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Lusa - Business News - EU/Presidency: Lisbon wants to speed up green investment in Africa

Madrid,April.16,2021(Lusa)-The Portuguese presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) on Friday said there was an urgent need to accelerate "green" investment by public and private companies in Africa to enable the sustainable development of all countries on that continent.

Portugal's secretary of state for foreign affairs and cooperation, Francisco André, said in an online seminar that Europe and Africa should "work together" and fight "the idea that green investment is a weakness.

The virtual meeting, with the slogan, "Investing in the Energy Transition in Africa," was organised by the Portuguese embassy in Madrid in collaboration with the Spanish State Secretariat for International Cooperation and the European Investment Bank (EIB), as part of the Portuguese presidency of the Council of the EU.

André said that on a continent such as Africa where the supply of services is "fragile", only collaboration between the most diverse entities will make it possible to speed up "environmentally friendly" investment that will make it possible to achieve, for example, "the supply of electricity for all" (universal).

Another of the meeting's participants, Spanish secretary of state for international cooperation, Ángeles Moreno Bau, agreed that "it is essential to focus on Africa and its sustainable development".

"Investing in the green transition in Africa is investing in the future" of everyone, and alliances between the public and private sectors are "essential", he told the audience.

Bau highlighted the effort that Spain is making in the African continent, giving a series of examples and underlining that, in the intended transition, small and micro family businesses should be supported.

EIB vice president Ricardo Mourinho Félix emphasised that the energy transition is "one of the greatest challenges" of today and said that that Community body aims to "increase its contribution" to the objectives of environmentally-friendly energy transformation.

The private initiative was present at the seminar through Jean-Pierre Sánchez, Director of Business Development in Africa for Siemens Gamesa, who highlighted that renewable energies "are currently one of the most competitive energy sources" and warned that the energy transition will still take some time, but that "its success is at stake now".

"The public sector was essential in the past, but private capital is needed to accelerate the transition," said Jean-Pierre Sánchez, adding that it is important to create a legal framework in Africa and cooperation between African countries to accelerate investment in renewable energy, which is still marginal on the continent.

The Strategy and Innovation Manager for Africa of Spanish NGO (non-governmental organisation) Cesal, João Neto, stressed the need to "adapt technological solutions to the local reality", with new equipment having to be thought out "not only on a large scale".

"We believe that it is fundamental to create spaces for collaboration between governments, companies, civil society, and also involve local public administrations," said João Neto, who insisted on the need "not only to think about large projects but also small ones, which are more directly linked to people."

The seminar was moderated by the Portuguese ambassador in Madrid, João Mira Gomes, who recalled that "the sustainable development of Africa is essential for Europe" and that "a large part of the future of Europe is played out in Africa.

"Europe and Africa must work together to enable the green transition" on the African continent, Mira Gomes said.

The seminar was part of a series of digital conversations in the 'Green Talks' cycle leading up to the EU-Africa High-Level Forum on Green Investment, which takes place on 23 April in Lisbon.

This forum will bring together representatives from government and business, international financial and development institutions, civil society and academia, bringing together different perspectives on sustainable development and green investment.



Agency : LUSA

Date : 2021-04-17 10:00:00


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