Following Cop21 and Paris agreement, we cannot see the future of the African continent without relying on green projects. In effect, climate change is a north -south issue that needs to be tackled globally. All countries are affected by global warming but climate change has severe economic consequences on African countries. As the EU commissioner on Environment Mr Vella puts it “climate change is an everyday reality for millions”. The continuous increase in temperatures since 2010 and the decreases in precipitations which resulted in food and water crisis had a great impact on Africa and the world. This bleak image of the future of our continent and the planet is just one side of the story. On the positive side, there is respite from the relative growth of renewable energy which is becoming increasingly popular in Europe and Africa with an emphasis on wind and solar energy.

The Noor Project: A dream come true

The European expertise on environmental innovation and research can be a great help in launching promising projects in Africa. The first European initiative of photovoltaic and wind sources of energy in the Maghreb region was first described as « Green Utopia » but this dream became a reality when European corporations installed a network of solar and wind plants, initially  in Morocco and lately in Tunisia to generate electricity. This solar power plant is able to cut carbon emissions and end fossil fuel energy reliance which is a huge step towards fighting against global warming.  Consequently, deeper cooperation between Africa and Europe is necessary to fight against climate change and in the process, create jobs. As Mrs Francoise Marie Nelly, World Bank country director for the Maghreb puts it « the returns of this investment will be significant for the country and its people by enhancing energy security, creating a cleaner environment and encouraging new industries and job creation »

Young Green African investors:

A lot of young Africans entrepreneurs were influenced by promising green projects and continue to create their own business. Taking projects such as « Akon lighting Africa » as an example, young entrepreneurs showed interest in international projects but at the same time argued for local projects. This argument was echoed by Mr Eric Ngueguim, the CEO of New African Energies in Cameroun and launcher of AEN light (an ecological bulb) generating light.  It is worth noting that Mr Ngueguim was present at the recently concluded African Belgium Business week in Brussels; where he explained his desire to work on both North –South cooperation and South –South Coopeartion. Other young entrepreneurs have also challenged the African climate and created the concept of Sustainable cities such as M.Romarik Atoke,(director of global Archiconsult) who imagined his native city Cotonu with an urban architecture and suggests, via his company,  local products and renewable energy methods for lighting and ventilation.

Definitely, green investment is a pioneering field which can be attractive for both African and European investors. It is also a new field which is attracting young African Entrepreneurs from the Diaspora  who want to invest in their home countries by launching new, original and ecological projects.

Manel Msalmi

Researcher in environmental studies

Expert in Climate Change at ADNE