AFDB: Africa needs to accelerate private sector investment in infrastructure
Juil22

AFDB: Africa needs to accelerate private sector investment in infrastructure

AFDB: Africa needs to accelerate private sector investment in infrastructure By Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache   The Kenyan Urgent call President Uhuru Kenyatta has made an urgent call for developing and funding bankable infrastructure projects to drive Africa’s growth agenda during the Africa50 General shareholders Meeting held in Nairobi, Kenya. President Kenyatta said support for bankable projects in energy, transport, ICT, water and sanitation provide unprecedented opportunities for private sector participation. “The private sector must step up and help us close the infrastructure gap on the African continent. Public funding is limited, and there are competing priorities,” he said. Kenyatta announced Kenya would double its current shareholding investment in Africa50 to US$ 100 million. “We must have the confidence to trust and invest in our own infrastructure. Let us grow our partnership and make Africa50 a success.” ” A financing gap of US$ $68 – 108 billion” According to statistics provided by the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) the continent’s infrastructure funding requirements stand at close to US$ 170 billion a year, leaving a financing gap of US$ $68 – 108 billion. African Development Bank President and Chairman of Africa50, Akinwumi Adesina, said, “We need to act with speed and urgency. Our people expect nothing else.” He emphasized the importance of tackling factors that inhibit private sector infrastructure investments, including high costs of financing, weak regulations,  lack of cost reflective tariffs, low profitability, and weak regulatory frameworks for public-private partnerships. Private sector infrastructure financing in Africa remains low, averaging US$ 6 billion per year. In 2016, the figure dipped to US$ 2.6 billion. Adesina said Africa requires new models of financing infrastructure. “We must work smart to attract greater levels of investment financing for infrastructure development in Africa. Globally, there is approximately a US$ 120 trillion pool of savings and private equity. Africa must creatively attract some of this into the continent,” he said. Africa50 In response to Africa’s infrastructure finance deficit, the African Development Bank has launched the Africa Investment Forum (AIF) set to take place in South Africa in November 2018. The transaction-based forum is expected to be a gathering of global pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and institutional investors, and key private sector players. Adesina commended President Kenyatta for the country’s bold commitment to and investments in infrastructure development over the last 5 years. Infrastructure accounts for 77% of the Bank’s Kenya portfolio. “Mr. President, you were one of the first African leaders to support the creation of Africa50, which I am honored to chair,” said Adesina. “The African Development Bank, of which I am President, helped create Africa50 because we believe new institutional models are needed to close Africa’s...

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New green technology to help Kenya ‘s flowers
Juil15

New green technology to help Kenya ‘s flowers

    New green technology to help Kenya ‘s flowers   By Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache It is well known Kenya’s roses, carnations and summer flowers, in particular, are renowned for being long-lasting.  Indeed, one terminal at Nairobi airport is dedicated specially to the transport of flowers and vegetables.  Therefore, perishable floral cargo can go from grower to consumer in record time.  Kenya is the third largest exporter of cut flowers in the world and is the undisputed East African floriculture champion. Flower exports have become Kenya’s third major export (after tea and tourism) bringing more than $100m in to the Kenyan economy each year. But nowadays flowers exports is under constant threat of damage by pest and disease due to climate change. ADAS Horticulture, part of UK based RSK Group, has pioneered new technology for reducing the impact of pest and pathogen attacks which cause significant crop and supply chain losses in Kenya. It will help Kenya become a leading exporter of fresh produce, according to the company. ADAS is indeed a trading name of RSK ADAS Ltd. RSK Group in the UK’s largest privately owned multi-diciplinary  environmental consultancy and one of the fastest growing companies of its kind in Europe. With operations in Europe, Africa, Middle East, its comprehensive, solutions-led consultancy services help organisations around the world conduct business in a compliant and environmentally-responsible manner.   Fighting the disease: UV technology The most problematic disease which causes crop and supply chain losses is Botrytis(commonly known as grey mould) but it is not the only problem.  Pests and pathogens are estimated to contribute up to 40% of cut rose yield losses worldwide. Standard chemical control techniques involving direct spray applications of pesticides are not always effective and their use is being constantly challenged by consumer and environmental impact concerns. To address the problem of pestilence and find a sustainable, environmentally friendly solution, ADAS has spent the last three years working  with industry and academic partners to develop new sustainable, non-contact, non-chemical technologies. The project was funded by Innovate UK. Explaining the innovative technology, Dr Barry Mulholland, Director, ADAS Horticulture, said, “We worked with a Kenyan business, which grows and exports roses back to the UK. To him, the technology comprises two strands: firstly, UV light to make crops more resistant to pest and pathogen attack and also improve product marketable quality; and secondly, UV light in post harvest environments to remove ethylene, which is known as the “silent killer” and is responsible for the accelerated ageing of fresh produce.” This is the first time ever that UV technology has been on a crop while it is growing. It has been noted by the company that the resistance goes through the supply chain. How does it work? “By removing ethylene, the ageing process is effectively suspended. By simply extending shelf life by...

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Investing in climate risk: the new strategy–Sovereign Wealth Funds
Juil06

Investing in climate risk: the new strategy–Sovereign Wealth Funds

  Investing in climate risk: the new strategy  -Sovereign Wealth Funds Six sovereign wealth funds which collectively represent more than USD 3 trillion in assets have committed to only invest in companies that factor climate risks into their strategies, thereby helping to achieve the climate goals of the Paris Agreement. By Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache Given the size, long term investment horizons of sovereign wealth funds (SWFs), and the financial risks posed to SWFs should warming exceed 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, SWFs are in a unique position to both benefit from sustainable market outcomes and to accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy. The six funds are organized in the “One Planet Sovereign Wealth Fund Working Group,  established in December 2017 at the One Planet Summit in Paris, France. The working group consists of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Kuwait Investment Authority, the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, Norges Bank Investment Management of Norway, the Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the Qatar Investment Authority. In a joint statement from all 6 SWFs, they said that “By using the Framework, SWFs can reinforce their long-term value creation, improve their risk-return profile, and increase long-term portfolio resilience by factoring and integrating climate issues into their decision-making.” The framework The framework is based on three principals: alignment, ownership, and integration. Alignment of investment decisions with climate change conscientiousness includes the recommendation of public reporting on the alignment and the consideration that the financial risks from climate change may prevent SWFs from delivering the same returns in the future. The second principal of ownership encourages companies to take responsibility for climate change in their business strategy and planning, governance, and risk management. Companies are expected to understand the implications of their greenhouse gas emissions and take responsibility for reducing the emissions to levels agreed upon in the Paris Climate Agreement. SWFs are also encouraged in the framework to help companies understand the financial risks of climate change that the Paris Agreement seeks to address. Ownership also suggests that SWFs require companies to provide regular reporting of climate change related data according to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. The third and final principal is the full integration of climate change related risk and investment opportunities into the SWF investment strategy. Funds should be managed according to the expected transition to a low carbon economy and include a focus on investment in climate change adaptation and mitigation to reduce investment risks. Climate change risk should also be considered in new investment decisions.  An investment that would increase greenhouse gas emissions and thus climate change will lead to greater risk in the...

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Nigeria-climate action : “We can all make a difference to climate change”- Olumide Idowu* 
Juil05

Nigeria-climate action : “We can all make a difference to climate change”- Olumide Idowu* 

Nigeria-climate action : “We can all make a difference to climate change”- Olumide Idowu*   Column   Changing our lifestyle It is easy to get disheartened or fearful about climate change. Climate change in Nigeria is principally a major problem caused by the increase of human activities if you like, call it human mismanagement of the earth leading to several direct and indirect impacts on health. These climatic changes have wide-range harmful effects including increase in heat-related mortality, dehydration, spread of infectious diseases, malnutrition, damage to public health infrastructure. If we continue as we are now, the effects of global warming around the world could be catastrophic. Some aspects of climate change may already be irreversible. Yet many scientists believe that by taking positive action now, it is possible to slow the pace of climate change and reduce further global warming. Changing our lifestyle and our behaviour will help reduce the human impact on the environment. We can all make a difference to climate change. Here are some suggestions for a healthier, more sustainable approach to living in our environment in Nigeria. Reduce Car Emissions: Leave the car in the garage and walk or cycle for short trips; Use public transport; Keep your car tyres inflated to the recommended pressure; Drive slowly and smoothly; Car-pool with workmates.   Reduce Energy Expenditure in your Home: Turn off lights and appliances when not in use; Replace regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs; Insulate your home and reduce your heating and cooling bills; Install a water-saving showerhead and take shorter showers; Dry your clothes outside on the line rather than in the clothes dryer; Switch to ‘green energy’ for your electricity needs.   Reduce your ‘Carbon Footprint’ When you Shop: Buy local and seasonal food produce to reduce energy use in transport and storage; Buy items with minimal packaging whenever possible; If you buy new items, make sure they are made from sustainable, low-impact materials; Buy secondhand rather than new – from op shops, garage sales or over the Internet.   Recycle Waste and Reuse Pre-Loved Items: Recycle as much of your rubbish as you can; Compost vegetable scraps; ‘Detox your home’ – dispose of unwanted chemicals safely rather than pouring them down the sink or putting them in the rubbish bin; Be creative in finding new uses for ‘found’ or pre-loved objects.   Longer term choices that help the Environment: Buy energy efficient household appliances; Install a solar-powered hot water system; Install rainwater tanks; Buy a more fuel-efficient car or think about not owning a car – perhaps you can share one; Move to an area where your workplace, shops...

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World Environment day: ” We must not let education become the forgotten casualty of climate change”-Silas Lwakabamba
Juin05

World Environment day: ” We must not let education become the forgotten casualty of climate change”-Silas Lwakabamba

World Environment day: “We must not let education become the forgotten casualty of climate change”-Silas Lwakabamba*   On World Environment Day, there are plenty of words spoken about the obvious damage being wreaked by climate change – the chaos of hurricanes, wild fires and melting polar ice caps is there for all to see. But there’s another more hidden casualty of this new world of rising temperatures, drought, and increased natural disasters:  the education of our young people. At the simplest level, the wilder weather that we’re already seeing means children are prevented from getting to school. Hurricanes Irma and Harvey meant 1.7 millionUS students were temporarily unable to go to school last year – and officials in Puerto Rico have also recently announced plans to close over 280 schools following the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria. “Climate change is compounding educational inequalities that already exist” In wealthier nations, the damage caused by the increasing occurrence of extreme weather events more often than not tends to cause temporary disruption to children’s education.  But in poorer countries, the consequences can be far more long lasting. Buildings and infrastructure can take months or years to rebuild, with devastating implications for learning. Girls are most likely to be taken out of school in the wake of climate-related shocks, as was found in studies in Pakistan and Uganda after natural disasters there. So, indirectly, climate change is compounding educational inequalities that already exist. But the hardest hit parts of the world are those where universal education is still denied millions and Sub-Saharan Africa is on the front lines. Adult literacyrates are around 65%, compared to a global average of 86%. Here, over a fifth of childrenaged 6-11 are out of school, and a third of those aged 12-14. In Rwanda, we know the devastating impact of being forced from one’s home can have on a child’s education. But the big refugee crises of the future will not just be driven by war, but by the environment, with experts warning tens of millionsare likely to be displaced in the next decade by droughts and crop failures brought about by climate change.  What’s more, rising temperatures are predicted to result in the spread of lethal diseases. It is thought that a 2°C rise in temperatures could lead to an additional 40-60 million people in Africa being exposed to malaria. The disease is already one of the most significant factors in student absenteeism on the continent, with estimates ranging from 13 – 50%depending on the region.  Environmental changes are diminishing children’s education in other ways too. Malnourishmentdirectly affects children’s ability to learn. The World Food Programme has identified hunger and malnutrition as one of the most significant impacts of...

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Reasons Why We Should Care About the Environment
Mai17

Reasons Why We Should Care About the Environment

    Reasons Why We Should Care About the Environment   The environment around us is an essential part of human survival. I like to believe that people who do not care about the environment, simply do not understand how important it is to all of us and that it does not affect them directly, these are my reasons you should be concerned about the environment. A Clean Environment Is Essential for Healthy Living: The more you don’t care about our environment, the more it will become polluted with contaminants and toxins that have a harmful impact on our health. Air pollution can cause respiratory diseases and cancer, among other problems and diseases. Water pollution can lead to typhoid, diarrheal diseases, and another one. The local authorities have to promote care the environment.   Earth Is Warming: For the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change. Yes, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. Now it not possible to ignore that.   Your Great-Great & Great-Great-Great Grandchildren Will Appreciate It: But there must be the look ahead, there must be a realization of the fact that to waste, to destroy, our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness.   Biodiversity Is Important: Biodiversity refers to the variety of plants, animals, and other living things in our world. it can be negatively influenced by habitat loss and degradation due to human activity, climate change, and pollution, among other things. Earth Is Our Home: It’s where we live, so we better take care of it. For sure we could be better person if we help with small things for our home, this planet the only that we have now.   What Can We Do? The problems we are facing now are tough. However, the good news is that, you don’t have to be an expert or a millionaire to save the Planet – everyone can help to do their bit for the environment. In other words, if each of us can be more conscious of environmental issues and willing to take some simple steps to save the Planet, we can make a huge contribution. Nowadays, with increasing environmental awareness among the public, people around the world are coming together to fight for a greener future, and the effort has achieved great results. As a pioneering member of environmental advocacy community, Better World International is always committed to improve and take care of our surrounding environment, by providing practical tips to its members on the things they can do to live more...

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