Climate finance in Africa: AfDB spearheading innovative mechanisms and instruments

Africa contributes the least – less than 3% – to global warming, yet the continent is the most vulnerable to climate risks. To build resilience against climate change, countries have outlined tangible ambitions for green growth, including plans to increase climate investment. Amid dwindling climate finance flows to Africa, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has committed to helping to de-risk and remove business barriers to increase private investors' contribution to climate finance on the continent. Over the past decade, the bank has developed expertise and knowledge of financing climate-related projects. For example, the bank launched its Africa Disaster Risks Financing Programme in 2018 in collaboration with the African Risk Capacity Group (ARC) to promote the deployment of disaster response mechanisms. Its total climate commitments increased to 45% in 2022, up from only 9% in 2016. By this, the AfDB has exceeded its target of having 40% of its funding reserved for climate-related projects. During its upcoming Annual Meetings from 22 to 26 May in Sharm el Sheikh, the AfDB will host a session to explore how to mobilise more private sector financing to tackle climate change in Africa, including domestic natural capital.

Source: AfDB


UNECA’s Antonio Pedro calls for investments in infrastructure to accelerate the implementation of the AfCFTA

Africa should promote supportive policies and infrastructure development to attract green investment and boost trade through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), acting executive secretary, Antonio Pedro, has urged. “To reap the AfCFTA opportunities we must address Africa’s infrastructure gap,” Mr Pedro told participants at the Africa Regional Session of the 12th Annual Investment Meeting, adding that, to attract sustainable cross-border investments to Africa, “hard and soft infrastructure must be addressed.” The theme of the Africa Regional Session was The AfCFTA Investment Protocol – An Investment Paradigm Shift for Africa which set out to discuss the role of the AfCFTA and its Investment Protocol to create a new framework for attracting sustainable and productive investments to the continent and the investment opportunities that are arising as a result of that. Mr Pedro decried the lack of policy space to pursue the structural transformation agenda in Africa, stating, “it is not because of the lack of blueprints.” He called on African countries to support the implementation of the AfCFTA with “harmonised continental, regional and national trade and industrial policies that will help move from ideas into action”.

Source: UNECA

Africa / Europe

Invest in African Energy Forum to boost African renewable growth through European investments

The Invest in African Energy Forum in Paris is set to boost Africa's renewable energy sector by mobilising European investments and fostering greater European participation in projects. As demand for energy in Africa grows and the need to transition to a clean energy future becomes increasingly important, investing in Africa’s renewable energy sector will ensure dual goals of electrification and decarbonisation are met. As such, the Invest in African Energy Forum in Paris, to be hosted by the African Energy Chamber (AEC) on 1 June, presents a unique opportunity for French and European investors to advance investment in African renewable energy. While progress continues to be made to develop the continent’s renewable resources, Africa requires significant levels of capital to combat climate change and transition to renewable energy, with the African Development Bank (AfDB) estimating that a cumulative financing range of USD1.3-trillion to USD1.6-trillion and an annual investment of approximately USD127.8-billion is needed. In 2021, only 0.6% of global renewable energy investment was allocated to Africa, significantly falling short of the continent’s needs.

Source: AEC

West / Central Africa

World Bank approves USD460-million for regional harmonisation and improvement of statistics in western and central Africa

The World Bank has approved USD460-million in credits and grants from the International Development Association (IDA) to improve and harmonise data systems in eight countries in western Africa and three regional organisations. The Harmonizing and Improving Statistics in West and Central Africa (HISWACA) Project, Phase 1, is aimed at building statistical capacity to improve the quality of data production, regional harmonisation, data access and use, as well as modernise statistical systems in Benin, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and The Gambia. It will also support the statistical divisions of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), and the African Union (AU) to better coordinate and improve the harmonisation of statistics across the region. While considerable efforts have been made to improve statistical capacity in sub-Saharan Africa, progress has been slow and uneven across countries. Most western and central African countries currently rank among the bottom 40% globally on the World Bank’s new Statistical Performance Indicators (SPI), which assess a country’s statistical system’s ability to meet users’ needs and contribute to better decision-making.

Source: World Bank

Benin / Côte d’Ivoire

Benin, Côte d’Ivoire to premier AfDB’s African Green Bank facilities

The African Development Bank (AfDB) is set to roll out the first green finance facilities in two public financial institutions in Benin and Côte d’Ivoire as part of its ground-breaking African Green Bank initiative. The host institutions are La Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations du Bénin (CDC Benin) and the Ivorian National Investment Bank (BNI). As Africa’s premier development finance institution, the African Development Bank does not only provide fiscal resources to its regional member countries; it also galvanises global support in promoting resilient, green, and sustainable growth. It launched the African Green Bank Initiative in November last year to support the implementation of African countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). African countries still face significant challenges in financing their climate transition. While investment needs resulting from NDCs are estimated at USD2.8-trillion by 2030, funds invested on the continent still represent a limited share of global green finance flows, and the share covered by the private sector remains limited. The African Green Bank initiative was conceived as part of measures to facilitate access to global finance from the current 3% to 10% annually by 2030.

Source: AfDB


Ethiopia to host first-ever One Africa Expo

The first-ever One Africa Expo (OAE) 2023 will be held in Addis Ababa, from 20-30 May 2023 in honour of the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the African Union (AU). The OAE 2023 is set to be an unprecedented business-to-business (B2B) trade show, created specifically for African governments, private and public sectors, global companies, and business professionals to showcase their products, services and expertise. By providing a gateway to the global market, the OAE 2023 presents a unique opportunity to promote bilateral trade between Africa and the world. This platform offers an exceptional visual experience of Africa, bringing together diverse industries ranging from mobility, cultural diversity, tourism, technology, green initiatives, agro-industries, financial services, and infrastructures, involving all 55 member states. The OAE 2023 is a must-attend event for those seeking to explore and expand their business potential in Africa, while also contributing to the development of the continent's economic success.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Kenya / Germany

Kenya, Germany to strengthen bilateral ties on green energy

Germany and Kenya have agreed to strengthen bilateral ties across the green energy sector. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz confirmed the report and said their country will technically and financially support Kenya’s renewables projects and climate action initiatives. The funding provided by Germany will contribute to the deployment of green energy systems in Kenya, which will help reduce reliance on fossil fuels while improving climate support and resilience. This support aligns with Kenya’s goal of maximising its abundant renewable energy resources, including solar, wind, and geothermal power, to drive energy access and economic growth. Kenya aims to increase the share of renewables in its energy mix and intends to achieve 100% renewable electricity production by 2030. In addition to financial assistance, Germany and Kenya will expand their cooperation in research and development of energy projects. This collaboration will also focus on capacity building, job creation through investments in training programmes, and exchange opportunities. These joint initiatives aim to foster a competitive domestic market in Kenya, promote innovation, and contribute to socioeconomic growth.

Source: Pumps Africa

Kenya / Uganda

Kenya to build three more ships for Uganda fuel

Kenya plans to build three more ships to enhance the export of oil products to Uganda through Lake Victoria. Energy and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir said this would ensure daily trips from the current weekly voyages to the landlocked country. Despite being launched in early January, Kenya has only shipped 20 million litres of petroleum products. Mr Chirchir, while noting that the KES2-billion project that was completed in February 2018 is being underutilised, said the government is on track to regain its market share of East Africa’s oil exports. “We have embarked on building three more ships so that the jetty can [do] shipments daily,” said the cabinet secretary. The fuel is transported to the Mahathi terminal in Entebbe where the product is loaded onto trucks to Rwanda, South Sudan, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Other than being cost-effective, Mr Chirchir said the haulage through the lake would help reduce road congestion and improve the reliability of supply. According to the minister, a single ship across the lake with the capacity to carry 4.5 million litres of oil products is equivalent to 135 trucks. “I am encouraged by the fact that transportation of petroleum products via [the] lake has minimised road carnage, adulteration and dumping of petroleum products,” said Mr Liban.

Source: Business Daily Africa


New World Bank Group strategy focuses on job creation, human capital, and climate resilience

The World Bank Group Board of Executive Directors has endorsed a new Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for Lesotho, laying out the World Bank Group’s strategy in the country for financial year (FY) 2024–2028. The five-year CPF is centred around three high-level, long-term outcomes: (i) increased employment in the private sector through improving the enabling environment for micro, small, and medium enterprises’ (MSME) growth to crowd in private investment for enhanced job creation, (ii) improved human capital outcomes through the strengthening of the quality of education, health, and social protection; and (iii) strengthened climate resilience through improving the management of natural resources and access to climate resilient infrastructure. The CPF, which builds on the lessons of the previous CPF FY2016-2020 and the findings of the Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD) Update, is well aligned with the country’s second National Strategic Development Plan. The CPF will use innovative approaches to achieve impact at scale by adopting “a territorial development approach” to sharpen focus and ensure synergies in poor regions and urban areas. The programme will directly support improvements in governance and capacity building in the public sector.

Source: World Bank


Parliament approves law to attract more private investment, 30 years on

Mozambique’s Parliament has approved by consensus the new Private Investment Act, which the government says is needed in order to make the country “more attractive” to domestic and foreign private investment. The diploma was approved with votes in favour of the three benches of the Mozambican Parliament – the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO), the ruling party; the Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO), the main opposition party; and the Democratic Movement of Mozambique (MDM), the third-largest bench in Parliament. “This revision takes place after about 30 years of validity” of the current one, at a time when “harmonisation with the other legislation regarding the business environment and investments in the country is justified”, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce said in a statement presenting the draft Bill. As for the new law, the Ministry of Trade and Industry highlights several innovations, ranging from the enunciation of the social responsibility of investors to the establishment of investment regimes.

Source: Club of Mozambique


Energy minister defines local content, ownership at stakeholder workshop

Minister of Mines and Energy of Namibia, Tom Alweendo, gave opening remarks to a two-day stakeholder workshop on Thursday, 11 May, in Windhoek, targeting feedback on the drafted National Upstream Petroleum Local Content Policy. Notably, the minister drew a clear distinction between local content and local ownership policies and called for the inclusion of Namibians in the country’s nascent oil and gas sector. “Local content is defined as the active participation of Namibians in the oil and gas sector through training, employment and the provision of goods and services. We are drawing a distinction between local content and local ownership,” he stated. Minister Alweendo also underscored the importance of a shared understanding of local content policies among stakeholders, and for rigorous input on the draft legislation. “This platform offers us the opportunity to think about local content policy together. Our oil and gas discoveries have the opportunity to transform our economy beyond taxes and royalties,” said Minister Alweendo.

Source: Energy Capital & Power


Government called to undertake trade reforms to optimise the gains from the AfCFTA – NCCI

The government has been called by the country’s business chamber to undertake trade reforms and take steps to optimise the gains from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) president Bisey Uirab highlighted this during a National Corporate Forum held recently for corporate executives and industry leaders to guide the Chamber’s advocacy agenda and support the implementation of its activities. “Given our small domestic market, global connectivity is equally essential for the growth of our businesses, hence government needs to proactively strengthen the regional economic integration by undertaking comprehensive reviews of existing trade agreements, improving trade facilitation, building strategies for digital commerce and looking at ways of building collective strategies to promote regional commodities,” he said. According to Uirab, innovation is key to business survival. “While providing opportunities for businesses, we must think about the new waves of opportunities and our ability to survive future shocks. In this regard, new markets for Namibian-made products and services, diversification of our economic base, with a strong focus on sustainability and digitalisation, is critical,” he said.

Source: Namibia Economist


Largest LPG depot opened in Tanga

Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) has been touted as the future of clean energy in Tanzania. Speaking during the opening of Tanga City's largest LPG depot built by Lake Gas Limited, a member of the Lake Group of Companies, managing director/CEO of Absa Bank Tanzania Limited, Obeid Laiser, promised to continue to support the company's efforts to increase investment in LPG supply in order to reduce the use of charcoal and save the environment. Ali Awadh, chairman of the Lake Group of Companies, believes that the availability of less expensive gas will encourage more people to use LPG, potentially reducing the use of charcoal and firewood. The LPG depot, which has a capacity of 3 000 metric tonnes of LPG and is the largest in Tanga in terms of LPG storage, is intended to serve the Tanga region as well as neighbouring countries. Tanzania's LPG industry is set to improve as consumption rises. Tanzania's LPG industry is at the forefront of introducing new investments in the oil and gas sector.

Source: The Citizen


Zambia Airways launches new direct flights from Lusaka to Johannesburg

Zambia Airways has announced the launch of new direct flights from Lusaka to Johannesburg, providing passengers with a convenient and reliable way to travel between the two cities. The service will commence operations on 1 June 2023 and will be operated with a modern and comfortable B737-700 aircraft, offering both business class and economy class. The flight schedule has been designed to suit the needs of both business and leisure travellers, with a convenient early morning departure of 07:00 from Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka. “We are delighted to launch our new direct flights from Lusaka to Johannesburg,” said Abiy Asrat Jiru, CEO of Zambia Airways. “This is an exciting development for our airline and demonstrates our commitment to expanding our network and providing our passengers with more travel options within the region.” With the launch of this new service, Zambia Airways will connect two of the region’s major cities and provide passengers with a convenient and affordable way to travel.

Source: Lusakatimes


Zimbabwe frees up grain trade, opens door for private sector

The private sector will fund three quarters of Zimbabwe's wheat crop this year, playing a growing role in agriculture as the government opens the sector to boost food security, a commodity contractors' body said. Graeme Murdoch, chairman of the Food Crop Contractors Association (FCCA), made up of commodity traders, offtakers and millers who have been funding the production of crops since 2020, told Reuters that private traders would increase their activity. "The reality is that as the environment becomes more liberalised, and the government makes every effort to essentially crowd in the private sector, which they have done more and more both in terms of the financing and regulation, we see more and more involvement of the private sector in primary agriculture," he said in an interview. About 76% of the planned 2023 wheat hectarage would be funded by the private sector, including the country's biggest bank CBZ Holdings (CBZ.ZI) and the state-owned AFC Commercial Bank, Murdoch said. The balance will be funded directly by the government through its various input support schemes as well as some self-financing farmers.

Source: Reuters