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AfDB Reiterates Infrastructural Needs For Sustainable Growth

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  • AfDB Reiterates Infrastructural Needs For Sustainable Growth

The imperatives of infrastructure development for sustainable growth of African economies have continued to dominate discussions of the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The regional development institution raised the issue again on the second day of the Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation Conference (KOAFEC) in Seoul, South Korea, while discussing the transformation of Africa’s agriculture.

AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina, while addressing Ministers of Finance from African countries, highlighted the importance of investing in rural infrastructure, as well as rapidly developing the agro-industrial sector.

“Africa should not be a consumption centre. It must export processed cocoa, not cocoa beans; it must export specialized coffee, not coffee beans; and it must export finished textile products, not cotton lint,” he said.

Citing Korea’s experience, which was once a poor and at the same level with Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), but now records a Gross Domestic Product that is currently 17 times that of SSA, he said its growth was an outcome of economic reform.

He said that the policies drove structural transformation and investment in various sectors, including agriculture and now Korea is among the top 15 economies globally, as well as is in the top ranks of major international aid donors.

“Korea’s transformation could not have been achieved without its focus on agricultural transformation, through its popular village model ‘Saemaul Undong’”, he said.

According to him, the approach increased agricultural productivity to achieve food self-sufficiency through massive support for technologies that escalated production, huge investments in rural infrastructure, rural electrification and rural telecommunications. “This is what formed the country’s stepping stone for industrialisation.”

Korea however, reiterated its commitment to aiding Africa especially through knowledge sharing of its development model.

The Deputy Prime Minister, who is also the Minister of State and Finance, Yoo Il-ho, said: “We are a true partner of Africa and we will contribute to the development of Africa. We must work together towards a brighter future for the African continent.”

But the Acting Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund, Janvier Manzanares, noted that asistance to Africa’s agriculture sector should also target helping farmers to adapt to climate change for positive results.

He underscored the importance of mainstreaming climate change in agriculture systems and highlighted his organization’s efforts to support smallholder farmers within the sub-region by strengthening their resilience to the effects of climate change.

Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Water and Irrigation, Eugene Wamalwa, also stressed that the erratic weather patterns that have resulted in short rainy spells and frequent drought require a shift from dependency on rain.

“Most of Africa’s agriculture is rain-fed. There is an urgent need to move from rain-fed agriculture to irrigation agriculture, and this requires heavy investment in water infrastructure,” he said.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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IEA Pushes for $1T Investment In Clean Energy By 2030, To Achieve Net-Zero Emission By 2050

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International Energy Agency (IEA)- Investors King

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has said that investment in clean energy in emerging and developing economies need to rise more than seven times, topping $1 trillion per year by 2030, to put the world on track for net-zero emissions by 2050.

A report conducted with the World Bank and the World Economic Forum (WEF) by the IEA stated that without stronger action, energy-related carbon dioxide emissions from those economies – mostly in Asia, Africa, and Latin America – would grow by five billion tonnes over the next two decades.

It said while developing and emerging economies account for two-thirds of the world’s population, they receive only one-fifth of investment in clean energy.

Annual investments across all parts of the energy sector in developing and emerging markets have fallen by about 20 percent since 2016, it added, partly because of challenges including weak regulation and a lack of profitable clean energy projects.

According to the report, last year, $150 billion was put into renewables, adding that unless much stronger action was taken, the 2050 target may not be met.

“In many emerging and developing economies, emissions are heading upwards while clean energy investments are faltering, creating a dangerous fault line in global efforts to reach climate and sustainable energy goals.

“Countries are not starting on this journey from the same place – many do not have access to the funds they need to rapidly transition to a healthier and more prosperous energy future – and the damaging effects of the Covid-19 crisis are lasting longer in many parts of the developing world.

“There is no shortage of money worldwide, but it is not finding its way to the countries, sectors and projects where it is most needed. Governments need to give international public finance institutions a strong strategic mandate to finance clean energy transitions in the developing world,” the IEA Director, Fatih Birol, stated.

The report noted that recent trends in clean energy spending point to a widening gap between advanced economies and the developing world even though emissions reductions are far more cost-effective in the latter.

Besides, it stated that emerging and developing economies currently account for two-thirds of the world’s population, but only one-fifth of global investment in clean energy, and one-tenth of global financial wealth.

“Annual investments across all parts of the energy sector in emerging and developing markets have fallen by around 20 percent since 2016, and they face debt and equity costs that are up to seven times higher than in the United States or Europe,” it said.

Avoiding a tonne of CO2 emissions in emerging and developing economies costs about half as much on average as in advanced economies, according to the report, stressing that it is partly because developing economies can often jump straight to cleaner and more efficient technologies without having to phase out or refit polluting energy projects that are already underway.

Describing the report as a global call to action – especially for those who have the wealth, resources and expertise to make a difference – and offers priority actions that can be taken now to move things forward fast, Birol stressed that as the world expands energy access, it also needs a global transition to low-carbon energy.

World Bank Global Director for Energy and Extractives, Demetrios Papathanasiou, said the bank would continue to support countries that seek assistance to transition away from fossil fuels and scale up low-carbon, renewable energy, and energy efficiency investments.

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deVere Launches ‘Green’ Investment Products as ESG Demand Soars

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Nigel Green - Investors King

Growing interest in environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing has prompted one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organisations to unveil a new product to help clients benefit from this decade’s “ultimate megatrend.”

deVere Group will now be able to offer its clients a fixed-yield note of which the proceeds are allocated to the financing of eligible projects with a clear and defined environmental benefit, such as the reduction of carbon emissions.

In June last year, deVere revealed that 26% of clients around the world are eyeing exposure to or already have exposure to ESG investments. This has now increased to 44% over the last 12 months.

Of this new financial solution, Nigel Green, deVere Group CEO and founder says: “An increasing number of clients want to achieve profits with a purpose by investing in companies that prioritise reducing carbon, protect employees’ and consumer rights, and promote board diversity, corporate transparency and stakeholder accountability.

“As such, we feel it is our responsibility to bring to market financial solutions that can help them do this.”

“At the beginning of 2020 we identified that ESG will be this decade’s ultimate investment megatrend. Therefore, we will continue to develop products with legitimate ESG credentials.

He continues: “The ESG trend is set to gain further momentum for several reasons.

“First, governments and regulators are becoming increasingly pro-ESG which boosts investor confidence.

“For example, in the U.S. – the world’s largest economy – the Biden Administration is taking a tougher approach to the use of fossil fuels and is promising swift action to tackle climate change.

“In addition, the new chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the U.S. financial regulator, Gary Gensler, is a proponent and is likely to strengthen investment and disclosure rules to help the U.S. catch up with Europe.”

He goes on to add: “Second, as millennials, who are statistically more likely to seek responsible investment options, become the major beneficiaries of the largest intergenerational transfer of wealth – an estimated $30tn in the next few years – we can expect both retail and institutional investors to continue to pile into ESG.

“And third, the pandemic has focused minds on the fact that the health of our planet directly affects human health which, in turn, affects the way we all live and work.”

As sustainable investments move from a ‘quirk’ or ‘nice to have’ to a legitimate portfolio diversification tool that delivers profits with purpose, deVere earlier this year announced it is to offer free, independent advice to clients on socially responsible investing, with the aim of positioning $1bn in environmental, social and governance investments within five years.

Of the new financial solution, Mr Green concludes: “This note is the next step in our sustainability journey. We look forward to developing more to help our clients with theirs.”

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G7 Development Finance Institutions, Multilateral Partner to Invest Over $80 Billion in African Businesses

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Business Solution - Investors King

The G7 DFIs, the IFC, the private sector arm of the African Development Bank, EBRD and the European Investment Bank today announced that they were committed to investing $80 billion in the private sector over the next five years to support sustainable economic recovery and growth in Africa.

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a severe global economic and health crisis. The announcement is a welcome boost to support the long-term development objectives of African economies that have been negatively impacted by the crisis. It is the first time the G7 DFIs have come together to make a collective partnership commitment to the African continent.

The IMF estimates that sub-Saharan Africa needs additional financing of around $425 billion between now and 2025 to help strengthen the pandemic response spending and reduce poverty in the region.

The UK Minister for Africa, James Duddridge, said: “The UK is proud to back this commitment by world leaders at the G7 Summit to invest more than $80 billion in Africa’s private sector over the next 5 years.

“This investment will create jobs, boost economic growth, help tackle climate change and fight poverty. It comes at a crucial time as the continent rebuilds its economies, severely impacted by Covid-19.”

Nick O’Donohoe, the CEO of CDC Group, said: “The patient, high quality capital that DFIs provide is urgently needed if African economies are to start to rebuild quickly from the impact of the pandemic. CDC is committed to building long term investment partnerships in Africa that fuel sustainable private sector growth in support of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.”

Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank, said: “The EIB welcomes G7 leadership to enhance support for high-impact investment across Africa during and after the pandemic. Last year the EU Bank’s engagement in Africa, as part of Team Europe, represented the largest ever support for climate action and investment in fragile states in 55 years of EIB operations on the continent. We stand ready to cooperate further with African and multilateral partners to tackle both COVID-19 and accelerate the green transition in Africa.”

Makhtar Diop, IFC’s Managing Director, said: “Ensuring an inclusive and sustainable recovery for people, businesses and economies across Africa in coordination with our development partners, is at the core of IFC’s development mandate today. We know that the private sector will play a major role in financing Africa’s future by creating millions of jobs that are essential to ensuring sustained economic growth and poverty reduction. We, therefore, welcome this important partnership and are proud to provide financing and to work with partners to help create the right conditions to bring more private investment to Africa.”

David Marchick, Chief Operating Officer of U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), said: “Under President Biden’s leadership, investing more in Africa is a top priority for DFC in fulfilling our development mandate. DFC is proud to be doubling down on our commitment to Africa alongside our G7 and multilateral partners and will continue to prioritize investments in vaccine manufacturing, COVID-19 response, climate mitigation and adaptation, and gender equity on the African continent.”

Dario Scannapieco, Chief Executive Officer of Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), said: “Closer collaboration among Development Finance Institutions and multilateral partners is an essential factor in fostering sustainable economic recovery and growth in Africa. CDP looks forward to contributing to this strategic partnership, supporting the African continent in developing its entrepreneurial and financial private sector, to unlock its vast, untapped potential.”

Solomon Quaynor, African Development Bank VP, Private Sector, Infrastructure & Industrialization said: “We welcome this global partnership and the opportunity to provide the African voice, as Africa builds back better and boldly.  The opportunity to create jobs particularly for youth and women, from a focus on industrializing Africa underpinned by the African Continental Free Trade Area, will be our priority. Given the gap between the IMF estimates and what this partnership is committing to, we will seek to crowd-in African development partners, as well as African savings from SWFs, pensions, and insurance pools, estimated to have US$1.8 trillion AUM.”

Heike Harmgart, EBRD Managing Director, Southern & Eastern Mediterranean, said: “Harnessing the potential of the private sector is essential to supporting prosperity in Africa and meeting the continent’s development needs. In the North African countries where we work – Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia – we have invested over €11.5 billion in only 9 years, focused on boosting the private sector, developing green sustainable infrastructure and promoting youth and women participation in the economy. We will pursue our efforts to expand private sector investment opportunities at scale in the region in close cooperation with other development actors.”

Monika Beck, member of the DEG-Management Board, said: „Many of our African partner countries have been hit hard by the pandemic. We quickly developed new services to support private sector SME and to help protecting jobs and livelihoods. In Africa, DEG has always been specifically committed to creating prospects for the young, growing population. In addition to the continuing massive impact of Covid-19 we expect a further acceleration of the challenges connected to developments such as digitization and climate change. Therefore DEG welcomes and is proud to be part of the G7 DFI Africa initiative”.

Each DFI has its own investment criteria which are aligned to an assessment of need to achieve development impact across a range of sectors. DFIs play an important role in helping to build markets, mitigate risk and pave the way for other investors to enter new markets.

The G7 DFI group consists of CDCProparco (France), JICA and JBIC (Japan), DFC (US), FinDev Canada (Canada), DEG (Germany) and CDP (Italy). This commitment is also supported by the IFC, the Africa Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank

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