The maiden Africa Green Growth Forum opened in Kigali yesterday with experts pushing for increased private sector investment in green growth, in support of Africa’s bid for sustainable development.
The week-long gathering kicked off with a high level green growth and climate resilience strategy policy dialogue and launch of Rwanda National Determined Contributions (NDC) partnership plan.
Environment Minister Dr Vincent Biruta said that the forum will facilitate African countries to share knowledge, learn what is happening around the world to create more awareness on opportunities that green growth path way to development offers.
“We are here to discuss the Rwandan green growth and climate resilient strategy and how it will help the country to achieve sustainable development and how it will help to inform the rest of Africa and the world in the same effort,” Biruta said.
The first ever Africa Green Growth Forum has attracted over 1,000 investors, policymakers and financial specialists from across the continent to examine the opportunities that come with green growth as well as some of the challenges impeding its uptake.
The week-long forum is running under the theme, ‘For A Green and Climate Resilient Africa’.
The forum will encourage private sector investment in green growth, improve the understanding and use of finance as a tool for climate resilience, build partnerships between stakeholders working in Africa’s green growth sector and provide a platform for partners to engage and build relationships that accelerate the green growth agenda.
Speaking at the high level green growth an climate resilience strategy policy dialogue, Frank Rijsberman, Director General of Global Green Growth Institute, said that green growth is not only affordable but is also the best way to address climate change.
“I would like to bust the myth that green growth is very expensive. It is not only a necessity, it is also affordable,” Rijsberman said.
Rijsberman also proposed that Rwanda commits to specific targets for next national Green Growth and Climate Resilience Strategy (GGCRS); a hundred per cent renewables leading to net zero emissions, a hundred per cent electric vehicles, which he said would become cheaper soon, a hundred green buildings, a hundred MHa of climate resilient agriculture, plus a hundred million green jobs for the next generation of young Africans.
Rijsberman also noted that he was pleased to know that Rwanda’s proposed airport in Bugesera would be the first Green Certified Airport in the region, given that it will feature a host of green building features promoting resource efficiency.
Fodé Ndiaye, UN Rwanda Resident Coordinator, noted that it is everyone’s responsibility to advance the green growth and climate resilience strategy and to continue to educate the wider public about the low carbon growth, and natural resource management.