Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo says only strong partnerships and coordination among African countries can guarantee the mobilization of resources required for a just energy transition given the quantum of investments and other challenges involved.
He also insisted that the case of the African continent, “particularly with respect to the just energy transition, is cogent and irrefutable.”
Prof. Osinbajo made these submissions on Tuesday in a recorded message he sent for the unveiling of the 4D Digital Green Industrial Corridor and launch of the African Union Transition Fuels Oversight & Regulatory Management Accelerator (TRANSFORMA) at the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27), taking place in Egypt.
The Office of the Vice President stated in a release on Wednesday that TRANSFORMA is a 4D initiative to fast-track the Digital Green Industrial Corridor between the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) member States.
“Tackling the combined challenges of COVID-19 recovery, climate change and overall sustainable development requires significant resources that can only be delivered through strong partnerships and coordination.
“For instance, the Climate Policy Initiative estimates that Africa needs about $2.8 trillion between 2020 and 2030 to implement our Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement.
“This translates to about $277 billion per annum but annual climate finance flows in Africa stand at only $29.5 billion,” the VP disclosed.
He however added that “innovations like the 4D Digital Green Corridor and TRANSFORMA are critical to finance and more broadly, resource mobilization on the continent. And it is exciting to see that this comes as other initiatives such as the African Carbon Market initiative is being announced.”
Making the call for stronger collaboration across Africa, the Vice President said “many of our challenges and priorities are shared. African governments are tasked with eradicating poverty, providing opportunities for our expanding populations, delivering robust healthcare solutions and unlocking prosperity for future generations.”
Benefits to AfCFTA
He added that the beneficial role of Pan-African cooperation on these issues has been established with reports from the World Bank estimating that the AfCFTA could raise income on the continent by over $450 billion by 2035 and lift 50 million people out of extreme poverty.
“Importantly, the continent could see foreign direct investment increase by between 111 percent and 159 percent under the AfCFTA.”
Prof. Osinbajo submitted that the “maximization of this potential which is what the 4D Digital Green Industrial Corridor and TRANSFORMA propose to do,” must be a priority.
He emphasized the need for stakeholders to be united in order to attract more attention, noting that it is clear that “our joint advocacy on principles for a just transition is getting stronger, our home-grown solutions must do the same.”
Speaking on Nigeria’s energy transition efforts, Prof. Osinbajo said Nigeria is well-aligned with the goals of the Green Recovery Action Plan “and we see clear synergies with the mandate of TRANSFORMA.
“For example, in 2020, as part of our Economic Sustainability Plan to drive post-COVID recovery and economic growth, our government unveiled the National LPG Expansion Implementation Programme realizing the potential of LPG and other NGLs to address energy access, climate and industrial bottlenecks.
“It has been estimated that economic activities stimulated by the domestic utilization of Nigeria’s recoverable gas reserves could support 6.5 million full-time equivalent jobs and produce $18.3 billion in gross value addition annually, with over $5 billion of this amount directly from capturing the economic value of NGLs.
“TRANSFORMA is indeed a welcome development, and we recognize the value that the transcontinental policy and implementation vehicle offers in mobilizing larger investments, improving shared learning and producing larger economies of scale for individual nations like Nigeria and also for the entire continent.”
Aside from Prof. Osinbajo’s message, other leaders who spoke at the event included President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo and President Hakainde Hichilema of the Republic of Zambia.