CAIRO, Egypt, February 2, 2024/ — As Africa continues to position itself to reap the full benefits of the drive for energy transition, the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) (www.Afreximbank.com), IFC, and the legal firm White & Case partnered to host a one-day seminar to discuss “Energy Transition and Infrastructure in Africa”.
The seminar attracted about 150 participants drawn from key financial institutions, project sponsors and developers, and consultancy firms across Africa.
Afreximbank has been at the forefront in positioning Africa to navigate a just energy transition path which allows the continent to be committed to defining its optimal energy mix, balancing renewables, transition, and fossil fuels, in order to meet its energy demands sustainably.
Delivering the keynote address, Mr. Haytham ElMaayergi, Executive Vice President, Global Trade Bank, Afreximbank, commented: “Africa has a unique advantage of being able to learn from the past and pursue a sustainable form of growth right from the start. The just energy transition presents a unique opportunity for the continent to leapfrog over outdated technologies and practices, build a resilient infrastructure and adopt innovative solutions that are conducive to its economic development while also mitigating climate change”.
“Africa is undergoing a significant shift towards building a green economy fuelled by renewable energy and more sustainable practices,” said Walid Labadi, IFC Assistant General Counsel, Africa. “IFC is committed to enhance the climate change adaptation agenda by supporting Africa’s private sector and governments accelerate the transition to low-carbon and resilient economic growth, create investable projects, identify de-risking opportunities, and mobilize private and institutional capital at scale”, he added.
IFC supports emerging market companies to access the capital they need for climate transition by building capacity, setting global standards, generating a pipeline of investable projects, sharing investment risks, and creating investment mechanisms.
The seminar featured two panel discussions and three workshops aimed at empowering participants with knowledge for dealing with issues around energy transition in Africa.
A panel discussion on just energy transition examined the global approach to energy transition, non-traditional development finance institution (DFI) approach to supporting innovative solutions, how DFIs can work more collaboratively to support the development of gas reserves to power the continent, and financing of small and scalable businesses, among others.
The second panel, on infrastructure, focused on cross border infrastructure as critical factors for unlocking intra-Africa trade and reviewed the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement in terms of further accelerating the development of relevant infrastructure.
One of the workshops treated the role of gas in energy transition in Africa while the others covered the power industry and the role of disruptive technology in advancing infrastructure development.
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