Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the commissioner with New Climate Economy, has recently noted that if Africa takes the path of green growth, a number of its challenges such as high inequalities, underdevelopment and lack of power, and many others can be turned into opportunities, during a panel discussion on Financing Sustainable Pathways for Development at COP21 in Paris.
The 61-year old former Nigerian Finance Minister said that aside the problems the continent has been facing, Africa has also been experiencing tremendous growth, which is a great opportunity for investment and development. She believes that many solutions to the problems lie within Africa.
She is of the view that for Africa to turn problems into opportunities, the continent needs to take the leading role in mobilizing finances from within the continent and needs to set its ambitions high and develop sustainably.
“Let’s not play the victim, let’s play the leader,” the former Managing Director of the World Bank said. She also noted that powering up Africa will help to improve agriculture productivity, which is the backbone of the economy for most African nations.
One of the solutions she mentioned is the African Risk Capacity (ARC), an Africa Union integrated solution to tackling the impact of natural disasters on vulnerable people.ARC transfers the burden of weather risk away from governments, enabling them to build resilience and better plan, prepare and respond to extreme weather events.
African Development Bank’s (AfDB) Managing Director of Climate Change Division, Kurt Lonsway said the Bank’s strategy focuses on green growth, which is why the AfDB is serious about climate-friendly financing.Two of the Bank’s most important areas of focus are powering up and feeding Africa.
“We need to find solutions to help people on the lower level have access to power, which would in turn open up many opportunities for them,” he said.
At the end of the discussion, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the UK Department of International Development (DFID) and Power Africa under the leadership of USAID.
Green Growth Can Turn Africa’s Challenges into Opportunities11/12/2015