Tomorrow, Friday, June 5, the Africa Progress Panel, chaired by Kofi Annan, will launch the 2015 Report on climate and energy at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town, South Africa.
The Report will make the case that Africa’s engagement in climate change is inextricably linked to its pressing energy needs.
In Africa, unequal access to energy has reinforced the wider inequalities linked to poverty, gender and the rural-urban divide that have accompanied the economic growth of the past 15 years.
Africa is already experiencing severe and damaging impacts from climate change, yet no region has done less to contribute to global warming than Africa.
With the world aiming for a major climate change deal this year, the Africa Progress Report 2015 will show how Africa can turn climate challenges into opportunities by transforming its energy, agriculture and finance sectors.
Africa needs more energy now – and everyone must have access. Energy is vital for economic growth, job creation and reducing poverty.
Africa is likely to need fossil fuels for some time; no industrialized country has developed using clean energy alone. But if African countries seriously commit themselves now to renewable energy sources, such as hydro, geothermal and solar power, they could leapfrog to cleaner energy as they have to mobile telephony – bypassing dependence on high-carbon fuels.
This energy transition must be matched by an agricultural transformation that unlocks the potential of Africa’s smallholder farmers to drive the continent’s development – while enabling them to cope with the multiple threats from climate change.
But then, these transformations in energy, agriculture and climate change adaptation will only happen if Africa receives more international financial support, mobilizes more domestic finance and strengthens its financial architecture.
There is plenty of evidence that the right climate change response could also build Africa’s prosperity.
The Africa Progress Report 2015 will, therefore, gather the critical evidence to make a powerful case for transforming Africa’s energy, agriculture and finance.
It will particularly look at how African policymakers can maximize all sources of finance, including domestic savings and private capital, towards the realisation of the envisaged transformation.
In preparation for the 2015 Africa Progress Report, the Panel organised three expert consultations, co-hosted a fourth with Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Governance and attended meetings in Ghana and Kenya to brainstorm on the report’s themes.
The six meetings, held in Geneva, London, Oxford, Ghana and Kenya, brought together experts and representatives from the private sector, government, multilateral agencies, non-governmental organisations, think tanks and academia to discuss ways in which to transform Africa’s energy, agriculture and finance sectors. GNA