On November 13, 2016, in a COP22 related event, Africa50 CEO Alain Ebobissé participated in the World Climate Summit panel “Implementation through Partnerships: Stimulating Collaboration and Transactional Partnerships in Light of the National Climate Plans.” He was joined by John Roome, World Bank Senior Director for Climate Change, Andrew Steer, CEO of the World Resource Institute, Florence Castel, Executive Director of Advancity, James Grabert, Director of Sustainable Development Mechanisms at UNFCCC, and Hanan Hanzaz, VP for Energy, Climate and Green Economy of the Confederation of Moroccan Industry.
Mr. Ebobissé explained how Africa50 can assure private sector participation in renewable energy development in Africa through its equity funding and project development arms. He stressed that enough funding is available, but that the enabling environment is often not conducive to taking long term investment decisions. Governments must put in place investment friendly policies and implement them consistently. International Financial Institutions can provide political and regulatory risk insurance to give investors the comfort they need in Africa’s more risky environment, but investors also need to be more proactive and accept early stage risks. He added that there is often a disconnect between the long-term commitment necessary for some power sector investments and the available debt tenor. For example, hydropower plants typically have a life of 40-50 years, but with a debt tenor of about 15 the price of electricity must be relatively high, which may lead governments to turn to thermal plants instead.