China-Africa Sustainable Investment Summit Opens in Nairobi, Focus on Green Transition
The 2023 China-Africa Sustainable Investment Summit kicked off in Nairobi, Kenya on Thursday, bringing together senior policymakers, diplomats, investors, and green entrepreneurs to discuss ways to enhance collaboration for a just and green transition.
The summit, co-hosted by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the Alliance of Chinese Business in Africa for Social Responsibilities (ACBASR), and the Financial Center for South-South Cooperation, featured a pitch session for green startups from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Uganda, who sought to secure business partnerships with Chinese investors.
In his remarks, Marco Lambertini, WWF special envoy, emphasized the importance of the summit as a platform for Africa and China to share knowledge and best practices on ecological stewardship and green growth. He acknowledged that the climate crisis and biodiversity loss are taking a heavy toll on Africa, but expressed optimism that China’s capital and green technologies can help reverse the trend.
“China’s investments in Africa can be a great support to Africa’s holistic green development if led by prioritization of environmental protection and biodiversity conservation,” he said.
Zhang Yijun, minister counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Kenya, reaffirmed China’s commitment to green development in Africa, particularly in the context of the blossoming trade and economic ties between the two sides.
Delegates at the summit called for enhanced cooperation to boost the green energy transition through robust financing, skills development, and technology adoption. James Kakeeto, the regional energy officer at WWF Africa, described the summit as a milestone in efforts to decarbonize Africa, which is already grappling with climate emergencies.
“We hope that on this platform, we can realize a vision of infrastructure that is more diverse and inclusive, greener and lower in carbon emissions, and more resilient to climate change,” Kakeeto said.
He observed that Chinese-funded renewable energy projects in Africa can promote nature-positive development and create green jobs for the youth. Wilfred Kenga Baya, the assistant director of Energy in Kilifi County, a Kenyan coastal region, commended China’s role as a dependable ally in Africa’s quest to green its economies and address the negative impacts of climate change.
Baya said that the Kenyan government at both the central and county levels is leveraging Chinese investments and capacity development in the renewable energy sector to achieve a just, resilient, and green transition.
The China-Africa Sustainable Investment Summit is a significant development in the context of Africa’s green transition. The summit provides a valuable platform for stakeholders from both sides to engage in dialogue and collaboration, and to explore innovative solutions to the challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss.