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Unpacking the Africa Climate Summit – Leveraging External Finance for Africa’s Green Industrialization


Unique regional and global circumstances have positioned Africa to be a base for global green manufacturing that both accelerates Africa’s economic transformation and reduces carbon at scale by greening production. Innovations and new technologies are quickly evolving that can substantially decarbonize industrial activities, and the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) will provide greater opportunities for cross-border trade to support regional value chains. This also helps position Africa through rapid progress and innovations in renewable energy and manufacturing processes and a shift from viewing Africa as a victim of climate change to a partner in prosperity and carbon reduction. Broader global financial architecture reforms will support greater alignment of climate finance and development finance.

The Africa Climate Summit (ACS) 2023 was momentous in that it coalesced a narrative on climate-positive finance and investment. It also resulted in announcements of a combined investment of nearly USD 26 billion, although the vast majority of this is not secured. There were commitments made by more than 90 governments, companies, and international organizations. A key challenge is how to unpack these commitments and provide a business and investment environment where they can gain traction and lead to development impact.

Importantly, green industry suited for the future must be African-led and enabled by available digital and technological tools. Governments must create a business and investment environment that rapidly accelerates investment while stakeholders develop robust and credible project pipelines that are certifiable green and inclusive. African private sector and financiers must play significant roles in project design and implementation. At the same time, governments must address long-standing bottlenecks such as poor domestic resource mobilization and heavy debt burdens to create appropriate fiscal space for investments in infrastructure and skills. Although there has been significant work on business environment improvements generally, little work has been undertaken with a specific view to green industrialization in Africa.

Event objectives

The key objective of this event is to help establish specific actions that can translate commitments from ACS 2023 into investments in Africa’s green industrialization. There will be a specific focus on green value chains and actions that leverage digital and technological tools such as the provision of data to help investors make informed decisions, the use of artificial intelligence to inform project pipelines, or the use of digital tools to improve business environments related to taxes, electronic payments or economic policies.

 Key Outcomes

  • Opportunities and challenges for investment in green industrialization in Africa are identified.
  • Concrete actions that can lead to greater investment in green industrialization are identified.

Format & Participation

This hybrid event will be organized by the African Center for Economic Transformation in partnership with African and international partners, including the private sector, to ensure diverse perspectives and expertise. ACET is a leading pan-African policy institute that is both supporting African Ministers of Finance on the global financial architecture reform agenda and on technology-enabled solutions to crowd in more external finance for green industrialization. The Climate Action Platform for Africa (CAP-A) seeks to build evidence for climate-positive investment opportunities through the availability of data that allows users to understand the real potential. The IDDR network undertakes research on the conditions needed to facilitate the transition towards sustainable development, including finding solutions to the climate challenge. The Rockefeller Foundation is a global partner committed to changing the narrative on green growth. SAIIA is a leading African think tank that works in the area of climate change with a focus on policy options to promote climate change resilience, agricultural productivity, and socioeconomic development. Akosombo Industrial Company Limited is a Ghanaian firm seeking to kick-start a green, vertically integrated cotton value chain with sustainable production methods, renewable energy, decarbonized production processes, and organic/recycled fibers.

List of speakers

Ken Ofori-Atta, V20 Chair and Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Republic of Ghana

Bogolo Kenewendo, UN Climate Champions

Carlos Lopes, Chairman of the Board, African Climate Foundation

Margaret Impraim, Green Youth Africa Organization (GAYO)

Philip Osafo-Kwaako, Akosombo Industrial Company Limited, Ghana