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Pam Golding’s new alliance will provide global property assets, plus dual residence

Estate agent Pam Golding Properties (PGP) has partnered with global investment-migration Henley & Partners to provide buyers seeking international property assets with a view about acquiring dual residence or citizenship.

Pam Golding said this was being offered as an end-to-end service.

“For savvy South Africans who wish to diversify their investment portfolios by gaining a foothold on the global property ladder, this strategic alliance comes at a time when increasing numbers of affluent locals, including families, are looking to hedge their bets overseas,” Pam Golding said.

Nigel Barnes, managing partner of the South African branch of Henley & Partners, said his company was experiencing a rising demand for international residency and citizenship options “from clients wanting to firm up their future planning objectives, be that simply from a lifestyle point of view or as a rand hedge in times of economic uncertainty”.

This was attributed to various factors, from aspirational lifestyle changes and career opportunities along with credit ratings downgrades and the potential effects of junk status on the economy.

Pam Golding’s international division head, Chris Immelman, said many clients wanted to own properties in two countries and be able to visit each easily, without actually emigrating from SA.

“These people are not necessarily emigrating. They are merely making the world’s markets work for them, repositioning their assets, and their homes, for a while,” he said.

For a relatively affordable five-year, mainly property investment of between €520,000 and €570,000, successful applicants of the Malta Residence and Visa Programme acquired long-term unrestricted access to the entire European Schengen area, and the “right to reside in the 40th most competitive economy in the world, all within just three months of applying,” said Immelman.

“For those who can resist the lure of the Mediterranean island’s 340 days-a-year sunshine average, there’s no reason to abandon local shores as Maltese residence requires no physical presence in the country whatsoever,” he said.

PGP CEO Andrew Golding said the company’s alliance with Henley & Partners meant that, for an offshore category of buyer, PGP “were uniquely equipped to provide an all-encompassing professional service”.

Its legally compliant citizenship-by-investment programmes, include ones for Malta, Cyprus, Portugal and Grenada.

Immelman said Henley & Partners was the global leader in residence and citizenship planning, upon whose expertise thousands of wealthy individuals and families had relied for over 20 years.

Another programme which is trying to attract South African interest is the EB-5 programme, which is run by LCR Capital Partners, which enables people to reside in the US.

LCR Capital Partners said it believed SA had many strong candidates for the programme.

“While the new Trump administration’s recent executive orders suspending travel from certain countries has dominated headlines for months, it is not to be confused with legal immigration. This is especially related to golden visas, technically referred to as EB-5 investment visas,” LCR co-founder Rogelio Caceres said.

Administered by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, EB-5 enables investors the opportunity to acquire US permanent residency, via a green card for themselves and their immediate families.

A sum of $500,000 must be invested for five years towards new businesses that in turn creates a minimum of 10 US-based jobs for every investor.

Source: businesslive

Rwanda: Green Fund supports climate change

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In East Africa, the Rwanda Green Fund, which is best known in the country as FONERWA, has opened the next round for submission of proposals from all leading organisations in the country to express their interest in obtaining funds.

The invitation is open to ministries, government agencies, districts, private sector companies, academic institutions and civil society organisations to submit funding proposals for initiatives that promote the mainstreaming of environmental protection, climate change and green growth into Rwanda’s economic development programmes.

Rwanda Green Fund – primary focus

It is reported that for this intake around, the Rwanda Green Fund is aiming at projects and programmes developed primarily in line with sectors of Rwanda’s economy, including energy, agriculture, transportation, environment, urban and rural settlement, water and sanitation.

According to local media, the fund requests applicants to demonstrate in their proposals according to the various sectors –wide green and climate resilient initiatives that will improve the performance and sustainability in implementing sector programmes.

To understand the requirements, applicants are encouraged to get more information from the Programmes of Action outlined in Rwanda’s Green Growth Climate Resilience Strategy.

Alex Mulisa, coordinator of the Green Fund explained that: “Climate mainstreaming is about ensuring the environment and climate change are at the core of our development plans, policies and strategies. We want to invest in initiatives that bring all stakeholders to the table to incorporate

Mulisa continued: “By bringing everyone on board, we know the return on investment for Rwanda’s socio-economic development and natural environment will be immense.”

Electricity access

In terms of the energy sector, the procurement of this funding would mean that the sector will be on its way to achieving the target of 70% electricity access to the population by 2018. In 2015 the percentage stood at 23% access rate.

Last month, Jean-Bosco Mugiraneza , the chief executive of Rwanda Energy Group stated that to achieve the set target government is working on both on-grid and off-grid solutions to achieve the target. This will be divided into 48% on-grid and 22% off-grid.

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Is Desalination The Answer For Africa’s Water Shortages?

South Africa’s 3,000-kilometer coastline could support a whole fleet of eco-friendly desalination plants that will solve the country’s water shortages and produce a new industry, says Kgalema Motlanthe.

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The former South African deputy president, Motlanthe served as president for eight months following Thabo Mbeki’s resignation. He spoke at round table event on black industrialists in the green economy, encouraging exploration of desalination technology, MiningWeekly reports.

South Africa in 2015 recorded its lowest annual rainfall since record keeping began in 1904. A drought, attributed to El Nino, put millions at risk of food shortage, according to Reuters.

The country is over-dependent on surface water, said Nomvula Paula Mokonyane, South Africa’s Minister of Water Affairs.

Globally, capacity is growing for seawater reverse osmosis desalination at an annual rate of 13.6 percent and this is expected to continue the next five years, according to Research and Markets. New technology is helping the industry grow by leveraging renewable energy and innovative membrane upgrades such as ceramic and polymeric membranes.

But desalination technology hasn’t caught up to demand. Desalination is extremely expensive and prone to contamination, Frost & Sullivan reported in October, 2015.

More than 17,000 desalination plants operate in 150 countries worldwide, a capacity that is expected to double by 2020, according to Frost & Sullivan’s Analysis of Global Desalination Market. The market earned $11.66 billion in 2015 and it’s expected to reach $19.08 billion in 2019.

“Environmentally-conscious countries in Europe and the Americas are hesitant to practice desalination owing to its harsh effects on sea water,” said Vandhana Ravi, a Frost & Sullivan consultant. “Eco-friendly desalination systems that do not use chemicals will be well-received among municipalities.”

While several desalination projects are under construction in the U.S., India, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Mexico, adoption is slow in other drought-stricken parts of the world. Lack of regulatory support limits uptake.

Thermal desalination technology uses large amounts of energy and releases highly salty liquid brine back into the sea or other bodies of water, impacting the environment negatively. Brine disposal remains a prime challenge until the technology is upgraded, according to Frost & Sullivan.

The goal is to reduce operating costs.

Sub-Saharan Africa is largely dependent on rainfall, which has been erratic, and new partnerships are being forged from necessity.

In May, South Africa announced a partnership with Iran to develop desalination plants along all coastal communities to boost water supplies. President Jacob Zuma visited Iran in April.

Mossel Bay in the Western Cape is the site of South Africa’s largest desalination plant, converting salty seawater to drinkable water and helping supply water to state oil company PetroSA’s gas-to-fuel refinery.

South Africa is the main user of desalination technology in sub-Saharan Africa. Ghana and Namibia also have operational plants. Algeria is using desalination on a large scale.

In April 2015, West Africa’s first desalination plant opened in Ghana. Accra Sea Water Desalination plant has capacity to supply 60,000 cubic meters a day of fresh water, enough for 500,000 residents in the Accra vicinity, WaterWorld reported.

In late 2015, Algeria’s Skikda desalination plant reached a milestone with a 200 million cubic meters of drinking water produced since starting operations in 2009, according to WaterWorld.

Desalinated water is used as drinking water for the city of Skikda, and feeds the local petrochemical complex. The Spanish company Abengoa Water runs the facility, along with two more desalination plants in Algeria at Honaine and Ténès.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans a trip in July to four East African countries — Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia.

Rwanda looks to Israel as a model of how to build a modern country out of the devastation of genocide, Rwanda’s Ambassador Joseph Rutabana told The Jerusalem Post.

Rwanda is on Netanyahu’s list because it is arguably Israel’s closest friend on the continent. Rwanda wants to benefit from Israeli water management expertise, according to an Israeli diplomatic source.

“Israel has no water resources, but has developed other technologies toward recycling and water desalination that has made it self reliant,” Rutabana said. “In Rwanda we have lots of rain, but are still suffering from shortages.”
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Ecopreneurship: South Africa moves to help SMEs get down to green business

While the country has never sought to hide this collateral environmental damage, it has also been looking for ways of launching green initiatives to help save the planet as much it can.

It is in this spirit that one of the country’s leading risk financiers, Business Partners Limited (BPL), recently launched a R300 million Green Fund it said aims to finance and support profit-seeking businesses that operate in the ‘green industry’.

The BPL Green Fund will provide expansion capital, as well as start-up funding and property finance from R500 000 and up to R30 million, BPL MD Nazeem Martin said at the launch in Cape Town, adding that the type of businesses it will finance are diverse.

“We are seeking to finance businesses which actively develop, manufacture and provide goods and services aimed at ‘saving the planet’, as well as those businesses that are ‘doing the right thing’ by implementing measures and/or technology which reduce their adverse impact on the environment,” he explained.

Businesses that qualify for finance from the Fund will therefore range from renewable energy providers (offering an alternative, clean and environment friendly energy source) to energy or emissions savings product and service providers, to recyclers, waste managers and green building service and product providers.

The Fund will also consider financing businesses working to conserve natural resources, protect ecosystems and biodiversity and businesses producing healthier food sources.

“Ultimately we want to support those businesses that are making a difference,” Martin said.

The Fund will have a dedicated team to support with the application process and entrepreneurs will have access to dedicated industry specific specialists. A R50 000 interest free loan is also available to qualifying entrepreneurs for technical assistance.

“Our Green Fund seeks to develop, grow and invest in sustainable businesses, enabling them to capitalise on opportunities in the ‘green economy’ – especially in the clean and green technology, renewable energy, recycling sectors – and deliver on its inherent job and wealth creation potential,” Martin said.

“Making up 91% of formalised businesses in South Africa and contributing for more than 60% of new jobs created, SMEs are a vital contributor to the country’s GDP and employment. We believe by equipping SME entrepreneurs to thrive in the ‘green economy’, we can enhance their contribution to the economy and the environment,” he added.

Bearing in mind that the United Nations Environmental Programme Green Economy Report 2015 report demonstrates that the greening of economies can create a new engine of growth and job creation, Martin said the South African government was committed to unleashing the potential of the green economy, in line with the New Growth Path, which has identified the green economy as one of the six priority sectors to assist in reaching its target of five million new jobs by 2020.

It is believed that the New Growth Path Framework aims to create 300 000 additional direct jobs by 2020 in an effort to green the economy.

“Given our country’s rich alternative energy sources, we have the potential to reduce its unsustainable levels of carbon emissions through increasing the renewable (solar, wind and, to a lesser extent, hydro) component of its energy supply mix. And, the knock-on effect for economic growth and job creation from investing in these new alternative energy sectors will be substantial,” the MD said.

“Such initiatives and policy frameworks require huge capital investments, creating space and opportunities for large businesses. But, simultaneously, opportunities arise for SMEs within the component manufacturing and service industry sectors as higher levels of local content is specified and required within government’s policy framework,” Martin said.

“Finally, a great deal of innovation is required from private sector financiers to seize the market opportunity created by government’s green economy plans and policy frameworks.”

Africa attracted US$8 billion in renewable energy investment in 2014 (up from $5.3 billion in 2013), with South Africa accounting for U$5.5 billion alone, Martin said, quoting figures from the SADC Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Status Report.

The Fund’s core objectives will be to finance and support SMEs that:

• Support renewable energy technologies in South Africa.

• Reduce energy consumption and lower carbon emissions by improving energy efficiency.

• Promote energy savings that ensure long-term competitiveness.

• Contribute to job creation in the ‘green economy’.

Who qualifies for this Fund?

BPL seeks to finance businesses which actively develop, manufacture and provide goods and services aimed at ‘saving the planet’, as well as those businesses that are ‘doing the right thing’ by implementing measures and/or technology which reduce their adverse impact on the environment. Businesses that qualify for finance from the Fund include:

• Renewable energy providers (offering an alternative, clean and environment friendly energy source)

• Energy or emissions savings product and service providers including renewable energy projects that reduce or stop the need for electricity from the national grid

• Projects which are eligible under specific Eskom programmes

• Recyclers

• Waste managers

• Green building service and product providers

• Businesses working to conserve natural resources

• Businesses which protect ecosystems and biodiversity

• Businesses producing healthier food sources.

• How to apply for finance?

Source: southernafrican


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Tshwane Launches Green Economy Research Network

The City of Tshwane has partnered with the University of South Africa as one of its key research and academic stakeholders in its expedition to inaugurate the Tshwane Green Economy Research Network.

The Tshwane Green Economy Research Network to be launched on November 24th, is a collaborative research and knowledge exchange platform established to advise and provide research support to the City of Tshwane in its agenda to transition towards a green economy.

The platform brings together researchers, academia, thought leaders and industry experts to promote a shared-learning partnership, knowledge exchange and collaboration to advance green projects in the Capital City.

“The City has committed itself to a sustainable path of economic growth and development pursued in several ways including green urban designs, providing sustainable forms of public transport, integrated transport systems, hybrid engines, green buildings and supporting the demand management interventions to mention a few”.

“Collaboration and exchanging of knowledge through focused thematic networks will bring a significant contribution to better understand the green economy pathway and come up with sustainable ways to meet citizens’ social, economic and material needs”- said the Executive Mayor of Tshwane, Cllr Kgosientso Ramokgopa

Source: allafrica


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Green sectors will bolster economy

A green economy is becoming more necessary for a nation’s financial health. A sound understanding of factors such as climate change, environmental degradation, limited energy and water resources as well as food security are crucial to ensuring a robust economy.

Consequently, the public and private sectors as well as civil society have taken various initiatives to help manage and address these concerns before they begin to impact negatively on the health of a country’s economy.

To this end, the development and utilisation of intellectual capital and a greater focus on sustainable development while also reducing the environmental impact will be key drivers in turning the wheels of economic activity in the knowledge and green economies.

Examples of initiatives already in place include innovative recycling; the development of more green spaces; the construction of green buildings; creating renewable energy; and sustainable agricultural practices which are complemented by environmental and social programmes.

South Africa has a growing interest in both the knowledge and green sectors, which are growing exponentially worldwide and have a larger influence on the livelihood of a nation than ever before.

Environmental opportunity

Research by the Department of Environmental Affairs that provided insight on the employer categories shows that 64 percent of workers are in small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs) and industry, 21 percent are in the public sector, 14 percent with environmental non-profit organisations (NPOs) and 1 percent in environmental research and development.

The figures indicate that there are jobs available in the knowledge and green sectors in South Africa that have a pivotal role to play in advancing the provincial and national economies.

It thus stands to reason that although employing significantly less than SMMEs, the environmental sector is important and could be one of the building blocks that is needed to spur the economic growth rate, reduce unemployment, increase average household incomes, reduce the poverty gap and increase the tax base.

A recent study under the UN Development Programme shows the current growth rate is too slow to reduce unemployment, which continues to reproduce both economic and social inequalities. The growth rate needs to increase as well as be inclusive, sustainable and equitable.

Whilst SMMEs are at the centre of this, the environmental sector too can play a vital role based on the significant percentage it holds in the economy.

The knowledge sector is also an important focus for KwaZulu-Natal. Organisations such as the Moses Kotane Institute, an entity of the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development and Tourism, is driving the agenda of skills development through programmes that focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics and which attract employees to high level government officials.

Similar strategically focused programmes that are aligned with the government’s national objective to become a developmental state must be implemented if we are to achieve a thriving economy.

Sustainability is without doubt a long-term investment. Some of the barriers to promoting a green and knowledge economy include the employment legislation and policy, technology and business infrastructure, absence of vehicles for skills development and capacity building, socio-economic factors, HIV/Aids, poverty, poor access to financial assistance, lack of access to information and a shortage of effective support institutions.

Furthermore, poor access to wider markets implies that businesses looking to invest in these sectors may be limited with what they can do and assistance may not be as readily available as it should be.

Decreased awareness among business leaders of the business imperative to be sustainable is a significant barrier.

The way that different people interpret the word “sustainability” is also important. If they view it as being continuous incremental improvement of environmental impacts on top of philanthropy, as many bosses think of sustainability, then the business imperative is widely understood.

But if it is a business that compromises the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (moving to a green economy) then the low awareness of the business imperative is a significant barrier.

If executives truly understood the risks and opportunities of such issues, including the complexities that human rights, climate change and water scarcity present to their businesses, the level of resource commitment and in turn the pace of change would be significantly higher than it is.

Sustainability

Business leaders worldwide, and in KwaZulu-Natal in particular, understand that today’s society cannot continue indefinitely on the consumption path that it is currently on.

However, many do feel constrained by the expectations of shareholders and regulations that take away the incentives of taking the steps towards a green economy.

The key is to pursue the long- and short-term measures, the tactical and the strategic, the definites and the big bets. While this transformation may occur incrementally, it will not happen at all without seeing and believing in a future economy in KwaZulu-Natal that is sustainable.

In December 2011, GlobeScan and SustainAbility, in collaboration with the UN Environment Programme, queried about 650 sustainability experts and practitioners from around the world to get intelligence on the barriers that were impeding progress to sustainability.

Nearly two-thirds of the survey respondents believed that inappropriate regulation, standards that inhibit, or insufficient rules to encourage more sustainable practices and behaviours constituted a significant barrier to sustainability. Some examples include perverse subsidies, or externalising the cost of pollution and other environmental impacts.

This is a challenge that cannot be fixed by the business community in KwaZulu-Natal alone. Political posturing, deeply held beliefs and philosophies about the role of government, national competitiveness, and numerous other dynamics factor into the development of regulations.

The development and enhancement of the knowledge economy is one of the key strategic goals of the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government, while the growth of the green economy is in line with the government’s agenda to encourage and support the youth to come up with innovative ideas within this economic sector.

It is reassuring to be part of an organisation whose commitment to economic development extends far beyond the products and services it offers and places people at the forefront of its business operations.

Businesses must be seen to be championing projects that are positively impacting on the local and ultimately, national economy, be it in the form of stimulating an entrepreneurial province; providing unemployed youth with an opportunity to sustain themselves on their journey to becoming entrepreneurs; growing and rewarding women in small business; empowering people with the necessary skills, knowledge and opportunities to enable their dreams; encouraging financial inclusion through access to information; enhancing the customer experience or educating people about the importance of financial literacy.

Ithala Development Finance Corporation’s Inkunz’isematholeni Youth in Business programme is one such initiative that focuses on the knowledge and green economies where youths with innovative and sustainable business concepts are targeted for incubation and assistance in starting up in their journey to becoming seasoned entrepreneurs.

Fostering entrepreneurs

Assistance is provided to enable aspiring entrepreneurs to turn their creative concepts into fully operational businesses by providing start-up capital and the necessary business support to help them launch, manage and run businesses successfully.

Exposure to entrepreneurship education, starting from a young age and continuing through adulthood into higher education, as well as reaching out to those who are economically or socially excluded is imperative if we are to create an entrepreneurial province.

We must create an environment that is conducive to growth by promoting the knowledge and green economies and securing commitment to this from businesses in KwaZulu-Natal with sustainability and growth driving the economy to enable us to move forward as a nation.

Source: iol


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Mayors sign declaration of intent at Sustainability Week

Mayors from 39 African capital cities signed a declaration of intent during Sustainability Week which took place from 23 to 25 June at the CSIR in Pretoria.

The declaration’s focus is to elevate the social, economic and environmental imperatives African cities need to adopt in order to develop society and the economy without adverse impacts on the environment.

The mayors made a commitment to convene every year to assess progress and find collaborative ways to consolidate their vision for urban sustainability. These include green building methods, waste management, reduction of poverty, transport efficiency, technology, and making the best use of human resources to help facilitate the changes.

Future of Africa

Jean-Pierre Elong Mbassi, the secretary-general of the United Cities and Local Governments in Africa, explained that the future of Africa depends on effectively managing integration and migration; sustainability and resilience; economic growth and job creation. Mbassi emphasised that all of these contribute towards making Africa sustainable and self-sufficient. “One of the daunting and demanding issues of global development is whether cities are an engine of growth, and whether this growth is sustainable and resilient.”

Mbassi also pointed out that cities should resist the temptation to copy the unsustainable consumption pace of natural resources as other cities of the developed world. As Africa is the continent with one of the youngest populations, the sustainability of its economic, social and environmental resources should be a pressing matter on the agenda of the continent’s leaders.

Sustainability Week highlighted that the core indicators of a country’s sustainable success are energy and water management, waste management and manufacturing ventures. Another indicator is identifying where partnership opportunities are that can ensure funding for projects that will benefit a wide variety of people.

Other green events

Following the three day conference, the Youth and Green Economy event took place on 27 June at Tshwane University of Technology. The Green Home Fair hosted on 27 and 28 June at Brooklyn Mall marked the end of the eventful week. Lively discussions took place where 27 exhibitors offered the public a chance to be ‘green’ and environmentally conscious at home. Energy from the sun, home food gardening and general tips on becoming more energy efficient and resourceful at home made for practical engagement with residents.

“Communication is the key to helping all stakeholders understand what the sustainability issues are and where the solutions will come from. The conference’s aim of ‘putting ideas into motion’ has activated the new wave of thinking around sustainability from a city perspective. The event provided unprecedented opportunities to collaborate and find solutions as the city sets its goals to secure a sustainable development path,” said Gordon Brown, organiser of Sustainability Week.

Source: bizcommunity


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Zuma to lead delegation to WEF Africa

Pretoria – South African President Jacob Zuma will lead a high-powered government delegation to the World Economic Forum on Africa meeting taking place in Cape Town from 3-5 June.

In a statement released by the presidency on Sunday, it said Zuma would be accompanied by 12 ministers and a deputy minister, five provincial premiers and the mayors of metropolitan municipalities as well as several business leaders to help showcase South Africa and explore opportunities at the meeting.

Under the theme, “Then and Now: Re-imagining Africa’s Future”, the 25th World Economic Forum on Africa will convene African and global leaders from government, business and civil society to take stock of progress over the last 25 years, share insights on the present landscape and identify innovative approaches to accelerate inclusive growth while bringing about sustainable development in the future.

The participants include vice-presidents, prime ministers, former heads of state and government, ministers as well as chairmen and CEOs of global companies.

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“South Africa will use the WEF to showcase the country’s attractiveness as a business destination and that of the African continent in general,” the presidency said. “The President and his delegation will engage business leaders in various sessions to share the competitive advantages and respond to questions raised.

“The meeting will also be used as an important listening forum by government to take notes on issues of concern to business. These will be taken forward in government’s formal interface with South African business, the Presidential Business Working Group, Presidential Small Business Working Group and the National Consultative Forum on the Mining Sector.”

South Africa would market the country within the context of the National Development Plan, the presidency added.

The National Development Plan is a long term plan to develop an inclusive economy, create jobs, enhance the capacity of the state and promote partnerships throughout its society. According to the presidency, the aim of the NDP was to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030. It also committed the country to invest in a strong network of economic infrastructure designed to support the country’s medium and long-term economic and social objectives.

The NDP also highlighted the importance of Africa in South Africa’s development.

The presidency said South Africa would seek investment in the following job drivers which would be marketed during the WEF;

Infrastructure development.

Agriculture, forestry and fisheries

Mining and beneficiation,

Manufacturing including the incentives provided by government in various sectors for investors

The green economy

The ocean economy

Tourism

South Africa will showcase the ocean economy through the Operation Phakisa delivery model where four priority sectors had been selected as New Growth Areas in the ocean economy, with the objective of growing these and deriving value for the country and creating jobs. These were:

(a) Marine transport and manufacturing activities (such as coastal shipping, trans-shipment, boat building, repair and refurbishment);

(b) Offshore oil and gas exploration;

(c) Aquaculture;

(d) Marine protection services and ocean governance.

The presidency said Zuma would be accompanied at the WEF on Africa meeting by the following Ministers;

The Minister of Finance, Nhlanhla Nene, who would be the lead minister

The Minister for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency, Jeff Radebe;

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane;

The Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor;

The Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Siyabonga Cwele;

The Minister of Health, Aaron Motsoaledi

The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Pravin Gordhan

The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa

The Minister of Economic Development, Ebrahim Patel,

The Minister of Mineral Resources, Ngoako Ramatlhodi,

The Minister of Energy, Tina Joemat-Pettersson

The Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom

The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mzwandile Masina representing Dr Rob Davies.

The Premier of the Western Cape, Helen Zille, of KwaZulu-Natal, Senzo Mchunu, of the Eastern Cape, Phumulo Masualle, of the Northern Cape, Sylvia Lucas and North West, Supra Mahumapelo would also form part of the government delegation.

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille will also attend, as will Buffalo City (East London) mayor Zukiswa Ncitha, Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Mayor Mondli Gungubele, Ethekwini Metropolitan Mayor James Nxumalo, newly elected Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Danny Jordaan and City of Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau.

“We are pleased and honoured that WEF has chosen our country to host West Africa this year. Both government and the business community welcome the opportunity to showcase our country. South Africa is open for business. The South African delegation will emphasise this message to business from both Africa and the world and showcase the enormous opportunities in our country,” Zuma said.

WEF Africa is the first of two major events South Africa is hosting in June, with the 25th Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union set to take place in Gauteng from 7-15 June.

Source: iol


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City cares for climate

By joining the Compact of Mayors, the City of Cape Town became one of 33 cities at the ICLEI World Congress in Seoul, Korea held in April to intensify its commitment to battling escalating climate change.

The Compact is an international declaration of responsibility whereby cities are holding themselves accountable to reduce carbon emissions, inspire dynamic green economies and commit to cleaner technologies. At the climate negotiations to be held in Paris later this year, the Compact will buttress the voice of mayors and their cities as they campaign for greater global national action. For Cape Town, this forms part of a resolve to inspire a sustainable future which seeks profound change in our

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energy supply and framework.

The City has already pledged itself to introducing a 10% renewable energy mix into its electricity structure by 2020 and we have made significant achievements in energy efficiency in this regard.

We are encouraged by the support shown by cities worldwide in committing to transparent and standardised climate change reduction, as well as by our fellow South African metropoles.

Climate change assumes a unique context within our country, where we are confronted with deteriorating electricity infrastructure and desperately require unanimous municipal support in lobbying the government to rapidly incorporate renewable energy into the national energy structure.

The journey towards becoming a more viable, self-reliant city requires a holistic appreciation of the way in which sustainability weaves through our lives.

As a demonstration of our commitment to lead by example, we have implemented an extensive energy efficiency programme in our own operations and are now realising energy savings of R25m.

Given the heightened importance of using less energy more efficiently, Cape Town also became one of three cities in Seoul to pen a Founders Commitment to Green Public Procurement.

This pact demonstrates a willingness to bring about social, economic and environmental change by committing to a greener future constituted by greener technologies and a greener supply chain. It ensures that the municipal government screens its suppliers, producers and distribution channels so that they might be held to a higher standard of construction and production.

The potential that this holds is untold as we aim for new industry and job creation that moves away from the traditional ‘dirty’ sectors and inspires greater invention and skills development

Source: News 24


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Africa Seizing Opportunities for Green Economy Transition – Achim Steiner’s Speech to the Africa Regional 3GF (Global Green Growth Forum)

PRESS RELEASE

Building on a strong endowment of natural resource and skills, Africa is poised to become the frontline of a global transition to more-inclusive green economies.

Nairobi, 13 May 2015

Esteemed Colleagues,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am delighted to be here today at the beginning of a discussion that will, I am sure, see the sharing of many innovative ideas that will further drive the growing green economy revolution in Africa.

I would like to thank His Excellency William Ruto, Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya, for taking the time from his busy schedule to lend weight to today’s proceedings, and therefore to the transition to a continent-wide green economy.

I would also like to congratulate His Excellency Geert Aagaard Andersen, who will later this year take over the leadership of Global Green Growth Forum in

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Copenhagen.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This year, a series of events will set the development agenda for decades to come: the Financing for Development conference in Addis Ababa, the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda, and the climate change meeting in Paris at the end of the year.

The 3GF provides a timely opportunity for African stakeholders to define their priorities to feed into these important processes. I am sure you will take full advantage of this meeting – just as we are seeing the continent take advantage of the many green economy opportunities at its fingertips. Building on a strong endowment of natural resource and skills, Africa is poised to become the frontline of a global transition to more-inclusive green economies.

African Ministers of Environment endorsed the green economy at the recent African Ministerial Conference on the Environment in Cairo, acknowledging that the “green economy can be a vehicle to achieve all 17 draft sustainable development goals”.

This is a clear signal of continent-wide political will to accelerate the transition to a green economy. At a country level – from Rwanda to Ghana, from Morocco to South Africa, from Senegal to Kenya – the level of innovation and commitment to sustainable economic growth is remarkable.

In our host nation, for example, the government will soon launch its Green Economy Strategy and Implementation Plan (GESIP), which lays out how Kenya can increase investment in the green economy.

This is simple economic sense. Investing in the green economy provides opportunities to boost growth, address poverty, create employment and improve the overall well-being of the population.

In Kenya alone, a shift in investment to green sectors would lead to an additional 3.1 million people being lifted out of poverty by 2030, and gross domestic product (GDP) 12 per cent higher than under a business-as-usual scenario.

Green investments also improve agricultural yields, on which the majority of African citizens still depend. Agriculture remains the dominant sector of the African economy – accounting for 32 per cent of GDP and supporting the livelihoods of 80 per cent of Africa’s population. In Senegal, for example, the amount of arable land available will increase by 5 per cent if investments in sustainable agriculture are made.

Wealth Accounting

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Africa’s economy is growing fast. The World Bank estimates that growth in sub-Saharan Africa will hit 5.1 per cent by 2017. But the challenge before today’s leaders is to ensure that this expansion does not come at the expense of the natural resources upon which the continent so heavily depends.

Natural capital is a critical asset, but such resources are often left out of balance sheets, meaning they are not accounted for in development processes – despite the economic value they bring and the many livelihoods and businesses they support.

For example, a recent UNEP study found that Zambia’s forest ecosystems contribute $1.3 billion, roughly 6.3 per cent of GDP, to the national economy – almost double previous estimates thanks to the inclusion of value-adds such as water regulation, carbon storage and pollination.

And evidence elsewhere shows that conserving natural capital creates jobs – crucial in Africa where an estimated 11 million youth are expected to join the labour market every year. Since 1995, an estimated 486,000 work opportunities were created in South Africa in environmental rehabilitation programs, including sustainable forest management and reducing invasive species.

Renewable Energy

Part of Africa’s growth strategy must also involve bringing energy to all of its citizens – a key focus of UNEP’s work under the Secretary General’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative.

Over 1.2 billion people don’t have access to electricity, almost half of them in Africa. As a result, many rely on wood or other biomass to cook and heat their homes, causing millions of deaths each year from indoor air pollution.

To ensure people are not left behind, we need to provide them with access to clean, reliable and efficient energy – which of course brings the co-benefit of reduced carbon emissions and pollution. In that regard, it is encouraging to note that investment in a low-carbon future is on the rise.

In 2014, we saw a US$270 billion surge in investment, up 17 per cent on the previous year, according to the most recent Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment report from the Frankfurt School UNEP Centre and Bloomberg New Energy Finance. In developing countries, clean energy investment rose 36 per cent to US$131 billion, on track to surpass investment in developed countries.

I am delighted to note that Kenya is a major player in this shift to sustainable energy sources, with the government and private sector pursuing opportunities in geothermal, solar and wind.

Another example can be found in Ghana, where the Renewable Energy Fund is a successful illustration of resource mobilization for the promotion of renewable energy sources. Ghana is now building Africa’s largest solar PV plant.

Renewable energy also creates employment, as can be seen in Senegal – where investments in expanding solar and wind capacity are projected to create up to 30,000 additional jobs by 2035.

This trend in growth of renewable energy is one we at UNEP support through initiatives such as the Seed Capital Assistance Facility, and I look forward to seeing further investment around the continent.

Cities

Another vital element of the green economy transition lies within cities. Africa’s urban population was 41 per cent in 2012. But by 2035, around half of all its citizens will live in cities as the population approaches the two-billion mark.

This is, of course, a challenge. But it is also a major opportunity. Cities have agglomeration benefits that drive innovation, business development and job creation. What matters are innovative and integrated approaches, and the way cities are designed and managed.

For example, huge opportunities exist in energy-efficient buildings and lighting. According to a 2014 study by UNEP’s Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), energy-efficient buildings can deliver up to 20 per cent reductions in energy consumption and provide overall better market value for investors. Equally, a global switch to efficient on-grid and off-grid lighting would save more than US$140 billion and reduce CO2 emissions by 580 million tonnes every year.

Possibilities also exist in transport. With spending on transport infrastructure growing at an unprecedented rate across Africa, policymakers have a window of opportunity to mitigate climate change threats and ensure the health and well-being of millions of Africans by introducing clean and efficient transportation. In this regard, the Africa Sustainable Transport Forum, held in Nairobi last October, was an important step in the right direction.

The Adaptation Challenge

It is also important to focus our minds on the challenges the continent faces – chief among them climate change. Regardless of what the international community does this year in Paris, some impacts of climate change have already become unavoidable. Africa is, unfortunately, set to bear the brunt of such impacts.

By 2050, Africa’s adaptation costs could rise to US$50 billion per year if global warming were to remain below 2°C, and up to US$100 billion per year if the global temperature rise were more than 4°C by 2100.

This would have a severe impact on agricultural production, food security, human health and water availability – and undermine the sustainable development agenda. In Burkina Faso, for example, changes in rainfall patterns and temperatures could affect up to 30 per cent of agricultural production.

The evidence suggests that African countries – such as Ghana, Ethiopia and South Africa – are already committing resources of their own to adaptation efforts. However, international funding will be required to bridge the growing gap.

Financing

The need for financing is not limited to the climate, however. Enormous public and private investment is required for the transition to a low-carbon economy, to win the global fight against poverty and disease, and to provide high-quality education and physical infrastructure worldwide.

Indicative figures show the required additional investment flows into sustainable development will be in the range of 1 to 2.5 per cent of GDP per year from 2010 to 2050. Currently, investments in sustainable development are well below 1 per cent of global GDP.

A significant change across the world’s financial system in strategy, culture and approach will be required if capital and finance are to be reallocated to accelerate the emergence of a green economy – which is why UNEP launched the Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System.

The Inquiry, due to present its findings in October of this year, aims to engage, inform and guide policy makers, financial market actors and other stakeholders concerned with the health of the financial system and its potential for shaping the future economy.

Achieving a financial system that finances a green economy is dependent on working with all segments of the finance industry, and on bridging the dialogue gap between private finance and public stakeholders. UNEP FI is a good example of such effective partnerships. UNEP FI has 20 financial members in seven African countries, including South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Morocco.

Independently, several countries, such as Ethiopia, Rwanda and Mozambique, have established, or are looking to establish, special national funds to finance the implementation of their respective Green Economy Strategies. The Government of South Africa has set up a Green Fund to provide catalytic finance to facilitate investment in green initiatives – this includes funding green economy project initiation and development, research and development, and capacity-building initiatives.

This is just the beginning of what I hope will be a global move to the catalyzing the finance we need, but money doesn’t solve everything. Only when coupled with sound regulatory frameworks and appropriate pricing and incentives, and only when sustainability is mainstreamed in national development planning processes, will green economy investments achieve their full potential.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In conclusion, governments across Africa are formulating green economy strategies. These strategies are already driving growth, employment and trade opportunities, as well as reducing natural risks.

UNEP will be working with a wider range of stakeholders, most notably under the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE), to assist governments in developing and boosting these strategies. Four African countries are already working with PAGE – Ghana, Senegal, Mauritius and Burkina Faso – and we look forward to more.

In addition, UNEP is working with the African Development Bank (AfDB) in countries such as Kenya and Mozambique. The AfDB has anchored green growth in its 10-Year Strategic plan, and established a cross-departmental Green Growth team.

With initiatives such as the above and the 3GF in place, political will to act growing ever stronger, a wealth of opportunities to draw upon, and more and more partners coming on board, Africa’s growth trajectory is undoubtedly set to go green.

Source: All Africa


 

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