Africa is developing quickly, and we need to ensure this growth can be sustained for generations to come. That can only be achieved if it is green, clean and climate resilient.
That is why the Government of Rwanda has organised the Africa Green Growth Forum – to bring the private sector together with policy makers and investors to advance green growth and raise awareness about the potential of a new model of economic development.
It is a good platform to share best practices so that, together, we can foster investment and innovation in green growth.
The Africa Green Growth Forum also aims to encourage private sector investment in green growth, improve the understanding and use of finance as a tool for climate resilience, and provide a platform for partners to engage and build relationships that accelerate the green growth agenda.
Some of the highlights of the AGGF include the Investment Forum and events on e-mobility, the Circular Economy, and innovative finance for green growth.
We are also hosting 20 companies from across the continent for an exhibition on green technologies.
As part of the Forum, we will host a concert on Friday evening to award champions of green growth in the fields of industry, local government, media and youth to showcase some of Rwanda’s leading green initiatives.
If you’re in business today, you need to be thinking about green growth. By incorporating green growth into your business model, you can be more efficient in your operations, increase productivity and have a positive impact on the environment.
Put simply, green growth is good for business.
It drives up profits that can be sustained for the long term. This is important for both investors and employees. We must remember that green growth doesn’t mean limited growth, but rather smart growth. By taking advantage of new business models that use resources to their full potential, eliminate waste and pollution and support nature to regenerate, we can create new and higher paying jobs.
This kind of smart and high quality growth takes an intergenerational view of prosperity. We need to be thinking about profit in the next five years as well as what’s good for Africa over the next 500 years. And the process we are making is positive!
Across the continent, government and business are working to integrate the principles of green growth into their economic growth policies, and their daily operations.
The private sector is investing in new technologies to drive clean energy development, exploring the Circular Economy and investing in rehabilitating our ecosystems.
Still today, a major challenge we face in achieving green growth is simple awareness. That’s why the Forum is such an important event.
Once leaders from all sectors of society understand the benefits of green growth, they are quick to adopt it. We need to keep raising awareness and explaining why green growth is an investment worth making.
We also need to break the myth that green growth is more expensive than traditional development. Sometimes the upfront investment may be higher, but in the long-run, green growth is a cost saver.
In Rwanda, we are investing in green growth in a number of ways, with a focus on clean energy, waste management and green urbanisation.
Currently, renewable energy accounts for approximately 70% of Rwanda’s energy mix. Rwanda recently established a state-of-the-art e-waste recycling facility.
We are also working with partners to build a Green City Pilot in Kigali, and to green the country’s six secondary cities.
Indeed, the designs for Rwanda’s single largest infrastructure investment, the Bugesera International Airport, were recently updated to improve its green credentials and we are confident it will be one of the greenest airports on the continent.
These are just some of the tangible activities taking place in Rwanda, and there are many more examples across the continent that we can be proud of.
This article was extracted from a speech by Environment Minister Dr Vincent Biruta at the opening ceremony of Africa Green Growth Investment Forum in Kigali