unctad.org | Seizing the low-carbon investment opportunity in Africa
Seizing the low-carbon investment opportunity in Africa
02 décembre 2013
Governments that want to pursue a path to a green economy must develop a green growth vision, formulate enabling policies, and develop a strategy to promote green investment opportunities, said participants at an UNCTAD regional workshop in Durban, South Africa.

The workshop, the theme of which was Seizing the low-carbon investment opportunity, was a three-day peer-to-peer learning event for investment promotion agencies in Africa.

It was attended by 39 senior officials and international experts, including representatives of investment promotion and economic development agencies in 14 African countries, as well as by representatives of international organizations, green businesses, and non-governmental organizations.

The increased demand for low-carbon products and processes has created new business and investment opportunities that have caught many investment promotion agencies in the developing world by surprise.

quoteThe next economic wave of innovation is the smart green economic revolution, which includes renewable energy, sustainable food and transport, low-carbon buildings and innovative waste management, among other things.quote
Mr. Zamo Gwala
Chief Executive Officer
Trade & Investment KwaZulu-Natal

Between 2003 and 2012, low-carbon foreign direct investment (FDI) in greenfield projects in renewable energy, recycling activities and environmental technology manufacturing alone already amounted to nearly half a trillion dollars.

From the greening of existing industries to creating opportunities in the renewable energy value chain, there is a need for peer-to-peer learning and experience-sharing among investment promotion agencies to understand the low-carbon potential for cross-border investment that allows them to sharpen their FDI promotion strategies. Experts from UNCTAD, the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group, Ernst & Young, IBM Plant Location International, best practice investment promotion agencies, green companies and business development institutions shared their insights.

The workshop addressed the following issues:

  • What are the investment triggers in the various business activities in the renewable energy sector?

  • What are the policy mechanisms available to promote the renewable sector?

  • What is the investment potential resulting from greening industries?

  • What partnerships are necessary in the alignment for low-carbon promotion?

  • What opportunities exist for Africa?

The event was part of UNCTAD's programme that aims to strengthen the capacity of developing countries to attract and benefit from FDI in green industries in order to create employment, promote agricultural development and reduce poverty.


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