Kenya Hosts China-Africa Investment Summit amid Call for Green Transition

NAIROBI, KENYA | XINHUA | The 2023 China-Africa Sustainable Investment Summit began in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, Thursday, with delegates renewing the call for enhanced collaboration aimed at securing a just and green transition.

Co-hosted by the international conservation lobby, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the Alliance of Chinese Business in Africa for Social Responsibilities (ACBASR) and the Financial Center for South-South Cooperation, the summit was attended by senior policymakers, diplomats, investors and green entrepreneurs.

During the day-long summit, representatives of green startups from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Uganda made a pitch with Chinese investors, in the hope of securing business partnerships.

Marco Lambertini, WWF special envoy, said the summit provided a platform for Africa and China to share knowledge and best practices required to promote ecological stewardship and green growth.

While acknowledging that the climate crisis and biodiversity loss were taking a heavier toll on Africa, Lambertini said that capital and green technologies from China can be harnessed to reverse course. “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, said that China is committed to green development in Africa amid blossoming trade and economic ties between the two sides.

Delegates attending 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, said that bringing together Chinese investors, African entrepreneurs and green innovators was a milestone in efforts to decarbonize the continent 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 remarked. He observed that Chinese-funded renewable energy projects in Africa will promote nature-positive development in the continent besides unleashing green jobs for the youth.

Wilfred Kenga Baya, the assistant director of Energy in Kilifi County, a Kenyan coastal region, said China has emerged as Africa’s dependable ally in the continent’s quest to green its economies and arrest the negative impacts of climate change.

Baya said that both the central and county governments in Kenya are leveraging Chinese investments and capacity development in the renewable energy space in their bid to realize a just, resilient and green transition. ■

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