The Specter Of Climate Change And What Africa Can Do About It

Several parts of Continental Africa have been at the receiving end of the disastrous effects brought about by climate change. And this has admittedly proven to be a formidable challenge in expanding business opportunities in some of the economically weakest countries of the world.

Several parts of Continental Africa have been at the receiving end of the disastrous effects brought about by climate change. And this has admittedly proven to be a formidable challenge in expanding business opportunities in some of the economically weakest countries of the world.

And yet, the potential for businesses in Africa, cutting across vast swathes of very different sectors and spheres of operations, is undisputed.

Bold and timely interventions by the Governments to combat the effects of climate change could bring in as much as $26 trillion by 2030, while generating upwards of 65 million new employment opportunities with minimal Carbon footprints. This has been noted as per the action plans and updated components of the Paris Climate Accords discussed in late 2020.

Clearly, this largely untapped, economy of Africa is a gold mine for Small, Medium & Small Medium (SMB) industries globally.

Here are 5 steps African nations can bank upon to attract businesses:

The recently-concluded COP26 conference pressed upon these specific points which will directly help Africa tackle climate change.

Stop the expansion of coal-fired power stations

If these 54 nations plan to attract capital without triggering the doomsday forecasts for the next 2 decades, there has to be a complete ban on expanding coal-fired power generating stations. The same hold true for Asia and some European economies as well.

Instead, more emphasis is required on setting up Geothermal, hydroelectric and wind-powered electricity supply stations. Some technologies and ideas can be borrowed from those countries where these renewable power sources have made a mark.

The biggest African nations can enter into ‘Technology Transfer’ agreements with The Netherlands, for example. The latter is the world’s foremost producer of wind-generated electricity.

 

Measure changes and compensate accordingly

The paradox is that while Africa emits very minute quantities of Greenhouse gases, it is at the forefront of those regions bearing the brunt of climate change. In the past 5 years, erratic & unseasonal rainfall has brought both floods & droughts, locust swarms have ravaged crops, while tropical storms have increased in severity.

On the other end of the scales is the rapid increase in population, accelerating urbanization, shortfall in arable land, among others.

All these changes have to be measured and analyzed to determine their impact. Once that is worked out, experts from diverse fields- from Climatologists to Human Rights advocates- can step in and make a difference.

 

Balancing subsistence and conservation

One silver lining that has emerged from the gloomy COP26 forecasts is the heartening news that the iconic and immense Congo Basin Rainforest, second only to the Amazon rainforest in size, has witnessed a decreased rate of deforestation. This positive snippet of news also mentions how the rate of forest degradation has slowed down across the 6 nations which share the lungs of Africa.

Smaller businesses may not have the financial or political clout to influence the future course of action, but they can enter into agreements with regional stakeholders, including the indigenous people and posit themselves on the new plans currently underway that will balance conservation efforts and cut down on the dependence on the rainforest for economic activities.

 

Targeted global investments have to be solicited by African nations

Out of the $100 billion pledged by the United Nations at the Paris Climate Accords, only a measly 3% of the funds have been disbursed, as per the December 2020 report.

For real change to happen, more money has to be disbursed to competent authorities in the Governments. But many Governments have had very limited expertise in handling such amounts for departments & Ministries such as railways and finance.

SMEs can make a difference here. As long as they have the proper licenses and permits to carry out perfectly legal businesses, they can come together and work with the Governmental departments to start soliciting their dues. After all, their business grows when Africa grows!

 

Nurture existing ideas with ‘Green Shoot’ potential

Morocco boasts of the world’s largest solar power farm, spread over about 6,000 acres, called ‘Noor’. South Africa rolled out its Carbon Tax Act in mid-2019, discouraging the use of fossil fuels. SA has also ensured that electricity generated from solar or wind sources cost less than coal-powered generation.

Likewise, Nigeria plans to shift 30% of its existing production capacity to renewable sources by 2030. Already, fossil fuel majors including Shell have signed JVs with several Governments to push forward a PPP-model ‘Clean Energy’ agenda.

The twin pillars of sustainability and renewability have already thrown open the floodgates of new and exciting business opportunities. For a rough estimate of the potential for businesses, remember that Sub-Saharan African nations alone might prove to be a $320 billion mini-economic zone by the end of this decade.

The time to penetrate the African markets is now!   

And Africa Business Venture can help you do that with its single-window solutions custom-made for expanding business in local and diverse African countries. Get in touch with us here at www.africabv.com

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