AFRI CONVERSE 2022 #3 Special Edition :

Going Green with Business in the Era of Climate Change in Africa - Sharing the experience from Tunisia in the lead-up to TICAD8 -

15 juillet 2022
Event Details

15 juillet - 15 juillet

11:30

ZOOM

LanguageJapanese/English/French/Arabic (simultaneous interpretation)

Co-organizerJICA, UNDP

Background:

Although global greenhouse gas emissions from Africa are negligible in the world, the effects of climate change on the African continent are forecasted to be the most severe on earth. According to the World Bank’s Groundswell Africa reports, the continent will be hit the hardest by climate change, with up to 86 million Africans migrating within their own countries by 2050. In particular, agriculture, which is crucial to Africa's food security and highly dependent on rainfall, is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, and is severely impacted by unstable rainfall across the continent. For example, the Sahel and Madagascar are already regularly hit by droughts and floods, which cause serious food problems.

Climate change poses a major challenge to Africa’s achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, impacting on the continent’s economy, society and peace and stability. The United Nations Environment Programme estimates that costs associated with climate-change adaptation across Africa could hit $50 billion annually by 2050, even if the global temperature does not rise more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels. Under the Paris Agreement, all countries committed to take collective action on climate change to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. African countries have outlined bold aspirations to build climate-resilient and low-carbon economies in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Agreement.

However, many of these commitments are conditional upon access to adequate financial, technical and capacity-building support. At the same time, climate change provides opportunities for African countries to harness their huge resource potential to achieve Sustainable Development Goal targets. Addressing climate change in Africa will create significant market opportunities, especially for the private sector and institutional investors. Having signed and ratified the Paris Agreement, nearly all African countries have committed to enhance climate action by reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and building climate resilience. For many countries in the continent, adopting climate adaptation measures will be critical.

To deliberate on the impact of global and regional challenges including climate change and way-forward among partners, TICAD8 will be held in Tunisia in 27th and 28th August 2022, following the TICAD Ministerial Meeting on 26th and 27th March 2022 in which the participants held intensive discussions under three themes: “Achieving sustainable and inclusive growth with reduced economic inequalities”, “Realizing a sustainable and resilient society based on human security” and “Building sustainable peace and stability through supporting Africa’s own efforts”. In the first theme, the participants reaffirmed that job creation and income growth through investment are critically needed to build back better in the post-COVID-19 era and promoting private investment by focusing on, first, businesses that solve social issues through innovation such as digital transformation and second, Green Economy, energy transition and Blue Economy.

In Tunisia, the host country of the Summit, the socio-economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, exacerbated by the ramifications of the war in Ukraine, has been severe as well as ongoing changes in the political context. According to the latest IMF estimates, the GDP growth rate for 2020 has dropped by 9.3% and the forecast for economic growth in 2022 has been revised downward from 3.3% to 2.2%. The country faces a looming public finance and debt crisis with government debt estimated to reach a high of 87.3% of GDP in 2022, as well as increasing poverty and high unemployment rate, especially among the youth combined with deteriorating public services.

One of the factors worsening Tunisia's fiscal situation is the large fiscal expenditure on wages and subsidies (in particular, energy subsidies). A chronic energy deficit since the early 2000s leading to an increase in energy dependence estimated at 60% in 2020, responsible for one third of the trade balance deficit and 10% of the budget deficit, with energy subsidies of around 45% of the total subsidies budget. It also relies on fossil fuels for 99% of its electricity generation, which is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Solving the energy problem, therefore, has become an urgent priority for equitable and sustainable development in Tunisia, and the promotion of Green Economy and energy transition is pivotal.

In 2016, the Tunisian government developed the National Strategy for Green Economy with the following vision: the green economy for Tunisia is one that leads to sustainable growth, social equity, improved welfare, while significantly reducing environmental risks and natural resource scarcity. In order to realize the goals in this strategy beyond COVID-19, it is essential not only for governments and international partners, but also for the private sector with its cultivated technology and innovation to play an active role and invest.

The 3rd session of AFRI CONVERSE in 2022 and the last session before the TICAD8 Summit will focus on the impact of climate change and opportunities for going green with business engagement examining from the cases in Africa.  It will examine best practices and lessons learnt through the multi-dimensional approaches initiated by actors especially in the TICAD8 host country, Tunisia, to tackle challenges in promoting Green Economy and green jobs, and discuss creating an environment to increase national and foreign investment -from Japan and other countries-. Looking ahead to TICAD8 in 2022 in Tunisia, this AFRI CONVERSE will be an excellent opportunity to draw the global attention to the host country and foster collaboration, networking and strategic building moments between policy makers, national and international private sector, research actors etc.

Speakers :

  •  Mr. Shuhei Ueno, Chief Representative, JICA Tunisia Office
  •  H.E. Mr. Shinsuke Shimizu, Japanese Ambassador to Tunisia
  •  Ms. Celine Moyroud, RR UNDP Tunisia 

  •  Mr. Mohamed Zmerli, Director of the National Climate change coordination Unit, and National Focal point for the UN framework for Climate change Convention (UNFCCC), Ministry of Environment, Tunisia
  •   Mr. Hamadi Boubakri, Member of the Executive Office in charge of Water Resources at Tunisian Union of Agriculture and Fishing

Moderator

  • Mr. Adel Ben Youssef, Professor of Economics at the University Côte d’Azur 

Expected Participants:

General public, Private companies, public servants and academia from Africa and Japan