KATOWICE, Poland, December 14, 2018/APO Group/ --

That is the message from African delegates as the world prepares to implement the Paris Agreement on climate change in Katowice, Poland, this week.

Research shows that when women are involved in decision making, agreements on the environment are more likely to be ratified and projects around natural resources, such as water, are more likely to succeed. 

If given access to education and finance, African women can contribute to finding technological solutions and driving the continent’s renewable energy industry too. 

“When you empower women in the context of climate change you empower a family, a community and a country,” says Dana Elhassan, senior gender expert at the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org), which allocates international funds to development projects. 

“You cannot solve a problem with half the team. A lot of the unpaid work that women do, such as collecting firewood and water, and caring for the family, are massively affected by climate change - so we have to make sure adaptation initiatives address their needs, vulnerabilities and potential.”

Women as agents of change

Studies show that when women are part of decision making, ratification of multilateral agreements on the environment are more likely, adds Mafalda Duarte, head of the $8.3 billion Climate Investment Fund, one of the largest climate financing instruments in the world. 

There is also strong evidence that women play a vital role in dealing with disasters by mobilising communities - something that will become increasingly important as climate change advances, she says.  

“Discourse is quite tilted to considering women as victims of climate change - but we are agents of change and if we are perceived as such this will make a big difference,” says Ms Duarte. 

“Our empowerment represents greatly under-utilised opportunities to build our economies and tackle climate change.”

When women are empowered - given access to finance, assets and decision making - there are big impacts across sectors, she adds. 

“Renewable energy is traditionally seen as a male sector but if you are deliberate in giving access to women, they become entrepreneurs and help us push forward that agenda,” says Ms Duarte. 

Women can drive business and technology solutions

When women are empowered equally to men there is a massive leap forward in economic gains: a recent McKinsey study found that if women were participating economically as much as men, they would be adding 28 trillion dollars to global GDP by 2025.

In Africa, lack of access to finance has resulted in an estimated $42 billion financing gap

for women entrepreneurs across business value chains.

Yet unlocking African women’s ingenuity and giving them access to finance could generate technological advancements that help deal with climate change, believes the African Development Bank. 

As mobile phone technology has proven, Africa is capable of leapfrogging into an era of digitisation, which minimises risks and cuts costs of doing business. 

African women have shown potential to compete in this digital work-space – Mfarm, AppsTech, JuaKali, Nandimobile, Hehe Ltd, Obami, DotNxt, are only a few of the women-led tech startups in Africa listed by Forbes.

“If we women are given the right platforms, we will achieve the change we wish to see in the world,” says Ms Duarte. 

Unlocking investment in African women holds incredible return and transformational impact

potential. Women form the backbone of African economies, accounting for a majority of small- and medium-sized businesses and dominating the agriculture sector as primary producers and food processors,

COP24 is the 24th conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This year countries are preparing to implement the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit the world’s global warming to no more than 2C.

Read more: Empower women to help save Africa from climate...

Pay-as-you-go solar pioneer Azuri Technologies and the Electrification Financing Initiative will feature at the UN Climate Change Conference COP24 this week to showcase how innovative financing in the off-grid solar sector is helping millions across Africa access affordable, renewable, clean energy.

Read more: Azuri And Electrifi At COP24 To Showcase How...

Societe Generale continues its sustainable growth strategy in Africa During a press trip to Dakar, Societe Generale group confirmed the solid growth of its African operations, in line with its “Transform to Grow” strategic plan DAKAR, Senegal, November 29, 2018/APO Group/ -- A region of profitable growth for the group; A new organisation to promote a high level of operational efficiency; Launch of “grow with Africa”, a growth plan to foster positive transformation across the African continent. During a press trip to Dakar, Societe Generale (www.SocieteGenerale.com) group confirmed the solid growth of its African operations, in line with its “Transform to Grow” strategic plan. As part of the launch of its “Grow with Africa” programme, the Bank also announced several initiatives in partnership with international, regional and local clients and institutions in order to meet sustainable development needs in Africa. A pro-growth strategy With operations in 19 African countries*, Societe Generale has a unique positioning in the region, enabling the Group to offer its customers the expertise and knowledge of an international bank combined with the proximity of its local banking networks. With its roots in Africa stretching back over a century, the Group’s 11,500 staff members on the continent support local economies, serving 4.1 million customers, including 150,000 businesses. As announced in its strategic plan, the Group is targeting a compound annual revenue growth rate of 8% and profitability of over 15% by 2020 for its African operations. The Africa, Mediterranean Basin & Overseas Region Business Unit generated €1.52 billion in revenue in 2017, an increase of 11%. This trend continued in the first nine months of 2018, as the bank continued to roll out its strategy, building on its strengths to capture local growth.
  • Business customers account for more than 60% of NBI and outstanding loans. The bank is supporting this increasingly sophisticated client base, in particular via regional hubs of expertise that have proven their capability in more mature markets, such as structured finance or currency hedging solutions. Societe Generale has also decided to increase its outstanding loans to African SMEs by 60% over the next five years (+€4 billion).
  • In terms of individual customers, Societe Generale is looking to consolidate its leadership positions in several countries (Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Senegal, Guinea, etc.), specifically by drawing on the benefits of its high-end positioning, while remaining focused on improving customer satisfaction. The Bank is also forging ahead with its innovation strategy with the roll-out of YUP. This e-wallet solution was launched in August 2017 and currently has over 300,000 e-wallets opened and almost 4,500 agents. YUP adds around 1,500 new customers per day and is aiming for one million customers and 8,000 agents by 2020.
In order to deliver on this roadmap, Societe Generale is adapting its structure in Africa. Four regional divisions for Africa have been set up in Abidjan, Douala, Algiers and Casablanca, in addition to an organisation and IT system division in Casablanca. Specifically, this will enable the pooling of expertise, standardise processes and improve efficiency. The Bank is also looking to broaden its innovation initiatives, thanks to Innovation Labs in Dakar, Tunis and Casablanca, where new banking and non-banking solutions are being developed with start-ups and customers. Finally, the Group his strengthening its teams in Africa. With a strong renewal in the managerial structure, many African staff members well connected to local economies are being promoted to top management positions. Several initiatives on training, equality – such as the partnership with “Women in Africa” – and collective intelligence are also playing a key role in the Group’s inclusive growth strategy. Stepping up business initiatives to foster sustainable development in Africa      We believe that development in Africa is one of the collective challenges to which Societe Generale can contribute, and so the Bank made the decision to put its expertise and drive for innovation towards serving positive change on the continent. With the launch of the “Grow with Africa” programme, conceived in collaboration with several local and international partners, Societe Generale has identified four areas of development:
  1. Multi-dimensional support for African SMEs
In order to support SMEs, which are the cornerstone of African economies, Societe Generale will create “SME Centres” in each of its subsidiaries, bringing together under one roof the different organisations** that work together to promote business development. This initiative will go hand in hand with the Bank’s plan to substantially increase the amount of loans granted to African SMEs.
  1. Infrastructure financing
Infrastructure financing is a key aspect of development in Africa, especially in energy, transport, water and waste management, and even the development of sustainable cities. Societe Generale is deeply involved in infrastructure financing in Africa and intends to further increase its contribution. The Bank plans to double its African workforce dedicated to structured finance by 2019 and increase its financial commitments related to structured finance in Africa by 20% over the next three years.
  1. Developing innovative financing solutions
Societe Generale is dedicated to improving its support of agricultural industries, by working alongside all of the sector’s stakeholders, including farmers, cooperatives and SMEs. As such, Societe Generale is committed to providing access to a range of banking and non-banking services (healthcare, education, advisory) to one million farmers over the next five years, thanks to its YUP platform. The Bank is also focused on supporting energy inclusion, promoting renewable energy sources in areas that are not connected to the electricity network and supporting connections for households located close to existing networks.
  1. Promoting development through financial inclusion
For several decades, Societe Generale has been a key player in local economies, with the aim of improving financial inclusion among local populations. The Bank will continue in this direction by pursuing the roll out of YUP, which offers simple, accessible, bank-like products to a broad population, the majority of whom does not currently have access to banking services. The group has been active in microfinance for over 10 years and is committed to doubling its outstanding loans to microfinance organisations by 2022. Frédéric Oudéa, Chief Executive Officer of Societe Generale said: “Our long-standing presence in Africa makes Societe Generale an essential, well-placed player on the continent to serve as a unifying force around the challenge of responsibility and sustainably contributing to African growth. This ambition is a key part of our strategic plan. This is why we are launching “Grow with Africa”, an initiative that involves all stakeholders seeking to provide solutions to the specific environment in which sustainable development in Africa is expanding, and who are convinced that the futures of Europe and Africa are more closely linked than ever.”  The Group’s desire to contribute to sustainable development in Africa is also driven by the initiatives of the Societe Generale Corporate Foundation for Solidarity. The Foundation has already supported close to 100 projects promoting professional integration in 14 African countries, and the budget it dedicates to projects in Africa will be considerably increased over the coming years. * Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Mauritania, Mozambique, Senegal, South Africa, Togo, Tunisia ** public institutions, multilateral organisations, development agencies, educational institutions, private-sector companies, investment funds, etc. Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Societe Generale.

Media Contact:

Corentin Henry

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

+ 33 (0)1 58 98 01 75

Antoine Lhéritier

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

+33 (0)1 42 13 68 99

Societe Generale:

Societe Generale (www.SocieteGenerale.com) is one of the leading European financial services groups. Based on a diversified and integrated banking model, the Group combines financial strength and proven expertise in innovation with a strategy of sustainable growth, aiming to be the trusted partner for its clients, committed to the positive transformations of society and the economy.

Active in the real economy for over 150 years, with a solid position in Europe and connected to the rest of the world, Societe Generale has over 147,000 members of staff in 67 countries and supports on a daily basis 31 million individual clients, businesses and institutional investors around the world by offering a wide range of advisory services and tailored financial solutions. The Group is built on three complementary core businesses:

• French Retail Banking, which encompasses the Societe Generale, Crédit du Nord and Boursorama brands. Each offers a full range of financial services with omnichannel products at the cutting edge of digital innovation; 

• International Retail Banking, Insurance and Financial Services to Corporates, with networks in Africa, Russia, Central and Eastern Europe and specialised businesses that are leaders in their markets; 

• Global Banking and Investor Solutions, which offers recognised expertise, key international locations and integrated solutions.

Societe Generale is included in the principal socially responsible investment indices: DJSI (World and Europe), FTSE4Good (Global and Europe), Euronext Vigeo (World, Europe and Eurozone), four of the STOXX ESG Leaders indices, and the MSCI Low Carbon Leaders Index.

For more information, you can follow us on twitter @societegenerale or visit our website www.SocieteGenerale.com

Text copied to clipboard.

Read more: Societe Generale continues its sustainable...

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, December 9, 2018/APO Group/ --

The details of the “Desert to Power Initiative” have been outlined as part of the Paris Agreement climate change talks at COP24 in Katowice, Poland this week.

Energy poverty in Africa is estimated to cost the continent 2-4 % GDP annually, according to the African Development Bank (AfDB) (www.AfDB.org), which is leading the project.

The Initiative aims to develop and provide 10 GW of solar energy by 2025 and supply 250 million people with green electricity including in some of the world’s poorest countries. At least 90 million people will be connected to electricity for the first time, lifting them out of energy poverty.

Currently, 64% of the Sahel’s population - covering Senegal, Nigeria, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, Sudan, and Eritrea - lives without electricity, a major barrier to development, with consequences for education, health and business.

By harnessing the exceptional solar resource in the region, AfDB and its partners hope to transform the region.

Magdalena J. Seol in the AfDB’s Desert to Power Initiative said:

“Energy is the foundation of human living - our entire system depends on it. For Africa right now, providing and securing sustainable energy is in the backbone of its economic growth.”

“A lack of energy remains as a significant impediment to Africa’s economic and social development.”

The project will provide many benefits to local people, said Ms Seol: It will improve the affordability of electricity for low income households and enable people to transition away from unsafe and hazardous energy sources, such as kerosene, which carry health risks.

Construction of the  project will also create jobs and help attract private sector involvement in renewable energy in the region.

Many women-led businesses currently face bigger barriers than men-led enterprises to accessing grid electricity - so the project has the potential to increase female participation in economic activities and decision-making processes.

The project has been launched in collaboration with the Green Climate Fund, a global pot of money created by the 194 countries who are party to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to support developing countries adapt to and mitigate climate change. The program is designed to combine private sector capital with blended finance.

“If you look at the countries that this initiative supports, they’re the ones who are very much affected by the climate change and carbon emissions from other parts of the world,” said Ms Seol.

“Given this, the investments will have a greater effect in these regions, which have a greater demand and market opportunity in the energy sector.”

“Women are usually disproportionately negatively affected by energy access issues. Providing a secure and sustainable electricity creates positive impact on gender issue as well.”

The African continent holds 15% of the world’s population, yet is poised to shoulder nearly 50% of the estimated global climate change adaptation costs, according to the Bank.

These costs are expected to cut across health, water supply, agriculture, and forestry, despite the continent’s minimal contribution to global emissions.

However, the International Renewable Energy Agency estimates that Africa’s renewable energy potential could put it at the forefront of green energy production globally.

It is estimated to have an almost unlimited potential of solar capacity (10 TW), abundant hydro (350 GW), wind (110 GW), and geothermal energy sources (15 GW) - and a potential overall renewable energy capacity of 310 GW by 2030.

Other renewables projects in Africa include The Ouarzazate solar complex in Morocco, which is one of the largest concentrated solar plants in the world.

It has produced over 814 GWh of clean energy since 2016 and last year, the solar plant prevented 217,000 tons of CO2 being emitted. Until recently, Morocco sourced 95% of its energy needs from external sources

In South Africa, the Bank and its partner, the Climate Investment Fund, have helped fund the Sere Wind Farm -  46 turbines supplying 100 MW to the national power grid and expected to save 6 million tonnes of greenhouse gases over its 20 year expected life span. It is supplying 124,000 homes.

COP24 is the 24th conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This year countries are preparing to implement the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit the world’s global warming to no more than 2C.

Read more: Huge desert solar initiative to make Africa a...

SMA Solar Technology AG will supply 21 SMA Medium Voltage Power Station to the biggest PV power plant in West Africa. In Paris, representatives from SMA and Akuo Energy – France’s biggest independent producer of renewable energies – have now signed contracts. The 50 MW KITA solar farm in Mali is scheduled to be connected to the utility grid in 2019.

Read more: SMA Supplies Technology To The Largest PV Power...

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, November 26, 2018/APO Group/ --

The second Black Industrialists Energy Summit (www.BIES-SA.com) will be hosted in Cape Town from 11-12 December as part of ‘EnergyWeek South Africa.’  This meeting takes place alongside the International Gas Cooperation Summit (www.IGCS-SA.com) and the Southern Africa Renewable Energy Summit (www.SARES-SA.com) at the Westin Cape Town Hotel.

Localisation policies have become a permanent factor for energy development in South Africa, with the B-BBEE Codes of Good Practice for the Petroleum and Liquid Fuels Sector forecast to be released later this year. The REIPPP Programme requires a 40% of South African entity participation, having already achieved black shareholding of 64.2% local ownership.

The Cape Town meeting will update delegates on Government’s plans for making the BIP a success and creating an environment where entrepreneurship in the energy sector can thrive.

Within two years of launching the Black Industrialists Programme (BIP) in 2012, 102 industrialists received funding while 48 companies were given assistance with market access. As recently as April 2018, the Black Energy Professionals Association was launched to increase ownership and build a base for Africa’s industrialists within the energy sector.

Director for EnergyNet’s Africa portfolio Valeria Aruffo commented; “With local content policies rolling out across the continent, we believe this is a key time to address the technicalities of delivering an empowerment programme which also needs to operate as a pragmatic growth strategy, supporting South Africa’s industrialisation efforts to achieve its economic potential.“

Delegates attending will learn about government strategies to achieve growth, what is expected of BIP participants and how Africa’s industrialists can create value, employment, revenue and innovation across the energy value-chain.

Participating organisations include the IPP Office, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Energy and Water Sector Education and Training Authority (EWSETA), Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA), Atlantis Green-Tech Special Economic Zone (SEZ), Standard Bank, Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) and Solar Turtle.

Read more: Cape Town meeting to discuss next steps and...

Global energy and services company ENGIE, alongside its investment partner Meridiam consortium and Fonsis, the Senegalese Sovereign Fund, signed a 25-year power purchase agreement with Senelec, the Senegalese off-taker for two solar photovoltaic projects in Senegal, Africa.

Read more: ENGIE Signs 25-Year Power Purchase Agreement...

More Articles ...

Advertisement

Translator

Advertisement
Advertisement

SolarQuarter Tweets

Follow Us For Latest Tweets

SolarQuarter Announcing India's First Ever Energy Storage + Rooftop Solar Business Forum Only @ IRSC 2019_ 16-17 January 2019 at… https://t.co/54Mt5NJYcP
Monday, 10 December 2018 10:50
Monday, 10 December 2018 10:29
SolarQuarter Last Few Seats Left for South India's Most Powerful Event_Solar Power Developers Night on 11th Nov 2018_Bengaluru_R… https://t.co/dyqXBYMYXO
Friday, 07 December 2018 14:40

Advertisement