A coalition of African NGOs working for Just Energy Transition is calling on AfreximBank to stop financing fossil fuel projects that pose a threat to the environment.
The group accused AfreximBank’s financed fossil fuel projects in Nigeria, Mozambique, and East Africa of causing “significant socioeconomic impacts, including land grabbing, displacement, loss of livelihoods, increased poverty, and gender-related issues such as teenage pregnancies and gender-based violence”.
Therefore, it is advising AfreximBank which has a primary role to stimulate the expansion and diversification of African trade to take a cue from the African Development Bank (AfDB) which has made commitments to a green and sustainable development in Africa.
“The recent launch of the African Green Financial Initiative demonstrates the Bank’s recognition of the urgent need to transition towards renewable energy and low-carbon development pathways. We believe Afreximbank can do the same”, the group said.
A member of the coalition, Director of Environment Governance Institute Uganda, Samuel Okulony called on Prof. Benedict Okey Oramah the Chairman of Afreximbank, to sign the Glasgow Statement and join other financial institutions in committing to end support for fossil fuel projects.
Mr Okulony explained that this will “send a powerful message to the international community, demonstrating AfreximBank’s commitment to a cleaner, safer, and more sustainable Africa. It will also encourage other African financial institutions to take similar steps and accelerate the transition towards a renewable energy future”
The group proposed that AfreximBank “must set an aspirational goal of helping the continent achieve universal electricity access by 2030 with a strong focus on encouraging clean and renewable energy solutions.”
Also, it should “develop a new energy policy that will prioritize partnerships for clean energy development, mobilize domestic and international capital for innovative financing in Africa’s clean energy development and climate financing”.
“Afreximbank should invest in clean energy projects that focus on regional integration of the power sector. This will create economies of scale, permitting lower costs across all aspects of infrastructure, including power. Estimates show that cross-regional collaboration could reduce electricity costs in Africa by US$2 billion per year”, it added.
The coalition comprises Alliance for Empowering Communities (Ghana), AbibiNsroma Foundation (Ghana), Environment Governance Institute (Uganda) and Friends of Earth (Togo).