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UNDP: Africa Green Business and Financing Report

In an era where Africa grapples with escalating inequalities, unemployment and the harsh realities of climate change, our mandate is not only to respond to these challenges, but also to transform them into opportunities for sustainable and resilient growth and development. This publication serves as a crucial guidepost in that transformative journey.

Africa stands uniquely poised to redefine the landscape of green business. Endowed with vast natural resources and a young, dynamic population, the continent holds the keys to a green revolution that could forge paths to employment, dignity and economic resilience. As we navigate these areas of potential, we are reminded of our urgent duty to harness our resources wisely, fostering not only wealth but also worth for African families.

The insights drawn from across the continent illuminate the innovative strides being made in key sectors like renewable energy and sustainable agriculture. These sectors offer a glimpse of a future where Africa not only meets its own needs, but emerges as a global leader in green practices. Renewable energy, for instance, presents an opportunity not just for reducing carbon footprints, but also for propelling a green industrialization process that could redefine economic landscapes. In agriculture, embracing climate-smart practices could revolutionize food security and create enduring livelihoods for millions.

However, the path is fraught with challenges. Climate change continues to amplify existing vulnerabilities, disrupting ecosystems and communities. The continent’s biodiversity, a cornerstone of its environmental and economic health, faces threats from unsustainable practices and urban expansion. It is imperative that our actions are bold and decisive, integrating green business principles deeply and broadly into the fabric of African economies.

The role of green financing is indispensable in this context. Leveraging both private and public capital is essential for scaling up green initiatives that can drive this new economic frontier. The African Continental Free Trade Area stands as a testament to the kind of regional cooperation that could catalyse the green market, making the dream of a sustainable Africa a tangible reality.

As we forge ahead, the narratives of businesses and communities adapting to and thriving in this green economy will serve as beacons for others to follow. Through these shared stories and documented successes, we can build a robust framework for a sustainable and prosperous future.

In rallying together — governments, businesses, and civil society — we embrace a collective vision where the wealth of Africa is measured not just in GDP, but in the health and sustainability of its communities and ecosystems. Beyond mapping out possibilities, this report calls us to action, to fulfil our shared responsibilities and ensure a thriving, green future for all Africans.

Maxwell Gomera, Resident Representative, UNDP South Africa and Director, Africa Sustainable Finance Hub

Click here to access the full report

About the author

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