African Heads of State and Government Climate Finance Dialogue concludes, mobilizing greater alignment of public-private finance mandate for Africa
New York, 4 October 2022 – Creating an environment primed to boost access to private investment, while delivering greater alignment for public-private finance mandate towards fast-tracking the participation of private capital in Africa’s green transition, the African Heads of State and Government-Institutional Investor Climate Finance Dialogue concluded on the margins of the High-Level Segment of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Africa investor (Ai), a leading international investment group, and the United Nations Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (UN OSAA) jointly organized the dialogue, which also looked at leveraging opportunities from the upcoming 27th Conference of the Parties (COP 27) in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, to accelerate the mobilization of climate finance at all levels and promote institutional investor-public partnerships to accelerate the implementation of African Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
Participants agreed the dialogue highlighted Africa’s attractiveness for intra-African institutional co-investments, as well as a new Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) narrative. This is based on Africa elevating the importance of de-risking and addressing the perception of African investment risk and the continent as the world’s climate finance and climate technologies manufacturing hub. For their part, institutional investors welcomed learning more about investment opportunities on the continent.
The Dialogue saw the participation of three African Heads of State, namely H.E. Adama Barrow, President of the Republic of The Gambia, H.E. Wavel Ramkalawan, President of the Republic of Seychelles and H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, President of the Federal Republic of Somalia. Several senior officials and investment leaders took part in the event, including over 10 African Ministers, Dr. Hubert Danso, CEO and Chairman, Africa investor, Ms. Cristina Duarte, Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on Africa, and Amb. Mary Burce Warlick, Deputy Executive Director, International Energy Agency (IEA).
Noting the timeliness of the dialogue, Dr. Hubert Danso highlighted the unique opportunity to forge investment partnerships at scale, ahead of Africa’s COP27 presidency, leveraging the engagement between senior government officials from the continent and leaders from the investment community, to forge institutional investor-public partnerships at scale, that promote and deliver bankable NDC projects that accelerate Africa’s climate transition, as well as the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
For her part, Ms. Cristina Duarte emphasized Africa must address “the three paradoxes” to effectively tackle its climate finance challenges. First, is the finance paradox. Africa is rich in financial resources but often seeks financial assistance and debt relief from the international community. Second, is the energy paradox. Africa has an abundance of energy resources, yet it remains a relatively dark continent. Third, is the food systems paradox. Africa experiences chronic food insecurity despite significant agricultural resources.
The Special Adviser on Africa further stressed the importance of energy access, not only in advancing the climate finance agenda but also in creating employment opportunities that tap into the continent’s demographic dividend. She called on African countries to look within and build strong domestic resource mobilization systems that could leverage international financing from a much fairer position.
Aimed at boosting African NDCs’ bankability, the shortlist for the African NDC Investment AwardsOpens a new window was also announced during the dialogue. This shortlist comprises 100 projects representing US $32 billion of NDC financing and investment opportunities from 43 African countries and all 5 African sub-regions.
Participants will continue their engagement through this Heads of State and Government Climate Finance Dialogue platform, including for COP27 and beyond, on the road to an unprecedented stocktaking exercise anticipated to take place at the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP 28) in the United Arab Emirates.