President William Ruto of Kenya has called upon African governments to ramp up their investments in green opportunities during his address at the Africa Climate Summit held at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi.
The president emphasised the significance of investing in renewable energy, green industrialisation, climate-smart agriculture, and nature conservation, asserting that such investments would not only address climate change but also unlock Africa’s vast economic potential.
Ruto highlighted the multifaceted benefits of green investments, stating, “We must see in green growth not just a climate imperative, but also a fountain of multi-billion-dollar economic opportunities that Africa and the world are primed to capitalise on.”
The summit featured prominent figures, including African Union commissioner for agriculture, rural development, blue economy, and sustainable environment, Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, Pan African Climate Justice Alliance executive director, Dr Mithika Mwenda, and UNFCCC executive secretary Simon Stiell. High-ranking Kenyan officials, including deputy president Rigathi Gachagua, cabinet secretaries led by Soipan Tuya (environment), and governors led by the Council of Governors chair Ann Waiguru, were also in attendance.
Ruto underscored Africa’s potential to become a global hub in the green industrial supply chain. He emphasized the continent’s ability to achieve self-sufficiency in renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, sustainable biomass, and hydropower.
Kenya, he noted, is already leading the way, with 92% of its power generated from renewable sources. “Our ambition is audacious yet achievable: 100% renewable by 2030 and a 100 Giga Watt grid, entirely renewable, by 2040,” Ruto declared.
Furthermore, the president urged African nations to invest in value addition for raw materials and shift away from a minimalist, short-term, raw-material-based approach. He stressed the importance of setting higher ambitions to achieve better outcomes.
“Africa should leverage its agricultural land assets to enhance food security and monetize agricultural systems,” Ruto stated.
African Union commissioner Sacko reaffirmed Africa’s commitment to addressing climate change through sustainable solutions. She emphasised the importance of large-scale investments in climate resilience, particularly in energy assets, to drive sustainable industrialisation.
Kenyan environment cabinet secretary Soipan Tuya highlighted Africa’s role in ecologically responsible global industrialization to combat climate change. She emphasised the summit’s goal of changing the perception of Africa’s place in climate change action.
During the conference, Ruto handed over KSh 7.2 billion (about $42 million) to counties under the Financing Locally-LED Climate Action (FLLoCA) programme as county climate change investment grants. This initiative seeks to bolster Kenya’s climate adaptation efforts through financing, technology, and capacity building.
“The grants, along with KSh 3 billion (about $20 million) of county own-resource allocations, will finance local climate action priorities in agriculture, water, and natural resources management in every county,” Ruto announced.