As published on: northafricapost.com, Monday 2 October, 2023.
As the United Arab Emirates (UAE) prepares to host the COP28 climate summit from 30 November to 12 December, the Gulf state has made a marked presence in Africa’s burgeoning green finance sector, with a group of Emirati investors having unveiled a landmark $4.5 billion pledge to invest in clean energy projects on the continent at the recent Africa Climate Summit.
According to the UAE’s minister for climate change and the environment, Mariam Almheiri, her country’s experience in developing green energy and industry projects puts it in a strong position to contribute to Africa’s energy transition. In a recent interview, Almheiri stressed that the UAE is “ready with money and with technology” to play its part in helping Africa with its transformation. While the UAE has long had a significant political and economic presence particularly in parts of northern and eastern Africa, the Gulf state has been ramping up its economic engagement in recent months.
The planned $4.5 billion investment into African green energy is spearheaded by four entities – the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, Etihad Credit Insurance, Masdar, and AMEA Power – all of which have close ties with the UAE government. Asked about the reasons for the UAE’s enthusiasm for supporting the energy transition in Africa, Almheiri says that the continent “is so close to the UAE. We have great strategic relationships with a lot of the African countries.” Another reason is, according to the minister, that Africa is bearing the brunt of climate change, despite contributing only a very small share of cumulative global emissions.
Noting that rainfall is becoming less reliable and droughts more frequent, Almheiri says that ensuring that “things get fixed” is vital to “keep Africa intact” and “stop the migration routes.”