World Bank’s John Roome heads up outstanding line-up in Cape Town in February
The organisers of Africa’s Green Economy Summit, taking place in Cape Town from 22–24 February, have announced that global mobility giant Uber and car manufacturer Nissan will be official partners of the event. In addition, several more very prominent speakers have been confirmed for the packed two-day investment gathering.
Africa’s Green Economy Summit will bring together investors, developers and governments, highlighting investment prospects that exist in the fields of green hydrogen, EVs and hybrid vehicles, energy storage, solar, hydro and wind energy, infrastructure development, urban sustainability as well as manufacturing. It is part of the E-Fest Cape Town that will culminate in the Formula E 2023 Cape Town E-Prix race in the same week on 25 February 2023.
“There are huge opportunities for Africa to take advantage of business and technology innovation to drive green growth opportunities on the continent that will give both good climate outcomes but increase incomes and growth on the continent. This will require public policymakers, private entrepreneurs, investors and the financial sector to work together in a coordinated way to deliver on these opportunities.”
So says John Roome, the World Bank’s South Asia Regional Director of Sustainable Development, and moderator of the session on “Accelerating Green Investment in Africa” at the summit.
Setting the scene for the discussions, the World Bank’s John Roome explains that “Africa doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel. There are four examples that I will talk about from India that give good examples of how India has been able to drive down the price of LED light bulbs and create a new business opportunity in street lighting, how they’ve been able to drive growth in e-buses across the country, how they’ve expanded rooftop solar and how they have expanded renewables through renewable energy solar energy farms, using a combination of public policy, private investment and financial sector innovation.”
Uber and African Union Commissioner among new speakers
Several more very prominent speakers have been confirmed for the packed two-day summit programme. They include:
- Kagiso Khaole, General Manager, Southern Africa, Uber, South Africa – Keynote address in the session on “Mobility for Social Inclusion and Economic Opportunity”.
- H.E. Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, African Union Commission, Ethiopia – Opening session keynote speaker: “De-risking investments, so lenders and investors can support Africa’s net zero transition – the African Green Infrastructure Investment Bank (AfGIIB)”.
- Nangula Uaandja, President, Namibian Investment Promotions Development Board, Namibia – Expert panellist in discussion on “Accelerating Green Investment in Africa”.
- Dr Amany Asfour, President, Africa Business Council, Egypt – Day 2 keynote speaker: “Driving pan-African results by bringing together private sector and policy-makers to support extra and intra-African trade, investment and pan-African enterprise”.
- Mandy Rambharos, Vice-President: Global Climate Cooperation, Environmental Defence Fund, United States (former head of Climate Just Transition at Eskom) – Expert panellist in discussion on “Accelerating Green Investment in Africa”.
- Prof Henry Tse, Director of New Mobility Technologies, Catapult Connected Places, UK – Panellist in innovation discussion in session on “Mobility for Social Inclusion and Economic Opportunity”.
- Michelle McLean-Bailey, Tourism and Investment Consultant, Namibian Investment Promotions Development Board & Chairperson Brand Ambassador Programme, Board of Brand Namibia in the President’s Office, (former Miss Universe 1992 from Namibia), Ohltaver & List International Business Representative, Namibia & USA – Master of ceremonies on Day 2.
Click here to see the full programme and complete list of speakers confirmed to date: https://www.greeneconomysummit.com/programme
Hydrogen key to driving net zero
An important theme of the summit is the continent’s commitment to key strategies for investment-ready green infrastructure projects and hydrogen is receiving a lot of attention as a key component of driving net zero.
“We tend to think that possibly a route to consider is going smaller to begin with in terms of the size of pilots, proving out pilots on a smaller scale, which we think would then catalyse more finance into the projects themselves in terms of bridging the finance gap, but, ultimately we think the finance will come,” says Mardé van Wyk, venture partner at Advanced Pioneer Ventures, a company in the UK that invests in hydrogen technology. At the upcoming Africa’s Green Economy Summit, she is part of the expert panel discussion in the session on “Developing a hydrogen economy”.
She continues: “We think the opportunity is there and that it’s a matter of all the players in the finance ecosystem coming together and ensuring that, as the research shows, we capitalise on this opportunity where hydrogen is a key component of driving net zero. And to the extent that that is part of their strategy as a financial institution, they have to be playing their role and in terms of enabling hydrogen as part of that solution.“
E-Fest Cape Town
Already home to a thriving green economy, the City of Cape Town is looking forward to welcoming the summit delegates to assist in creating opportunities to invest in this innovative space. The E-Fest in February 2023 offers a week of special events and entertainment to showcase sustainability, e-mobility and renewable energy solutions, underpinned by the international ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. Also known as the Cape Town E-Prix, it is the first Formula E race to be hosted in sub-Saharan Africa, and the first major open-wheel race since 1993. For the first time, South Africa will be able to witness Formula E’s thrilling line-up in person, as drivers race their electric-powered cars through the streets of Cape Town.
“GO GREEN AFRICA” is the E-Fest call to action to businesses and individuals to level up by pledging a commitment to going green.
ABB, Nissan and Uber are gold sponsors for the summit while the African Development Fund is a gold sponsor and development partner. Norfund and Actis are investor partners while Frost & Sullivan and Bruwer Capital are supporting partners. The City of Cape Town, the Western Cape Government and Wesgro are also official event partners.
E-Fest Cape Town event dates: Africa’s Green Economy Summit 22–24 February 2023 Venue: Century City Conference Centre (4-star green star-rated for sustainable venue), Cape Town
evrt Africa (Electric Vehicle Road Trip Africa): 15–24 February 2023 Website: https://smartermobility-africa.com/evrt-africa/
Cape Town E-Prix: 25 February 2023 Venue: Green Point Website: www.capetowneprix.com