national export effort with a particular focus on Africa. It is a well-documented fact that the economic and employment multipliers which arise from exports are significant. However our export basket remains too small and concentrated on primary products. But the fact that vehicle exports now account for 14.7% of exports demonstrates what can and must be done to ensure that value-added exports break SA’s dependence on commodity exports,” said Minister Rob Davies, speaking at the Manufacturing Indaba in Kempton Park.

Malawi Economic Monitor: absorbing shocks, building resilience (World Bank)

A recovery by Malawi’s external sector remains challenging in the context of a continued global economic slowdown; deteriorating commodity prices; and ongoing volatility in exchange rates. Malawi’s key trading partners have recently tended to record low levels of growth, with this being particularly significant in the case of South Africa, which is Malawi’s largest trade partner, accounting for 70% of external trade. Weak demand in South Africa has acted as a drag on Malawi’s regional export prospects. The decline in commodity prices has also had a mixed impact. [Blog, by Richard Record]

Lesotho: SA extends closing date of applications for Lesotho Special Permits (GCIS)

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has acceded to a request by the Lesotho authorities to extend the closing date of applications for Lesotho Special Permits to allow more time for Basotho nationals to apply for permits. The last day for applications was 30 June 2016. The date has now been extended by three months to 30 September 2016. The request for an extension was among the recommendations made at the Consultation of Directors-General of Home Affairs held in Maseru on 01 June 2016 to assess progress on the implementation of the LSP. By Monday, 27 June, close to 40 000 applications had been received.

Zimbabwe: Industrial base is degenerating - CZI (The Herald)

The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries says between 75 and 80% of the mid-1990's industrial base has been destroyed. The country’s biggest and most influential industrial lobby group said the hard reality has to be confronted to revive the economy, adding industry can recover 5-10 percent annually if corrective measures are taken. This entails, CZI noted, Government and private sector dialogue and consensus on, but not limited to, finality on implementation of indigenisation, concluding the land issue, bankability of land title, confidence in State institutions and economic direction and reform of State entities. CZI president Busisa Moyo said the fact that only a fraction of the manufacturing base that existed around 1995 is still present is disturbing. More worrying, he said, is that output has started to fall sharply.

Zimbabwe: Zimra gets tough on illegal imports (The Herald)

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority has threatened to seize cross border buses that transport goods banned under statutory instrument number 64 of 2016 into the country. The instrument tightens screws on imports of basic commodities without licences. The parastatal has since written to cross-border transporters warning them against carrying goods, which are restricted under the open general import licence.

Kenya: Agency raises the alarm over fake electronics hitting 80% (Daily Nation)

Eighty per cent of electronics sold in Kenya are counterfeit while 34% of medicines stocked in pharmacies are fake. This is as per a new survey by the Anti-Counterfeit Agency (ACA) on the most counterfeited goods in the country. Manufacturers incur losses of Sh50 billion annually in sales revenue, the study found. Cosmetics are the third most counterfeited goods at 30%, followed by batteries at 28.9%. ACA has established the counterfeiting cartels use normal supply chains delivering with ease the fakes to formal retailers such as supermarkets and pharmacies which are popular with Kenyans.

Tanzania sees economic growth picking up to 7.4% in 2017 (Reuters)

The Tanzanian economy, East Africa's second-biggest, grew 7% last year. "The macroeconomic objectives of the government aim at achieving a real gross domestic product growth of 7.3% in 2016/17 based on the projected growth of 7.2% in 2016 and 7.4% in 2017, while maintaining inflation at single digits," the Bank of Tanzania said in its latest monetary policy statement (pdf). [Massive helium gas field found in Tanzania hailed]

India’s Trade Symposium: linking Indian MSMEs with global value chains (KNN India)

Commerce Secretary, Ms. Rita Teaotia, expressed the importance of linking Indian MSMEs with the global value chains to reverse the downward trend in India’s export. She said this while inaugurating the India’s Trade Symposium at the Hotel Taj Palace, New Delhi, organised jointly by Commonwealth Secretariat, London, and FISME the leading federation of Indian MSMEs. The symposium being held on 29th and 30th June, 2016, is focused towards linking Indian MSMEs with the global value chains leveraging on the availability of inputs at competitive terms from the least developed countries of Asia and Africa. The symposium is being attended by over 35 international delegates from Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, Zambia, Rwanda, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, besides leading Indian businesses.

Duty-Free and Quota-Free Market Access for LDCs: draft ToR for clinical examination of its implementation (pdf, WTO)

At the Committee’s session on regional trade agreements, held on 16 March, the Chairperson provided an update on the implementation of the Committee’s decision that the Secretariat would carry out the clinical examination. During this session, the chairman reaffirmed that a written proposal from the LDC Group on the parameters of the secretariat study would help to move the process forward. The delegation of Benin, on behalf of the LDC Group, stated that the Group would submit draft terms of reference for the clinical examination at the July session of the Committee on Trade and Development. The clinical examination will be carried out on the basis of the following parameters:

Tackling illegal fishing in western Africa could create 300,000 jobs (The Guardian)

If governments in western Africa could end illegal fishing by foreign commercial vessels and build up national fleets and processing industries, they could generate billions of dollars in extra wealth and create around 300,000 jobs, according to a new report. The devastating, social, economic and human consequences of overfishing in western Africa’s coastal waters have been well documented but the report, Western Africa’s Missing Fish (pdf), by the Overseas Development Institute and Spanish investigative journalists porCausa, lays bare the extent of lost opportunities across countries including Senegal, Mauritania, Liberia, Ghana and Sierra Leone.

Human Capital Report 2016 (WEF)

The purpose of the report is to help countries assess the outcomes of past and present policies and investments in education and skills and provide guidance on how to prepare the workforce for the future demands of the global economy. In Sub-Saharan Africa, a cluster of countries, including Mauritius (76), Ghana (84), South Africa (88) and Zambia (90) score in the 60-70% range – placing them ahead of the Middle East and North Africa regional average and on a par with the lower half of the Latin American and East Asia and the Pacific regions. Other economies, however, such as Ethiopia (119) and Nigeria (127) face a range of human capital challenges, including low survival rates for basic education. With an overall average score of 55.44, the Sub-Saharan African region is the lowest-ranked region in the Index. In total, the Index covers 26 countries from the region.

Djibouti partners with China to develop local infrastructure and global trade routes (Oxford Business Group)

Sahel: Senior UN relief official warns of demographic challenges and growing humanitarian needs (UN)

Africa Carbon Forum: update (Rwanda Focus)

Business can deliver 60% of Paris pledges to cut emissions (UNFCCC)

TICAD: Africa urged to promote investor friendly policies to spur exports (New Times)


tralac’s Daily News Selection

29 Jun 2016
The selection: Wednesday, 29 June 2016 Erastus Mwencha: ‘Sino-Africa cooperation: taking stock’ (The Herald) Justin Yifu Lin: ‘Beyond aid and concessional borrowing: new ways of financing development in Africa’ (pdf, Bank of...
1 ~ 611

Export competitiveness, regional trade integration could spur South Africa’s export growth

Boosting competition and promoting deeper regional trade integration are critical for restarting South Africa’s export engine to bolster economic growth, increase efficiency and productivity that would in turn create jobs and reduce poverty. This was said by Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies at the Manufacturing Indaba in Kempton Park on 28 June 2016.

Minister Davies said that the government has identified the export sector as a key driver to of fastrack economic growth. He added that increasing exports, particularly in manufacturing, may be crucial for low-skilled job creation needed to substantially reduce high overall unemployment.

“It is imperative that South Africa leverages the devalued currency and the capabilities that exist to drive a national export effort with a particular focus on Africa. It is a well-documented fact that the economic and employment multipliers which arise from exports are significant. However our export basket remains too small and concentrated on primary products. But the fact that vehicle exports now account for 14.7% of exports demonstrates what can and must be done to ensure that value-added exports break SA’s dependence on commodity exports,” said Davies.

Davies added that the country’s National Development Plan targets export volume growth of 6% a year, and tackling high unemployment is one of South Africa’s priorities.

“Effort should focus on global Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), existing exporters and those companies that can achieve export readiness, especially in key value chains such as automotive, rail, electro technical equipment, white goods and so on and so forth. It is why we are retooling our effort to focus on collaboration with export councils and why we are building an Africa Export Council. Our exports of automotives; mining and rail capital equipment; household consumables and agro-processed products and chemicals demonstrate important positive growth,” said Davies.

Minister Davies further stated despite the global economic uncertainty, South Africa will realise the objectives of the National Development Plan.

“Great uncertainty and volatility will continue and a variety of headwinds are likely in the future. But this is a marathon not a sprint and we have to work together for the long haul to propel South Africa towards faster growing exports and help the country realise its goal for the higher, more inclusive, job-intensive growth outlined in the National Development Plan,” stated Davies.

Minister Davies added that South Africa’s export market could benefit from deeper regional integration in goods and services within Africa, including creating production and service value chains that cut across national borders, and draw on all the region’s resources and capabilities.

“We see that with stronger trade relationships comes the right conditions for the emergence of a regional value chain of production that could feed into global production networks. For an example, intra-regional trade has risen from US$6bn to US$24 billion in the recent period. Trade negotiations in the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) are well on track and the TFTA will combine markets of 26 countries with a population of 625 million and a GDP of US$1.6 trillion. India is now SA’s 6th largest trading partner and trade is valued at R95 billion and exports to India now make up over 4% of exports. It is imperative that in addition to our important traditional trading partners new markets are explored,” indicated Davies.

Minister Davies indicated that red tape reduction is also key to growing exports and promoting innovation.

“Favourable conditions and greater competition at home would stimulate export companies to innovate and to become more productive, drive down the costs of inputs for the export sector, and enhance incentives for more firms to enter the export market. Resolving infrastructure bottlenecks and cutting logistic costs present an opportunity to support export growth. Cutting charges exporters incur for the use of ports, rail and telecommunications would promote competitiveness and benefit small and medium-size exporters and non-traditional export sectors,” indicated Davies.

1 ~ 611

Malawi Economic Monitor: Analysis predicts continued weak growth in 2016 amid low agricultural production

World Bank urges Malawi to invest in agricultural resilience to spur economic growth in 2017

Malawi needs to develop a better system to mitigate agricultural shocks while continuing fiscal discipline to set itself on an economic growth recovery path in 2017. This is the message of the third Malawi Economic Monitor (MEM), titled Absorbing Shocks, Building Resilience, released today by the World Bank.

The latest economic analysis for the country presents a review of recent economic developments and a macroeconomic outlook, and explores issues related to agricultural risk management. Growth for 2016 is projected to remain weak, with the late onset of rains and erratic dry spells having depressed expectations for agricultural production.

“Were it not for a second year of weather-related shocks, Malawi would likely be starting to see signs of a growth recovery, especially supported by the progress being made in fiscal control,” said Richard Record, World Bank senior country economist for Malawi and lead author of the report.

The report observes that in 2015 Malawi saw a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of just 2.8 percent as a result of adverse weather conditions and macroeconomic instability. The double shock of drought and floods in 2015 reduced agricultural production, leading to food shortages which in turn pushed up the rate of inflation. A consecutive year of drought has led to another poor performance in the agricultural sector with continued large food shortages and GDP growth now expected to be just 2.6 percent in 2016.

According to the report, efforts to consolidate public expenditure began to show positive results in 2015, with tighter control over spending, the avoidance of expenditure overruns by ministries, departments and agencies, and reduced domestic borrowing. Pilot reforms to the farm input subsidy program show promise, and if scaled up have the potential to open up fiscal space for investments in resilience and social protection.

The report notes that agriculture is important in the country’s overall economy and household food security, with Government spending about $250 million annually on this sector. However, risks associated with drought, flooding, disease, price volatility, and low levels of on-farm adoption of risk management practices and technologies, have all contributed to volatile and often negative rates of agricultural GDP growth. As Malawi increasingly looks towards breaking the cycle of vulnerability, a key medium term priority is to invest more in agricultural resilience. In the short term, a recovery to growth is possible in 2017, based on continued efforts to maintain tight control over public expenditure and borrowing.

Key ways to promote agricultural resilience include connecting farmers to markets and strengthening farmer capacity to take up risk management practices. Measures to promote freer trade in agricultural products, and to reduce price distortions and volatility would also help to boost incentives to invest and produce. Improved transparency and clearer roles of the key institutions that intervene in maize markets – namely the Strategic Grain Reserve and the Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation – will also be needed in order to promote fairer agricultural markets.

The Malawi Economic Monitor (MEM) series of bi-annual reports draws on international experience and best practice to provide up-to-date information and analysis on Malawi’s economy. The aim is to foster better informed policy analysis and debate regarding key challenges that Malawi needs to address in order to achieve high rates of stable, inclusive and sustainable economic growth through an in-depth analysis of economic trends and a macroeconomic outlook. The earlier editions of the MEM issued in 2015 were Managing Fiscal Pressures and Adjusting in Turbulent Times.


Economic developments

Malawi’s agricultural sector is predominantly rain-fed and operates within the framework of a short growing season. Early estimates point to a 12.4% decline in maize production for the 2015/16 growing season due to flooding in the southern districts and a countrywide drought, against an already low 2014/15 base, according to the report.

An estimated 17% of the population were unable to meet their 2015/16 food requirements. Similarly, low levels of production are expected for other crops, except for tobacco. As such, gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2016 is estimated at 2.6%. In 2015, Malawi recorded a (GDP) growth rate of just 2.8%, as a result of both adverse weather conditions and macroeconomic instability.

Inflation is expected to remain elevated in 2016, declining after the maize harvest season before rising again in the second half of the year. The average rate of inflation is projected to stand at 20.8% for 2016 as a whole. By the end of 2015, the average annual headline inflation rate stood at 21.9%.

The fiscal deficit for FY15/16 is projected to reach a value of 5.9% of GDP, compared to the figure of 5.4% recorded in FY14/15. This is premised on continued efforts to restrain expenditures in the face of weak revenue collections and expenditure pressures on areas of the budget that are exposed to foreign exchange movements.

The report notes that a recovery to growth is possible in 2017, although this will depend on continued fiscal restraint and an effective response to the challenges resulting from a second year of high levels of food insecurity. By addressing the underlying causes of both non-food and food inflation, interest rates may begin to fall to levels that would begin to restore business confidence. This would lead to increased private sector investment and job creation, both of which Malawi desperately needs. To achieve this, policy makers should consider implementing the following priority actions:

  • Continued efforts to exercise tight control over public expenditure: This will involve careful control of expenditure commitments, prudent management of growth in the public sector wage bill, and strict enforcement of budget ceilings across all government ministries, departments, and agencies to avoid expenditure overruns.

  • Continued implementation of a tight monetary stance and the maintenance of positive real interest rates: Interest rates will only begin to fall once the underlying causes of high non-food and food price inflation are addressed.

  • Implementation of reforms to open up fiscal space and an increasing emphasis on resilience-building investments rather than recurrent spending: In particular, reforms to the farm input subsidy program (FISP) create opportunities to free up public resources for alternative, more productive uses.

Investing in agricultural resilience

Despite the relatively high level of public spending on agriculture of about $250 million annually, risk management continues to be a significant challenge for Malawi’s agricultural sector. As a result of risks related to drought, pests and diseases, and price volatility, Malawi has recorded negative rates of agricultural GDP growth during six years in the period from 1992 to 2014. With the central position of agriculture in the economy, as a source of food, incomes, employment for a large proportion of the population, and of revenue and foreign exchange for the government, any shock experienced by the agricultural sector has a substantial impact on the overall economy.

The large losses resulting from production risk in Malawi stem primarily from the low level of on-farm adoption of risk-management practices and technologies. Increasing producers’ capacity to mitigate risks at the farm-level is crucial to reduce losses, and to increase resilience in the sector, to ultimately positively impact productivity and competitiveness in general. However, such initiatives will only be successful if an incentivizing environment is in place. To enable the emergence of this environment, this MEM therefore recommends the following:

  • Increase the uptake of on-farm risk management practices: Ensuring that farmers have access to markets that enable them to generate profits, and link them to new export partnerships, or on-/off-farm processing activities.

  • Reduce price distortions and volatility: Measures to promote freer trade through the implementation of predictable and transparent policies will promote production and exports by enabling fair prices at all levels of the supply chain.

  • Improve coordination between and redefine roles of the public agencies responsible for both maize marketing and risk coping interventions.

  • Strengthen and align agriculture risk management policy with broader policies and long term vision for the sector’s development, supported by the implementation of a functional agricultural information management system.

1 ~ 611

Over 43 million Africans face extreme poverty due to climate change by 2030

The World Bank has warned that the current level of climate adaptation funding which is insufficient could trigger extreme poverty in Africa by 2030.

Speaking during the Africa Carbon Forum in Kigali that is also discussing sources of climate finance and how to access them, James Close, the director of climate change at the World Bank Group said not addressing climate change could plunge 100 million more people into poverty by 2030 of which 43 million would be in Africa.

This could happen due to lower crop yields, higher food prices and negative health impacts from climate change if no coping mechanisms are put in place.

He said millions of Africans could be hurt by further warming that will cause disastrous consequences for the region in the form of heat extremes, increased risk of severe drought, crop failures every two years.

The Bank warns that there could be a 20% reduction in major food crop yields and by the end of the century, up to 18 million people might be affected by only floods every year.

To combat the huge financing gap, the World Bank prepared the Africa Climate Business Plan as an important step in mobilizing climate finance to fast-track Africa’s climate adaptation needs while reducing greenhouse emissions.

The Bank says that the current level of climate adaptation funding in Africa is insufficient at about $3 billion per year and is not rising at the rate necessary to meet future needs.

Close told the participants at the Africa Carbon Forum that the World Bank plan estimates a need of $19bn from different sources by 2020 as finance to help Africa adapt to climate change effects.

The plan also notes that further results could be achieved by 2025 at a cost of about $21 billion.

Daniele Violetti, chief of staff at United Nations Climate Change Secretariat said; lack of commitment means the costs of climate change are projected to be higher, especially in some least developed and island developing countries are severely affected by climate change.

Anthony Nyong, the division manager, environment and social protection at AFDB stressed that as efforts to reduce emissions Africa Renewable Energy Initiative will benefit from a pledged finance of $10bn from several sponsors to enable Africa produce 300 gigawatts of electricity by the year 2030.

Rwanda faces climate effects

Minister of Natural Resources of Rwanda, Vincent Biruta said: “Rwanda felt the severe and tragic consequences of climate change last month when 56 of our citizens were killed in floods and landslides in the northern and western parts of the country.”

He added, “This extreme weather event also left many homeless and is a clear illustration of the high level of vulnerability to climate change that we face. However, we believe the continent can overcome these kinds of challenges if we work as one. This is why the 2016 Africa Carbon Forum is so crucial.”

Biruta shared Rwanda’s own Green Fund (FONERWA) that has mobilized $100m and has approved 33 investments.

“The fund is investing in a range of initiatives, from landscape restoration and water resource management to clean energy and sustainable housing. To date, the fund’s investments have employed more than 20,000 people in green jobs and protected close to 10,000 hectares of land and water bodies,” he said.

He said the country has set up the ambition to be a developed, climate resilient and low carbon economy by 2050.

“Rwanda is planning to put in place systems for emission tracking to monitor report and verify any progress made towards greenhouse gas emission reduction. Such concrete achievements are needed towards green development and climate resilience,” said ONE UN representative, Mr. Lamin M. Manneh.

Climate Action Can Drive Sustainable Development in Africa

Action on climate change in the form of green policy, finance and market approaches can drive sustainable development in Africa, government, business and civil society representatives heard on the opening day of Africa Carbon Forum.

“Just as the risks of climate change are immense, so too are the rewards of climate action if we invest in our people and our planet,” said Vincent Biruta, Rwanda’s Minister of Natural Resources.

In December 2015 in Paris, countries adopted a new comprehensive climate change agreement, central to which is nationally determined action and international cooperation. Driving it all will be private and public investment.

World Bank analysis has estimated that not addressing climate change could plunge 100 million more people into poverty by 2030. Of those 43 million would be in Africa.

“Turning challenges into opportunities requires concrete action, collaboration and commitment,” said Mr. Biruta. “I am sure we are up to the task.”

Africa Carbon Forum is an annual gathering aimed at spurring climate investment, through sharing information on policy, such as use of markets and mechanisms, financial opportunities, and cooperative initiatives arising from the international response to climate change.

What the organizers of Africa Carbon Forum 2016 are saying:

“Africa is going to play a critical role in the spread of markets under the Paris Agreement. Numerous regional governments are keen to leverage international markets to achieve their nationally-determined contributions, and support from both the private sector as well as policy leaders will be key to ensuring Africa can deliver on its targets. In the lead up to the Marrakech COP22 in November this year, the ACF2016 provides a strategic platform for these exchanges to take place.” – Dirk Forrister, President and CEO, International Emissions Trading Association

“Countries in Africa feel the dangers of climate change, but I’m confident they will also see the tremendous push that climate action can give to sustainable development. With the right climate policy choices, and by working together, countries can spur investment that benefits people and the atmosphere. In fact, action on climate is action for sustainable development.” – Daniele Violetti, Chief of Staff, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

“Trade can help African countries, individually and together, leverage the various co-benefits of climate policies. It can also help transfer innovations from market to market, within Africa and with the broader developing world. Without trade flexibility, the costs of climate change are projected to be higher, especially in some least developed and island developing countries that are most severely affected by climate change. It is thus important is to consider the large – and largely unexplored – role international trade can play as part of the solution.” – Bonapas Onguglo, OiC Trade and Environment Branch, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

“The very first Africa Carbon Forum in the post-Paris era will pave the way for actions that put Africa’s green and sustainable development at center stage. We are excited that this forum will provide the opportunity for a diverse audience of public and private sector stakeholders to meet and discuss how investments in climate actions can advance the Sustainable Development Goals of Agenda 2030. Once realized, an inclusive, low-carbon development pathway can have a truly transformational impact on the well-being of communities across the African continent.” – Jo Scheuer, Director for Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, United Nations Development Programme

“The total funds needed in the region to tackle climate change is well over $3 trillion, as per the estimates African countries submitted in Paris last winter. This is a sizeable amount, but we're committed to contributing our part, and already helping mobilize financial and technical support so African countries can move towards taking action on the ground. For example, our African Climate Business Plan aims to mobilize approximately USD19 billion as a contribution towards resilience.” – James Close, Director for Climate Change, World Bank Group

“The African Development Bank is committed to ensuring that the climate change issue is a developmental issue. Access to energy is critical to meeting Africa’s climate mitigation commitments and its needs for sustainable development. It is therefore imperative that adequate long-term finance is made available. We need to massively scale up Africa’s access to finance.” – Anthony Nyong, Division Manager, Environment and Social Protection, African Development Bank

“With the Paris agreement as the foundation, countries are now looking towards implementation. This will require accelerating existing initiatives and finding new solutions and building new partnerships, which can facilitate capacity-building and unlock new investments and finance for a climate resilient low-carbon development future for Africa. The opportunities for the Africa Region are indeed promising, and the Africa Carbon Forum presents itself as a much needed platform for sharing knowledge, experiences and new ideas which will benefit Africa and its people.” – John Christensen, Director, United Nations Environment Programme DTU Partnership

1 ~ 611