The Managing Director (MD) of FBNBank Ghana, Victor Yaw Asante, has urged stakeholders of Africa’s energy sector to focus on providing capacity building and finance towards the realisation of Africa’s sustainable energy needs.
He said Africa had several energy resources and that most of the ones currently in use were hydro-carbon based, while the water-based ones were not adequately tapped.
He said solar and wind could be additional options, however, very little attention had been paid to those two compared to water.
Mr Asante was speaking at the Climate Finance for Sustainability Energy Transition in Africa Conference which was held at the University of Ghana.
The discussion was on the topic, “Financing Sustainable Energy Transitions in Africa- Pitfalls, Potential and Paradoxes.”
Other members of the panel included the Programme Director for Africa Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), Ian Mashingaidze, Head of Corporate Communications of Access Bank, Seun Akindele and the Head Group ESG and Risk Measurement at United Bank for Africa Chidozie Ezike.
The panellists helped to identify and discuss financing gaps and opportunities to guide stakeholders to access, allocate and mobilise climate finance effectively.
Human capital investment
In order to ensure that Africa enjoyed the best use of its multiple energy resources, Mr Asante underscored the need for investment in human capital development with a strong element of capacity building as well as finance and technological advancement.
He was of the view that it should bring about the much-needed transition to the use of sustainable energy, adding that organisations should be able to strengthen human capital across the African continent, as well as strengthen institutions across the board.
According to the MD, capacity building in technology would be ideal if there was a transition to sustainable energy.
He said capacity required capital and skills, indicating that organisations should therefore be able to strengthen human capital across the African continent, as well as strengthen institutions across board.
In terms of financing, he said, the amount of investment required was not something that could easily be acquired from the continent currently.
Mr Asante said Nigeria was committed to achieving net-zero gas by 2060 at the cost of about $2 trillion while Ghana also planned to achieve same by 2070.
“There must be a need for some interventions from some multinational banks, development banks and other financial organisations to assist in financing to achieve our goal,” he stated.
Based on FirstBank’s experience and capabilities in advancing sustainable finance, in this case financial inclusion in Africa, the MD said the bank was committed to sustainable energy transition financing through the deployment of climate financing mechanism such as loan products and investment offerings.
According to him, those mechanisms would advance the clean energy market and a just economic development.