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While the economic catch up effect provides many opportunities in West African countries, the region remains one of the most vulnerable to world crises such as Covid 19 or Climate Change. To tackle these issues, Cap Green a 2 days business forum initiated by the “Confederation Generale des Entreprises de Côte d’Ivoire – CGECI”, aims to create bridges between all the sustainability and net zero actors in the region.

Over the last decade, only 1.8% of greenhouse gas emissions came from West Africa. Yet it is now one of the region’s most vulnerable to climate change. This statistic, which is on everyone’s lips, sums up the extent of the injustice of climate disruption: those who are responsible for it are not those who suffer the most.

If the Covid-19 crisis had already considerably weakened African populations – particularly in rural areas – the war in Ukraine has accentuated these difficulties by driving up prices considerably, particularly those of energy. Also, the lack of access to a quality energy network forces households and businesses to resort to fuel-hungry, highly polluting generators.

However, Côte d’Ivoire has managed to raise the efficiency of the national electricity system from 71.25% in 2011 to 83.67% in 2021. Nationwide, the government made access to electricity a priority after the 2011 post-election crisis. Today, 94% of Ivorians are connected to the grid – despite the many load shedding incidents that still occur. Generally speaking, the country fully covers its domestic demand and even manages to generate a surplus of around 10%, which it exports to the sub-region. Despite these promising results, the road to decarbonized energy is still long and the objectives are ambitious. Following the Paris Agreement, Côte d’Ivoire has committed to going even further by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30.41% and achieving a 45% renewable energy mix by 2030.

The Confédération Générale des Entreprises de Côte d’Ivoire (CGECI) has been addressing this crucial issue for years, as demonstrated by the creation of the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energies Forum (FEERA). However, the climate crisis we’re facing requires us to move faster and further in our commitments by adopting a global approach to tackling the greatest challenge of our century. Considering, the growing problems associated with the climate transition, not without impact on the profitability and sustainability of companies, a readjustment of regulatory, technological and financial aspects is necessary. To meet this need, we have teamed up with renowned partners to organize the first edition of CAP GREEN, whose theme is: «FROM VISION TO TRANSITION: structuring and accelerating green finance and investment mechanisms».

This change of angle confirms CGECI’s central role in supporting private sector companies to facilitate a sine qua non transition. However, this requires effort, colossal investment, commitment and a deep-seated desire to initiate change. That’s why, during these two days of conferences, international leaders from the worlds of business, the public sector and research will come together to discuss the levers of climate finance and the means we have at our disposal to implement them. This new format, which is designed to be didactic and attentive to the specific needs of each participant (sector-specific workshops will be offered alongside the panels), will enable a holistic approach to be adopted.

By tackling the entire corporate value chain in this way, we are confident that this initiative will provide effective, pragmatic responses to the challenges posed by the environmental crisis.

President of entreprise confederation of Cote d’Ivoire