Carbon Markets Essential for Africa’s Growth

At COP27, African countries launched the Africa Carbon Markets Initiative to produce 300 million carbon credits annually. The initiative seeks to unlock $6 billion in revenue and create 30 million jobs by 2030.

The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and Afreximbank will convene the 2023 African Business Forum, an annual platform for dialogue between African business and political leaders and policymakers, on realizing Agenda 2063 and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

The goal of the Africa Business Forum is to promote an ongoing dialogue between the private and public sectors in Africa to accelerate collective efforts towards realizing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want, of the African Union.

The sixth edition of the Africa Business Forum convened with the support of the African Union Commission and Sustainable Energy for All, will be held under the theme “Making Carbon Markets Work for Africa” on 20 February 2023 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

“Carbon markets present a great opportunity for African countries to utilize their abundant natural resources to unlock economic value and accelerate sustainable industrialization and economic transformation and diversification,” said ECA Acting Executive Secretary, Mr. Antonio Pedro.

Adding that the Africa Business Forum is an important platform for Africa to collaborate and trigger action on tapping the opportunities in carbon trading but with the assurance that Africa gets the right price for trading its carbon on the global credit markets.

Africa has vast amounts of carbon stored in its ecosystems with the Congo forests – dubbed the world’s second lung – being able to absorb about 1.2 billion tons of CO2 each year. The Congo Basin holds roughly 8% of the world’s forest-based carbon.

It is critical that we invest in sustainable value chains that will deliver jobs and resilience and inclusive economic growth

Mr. Pedro emphasized that Africa is at the cusp of an opportunity to develop the voluntary carbon credit market that will boost climate action while enabling value creation and fostering sustainable livelihoods for communities.

“As Africa seeks to recover from the multi-crises of the COVID pandemic, energy crises, and climate change, it is critical that we invest in sustainable value chains that will deliver jobs and resilience and inclusive economic growth. The carbon market presents such an opportunity for African countries. We must seize it, ” said Mr. Pedro.

The 2023 edition of the Forum aims to build on the positive momentum generated at the 27th Conference of parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Sharm El-Sheikh in November 2022 on the use of carbon credit markets as a means of accelerating climate action, and in particular, generating investment into transformative economic action in African countries. 

The one-day Forum will bring together governments, private investors, and civil society to facilitate investments in bankable projects that deliver meaningful climate action as well as generate high-integrity carbon credits for Africa to accelerate investments and financing for sustainable development.

Past editions of the Forum have had the following themes: investment in 2018; health in 2019; investing in people, the planet, and prosperity in 2020; innovative finance to build towards the Sustainable Development Goals in 2021; and investing in multimodal transport and tourism infrastructure to optimize the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area in 2022.

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