iEcoAfrica is a network of actors and entities embedding a culture of sustainability in the ecosystems around and inside organisations in Africa. Our value chain consists of sustainability communications, trade, investment and consultancy. We use varying communications medium, including Environmental, Economic, Social, Governance Reporting and Disclosure frameworks to communicate an organisations value creation. We build expertise in general management, guide practical experience and develop a network of skills and knowledge that offer the best returns to investors, customers and community stakeholders. Our Unique Selling Point is our ability to create project partners that deliver technical prowess, financing and stakeholder engagement that results in a social license to operate. Our current strategic focus is Agri-business and Renewable Energy Economies.
Entrepreneurship and African industrialisatio
An expert panel discusses how to strengthen entrepreneurship and successfully develop market-based sectors that can help to industrialise and transform economies, generating returns for the whole of society, not just those at the top.
UN SSE responds to call for stock exchanges to help implement FSB climate-related financial disclosure recommendations
With the release of the Financial Stability Board’s (FSB) Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations, the SSE Model Guidance on Reporting ESG Information has been updated, encouraging exchanges to support its implementation and include it as a resource to educate issuers. To further support the work of the Task Force, exchanges can reference its recommendations in their own reporting guides, provide training, and directly engage issuers, investors and securities regulators.
The Task Force recommends that organizations provide climate-related financial disclosures in their mainstream annual financial filings. Therefore, they have called on stock exchanges, along with other organizations, to support the implementation of these recommendations.
Stock exchanges are strategically placed to promote more sustainable capital markets that generate long-term value. Exchanges that promote transparency and high quality reporting, which include Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors, are helping market participants to understand important drivers of value creation.
Climate is increasingly recognised as a critical issue for investors and issuers alike. The TCFD recommendations recognize the challenges associated with measuring the impact of climate change, but “believes that by moving climate-related issues into mainstream annual financial filings, practices and techniques will evolve more rapidly.” Providing voluntary guidance to issuers on reporting climate-relevant financial disclosures can be a direct and influential opportunity for exchanges to facilitate effective corporate communication, without increasing the regulatory burden on issuers.
With the recent release of the TCFD recommendations, companies now have a common financial language for communicating on climate-related issues with investors. The PRI recently published a series of country-level climate disclosure reviews with the global law firm Baker McKenzie, covering Brazil, Canada, the EU, Japan and the UK. The reviews find that in all markets covered, the TCFD recommendations would assist materially in implementing existing regulation and guidance for investors and companies.
The Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative has been actively working with stock exchanges globally to ensure all markets provide consistent guidance to issuers on reporting ESG information to investors. The SSE’s Model Guidance is a template that exchanges are using to develop customised guidance for their market. Since the release of the Model Guidance the number of stock exchanges producing their own ESG guide has more than doubled.
Any exchange interested in creating a new reporting guide or updating an existing guide is encouraged to reach out to the SSE initiative.
Views on the FSB TCFD recommendations
“We welcome the report recommendations as they will help establish a valuable framework for investors to understand how the companies in their portfolios are transitioning to a two degrees world. In the past, investors have not had access to this data so the report is a real game-changer for them in terms of being able to more efficiently manage the risks in their portfolios. The PRI will be actively engaging its members on the suggested guidelines, which we also expect them to follow, and, beginning next year, we will be aligning our reporting & assessment framework to the recommendations.” - Fiona Reynolds, Managing Director, Principles for Responsible Investment
“Without a good understanding of how your company is addressing issues related to climate change, investors would be unable to develop a positive view of you.” - Lian Sim Yeo, Special Adviser, Singapore Stock Exchange
“There is no greater risk to society than not tackling climate change – a central element of sustainability. That’s why at Aviva we actively consider climate risks and their potential impact on investors. It’s why we have taken the lead in engaging with companies and at the government level on the need to tackle climate change, including participating in the FSB TCFD. As a supporter of the SSE initiative since its inception in 2009 and chair of the SSE Investor Working Group, Aviva has been working with stock exchanges to enhance disclosure of ESG information for many years. With the launch of the TCFD recommendations, we commend the SSE for updating their own guidance, and encourage exchanges to support the implementation of the recommendations by including them in their own disclosure guidelines.” – Steve Waygood, Chief Responsible Investment Officer, Aviva Investors
“B3 welcomes the TCFD recommendations as it is aligned with our agenda by asking for consistent financial disclosures on material climate related risks and opportunities to be used by investors, lenders, insurers, and other stakeholders. We will include the recommendations in our next updated version of our Novo Valor guide and Gilson Finkelsztain, our CEO, has signed the statement of support and hope to see other business leaders to follow suit.” - Sonia Favaretto, Media Relations, Sustainability, Communications and Social Investment Managing Director for B3
“London Stock Exchange Group’s ESG Reporting Guidance advocates harmonisation of global standards for reporting. The Task Force’s recommendations give a big push to climate disclosure harmonization across jurisdictions, enabling both issuers and investors to report in a comparable way. We therefore call on all exchanges to incorporate the TCFD recommendations into their reporting guidance to help drive better and more consistent disclosure and data globally.” - David Harris, Group Head of Sustainable Business, London Stock Exchange Group
To see more statements of support convened by the TCFD see here.
From dry to wet: Rainfall might abruptly increase in Africa's Sahel
Climate change could turn one of Africa's driest regions into a very wet one by suddenly switching on a Monsoon circulation. For the first time, scientists find evidence in computer simulations for a possible abrupt change to heavy seasonal rainfall in the Sahel, a region that so far has been characterized by extreme dryness. They detect a self-amplifying mechanism which might kick-in beyond 1.5-2 degrees Celsius of global warming – which happens to be the limit for global temperature rise set in the Paris Climate Agreement. Although crossing this new tipping point is potentially beneficial, the change could be so big, it would be a major adaptation challenge for an already troubled region.
“More rain in a dry region can be good news,” says lead-author Jacob Schewe from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). “Climate change due to greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels really has the power to shake things up. It is driving risks for crop yields in many regions and generally increases dangerous weather extremes around the globe, yet in the dry Sahel there seems to be a chance that further warming might indeed enhance water availability for farming and grazing.” Co-author Anders Levermann from PIK and LDEO of New York’s Columbia University adds: “We don’t know what the impacts on the ground will be, this is beyond the scope of our study; but imagine the chance of a greening Sahel. Still, the sheer size of the possible change is mindboggling – this is one of the very few elements in the Earth system that we might witness tipping soon. Once the temperature approaches the threshold, the rainfall regime could shift within just a few years.”
Regions like the central parts of Mali, Niger, and Chad – which are practically part of the Sahara desert – could receive as much rainfall as is today registered in central Nigeria or northern Cameroon which boast a richly vegetated tropical climate.
A new tipping element in the climate system
Dozens of cutting-edge climate computer simulation systems indicate, on average, a weak wet trend for the Sahel under unabated climate change, so it is well known that there’ll likely be some more rain in the region in a warming world. The scientists now took a closer look at those simulations that show the greatest increase, plus 40 to plus 300 percent more rain, while others show only a mild increase or even slight decreases. They find that in these wet simulations, as the surrounding oceans warm, Sahel rainfall increases suddenly and substantially. During the same time the monsoon winds that blow from the Atlantic ocean to the continental interior get stronger and extend northwards. This is reminiscent of periods in earth’s history during which, according to paleoclimatic findings, African and Asian monsoon systems alternated between wet and dry, sometimes quite abruptly.
The scientists previously identified a self-amplifying mechanism behind the sudden rainfall changes. When the ocean surface temperature increases, more water is evaporated. The moist air drifts onto land, where the water is released. When water vapor turns into rain, heat gets released. This increases the temperature difference between the generally cooler ocean and the warmer landmasses, sucking more moist winds into the continent’s interior. This again will produce more rain, and so on. “Temperatures have to rise beyond a certain point to start this process,” explains Schewe. “We find that the threshold for this ‘Sahel monsoon’ is remarkably similar across different models. It seems to be a robust finding.”
Huge adaptation challenge for an already troubled region
“The enormous change that we might see would clearly pose a huge adaptation challenge to the Sahel,” says Levermann. “From Mauritania and Mali in the West to Sudan and Eritrea in the East, more than 100 million people are potentially affected that already now are confronted with a multifold of instabilities, including war. Particularly in the transition period between the dry climatic conditions of today and the conceivably much wetter conditions at the end of our century, the Sahel might experience years of hard-to-handle variability between drought and flood. Obviously, agriculture and infrastructure will have to meet this challenge. As great as it hopefully were for the dry Sahel to have so much more rain,” concludes Levermann, “the dimension of the change calls for urgent attention.”
Article: Jacob Schewe, Anders Levermann (2017): Non–linear intensification of Sahel rainfall as a possible dynamic response to future warming. Earth Syst. Dynam., 8, 495-505. [DOI: 10.5194/esd-8-495-2017]
Weblink to the article once it is published: http://www.earth-syst-dynam.net/8/495/2017/
Future Energy Central Africa in Yaounde unites region in finding solutions to its energy deficit
Encouraging private and public collaboration to make energy deals happen is high on the agenda at the rebranded Future Energy Central Africa forum that is taking place from 2-3 October in Yaoundé, Cameroon this year. "We have deliberately put together a very practical programme" says event director Marie Sachet, "because I believe all stakeholders agree on what the generation potential in the region is, but we need specific actions to prepare the sector for much-needed investments and bankable power projects."
She continues: "Future Energy Central Africa is working with the energy ministries in the region, project developers, financiers as well as regulators to set the agenda to encourage private and public cooperation in order to increase energy capacity and economic growth in Central Africa. Our conference programme includes a high-level ministerial keynote panel discussion on the opening day, successful project leaders from the private sector as well as utility leaders."
The Central African Power Pool is an official partner of the event while two regional energy ministers, namely Hon. Léopold Mboli Fatran, the Central African Republic’s Minister of Mines, Energy and Hydraulics, and Hon. Eugenio Edu Ndong, Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Energy and Industry, have already been confirmed to take part in the ministerial discussion panel.
More energy experts on the programme at Future Energy Central Africa include:
- Jean Chrisostome Mekondongo, Permanent Secretary at the Central African Power Pool, Brazzaville:
"In the context of the energy challenges facing Africa, the Infrastructure Development Programme in Africa (PIDA), in particular the energy infrastructure component, focused on major hydroelectric projects and the interconnection of exchange systems of energy, is the essential device for the coherent and harmonious electrification of the continent."
- Moussa Ousman, Director of Energy, Central African Republic (CAR):
"The message I want to send to investors at this Future Energy forum is that there are many opportunities in the energy sector in Central Africa. The region has significant energy potential but is the least electrified in all of Africa. The energy sector is liberalized, the business climate is relatively good, we count on investors’ support to help build the energy infrastructure that Central Africa needs. Everyone will find their business deal."
- Jean-Jacques Ngono, Managing Partner Africa, FinerGreen, Côte d’Ivoire:
"The legal frameworks are evolving in most African countries and aim to create welcoming environments for project developers and IPPs. PPAs and Feed-in-Tariff incentives are a great way to launch the dynamic, attract investors and structure the market, but it is with a competitive environment that we will see a fall in the energy production costs, resulting in more affordable electricity for the end users."
For the full interviews with these and other speakers, go to: http://www.future-energy-centralafrica.com/interviews
The event once again enjoys widespread support from the industry with the global electrical services giant Siemens returning as the gold sponsor, while Conlog, Clarke Energy and Voith are also sponsoring again.
Leading energy meeting platforms
Future Energy Central Africa, formerly known as iPAD Cameroon Energy Infrastructure Forum, has evolved into a regional strategic gathering that will allow neighbouring Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe to share their expertise, project developments and plans in order to facilitate regional grid integration.
Future Energy Central Africa is organised by Spintelligent, a multi-award-winning Cape Town-based exhibition and conference producer across the continent in the infrastructure, real estate, energy, mining, agriculture and education sectors. Other well-known events by Spintelligent include African Utility Week, Future Energy East Africa (formerly EAPIC), Future Energy Nigeria (formerly WAPIC), Future Energy Uganda, Agritech Expo Zambia, Kenya Mining Forum, Nigeria Mining Week and DRC Mining Week. Spintelligent is part of the UK-based Clarion Events Group.
Future Energy Central Africa dates and location:
Strategic conference: 2-3 October 2017
Venue: Hilton Yaoundé Hotel, Boulevard du 20 Mai, Yaoundé, Cameroon
The IPA Observer Investment promotion and facilitation monitor
The publication looks at investment facilitation and how investment promotion agencies (IPAs) in different countries have adopted and developed various tools and programmes to better serve investors.
Case studies are from Kenya (the implementation of UNCTAD’s eRegulations programme), Jamaica (the preparation and packaging of potential investment projects) and Germany (the creation of technology partnerships).
The note provides several takeaways for IPAs:
· Investment promotion and facilitation go hand in hand,
· Investment in the SDGs requires enhanced facilitation,
· Partnerships in investment facilitation dramatically improve a location’s offer.
There is a wide range of policy options and measures available to IPAs for expanding and improving their service offer to investors. UNCTAD's Global Action Menu for Investment Facilitation provides a guiding framework to support a new generation of investment facilitation strategies that can mobilize investment in sustainable development.
The Highs and Lows of Government's 'Planting for Food and Jobs' Campaign & Recommendations
Agriculture has remained a central driver of Ghana’s economy despite the structural modifications that have occurred over the years. For a sector that employs 35.95% of the active labour force as revealed in a recent report by the Ghana Statistical Services and a major source of revenue for the government, a substantial growth is likely to have a huge impact on the economy. In 2015, Ghana’s total revenue from non-traditional exports alone amounted to US$2.522 billion (GHs 9.210 billion). Though the sector’s contribution has been enormous in the past, recent growth and performance statistics has not matched up to expectations. The contribution of the sector to Ghana’s GDP has dwindled over time. From a leading contributing sector for several years with a percentage contribution of 56% as of 1980, the sector currently trails behind the Service sector with a contribution rate of 21% as of December 2016. The annual growth rate in the sector has also been low as compared to the service sector while production levels of key crops have greatly varied. Lack of effective post-crop management schemes to handle the quantity produced among other factors has forced the nation to be a net importer of various basic foods and its associated pressure on the local currency.
Source: Ghana Statistical Service (2016) and Ministry of Finance (2017)
In the face of these challenges, successive governments have carried out several policies, enacted a series of legislations aimed at revamping the sector to maximise returns, yet little has been accomplished. For instance, the fertiliser subsidy program was reintroduced in 2008 as a tool to incentivise fertiliser use and increase production but after almost a decade of implementation, fertiliser application has remained significantly low. Food and Agriculture Sector and Development Policy (FADEP I& II) and Medium Term Agriculture Sector Investment Plan METASIP I &II (2014-2017) among others have been implemented as well. Access to finance, land tenure system and post-harvest management still remain a challenge. Though some funds have been devoted in the past to build irrigation facilities, the number of schemes remains very low while others have been left unmaintained thereby negatively affecting production. It has been estimated that approximately 96% of all cultivated land in Ghana have no source of reliable water. With the recent sporadic rainfall and the menacing effect of climate alteration, more investment is needed to ensure a dependable source of water for agriculture.
As an attempt to address these challenges, several promises were made on the campaign front in the run up to the 2016 general election. Precisely, the incumbent NPP government in their manifesto sought to “modernise agriculture, improve output efficiency, achieve food security, and profitability for our farmers, all directed at significantly increasing agriculture productivity” After three months in government, an agricultural revolution campaign dubbed, “Planting for Food and jobs”(PFFJ) a program expected to mirror the erstwhile 1970 “Operation Feed Yourself” (OFY) programme was successfully launched at a symbolic location in the Brong Ahafo Region by the President. The campaign, as stipulated in the 2017 Budget Statement will be hinged on five (5) key pillars; provision of improved seeds; supply of fertilisers;provision of dedicated extension services; marketing and e-agriculture and monitoring.
The Government aims to create 750, 000 direct and indirect jobs which are debatable since no details on how these jobs will be created have been provided and especially when the campaign is targeting farmers who are already engaged in the sector. According to the 2017 Budget Statement with a corroboration in the Draft Concept Note of the campaign, a successful implementation is projected to result in an increase in the production yields of maize by at least 30%, rice production increased by 49%, Soybean by 25% and sorghum by 28%. A total of GHs 560.5 million ($140.1 million) has been allocated in the 2017 budget to cater for the estimated cost of the campaign (see Table 1.1 for the cost break down).
Table 1.1: Cost Summary of the Planting for Food and Jobs Campaign
Source: Draft Concept Note of the Planting for Food and Jobs
**These are provisional figures in the Draft Concept and there is a possibility it could be different from the final document which is yet to be issued.
As part of the implementation, there are plans to create awareness to incentivise formal workers and institutions (both private and public) to have their own farms/backyard gardening where they can grow cereals and other vegetables with a total amount of GHs 200 million allocated for marketing. In the face of this movement, one key question lingers; is the campaign sufficient to achieve the stipulated goals of increasing production of selected food items easily and aid in addressing some of the numerous challenges in the sector?
A careful analysis of the five components of the campaign reveals that the campaign does not offer any new solutions/interventions, but rather is an assemblage of existing old policies which to a large extent failed to enhance development within the sector. It is unfortunate to note that such a flagship programme was launched without a comprehensive policy document/implementation plan. This does not augur well as far as the implementation of the project is concern. An attempt to get the final document, two months after launching the programme proved futile since only a draft report exists currently.
Provision of Inputs
It is an undeniable fact that lack of improved seeds and sufficient amount of fertiliser hampers productivity in the agricultural sector. A critical review of past budget statements indicates a need for increasing fertiliser use at a subsidised price within the sector. And yet mixed outcomes have largely been achieved. In 2016 alone, 90,000 metric tonnes of subsidised fertiliser was procured and distributed to 650,000 crop farmers nationwide under the Fertiliser Subsidy Programme. After almost a decade of implementation, fertiliser application has remained significantly low. The implementation of the programme has also birthed several inefficiencies ranging from late delivery, politicisation of distribution, smuggling and other related corrupt activities. As an attempt to address these challenges, news broke recently about the NPP government’s decision to slash fertiliser prices by 50% to replace the freebies thereby providing even grounds for farmers to access farm inputs.
However, under the PFFJ campaign, the government, as stipulated in the draft concept note intends to distribute these already subsidised fertilisers based on an instalment plan where farmers under the program are required to pay 50% of the subsidised price and then reimburse the rest after harvesting their produce. Past evidence of how government loan schemes have been managed suggest that such an arrangement is likely to generate negative consequences. With news of over GHs 135 million piled up debt at MASLOC and the GHs 35million loan saga at the Venture Capital Trust, it is imperative for the government to redesign this payment arrangement. Already, the Agricultural Development Bank has pledged support for the programme by allocating a total of GHs 450 million. It will be more efficient for the farmers to access soft loan from the bank to buy the input on the market to avoid non-repayment and unnecessary delays in supply.
Also the sustainability of such an approach is highly uncertain as research has established such an arrangement may be successful in the short run in raising food production, but budgetary costs, low loan repayment and sales into parallel markets makes it difficult to sustain. African countries, including Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Nigeria, and Malawi, implemented such state-led fertiliser programs in the 1980s but were forced to scale back or halt the program altogether due to budgetary pressure. The targeted version of the program where only ‘proven farmers’ qualify to be part of the programme may defuse the entire aim of launching the campaign. Ghana’s Agricultural sector is dominated by small grower farmers therefore setting a five-acre land requirement is an indirect attempt to exclude them from the programme which may constitute a formula for tragedy. It is thus not surprising to notice that the government has begun sounding off about low enrollment rate. The long term plan to support local companies to produce fertilisers locally using easily available biodegradable waste is however commendable.
Extension Services and Monitoring
One of the key pillars of the programme is government’s decision to employ a total of 3,200 extension officers already trained in the various agricultural colleges in the country. The Review Committee, tasked to review the erstwhile operation feed yourself as part of their concluding remarks admitted that the shortage of extension manpower could constraint the success of the programme. Therefore, it was a relief to note that the government intends to add up to the existing extension officers in Country. These officers the government claims, will be well resourced with the required logistics and attached to the participating farmers in all 216 districts. On the average, one extension officer will be accountable to 6 farmers.
Though extension service is an important component in agriculture, its availability remains inadequate in Ghana. Government should aim at extending such crucial services to all farmers in the country rather than limiting it to only participating farmers in order to achieve sustained growth. If investing in manpower may bloat the wage bill and increase government spending, investment in technology such as mobile phones and Internet kiosks may offer an effective alternate approach which may be less costly. Establishing farmer training sectors in each district where farmers can get information on best farming practices could also be useful.
Lack of access to market for agricultural goods has been a major problem for several decades. As part of the implementation plan, the government intends to play a facilitating role by connecting farmers to potential buyers. These buyers are supposed to exhibit certain characteristics such evidence of the capacity of managing buyback of a minimum of 1,000 Mt of cereals and legume. The sad truth is that, playing the role of a facilitator without the right infrastructure may yield little results or nothing at all.
The rural economy where most of the food items come from have been neglected for far too long. Most of these areas have little or no infrastructure to support private sector investment of such caliber. Bad roads, lack of electricity and other basic amenities makes it too costly and almost impossible for businesses to operate. It will be useful for government to focus on expanding infrastructure to such areas. Renewable energy technology is expanding and has been tested by various economies as an efficient off the grid energy for rural communities to address agricultural challenges. Ghana can take lessons from Kenya, where the government is using renewable energy (wind and solar) to extend electricity to rural communities.
Conclusion & Recommendations
Ghana’s agricultural sector is bedeviled with several challenges which has over the years affected productivity and gains from the sector. The planting for food and job is one of the government’s flagship programme, aimed at improving food security, reducing food importation and create employment for the youth. Aside from the commendable effort of listing quantifiable goals for easy tracking, other key ingredients are essential to complement the already outlined strategies to ensure sustained growth within the sector.
Access to finance remains a huge challenge within the sector yet the campaign is silent on it. It is needful for the government to roll out policies that will incentivise private banks to give credit to farmers at low interest rate. The high risk nature of the business makes it difficult for the financial institutions to give loans to those within the agricultural sector. The recently launched credit guarantee fund by the Bank of Ghana dubbed, “Ghana Incentive Based Risk Sharing System of Agriculture Lending (GIRSAL)” a value chain financing model aimed at relieving the sector’s encumbrance of accessing credit is a commendable step that needs to be sustained and implemented effectively.
However, going forward, successive governments should help and promote the creation and sustainability of financial products for the agriculture sector. Such support can be in the form of flexible requirements and tax incentives. The government also has a bigger role in ensuring inclusive financing. With the right infrastructure in place, private financial institutions will be willing to extend financial services to most rural areas which will motivate the farmers to save part of their incomes against future expenditure.
The unreliable nature of the weather coupled with the effect of climate change makes it unproductive to depend on the rain as the main source of water for cultivation. It was imperative for the government to include a comprehensive water availability plan in the implementation strategy. Government has revealed its plan to implement the one village one dam promise by allocating some resources in the maiden budget but there is the need to speed up the implementation process.
The planting for food and job campaign in brief seeks to address challenges with farming inputs such as seed, fertilizer and extension services as well as the marketing of the food crops. However, the programme in its current structure fails to tackle the most critical challenge inhibiting productivity in the agric value chain: mechanization of the farming process. Incorporating significant agritech in the campaign to improve the entire value chain: from seed tracking, land preparation, irrigation, harvesting, storage and packaging can improve production and attract the youth into the sector as well.
Several opportunities exist for the country to use technology to solve most agriculture related challenges yet technology uptake and utilisation within the sector is very limited. The government should sensitise and also encourage the youth and the private sector to come up with technology driven innovations that can solve the issue of post-harvest losses, access to inputs, market etc.
Periodic technological programmes such as hackathons should be organized by the Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment Science and Technology to encourage and celebrate agriculture innovations. The agricultural technology departments in the universities must be linked with local farming communities to identify specific problems to encourage appropriate technology solutions. Science and which connects innovators with industry players should be organised and supported. Increase in budgetary allocation to the Science, Technology and Innovation sector as well as enforcement of copyright legislations are also required.
The campaign can be a golden opportunity for the government to generate more revenue from exports beyond the increase in food crops targeted so far. Non-traditional export products such as cashew, palm-nut, and fruits should be considered in the list of the targeted crops under the programme. Doing so will not only increase the revenue of the country but will create more jobs and improve the well-being of farmers.
This report was authored by IMANI’s Research Assistant, Ms Constance Ababio. For interviews please contact her on 0302 972 939 or 0554 309 966.
 Ghana Statistical Service (2017), 2015 Labour Force Report
 Ibrahim R. (2016), Non-traditional exports see marginal growth …three years to US$5bn target – Available at: http://thebftonline.com/business/economy/20763/non-traditional-exports-see-marginal-growth-three-years-to-us5bn-target.html
 The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2017 Financial Year. Presented to Parliament on Thursday, 2nd March, 2017
 FAO Country Fact Sheet On Food And Agricultural Policy Trends
 EU Development and Cooperation (2017), Joint Evaluation of Budget Support to Ghana(2000-2015), Draft Final Report Volume 1.
 Oxford Business Group (2017), The Report: Ghana 2017
 International Food Policy Research Institute (2009), Climate Change Impact on Agriculture and Costs of Adaptation, A Food Policy Report.
 New Patriotic Party 2016 Manifesto
 National Research Council (2008), Emerging Technologies to Benefit Farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, The National Academy of Sciences
 The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2017 Financial Year. Presented to Parliament on Thursday, 2nd March, 2017
 FAO Country Fact Sheet On Food And Agricultural Policy Trends
 The World Bank (2006), Alternative Approaches for Promoting Fertiliser Use in Africa, Agriculture and Rural Development Discussion Paper 22. Available at :https://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTARD/Resources/ARD_DP22_FINAL.pdf
 According to the Draft Concept Note on the Campaign, A proven farmer is one that is recognized in his locality as a successful farmer. Someone that has operated in the locality and faced with the same challenges but has managed to deviate positively and as a result is deemed by peers to have some unique knowledge and experience worth sharing.
 Review Committee Report on Operation Feed Yourself and Operation Feed Your Industry (1977).
 Ministry of Food and Agriculture: Draft Concept Note of the Planting for Food and Job Program
Education, migration and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
This briefing explores the challenges and opportunities related to primary-school education for migrants – especially in host countries – and the implications for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda). It highlights why education matters for migrants and their host countries, trends in primary education, and how migrant education contributes to the achievement of various Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), particularly Goal 4.
- 31 million school-aged children are international migrants, and this number is set to grow. Their education is therefore a long-term strategic priority and investment.
- Educating migrant children is essential to meet SDG 4, and more broadly to achieve economic and social benefits such as improved livelihoods, better health outcomes, reductions in gender inequities and enhanced political participation.
- Large and unexpected migration flows can disrupt education systems, disadvantage migrant and refugee children and create tensions in host communities. To combat this, a combination of forward-planning and contingency funding is needed.
- Education plays an important role in social integration, economic mobility and learning outcomes. Migrant children should not be placed in segregated classes or schools, nor solely taught in their native language.
- There is limited data on the education of migrant and refugee children. Government and international institutions need to collaborate to collect such data, and use it to support vulnerable groups.
Investors demand better social impact data
Long-disinterested in the climate change debate, investors everywhere have been slowly waking up to the realisation that environmental impacts equal poor corporate returns and increased exposure to risk on their investment.
Impetus will no doubt come from the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosures, a newly established group set up by G20 nations. It offers a voluntary framework to help business disclose the financial impact of climate-related risks and opportunities, drawing on the support of 100 companies worth a collective $11tn.
It is yet another tool to help investors, lenders and insurers better understand how firms manage climate risk – and help companies work out how to present the right information that will best explain their climate strategy.
It seems to be working. In June, Sweden’s largest national pension fund identified six companies it said had breached the Paris accord, ditching them from its portfolio.
Picking out – and dealing with – the climate laggards appears to be getting easier. But what about investor requests for information on how companies deal with social impacts? A new coalition of 79 institutional investors with nearly $8tn in assets under management, set up by ShareAction, is keen to put the issue on the table. It plans to put pressure on companies to disclose more information on how they manage their global workforce, including their suppliers.
According to Kelly Christodoulou, governance manager for investments at AustralianSuper, integrating workforce issues into the investment process “will improve long-term value and returns”.
But for investors to take such an approach, they need to be able to measure how companies are managing their workforce, which is an altogether more complex task than even establishing carbon-related impacts.
This is where ShareAction’s Workforce Disclosure Initiative (WDI) comes in. Essentially, it is a survey that all companies will be able to complete, disclosing how they deal with workforce issues, how their global workforce is made up and how stable it is, how they train and develop people, and how they engage with those workers.
Of course, legislation such as the UK’s Modern Slavery Act and the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive is already asking companies to disclose these types of details. And for many, it is less about encouraging more disclosure, rather better. “What we need is quality not quantity when it comes to environmental, social and governance reporting,” says Seb Beloe, partner and head of research at WHEB Asset Management.
But the WDI represents the first time investors have asked for a process that helps companies to report on workforce issues across their direct operations and supply chains.
News that 13 major fashion brands, including Primark, H&M and Zara, have agreed to improve conditions for up to two million Bangladeshi garment workers as part of a revamp of the accord signed in the wake of the Rana Plaza factory collapse is a reminder that corporate responses to social ills often only come in reaction to disaster and the associated reputation damage.
The fact that some of the largest investment houses are supportive of greater disclosure on workers’ rights and workplace practices is a big shift – and the best companies will be proactive in responding.
New World Economic Forum Investment Model Set to Transform Digital Adoption
- Policy levers can transform an unsustainable business case into a financially sound investment, as demonstrated in East Africa’s Northern Corridor
- By deploying targeted policy levers, the cost of bringing 25 million new users online in Africa’s Northern Corridor can be reduced by 23% or $400 million
- New tool allows users to calculate core metrics associated with closing the digital gap in any country, including the total amount of investment required
- For more information please visit the Internet for All project page https://www.weforum.org/projects/internet-for-all
Geneva, Switzerland, 6 July 2017 - The World Economic Forum today announced the launch of a second White Paper on “An Investment Framework for Digital Adoption”. Published in collaboration with the Boston Consulting Group, it illustrates an investment model that can be used to quantify the costs to achieve universal internet access and adoption.
Alex Wong, Head of Global Challenge Partnerships and Member of the Executive Committee at the World Economic Forum said, “The new report provides additional tools and examples of how internet for all can be achieved through public-private collaboration. The report findings will be applied to the Internet for All countryprogrammes to help policy-makers better understand the various options and levers that can be used to accelerate internet access and adoption.”
Wolfgang Bock, Senior Partner and Managing Director, Boston Consulting Group, noted that, "More than half of the world's population, or four billion people, have no access to or do not use the internet. In order to connect the unconnected, governments, businesses and civil society actors will need to think differently about investing in internet access and adoption. This report provides practical insights in helping these stakeholders determine the right investments and policy measures to achieve Internet for All".
Launched in 2015, the World Economic Forum Internet for All initiative aims to connect the world’s four billion unconnected through new models of public-private cooperation. Companies such as Cisco, Ericsson, Huawei, Microsoft, MTN and Telkom work together on this platform together with government, civil society, academia and international organizations to develop and scale new internet access models, attract and coordinate investment, and align programming.
Country programmes launched in East Africa’s Northern Corridor (Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda), have set the target of connecting 25 million new users by the end of 2019. The investment model was applied to the Northern Corridor to determine the precise level of investment required to meet this goal.
Jean Philbert Nsengimana, Minister of Youth and Information Communication Technology of Rwanda, explained the impact of the project: “As the first implementer of the Internet for All methodology, Rwanda was looking for a way to quantify the level of investment required to achieve our targets. This methodology provides us with the ability to do this, and we plan to use it to drive forward our internet development programme.”
To tackle the main barriers to internet access on a scale necessary to achieve the target would require an investment of $1.83 billion or $64 per person. Infrastructure costs are high, and current smartphone costs are well beyond the reach of many. For example, Figure 1 shows that the price of a smartphone is inferior to the monthly GDP per capita of Rwanda, Uganda, and South Sudan – no solid business case.
Figure 1. The Infrastructure Business Case and Smartphone Costs are Not Financially Feasible
However, the report also highlights the impact that policy choices can have on the feasibility of connectivity investment: by using identifiable policy levers, Northern Corridor governments can reduce the cost of bringing new users online by 23%, from $64 per person to $49 per person – a total investment of approximately $1.39 billion, which is a financially feasible business case.
Figure 2 shows that the levels include active and passive infrastructure sharing in unserved areas ($260 million in savings), making low-frequency spectrum available for 3G and 4G coverage ($100 million in savings) and removing VAT on low-end smartphones ($80 million in savings).
Figure 2. Targeted Government Policy Levers Can Reduce This Cost by 23% to $49/Person with Savings of Some $400 million
Implementing the new CDC strategy: four tests of success
The CDC Group, the UK’s Development Finance Institution (DFI), published its new five year strategy today.
Overall, the strategy marks a welcome shift away from investing in isolated, profitable projects towards a more strategic approach. An approach in which DFIs such as CDC use their commercial skills to play a transformative role in contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This change in emphasis will have implications for both CDC and its main stakeholders. And it also suggests that it will need to be governed differently by its only shareholder the Department for International Development (DFID). It should also change how it works with other DFIs. This won’t change overnight but we all have an interest in it working and the new strategy provides a good enabling framework.
CDC’s new strategic priorities are ambitious: embedding development throughout its operations (reflected in the choice of countries, sectors, financial products, and partners); investing responsibly (setting environmental, social and business integrity standards); addressing key development challenges in new ways (e.g. using an impact accelerator facility) and growing its operations significantly in a way that responds to market needs and satisfies tax payer concerns.
Four tests of success: implementing the strategy
Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) are a key feature of development architecture. ODI’s research over the last decade has analysed the achievements and challenges associated with DFIs including CDC. This analysis should guide the implementation of their new strategy.
1. More active targeting of transformative and collaborative projects
DFIs already tackle global challenges and have a macro-economic impact, but more needs to be done. DFIs themselves tend to focus on the financial and development impact of individual projects. But because the DFI sector has grown rapidly over the last decade, macro-economic impacts have become more visible. Our recent work on DFIs, cited by Secretary of State for International Development Priti Patel, in parliament, indicates that DFIs already contribute significantly to economic growth and productivity in Africa. They are actually more effective (at stimulating growth) than traditional aid.
To successfully implement the CDC strategy, more active targeting of transformative and collaborative projects framed in a macro-narrative will be necessary. As mentioned by Priti Patel in the foreword to the strategy, CDC cannot solve development challenges alone – its work must complement other aid approaches.
2. Move from competition to collaboration amongst DFIs
DFIs do work together on some projects, but ODI analysis suggests that DFIs sometimes compete with each other for projects in the use of subsidies. We noted the need for improved collaboration amongst DFIs so that these subsidies achieve the greatest possible development impact. Creating a pipeline of investable projects (in frontier countries, sectors and instruments where the private sector does not already go, or could be encouraged to invest with the help of DFIs) is key.
If CDC’s new strategy is to be a success, fostering collaboration around sector transformation must be a theme for the future.
3. Re-balance the need for development impact, financial returns and risk taking
ODI analysis informed the CDC reform process in 2011 and 2012, comparing CDC against other DFIs. We were also specialist advisor to the House of Commons’ report suggesting CDC had, at the cost of development impact, too aggressively prioritised financial returns. In part this was due to the type of financial instruments used and country coverage. The report also suggested using a separate fund that focuses on additional development impact by taking higher risk.
CDC’s new strategy includes a new impact acceleration facility that appears to be a direct response to this recommendation. This innovative approach should ensure CDC focuses on additional development impacts.
4. Find your place in the expanding development landscape
The landscape of development finance is changing rapidly and CDC needs to find its place in it. In 2000, DFIs tended to be small players. They have since come out of obscurity, investing around $75 billion a year in the private sector in developing countries. That is equivalent to half of overseas development assistance spent in 2014. In a paper with the Centre for Strategic and International Studies we argue that this brings new demands from shareholders and stakeholders. DFIs will need to clearly articulate how they contribute to development goals.
The new CDC strategy is framed ambitiously around the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, but CDC must also realise that this requires a different way of thinking if it is to be successful in implementation and delivery.
The new CDC strategy requires a new way of thinking and working
The effective implementation of the new CDC strategy will require an active approach from the start including with a wider set of stakeholders. CDC will now 'invest to transform whole sectors' and as well as investing in individual projects, according to CDC’s Chairman Graham Wrigley, it will 'solve market and sector problems'. This shift has the potential to be truly transformative. The opportunity now is to turn that into action, even when it’s challenging.
To support this, DFID must set the correct parameters to incentivise collaborative partnerships around CDC. It also requires a significant change in mindset by CDC investment officers. They must shift away from thinking in terms of isolated projects with high financial returns, towards a more collaborative, strategic approach in which investment (together with other policies and instruments) transforms whole sectors. Engagement with public sector officials in developing countries and the creation of effective relationships with key actors will be crucial in this. If the new strategy is to be a success, CDC also needs to take a more active and more visible part in development debates showcasing the transformative potential of DFIs. This new strategy is an ambitious first step in setting out a CDC vision of how it aims to achieve that.
The closest look yet at Chinese economic engagement in Africa
Field interviews with more than 1,000 Chinese companies provide new insights into Africa–China business relationships.
In two decades, China has become Africa’s most important economic partner. Across trade, investment, infrastructure financing, and aid, no other country has such depth and breadth of engagement in Africa. Chinese “dragons”—firms of all sizes and sectors—are bringing capital investment, management know-how, and entrepreneurial energy to every corner of the continent. In doing so they are helping to accelerate the progress of Africa’s economies.
Yet to date it has been challenging to understand the true extent of the Africa–China economic relationship due to a paucity of data. Our new report, Dance of the lions and dragons: How are Africa and China engaging, and how will the partnership evolve?, provides a comprehensive, fact-based picture of the Africa–China economic relationship based on a new large-scale data set. This includes on-site interviews with more than 100 senior African business and government leaders, as well as the owners or managers of more than 1,000 Chinese firms spread across eight African countries1that together make up approximately two-thirds of sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP.
Africa’s largest economic partner
In the past two decades, China has catapulted from being a relatively small investor in the continent to becoming Africa’s largest economic partner. And since the turn of the millennium, Africa–China trade has been growing at approximately 20 percent per year. Foreign direct investment has grown even faster over the past decade, with a breakneck annual growth rate of 40 percent.2Yet even this number understates the true picture: we found that China’s financial flows to Africa are around 15 percent larger than official figures when nontraditional flows are included. China is also a large and fast-growing source of aid and the largest source of construction financing; these contributions have supported many of Africa’s most ambitious infrastructure developments in recent years.
We evaluated Africa’s economic partnerships with the rest of the world across five dimensions: trade, investment stock, investment growth, infrastructure financing, and aid. China is among the top four partners for Africa across all these dimensions (Exhibit 1). No other country matches this depth and breadth of engagement.
Chinese firms in Africa
Behind these macro numbers are thousands of previously uncounted Chinese firms operating across Africa. In the eight African countries on which we focused, the number of Chinese-owned firms we identified was between two and nine times the number registered by China’s Ministry of Commerce, until now the largest database of Chinese firms in Africa. Extrapolated across the continent, our findings suggest there are more than 10,000 Chinese-owned firms operating in Africa today (Exhibit 2).
Around 90 percent of these firms are privately owned—calling into question the notion of a monolithic, state-coordinated investment drive by “China, Inc.” Although state-owned enterprises tend to be bigger, particularly in specific sectors such as energy and infrastructure, the sheer number of private Chinese firms working toward their own profit motives suggests that Chinese investment in Africa is a more market-driven phenomenon than is commonly understood.
Chinese firms operate across many sectors of the African economy. Nearly a third are involved in manufacturing, a quarter in services, and around a fifth each in trade and in construction and real estate. In manufacturing, we estimate that 12 percent of Africa’s industrial production—valued at some $500 billion a year in total—is already handled by Chinese firms. In infrastructure, Chinese firms’ dominance is even more pronounced, and they claim nearly 50 percent of Africa’s internationally contracted construction market.
The Chinese firms we talked to are mostly profitable. Nearly one-third reported 2015 profit margins of more than 20 percent. They are also agile and quick to adapt to new opportunities. Except in a few countries such as Ethiopia, they are primarily focused on serving the needs of Africa’s fast-growing markets rather than on exports. An overwhelming 74 percent said they feel optimistic about the future. Reflecting this, most Chinese firms have made investments that represent a long-term commitment to Africa rather than trading or contracting activities.
Impact in African economies
At the Chinese companies we talked to, 89 percent of employees were African, adding up to nearly 300,000 jobs for African workers. Scaled up across all 10,000 Chinese firms in Africa, this suggests that Chinese-owned business employ several million Africans. Moreover, nearly two-thirds of Chinese employers provided some kind of skills training. In companies engaged in construction and manufacturing, where skilled labor is a necessity, half offer apprenticeship training.
Half of Chinese firms had introduced a new product or service to the local market, and one-third had introduced a new technology. In some cases, Chinese firms had lowered prices for existing products and services by as much as 40 percent through improved technology and efficiencies of scale. African government officials overseeing infrastructure development for their countries cited Chinese firms’ efficient cost structures and speedy delivery as major value adds.
On balance, we believe that China’s growing involvement is strongly positive for Africa’s economies, governments, and workers. However, there are areas for significant improvement:
By value, only 47 percent of the Chinese firms’ sourcing was from local African firms, representing a lost opportunity for local firms to benefit from Chinese investment.
Only 44 percent of local managers at the Chinese-owned companies we surveyed were African, though some Chinese firms have driven their local managerial employment above 80 percent (Exhibit 3). Other firms could follow suit.
There have been instances of labor and environmental violations by Chinese-owned businesses. These range from inhumane working conditions to illegal extraction of natural resources including timber and fish.
Differences in country engagement
At a national level, we focused on eight large African economies, and identified the following four distinct archetypes of the Africa–China partnership:
Robust partners. Ethiopia and South Africa have a clear strategic posture toward China, along with a high degree of economic engagement in the form of investment, trade, loans, and aid. For example, both countries have translated their national economic-development strategies into specific initiatives related to China, and they have also developed important relationships with Chinese provinces and with Beijing. As a result, China sees these African countries as true partners: reliably engaged and strategic for China’s economic and political interests. These countries have also created a strong platform for continued Chinese engagement through prominent participation in such forums as the Belt and Road initiative (previously known as One Belt, One Road), and they can therefore expect to see ongoing rapid growth in Chinese investment.
Solid partners. Kenya, Nigeria, and Tanzania do not yet have the same level of engagement with China as Ethiopia and South Africa, but government relations and Chinese business and investment activity are meaningful and growing. These three governments recognize China’s importance, but they have yet to translate this recognition into an explicit China strategy. Each has several hundred Chinese firms across a diverse set of sectors, but this presence has largely been the result of a passive posture relying on large markets or historical ties; much more is possible with true strategic engagement.
Unbalanced partners. In the case of Angola and Zambia, the engagement with China has been quite narrowly focused. For Angola, the government has supplied oil to China in exchange for Chinese financing and construction of major infrastructure projects—but market-driven private investment by Chinese firms has been limited compared with other African countries; only 70 to 75 percent of the Chinese companies in Angola are private, compared with around 90 percent in other countries. Zambia’s case is the opposite: there has been major private-sector investment but not enough oversight from regulatory authorities to avoid labor and corruption scandals.
Nascent partners. Côte d’Ivoire is at the very beginning of developing a partnership with China, and so the partnership model has yet to become clear. The country’s relatively small number of Chinese investors are focused on low-commitment industries such as trade.
The next decade
We interviewed more than 100 senior African business and government leaders, and nearly all of them said the Africa–China opportunity is larger than that presented by any other foreign partner—including Brazil, the European Union, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
But exactly how quickly will the Africa–China relationship grow in the decade ahead? We see two potential scenarios. In the first, the revenues of Chinese firms in Africa grow at a healthy clip to reach around $250 billion in 2025, from $180 billion today. This scenario would simply entail business as usual, with Chinese firms growing in line with the market, holding their current market shares steady as the African economy expands. Under this scenario, the same three industries that dominate Chinese business in Africa today—manufacturing, resources, and infrastructure—would dominate in 2025 as well.
We believe much more is possible: in a second scenario, Chinese firms in Africa could dramatically accelerate their growth. By expanding aggressively in both existing and new sectors, these firms could reach revenues of $440 billion in 2025. In this accelerated-growth scenario, not only do the three established industries of Chinese investment grow faster than the economy, but Chinese firms also make significant forays into five new sectors: agriculture, banking and insurance, housing, information communications technology and telecommunications, and transport and logistics. This expansion could start with Chinese firms moving into sectors related to the ones they currently dominate—for example, from construction into real estate and housing. Another part of this accelerated growth could come from Chinese firms more fully applying their formulas that have proved successful in China to markets in Africa, including business models in consumer technology, agriculture, and digital finance.
There is considerable upside for Africa if Chinese investment and business activity accelerate. At the macroeconomic level, African economies could gain greater capital investment to boost productivity, competitiveness, and technological readiness, and tens of millions more African workers could gain stable employment. At the microeconomic level, however, there will be winners and losers. Particularly in sectors such as manufacturing, where African firms are significantly lagging behind global productivity levels, African incumbents will need to dramatically improve their productivity and efficiency to compete—or partner effectively—with new Chinese companies on their turf.
With continued and likely growing Chinese investment, it will become ever more urgent to address the gaps in the Africa–China partnership, including by strengthening the role of African managers and partners in the growth of Chinese-owned businesses. Moreover, both Chinese and African actors will need to address three major pain points: corruption in some countries, concerns about personal safety, and language and cultural barriers. In five of the eight countries in which we conducted fieldwork, 60 to 87 percent of Chinese firms said they paid a “tip” or bribe to obtain a license. After corruption, the second-largest concern among Chinese firms is personal safety. For their part, our African interviewees described language and cultural barriers that lead to misunderstanding and ignorance of local regulations. If these problems are left unaddressed, the misunderstandings and potentially serious long-term social issues could weaken the overall sustainability of the Africa–China relationship.
Everyone—African or Chinese, government or private sector—has a role to play in realizing the promise of the Africa–China partnership. We suggest ten recommendations, consisting of actions to be taken by African and Chinese businesses and governments, to ensure the Africa–China relationship grows sustainably and delivers strong economic and social outcomes (Exhibit 4).
Download Dance of the lions and dragons: How are Africa and China engaging, and how will the partnership evolve? ,the full report on which this article is based—available in both English (PDF–3MB) and Chinese (PDF–5MB).
About the author(s)
Kartik Jayaram is a senior partner in McKinsey’s Nairobi office, where Omid Kassiri is a partner; Irene Yuan Sun is a consultant in the Washington, DC, office.
Turning the Climate Tide by 2020
The world needs high-speed climate action for an immediate bending-down of the global greenhouse-gas emissions curve, leading experts caution. Aggressive reduction of fossil-fuel usage is the key to averting devastating heat extremes and unmanageable sea level rise, the authors argue in a comment published in the renowned scientific journal Nature this week. In the run-up to the G20 summit of the planet’s leading economies, the article sets six milestones for a clean industrial revolution. This call for strong short-term measures complements the longer-term 'carbon law' approach introduced earlier this year by some of the current co-authors, including the Potsdam Institute’s Director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, in the equally eminent journal Science. Thus a full narrative of deep decarbonization emerges.
“We stand at the doorway of being able to bend the GHG emissions curve downwards by 2020, as science demands, in protection of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and in particular the eradication of extreme poverty," Christiana Figueres says, lead-author of the Nature comment and former head of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). "This monumental challenge coincides with an unprecedented openness to self-challenge on the part of sub-national governments inside the US, governments at all levels outside the US, and of the private sector in general. The opportunity given to us over the next three years is unique in history.” Figueres is the convener of Mission 2020, a broad-based campaign calling for urgent action now to make sure that carbon emissions begin an inexorable fall by 2020.
The authors and co-signatories to the Nature article comprise over 60 scientists, business and policy leaders, economists, analysts and influencers, including Gail Whiteman from Lancaster University; Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation; Paul Polman, Chief Executive Officer of Unilever plc; Anthony Hobley, Chief Executive of Carbon Tracker; Christian Rynning-Tønnesen, CEO of Statkraft; and Jonathan Bamber, President of the European Geosciences Union.
The great sustainability transformation
The authors are confident that both technological progress and political momentum have reached a point now that allows to kick-start the 'great sustainability transformation'. 2020 is crucial, because in that year the US will be legally able to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. Even more compelling are the physics-based considerations, however: Recent research has demonstrated that keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius becomes almost infeasible if we delay climate action beyond 2020. And breaching the 2°C-line would be dangerous, since a number of Earth system tipping elements, such as the great ice sheets, may get destabilized in that hot-house.
“We have been blessed by a remarkably resilient planet over the past 100 years, able to absorb most of our climate abuse,” says Johan Rockström from the Stockholm Resilience Centre, co-author of the Nature comment and lead-author of the Science article. “Now we have reached the end of this era, and need to bend the global curve of emissions immediately, to avoid unmanageable outcomes for our modern world.”
Six milestones for 2020
Indeed, a social tipping point for the better is in sight, the experts show. Power generation from wind and solar is booming already. In Europe, for instance, more than three quarters of new energy capacities installed rely on those renewable sources. China is quickly establishing a national emissions trading scheme. Financial investors such as BlackRock in the US are growing wary of carbon risks.
The six milestones for 2020 as defined in the article reach from energy (pushing renewables to 30% of total energy supply and retiring all coal-fired power plants) to transport (electric vehicles making up 15% of new car sales globally, up from roughly 1% today) and finance (mobilize 1 trillion US dollars a year for climate action).
"The climate math is brutally clear: While the world can't be healed within the next few years, it may be fatally wounded by negligence until 2020," concludes Hans Joachim Schellnhuber from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, co-author of both the Nature comment and the Science article. Action by 2020 is necessary, but clearly not sufficient – it needs to set the course for halving CO2 emissions every other decade. In analogy to the legendary Moore’s Law, which states that computer processors double in power about every two years, the 'carbon law' can become a self-fulfilling prophecy mobilizing innovations and market forces, says Schellnhuber. “This will be unstoppable – yet only if we propel the world into action now.”
Article: Christiana Figueres, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Gail Whiteman, Johan Rockström, Anthony Hobley, Stefan Rahmstorf (2017): Three years to safeguard our climate. Nature [DOI: 10.1038/546593a]
Photo credit: Reuben Wu
Accelerating Women's Economic Empowerment
- A recent panel of finance ministers and Chief Executive Officers called for tangible and country-level action for women’s economic empowerment
- Equal access to financial services, helping women build assets and professionalizing the care-giving sector can help accelerate progress in women’s economic empowerment
- The flagship event helped share recommendations from the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment (HLP) report with delegations attending the 2017 WBG – IMF Spring Meetings
WASHINGTON, June 26, 2017 – Providing equal access to financial services, helping give women more power over income and assets like land and technology, and professionalizing the care-giving sector can help accelerate progress in women’s economic empowerment, especially in developing countries. But how should countries get it done?
These and other practical questions were addressed by World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, UN Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, finance ministers and CEOs during the WBG-IMF Spring Meetings flagship event on Boosting Women’s Economic Empowerment. The speakers called for finance ministers to join with the private sector and others who want to take action to expand economic opportunities for women, which is key to helping countries reach their full economic potential.
Through its operational work on the ground and high level dialogue at venues such as the WBG-IMF Spring Meetings, the WBG aims to catalyze action and work side by side with governments, companies and other partners to close remaining gaps in access to education and maternal health in those countries where those gaps persist, while also accelerating efforts to enhance women’s economic opportunity: more and better jobs, ownership and control of productive assets like land and housing, access to finance, technology and insurance services, and increased capacity and opportunity to act independently at home, in the community and in various levels of government.
However much work still lies ahead if the world is to achieve gender equality by 2030 - Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 and related targets. In particular, women’s economic opportunity lags that of men in every country of the world, at a cost to individuals, families, communities and economies.
The speakers discussed various aspects of this challenge, including how to help women access financial solutions. In opening remarks, WBG President Jim Yong Kim said, “We’ve known for a long time that access to financial services can be a powerful driver to help people lift themselves out of poverty. With a concerted push from governments, the private sector, and multilateral institutions including the World Bank Group, we believe we can close this gap.” Kim offered examples of WBG efforts, including doubling the amount of money its Banking on Women program lends to women entrepreneurs from $1 billion to $2 billion and the WBG’s testing of innovations to find alternatives to collateral requirements at commercial banks.
Sigve Brekke, president and CEO of Telenor Group, one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies, said they are providing access to financial tools for communities in emerging markets in Asia. “In a country like Myanmar for example, you know less than 10% of the female population have a bank account,” he said. “Our objective then is to include them all in the banking sector by providing them with a digital banking solution. This is a tool to grow their economies, and make sure that females are also included in the financial sector.”
Simona Scarpaleggia, CEO of IKEA Switzerland, added that one way governments can work toward supporting women entering the workforce or owning assets is by changing laws that discriminate against women and addressing social norms that influence those laws. Scarpaleggia co-chaired the UN Secretary General High Level Panel (HLP) on Women’s Economic Empowerment, which issued two reports focusing on transformative policies and actions that governments, the private sector, and civil society can take to advance women’s economic empowerment. The proposed policies were chosen based on seven priorities identified in the HLP’s first report, Leave No One Behind: A Call to Action for Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment, which presented evidence to support the case for addressing systemic constraints to economic opportunity for women. The reports summarize information from a range of sources, including Women Business and the Law, which found that nearly 190 countries have discriminatory laws that impede women’s employment and entrepreneurship.
Finance minister of Indonesia Sri Mulyani Indrawati illustrated Scarpaleggia’s point, saying she revised income tax laws in Indonesia to allow women to file taxes separately from their husbands for the first time. “When you can file taxes independently, this means that you have your own assets and you are going to be able to access banking and finance,” said Indrawati, who also served as World Bank Group managing director and COO from 2010-2016.
Bill Morneau, Canada’s minister of finance, offered another example of what government leaders can do to reach larger scale solutions, having instituted a requirement that each government ministry must look at their budgets and analyze the impact on advancing gender equity in the workplace before he will consider their proposals. “We believe that getting to gender equity, empowering women is one of the central features of what we’re trying to achieve,” Morneau said. “We start with the idea that we need to look at our budget as a vehicle for making a difference.”
Scarpaleggia added insight on specific actions companies and institutions can take, citing her company IKEA Switzerland’s having already achieved gender parity. She said it took making gender equality an explicit corporate value, strong and committed leadership, willingness to look for and then acknowledge gaps between stated corporate values and actual behavior, and making a conscious decision to change. Once the decision was made, the company focused on building awareness and socializing the idea among staff internally to help overcome initial resistance, which usually accompanies such a big change, she added. “We changed our internal processes to ensure they were gender neutral. We worked on unconscious biases. We set goals. We committed on the occasion of the HLP to reach gender parity throughout all our units in the world by 2020. It takes work, and leadership plays an important role. But it IS possible.”
Echoing efforts by the other speakers, Brekke said Telenor is also working towards gender balance within the company by meeting targets in top management positions. While empowering women economically is good for families, communities and countries, Brekke noted that gender equity is also good business.
“It’s good business because we need to represent our customers, and we see that a much better balance between genders creates innovation, creates better services, creates better products,” Brekke said. “That’s why it’s so important to set these targets and not only talk about it, but actually do something with it in practice.”
President Kim, who became the first UN HeforShe Thematic Champion of an international financial institution - committing to close the gender gap within senior management by 2020 - highlighted unpaid work, such as care-giving for children and elderly family members, as a critical impediment to women’s economic opportunity. “We must redistribute care work,” said Kim. “It too often remains the sole domain of women and that has got to change.”
WBG Senior Director for Gender Caren Grown added in a follow up interview that “care needs to be seen as a public good. It produces the next generation of workers, it has important development effects for children, and is an important sector of employment for women and men. Solving this will need both public and private sector support and financing.”
That sentiment was shared by Mlambo-Ngcuka, who said, “Unless the private sector and public sector make this private issue a public one, many women might never work.”
World Bank at DRC Mining Week: "pre-competitive geoscience knowledge essential to attract investor interest"
"There is a need to have access to pre-competitive geoscience knowledge and geological mapping suitable to identify prospective areas for attracting investor interest", says Francisco Igualada, Senior Mining Specialist, Energy and Extractive Industries (GEEDR) at the World Bank. He adds: "this is very important as many junior and mid-tier mining companies are unaware of the full mineral prospecting potential of a country, as a result of incomplete coverage of geological mapping, at the required scale, and associated geochemical and geophysical surveys."
Mr Igualada is a featured speaker at DRC Mining Week in Lubumbashi from 23-24 June, focusing on the "Importance of geoscience data and information to ensure a sustainable DRC mining sector".
He explains further: "In DRC, thanks to the development of the PROMINES project, we are undertaking such a fundamental geological work. Of course, there are other challenging issues such as the availability of a digital mining cadastre that we have tackled as well through the development of the World Bank PROMINES project. Currently we are extending the DRC cadastre (CAMI) to other regions bringing more transparency and the principle of ‘first come first served’. This aspect, coupled with the Mining Code, is a key factor for effectively attracting investors, besides the DRC’s great geological and metallogenical potential."
The full interview with Mr Igualada can be viewed here: http://www.drcminingweek.com/WorldBankDRCinterview
Thousands are expected to gather for the practical annual mining and industrial expo again as the award-winning DRC Mining Week conference and exhibition returns to Lubumbashi, in the heart of the DRC’s mining hub, from 23-24 June. While retaining its main focus on mining, the event will also broaden its scope to include a focus on related and complementary sectors such as agriculture, energy and construction.
Industry recognition and support
As with previous editions of the event, DRC Mining Week has already secured the early and impressive support of the industry through the diamond sponsorship of Engen and the platinum sponsorships of Gecotrans, Sodexo, Standard Bank and Tenke Fungurume Mining, while Aggreko, Atlas Copco, Axishouse, Copperbelt Energy, Earth Networks, ERG, Ivanhoe Mines-New Horizons and Vodacom are confirmed as gold sponsors.
Earlier this year, DRC Mining Week was recognised for its support of the Kinsevere Community School Project in Lubumbashi when it was named a finalist in the Social Responsibility category of the AAXO ROAR Organiser and Exhibitor Awards, which honour excellence in the exhibition and events industry on the continent.
DRC Mining Week is organised by Spintelligent, a leading Cape Town-based organiser of exhibitions and conferences across the continent in the infrastructure, real estate, energy, mining, agriculture and education sectors. Other well-known events by Spintelligent include African Utility Week, Agritech Expo Zambia, Kenya Mining Forum, Future Energy East Africa (formerly EAPIC), Future Energy Nigeria (formerly WAPIC), Future Energy Central Africa (formerly iPAD Cameroon), iPAD Nigeria Mining Forum and EduWeek. Spintelligent is part of the UK-based Clarion Events Group.
DRC Mining Week:
Pre-conference Power Focus Day: 22 June 2017
Conference and expo: 23-24 June 2017
Site visit: 22 June 2017
Location: The Pullman Lubumbashi Grand Karavia Hotel, Lubumbashi, DRC
World Economic Forum to Support 22 Countries and EU in Doubling Investment in Clean Energy R&D by 2021
World Economic Forum to work with Mission Innovation, a commitment by 22 countries and the European Union, to accelerate global clean energy innovation to address climate change
Collaboration aims to support Mission Innovation by enabling public-private partnerships that enable a more sustainable, affordable, inclusive and secure global energy future
Mission Innovation includes the world’s leading economies, five most populous countries and represents over 80% of clean energy R&D budgets – members pledged to double governmental investments in R&D by 2021
Beijing, China, 08 June 2017 – The World Economic Forum and Mission Innovation, a commitment by 22 governments and the European Union to accelerate global clean energy innovation, will collaborate to support Mission Innovation’s goal of doubling governmental investments in clean energy R&D by 2021.
The aim of the collaboration is to encourage public-private partnerships which will have the greatest impact on three areas of investment – or Innovation Challenges – carbon capture; clean energy materials; and affordable heating and cooling of buildings. The Forum will support by driving engagement from industry, investors and its network of Technology Pioneers, a global community of trailblazing companies, to reduce the costs of low carbon energy solutions, making them widely available, affordable and reliable.
“Public-private partnerships are critical to fast-track innovation from early stage design to full scale-up. This is a critical time for energy innovation and we are delighted to be working with major governments in the quest to accelerate access to clean energy for everyone,” said Cheryl Martin, Head of Industries, Member of the Managing Board, World Economic Forum Geneva.
“This partnership allows us to make the most of the clean energy momentum that Mission Innovation has created and collectively enable those participating to reach our aim of accelerating energy innovation in the private sector – which is at the heart of economic growth for many of the countries behind this,” saidLeonardo Beltrán Rodríguez, Mexico’s Deputy Secretary for Planning and Energy Transition.
Mission Innovation includes the world’s five most populous countries (Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, and the United States) and represents over 75% of global CO2 emissions from electricity and more than 80% of clean energy R&D budgets. Mission Innovation member governments have pledged to double R&D investment to reach over $30 billion a year by 2021. Details of each country’s plans are available here.
The announcement was made as ministers from all 22 member countries gathered in Beijing at theSecond Mission Innovation Ministerial and Eighth Clean Energy Ministerial.
Mission Innovation will convene energy innovation stakeholders at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2017, taking place in Dalian, People’s Republic of China, 27-29 June. They will also meet at the Strategic Dialogues on Energy Futures event, hosted by Mexico, on 12-13 September 2017.
To Save Healthcare Systems, Focus on Patient Outcomes, Global Health Leaders Urge
- Global leaders from the healthcare sector unite to appeal for a new model of healthcare delivery in response to rising costs and dissatisfactory patient outcomes. The value-based healthcare model would track and pay for healing, instead of treating, patients
- Signatories include the Chief Executives/Presidents of Kaiser Permanente, Medtronic, Novartis, Qualcomm Life and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, the Minister of Health of the Netherlands, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Service England and Harvard’s Michael Porter
- The model will be implemented in four pilot markets in 2017, beginning in Atlanta, USA, where the start was announced on 25 April, and later in the Netherlands, Singapore and the People’s Republic of China.
- Download the full report here
A diverse group of leading stakeholders in the $7.6 trillion global healthcare sector are calling for a major overhaul of healthcare systems, designed to deliver improved patient outcomes at lower cost. The proposal hinges on “value-based healthcare”, a patient-centric system that focuses on outcomes that matter to patients across the care spectrum. The recommendations are presented in a new World Economic Forum report, Value in Healthcare: Laying the Foundation for Health-System Transformation, released today in collaboration with Boston Consulting Group, and to be implemented in four pilot locations, starting in Atlanta (USA) this year.
Shifting the focus of healthcare to outcomes would enable health systems to address the rising costs, the signatories say. “Value-based care represents our best chance at ensuring that health systems of the future can deliver those outcomes that matter to patients at sustainable, long-term costs,” said Arnaud Bernaert, Head of Global Health and Healthcare Industries at the World Economic Forum.
Supporters of the appeal for a value-based healthcare approach include Omar Ishrak, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Medtronic, Joseph Jimenez, Chief Executive Officer, Novartis, Michael Porter, Bishop William Lawrence University Professor, Harvard Business School, Edith Schippers, Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport of the Netherlands, Simon Stevens, Chief Executive Officer, National Health Service England, Bernard J. Tyson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Kaiser Permanente, Rick Valencia, President, Qualcomm Life, and Christophe Weber, President and Chief Executive Officer, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company. It is the first time that such a diverse group of leaders have aligned on a system-level approach to healthcare reform. (See quotes below.)
The report suggests three foundational principles to provide the basis for value-based care:
- Measuring outcomes and costs, i.e. the systematic measurement of the health outcomes that matter to patients and the costs required to deliver them across the full cycle of care
- Focusing on population segments that are clearly defined, and the health outcomes and costs associated with them; and
- Customizing segment-specific interventions, developed to improve value for each population segment
Four key enablers of value in healthcare support and facilitate the reorientation of health systems around these three principles:
- Informatics – including shared standards and new capabilities that enable the routine collection, sharing and analysis of outcome data and other relevant information for each population segment
- Benchmarking, research and tools – including systematic benchmarking for continuous improvement; identification of variations in responses to treatment and of emerging clinical best practices; new data sources for research and innovation, and new approaches to clinical trials; and the development of sophisticated decision support tools for clinicians and patients
- Payments – including new forms of compensation and reimbursement that help to improve patient value
- Delivery organization – including new roles and organizational models that allow providers and suppliers to adapt to new opportunities and innovations, provide better access to appropriate care and engage clinicians in continuous improvement
The report emphasizes that national political leaders and policy-makers have a central role to play in accelerating the transition to a value-based health system, a point stressed by several of the signatories.
To put its recommendations in practice, the Value in Healthcare project has begun working with 20 payer, provider, supplier and government organizations in the US state of Georgia on a pilot project to create a comprehensive value-based approach to heart failure in the Atlanta metropolitan area. “As the Mayor of the City of Atlanta, I am excited to host the first pilot program to focus on value-based healthcare with the World Economic Forum and our private sector partners,” said Mayor Kasim Reed of Atlanta.
“Over the next several months, the Atlanta working group will design a roadmap for implementing value-based health care for patients with heart failure, and will then put our work to the test, and see real-world examples of how value-based health care can affect outcomes. We have a bold vision: to become a national leader in heart-failure survival in the United States while improving the quality of life and reducing the cost of care for our residents. This pilot program lays the groundwork for us to achieve this audacious, but attainable goal."
In addition to the Atlanta project, three more regional pilots will be conducted this year in the Netherlands, Singapore and the People’s Republic of China. The report and call to action were prepared by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
Power & Electricity World Africa 2018
Power & Electricity World Africa 2018 celebrates its 21st Anniversary. The show welcomes over 8000 attendees and hosts a mecca of solution providers spanning 4 halls and thousands of square metres.
Power & Electricity World Africa is Africa’s largest and longest running power and electricity show. For 21 years we have helped shape the regional energy market through sharing knowledge, educating the market and facilitating influential meetings. Billions of dollars of business have either been initiated, influenced or concluded at this show.
Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Africa (Pty) Ltd, ABB, GE, Barloworld Power, Siemens, MTU, Voith, IBM, Mott Macdonald, Solar World Africa, Yingli Solar, Vestas, SMA, Arup… just to name a few, have all leveraged Power & Electricity World Africa as their once-a-year opportunity to meet and do business with new and existing customers.
Year on year, the event provides our partners with access to over 800 African energy utility and IPP decision makers, who traditionally are difficult to reach. And most importantly, the show allows them to meet real buyers.
We are proud to have hosted utilities such as Eskom, STEG, Nampower, Zesco, KenGen, Tanesco, EDM, GridCo, Electricity Company of Ghana, TCN, VRA, ENE Ethiopian Electric Power, CEET, SNEL, Senelec, Sonabel, Nigelec, GRIDco and many others over the years. And we are proud to have welcomed back over 40 African countries for the 2017 edition of the event.
PEWA is the meeting place of Africa's power sector. Over 40 African countries attend this prestigious show. The conference brings together the brightest and most innovative minds that are shaping the way we generate energy and meet the growing demand. Delegates and VIPs flock to the conference to learn the latest developments, innovations and investment opportunities which will help them succeed in the energy industry.
Power & Electricity World Africa has been endorsed by Eskom for the past 7 years and continues to provide the meeting place for buyers, sellers and their partners to do the deals that drive Africa’s energy sector. This is THE place where buyers find solutions to their challenges. TENS OF THOUSANDS of executives and business leaders from across Africa have attended the show over the last 21 years.
INVESTMENT AND DEVELOPMENT FOR POWER PRODUCERS AND UTILITIES, ENERGY USERS, DEVELOPERS, GOVERNMENT AND INVESTORS
"Does the Trump administration even think about Africa"?
The question on how the Trump administration’s policies will impact Africa was met with mixed reaction Wednesday during a briefing at the African Utility Week Conference underway in Cape Town.
The panellists, all leading experts in investment, grappled with questions like "does the Trump administration even think about Africa?" This amidst continuing speculation of US president Donald Trump’s policy plans for the African continent and growing concerns over the future of foreign aid projects and big projects steered as part of Power Africa under the previous administration. Vacancies in key senior portfolios for Africa fuels these concerns because a few months into his term Trump has not yet filled the position of assistant-secretary of state for African affairs. US media earlier reported J. Peter Pham as a favourite for this job.
On Tuesday leading investment analysts were also cautious on this topic.
Head of natural resources at Exotix Partners in the UK, Andrew Moorfield, said there is so much emotion in talks about Trump that he would rather focus on the “knowns” which are the markets. In Moorfield’s analysis there is some possible good news for African economies.
Moorfield referred to the low rate environment in the US. He said the last 12 months shows a post-Trump bump, but it is now falling again. According to him US rates is expected to remain low in the medium term with some consequences for Africa. This situation, he says, “creates a favourable and stable climate for African investment”.
This he explains is because investors generally reach for yield expectations for low and stable US rates also encourage investors to move to emerging and frontier markets because the stability reduces risk premiums associated with a potential flight to quality.
"The US dollar has been weakening since January, consistent with Trump’s stated preferences threatening foreign investor returns through continuing depreciation, "he explained.
It is common cause that one of Trump’s key plans is to invest in US infrastructure and this, Moorfield projects, will buoy commodity demand generally which will benefit African economies as demand for oil, gas minerals and metals will grow.
According to him Africa has lots of natural resources but is low on capital. “So if Trump executes his plan and invests in infrastructure the effect should be that it would buoy commodities and will benefit African economies.”
So the good news, says Moorfield, is that commodities have a wonderful multiplier effect. "And the multiplier effect is in the country of extraction, and that is Africa. So it can be a massive benefit."
Moorfield furthermore explained in terms of price recovery there can be a multiplier effect from a low base. "Commodities index at a low level and any price rises coming from a low base have an enhanced multiplier effect as they magnify the net revenue above the costs." He explains low interest rates will spur further investment in infrastructure including gas, mines and power on the continent. "So in this context opportunities will increasingly emerge to take advantage of an improving investment environment in selected African markets. Investors look for higher yields, and it is currently in the frontier markets."
Another panellist and author of the book "Frontier: Exploring the top ten emerging markets of tomorrow, Gavin Serkin told delegates four of the best ten places in the world to invest is in Africa. This includes Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Egypt. Responding to the question is the Trump administration talking about Africa; Serkin said he would hope so. "It looks like business as usual but I think there is a lot going on. I think it is on the radar, just down on the list.
Leading investment expert Jerome Booth in turn said investing in emerging markets is contrary to popular belief, a smart way to reduce risk.
Over 7000 decision makers from over 80 countries are attending the three day conference and expo where the latest developments, challenges and opportunities in the power and water sectors will be under the spotlight.
Over 300 experts will over three days discuss innovative solutions to the continent’s energy and water challenges and the exciting opportunities for utilities and industry players.
The conference ends Thursday.
Written by: Alicestine October