Accra, Sept.7, GNA – Mr. Mike Hammah, Minister for Land and Natural Resources, has called on African governments to take the lead in identifying and prioritizing areas of investment in the forestry and energy sectors.
He said this would halt forest degradation and deforestation; create more jobs and improve on the living conditions of the people.
Mr. Hammah said these at the closing ceremony of a three-day international conference on investment in forestry and forest carbon in Accra on Friday.
The three-day conference was on the theme: “Boosting investment in sustainable forestry, forest carbon and renewable energy”.
It seeks to explore opportunity and challenges in investing in forestry and forest carbons on the African Continent.
It was also to attract foreign investment opportunity in sustainable forestry, to contribute to sustainable development in Africa, and climate change mitigation, to facilitate dialogue between stakeholders for mutual interest in business.
Mr. Hammah said that African governments needed to establish mechanisms and build capacities of both the private sector and the local communities, to take advantage of investment opportunities in sustainable forestry and renewable energy.
He said the conference has paved the way to develop the vision and necessary targets towards private sector investment in sustainable forestry and renewable energy in Africa.
“It will also increase awareness and knowledge around sustainable forestry, climate change and renewable energy got government institutions, private sector and communities,” Mr Hammah said.
He called for the creation of a level playing field for renewable energy investors, such as allowing easy access to national grids for investors.
Mr Herve Awide Pana, Head of Communication and Marketing Unit, ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development, read a declaration at the end of the conference.
He asked policy makers to create favorable environment for business to flourish, and to formulate national and regional strategies in the sectors of forestry, carbon credits and renewable energies, supported by regulatory, financial and fiscal frameworks which would guarantee the development of those opportunities.
Mr Pana said African project developers take over funding capacities already available, but which had been overlooked by the African continent, by submitting bankable sustainable development projects in the sectors in question.
He called on African and international financial partners, to duly observe the growth of the African continent, where the success of traditional economic projects show the potential for success of bankable sustainable development projects.
Mr Pana recommended that adequate information and communication strategies be implemented, for African communities to be informed of all the business opportunities existing in the sectors of forestry, carbon credits and renewable energies.