The Chief Executive Officer of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Mr Mohammed Adjei Sowah, has urged financial institutions and private sector actors to take advantage of prevailing circular economic opportunities in the country.
According to him, this would not only help grow the local economy, but also create jobs for accelerated development.
Mr Sowah, who is also a Board Member of the Global Covenant of Mayor’s (GCoM) and Vice-Chair of C40 Cities, was speaking at a forum on Financing Sustainable African Cities in Johannesburg, South Africa.
It was organised by C40 Cities and Financing Sustainable Cities Initiative (FSCI), with support from Citi Foundation, all civil society organisations.
The forum, which aimed at highlighting investment opportunities in Africa for a sustainable future, also provided a platform to showcase the potential of Africa’s city-level projects and opportunities available for investment to fight climate change.
“Climate change issues are development issues, we must ensure projects and developments are sustainable. We must also find solutions to financing projects that achieve climate change innovations.
“There is a big economic incentive in the circular economy and financial institutions and private sector actors must rise to the challenge.
“We are not short of ideas, we are short of capital, our biggest issue right now is raising finance for sustainable development,” Mr Sowah stated.
The MCE, who was recently named among the “World’s 100 Most Influential People in Climate Change Policy 2019,” said in Accra, city authorities were partnering the private sector to work towards achieving 50 per cent reduction in waste to landfill.
He posited that environmental issues were at the heart of development, saying “sustainable issues are development issues.
“Today, climate change is not an abstract issue but a development issue in Africa and the world.”
Mr Sowah said his outfit had embarked on a sensitisation programme on linkages between local actions and their impact on the environment.
“May, June, July are rainy seasons in Accra, with possibility of flooding.
It’s important for us to explain to residents how our local actions impact our environment,” he added.
The Executive Mayor of the City of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba, emphasised the need for developing cities to focus on sustainability, since they faced the brunt of climate change despite not being the biggest contributors.
He noted that even though developing cities still grappled with the challenge of having to expand economic growth, provide water, electricity and other resources, they still needed to pay much attention to issues on climate change.
Other speakers at the forum included the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in South Africa, Amb. Bene LofongoM’poko, Jerrod Moodley of Rand Merchant Bank and the Managing Director and Global Head, Corporate Sustainability of Citi Foundation, Val Smith.