A strong evidence base is the backbone of our operations in communications, trade, investment and consultancy. We gain this knowledge from our own research, thought leaders, research institutions and other key sources of information. We stay abreast of developments in sustainability and industry innovation to keep our network members well informed. Click on categories to see a full list of our thematic areas.
Future Energy Nigeria to unpack new Power Sector Recovery Program in Lagos in November
The rebranded Future Energy Nigeria will return to Lagos in November and will focus on the bold turnaround plan of the Nigerian government, known as the Power Sector Recovery Program, which is earmarked to restore investor confidence in the sector following reported problems in the country’s electricity market. U$D7.6-billion has been earmarked for this recovery process that the government developed in partnership with the World Bank.
"The Nigerian government is serious about restoring investor confidence and providing an enabling environment to grow private investments in the electricity sector," says Claire O’Connell, event director of Future Energy Nigeria. She adds: "there are huge opportunities in the Nigerian electricity supply industry for local and international investors. There are also very advantageous incentives in place for investors such as cost reflective tariffs for electricity, 0% duty on power generation equipment and 20% capital allowance for five years."
Nigeria’s energy sector, quick facts*:
- Current installed generation capacity: 11.1 GW (2016)
- Aimed for installed capacity by 2030: 32 GW
- Investment required to reach this goal: U$D26.99-billion
- Generation mix of 2030 goal includes:
- Gas: 41%
- Solar PV: 16%
- Large hydropower: 15%
- Coal: 10%
- 18%: nuclear, small-medium hydro, biomass, solar thermal and wind.
Transmission & Distribution:
- Current transmission capacity: 6.6 GW
- Aimed for capacity by 2022: 20 GW
- The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) estimates it will need about U$D4.2-5-billion until 2020 to rehabilitate and modernise existing facilities.
- Complete projects are already under construction to expand the network to 10 GW.
*Information source: "Uncovering growth opportunities in a connected world", Strategic Environment Analysis, Country power sector report – Frost & Sullivan, July 2017
According to Future Energy Nigeria’s Claire O’Connell the extensive opportunities in Nigeria for technology and service providers to the industry include:
- Expansion of existing facilities in generation, transmission and distribution
- Manufacturing of wires, cables, transformers and other auxiliary equipment
- Building new integrated power plants (IPPs)
- Expansion of existing transmission lines
- Production and distribution of metering devices
- Provision of operations and maintenance services
Some conference speaker highlights:
- Onyeche Tifashe, CEO, Siemens, Nigeria
- Akinwole Omoboriowo, CEO, Genesis Energy, Nigeria
- Patrick O. Okigbo III, Principal Partner, Nextier, Nigeria
- Sunkanmi Olowo, Head SME Banking, Ecobank, Nigeria
- Bart Nnaji, CEO, Geometric Power, Nigeria
- Joy Ogaji, Executive Secretary, Association of Power Generation Companies, Nigeria
- Joel Abrams, Managing Director, Nigeria Solar Capital Partners, Nigeria
- Olumide Noah Obademi, CEO, Afam Power PLC, Nigeria
- Nicholas Okafor, Partner, Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie, Nigeria
- Olubunmi Peters, Executive Vice Chairman, North South Power Shiroro, Nigeria
- Segun Adaju, President, Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria, Nigeria
- Engr. Faruk Yabo, Director Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency, FMoPWH
The 14th edition of the event once again enjoys widespread support from the industry with Lucy Electric, a global secondary distribution leader in the electricity sector, returning as platinum sponsor, while Jubaili Bros and Genesis are gold sponsors and Conlog, Landis+Gyr, Hexing and Vodacom are silver sponsors.
New brand – same, innovative event
Future Energy Nigeria (formerly known as the West African Power Industry Convention – WAPIC), with the support of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Transmission Company of Nigeria, Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, Distribution Companies and prominent Generation companies, will once again host many of the country’s leading energy decision makers from 7-8 November 2017 at the Eko Hotel & Suite Convention Centre in Lagos, Nigeria.
The Future Energy Nigeria is recognised as being a distinctive gathering of stakeholders within the power value chain which includes governments, power generation companies, transmission and distribution companies, off takers, developers, Investors, Equipment manufacturers and providers, technology providers, EPCs, legal and consulting firms all with a shared goal of supporting the on-going implementation of finding lasting solutions to Nigeria’s energy challenges. Co-located to the event is the Oil & Gas Council’s Nigeria Assembly.
Future Energy Nigeria dates and location:
Strategic conference: 7-8 November 2017
Venue: Eko Hotel & Suite Convention Centre, Lagos, Nigeria.
Unlocking Investment in West Africa
West Africa’s integration into the world economy is low
The region attracts only 5% of Foreign Direct Investment into Africa
Countries are working to break down barriers to investment
Despite West Africa’s enormous investment potential, its integration into the global economy is low. One sign of this is that the region captures only 5% of Africa’s total Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). The main hurdles for national, regional, and foreign investors are cross-border constraints. Small businesses and service providers are especially affected.
“In Nigeria, burdensome and non-transparent administrative procedures, land, the clearance of goods and services at ports and airports, and access to finance are some of the obstacles hampering investors,” said Bala Bello, Deputy Director for Policy and Advocacy at the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission.
With its Improved Business and Investment Climate in West Africa Project, the Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice of the World Bank Group is looking at ways of addressing these problems by supporting both regional organizations and individual West African countries. It wants to help them address a range of investment policy issues that constitute barriers to private sector investment across the region.
“This project seeks to take pragmatic steps to facilitate the emergence of a conducive and predictable investment climate in advancement of the ECOWAS Common Investment Market vision," said Kalilou Traore, Commissioner of the Industry Private Sector Directorate at the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
At the heart of its work is the establishment of a strong, regional public–private dialogue mechanism. “The participation of the private sector in contributing their opinions and practical experiences is essential,” said Iyalode Alaba Lawson, Vice-President of the Federation of the West African Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
“Since 1979, the private sector has held observer status at the ECOWAS Heads of State Summit, contributing the view of business to the Trade Liberalisation Scheme,” she said. “Regional-level private sector involvement, from investment policy initiation to formulation through to execution, allows for easier implementation when introduced into the business environment.”
The first forum for this was at an inaugural technical workshop in the Senegalese capital of Dakar in June 2015, and has since been moved up to national level. National reform action plans have been made by six, pilot countries—Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone—for a formal commitment to a regional monitoring scorecard.
Non-pilot countries have been invited as observers to help them prepare for future reform. A regional workshop with national governments and private sector associations deepened their familiarity and understanding of investment policy and promotion. Countries explored how they can promote and retain new and existing investment, and how they can leverage FDI for domestic business environment reforms.
Another avenue for convergence is the launch of the ECOWAS Investment Climate Scorecard. Over 70 public and private sector representatives from 15 member states, as well as representatives from the ECOWAS Commission, the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), the European Union, and the World Bank Group, have formally endorsed the scorecard as a tool for deepening regional investment integration.
The scorecard is an innovative instrument that enables both the ECOWAS Commission and national policymakers to identify investment barriers and track the progress of national and regional reforms.
A digital dashboard will aggregate its data to facilitate analysis and decision making.
“At the national level, we must make our countries more attractive to investors, each focusing on its own unique potential,” said Zeinabou Keita, Head of the Technical Unit of Business Climate Reform at Mali’s Ministry of Investment Promotion in Private Sector, who added that removing constraints would make individual economies and the region more competitive. “The scorecard is an indispensable tool to help countries refocus efforts on issues that result in too much red tape for investors,” she said.
“West African countries have enormous potential to strengthen competitiveness and increase investment, which can drive growth, reduce poverty, and deliver jobs to the region,” said Eme Essien, International Finance Corporation Country Manager, Nigeria. She said the project was using a unique, hybrid approach to support the ECOWAS Commission to further regional integration by working simultaneously at regional and national levels to identify, address, and monitor the elimination of specific barriers to the expansion of cross-border investment.
The Improved Business and Investment Climate in West Africa Project is a four-year initiative that was launched in November 2014. The project is funded by the European Union and implemented by the World Bank Group.
Coordinating public and private action for export manufacturing: issues for Rwanda
One of the keys to economic transformation across Africa today is a greater role for employment-intensive, export-oriented manufacturing. After taking due account of differences in contexts and time periods, international experience – especially in Asia but also in Africa-region leaders such as Mauritius – points to employment-intensive manufacturing as a crucial and indispensable step in the transition from poverty to development.
Rwanda is – along with Ethiopia – exceptional in Africa in that it has in place a nation-building project centred on the aim of economic transformation. Features of its political economy also mean Rwanda lends itself easily to comparison with the best-documented experiences in Asia. This paper explores the ways in which international experience of success in manufacturing-based economic transformation can provide valuable insight for Rwanda, in the areas of government coordination, engagement with and representation of the private sector, and the experimental learning process.
Making governance work for water-energy-food nexus approaches
This Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) working paper explores the effectiveness of governance for the 'water-energy-food nexus'. It looks at approaches that recognise the links between sectors, factor these in during decision-making and promote integrated policy-making.
The paper synthesises findings from CDKN-supported action research in this area, drawing on findings from Indonesia, Kenya and the Amazon Basin. It demonstrates that the effectiveness of horizontal (cross-sectoral) and vertical (between levels of government) coordination – essential for a nexus approach – is determined by institutional relationships, which can be influenced by political economy factors. The capacity of governing organisations to understand nexus links and to collaborate with each other is also found to be critical.
Higher Education Institutions - key drivers of the Sustainable Development Goals
The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI), a partnership between United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, UNESCO, United Nations Environment, UN Global Compact’s Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) initiative, United Nations University (UNU), UN-HABITAT and UNCTAD, was created in 2012 in the run-up to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). With commitments from over 300 universities from around the world, HESI accounted for more than one-third of all the voluntary commitments that were launched at Rio+20. Through its strong association with the United Nations, HESI provides higher education institutions with a unique interface between higher education, science, and policy making.
In support of the follow-up and review framework of the 2030 Agenda, UN DESA has collaborated with a flagship initiative supported by HESI – The SULITEST – and has include questions around the SDGs in the Sulitest assessment platform for assessing knowledge of students of Higher Education Institutions around the world. To date, over 60,000 tests have been administered. The results of which can be found in this report 'Mapping Awareness of the Global Goals'.
HESI provides a unique interface for higher education institutions to share their experiences and strategies for advancing the sustainable development agenda.
All higher education institutions may join the network freely. Higher education institutions part of HESI commit to:
1) Teach sustainable development across all disciplines of study,
2) Encourage research and dissemination of sustainable development knowledge,
3) Green campuses and support local sustainability efforts, and
4) Engage and share information with international networks.
Join by clicking “Register initiative” at: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/partnerships/hesi
Safe water hope for slum dwellers
Attempts to deliver safe water to people living in some of the world’s poorest slums are falling at the final hurdle, according to research led by Lancaster University.
The team has been conducting research in slum communities in Bangladesh and Tanzania since 2013. This work - supported by ESPA - aimed to understand why water is becoming contaminated in the 'last 100 metres' before it reaches households, and to find ways of resolving the problem. In this new phase of their work, funded by the British Academy, the researchers are evaluating a range of approaches to improving sanitation and reducing contamination of treated water in eight communities in Tanzania and Bangladesh, to see which approaches are the most effective.
The research findings will be used to inform government and NGO policy; to transform infrastructure and practice; and to make a huge difference to the lives of millions of slum dwellers around the world.
Find out more about tackling contamination in the 'last 100 metres'.
Image credits: Women at standpipes, courtesy Asian Development Bank; aerial view of Dhaka, Bangladesh, courtesy Bread for the World.
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.
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
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.
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.