A week-long programme on accelerating investment for climate and clean energy was held from May 6 to 10, 2019 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.The intensive programme dwelt on financing, building capacity of investors, developers, development partners, bankers and venture capitalists to be able to handle sustainable investments.
A wide range of issues were covered at the intensive programme among which were financial modelling in raising finance, interpretation of financial projections, financial statements, projects with climate adaptation benefits, gender and investment, different types of funding for different projects, capital formation and structure, project structuring, investment risks leveraging, and legal documentation, among others.
There were practical sessions and case studies depicting various studies, activities and works in addressing climate change, environment and sustainability from different countries and universities. The role and activities of development partners in addressing the challenges of climate and clean energy investment, partnership, strategy, value proposition, challenges and opportunities of collaboration were highlighted.
There were compelling issues that were subject of expert discussions, roundtable and group activities. This included adaptation, especially how to increase investment flows and how to originate more adaptation projects in various African countries. Adaptation is an important issue for Africa and most development countries.
The issue of rural electrification, energy access and cooking solutions were given priority attention because one of the greatest needs of Africa to achieve sustainable development is lighting. The infrastructure and overall industrialisation of the continent depend on adequate and reliable power supply. Nigeria is a good case for rural electrification projects.
The issue of scaling up and effective solutions cannot be discountenanced. In this regard collaboration, partnership and cooperation between governments, private sector investors, and financial institutions are to be accorded priority. It was highlighted that there is urgent need to invest in skill acquisition, training, awareness creation, exchange of professionals and government creating good enabling environment are necessary for achieving the sustainable development goals.
The gender and youth development issues have now become top agenda. The situation on the ground is that over 65% of the African population are youths in their prime age bracket 15-40 years. In case of women, about 48%of the population are not given the opportunity to use their natural asset.
There is urgent call for Africa countries to address the human capital defficiency and through investment and paradigm shift in their development plans they should address the effect of digital, fintech, youth restiveness, education, knowledge, unemployment and various social ills.
There is also the urgent need to look inward for various technologies for efficiency in sustainable investments, low carbon economy, climate resilience, commitment on Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), derisking, transformation to resilient development, adaptation benefits, among others, need to be understood by various stakeholders and the society.
The organisers, Private Financing Advisory Network (PFAN) working under the umbrella of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in partnership with Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEP), said that the capacity building programme was organised to meet one of its objectives “to address the concerns of countries in the climate change negotiations that enough is not being done to provide finance and requisite skills for low carbon and climate resilient projects or build local technology and finance capability in developing countries.”
The organisers were supported by over 25 financing institutions, development partners, venture capitalists, developers, foundations including the African Development Bank (AfDB).
By Prince Lekan Fadina