Many African countries met in London on 20 January for the inaugural UK-Africa Investment Summit, which included African leaders, UK and African businesses, international institutions and young entrepreneurs. His Excellency President Buhari represented Nigeria, supported by a strong Nigerian delegation.
Ahead of the UK-hosted UN Climate Summit (COP26) later this year, a central theme of the UK-Africa Investment Summit was support for African leaders’ call to accelerate investment in secure, low-cost and low carbon energy.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s opening speech highlighted the benefits of clean energy, including jobs and sustainable growth, and announced that the UK would end support for thermal coal mining and coal power plants overseas.
During the Summit, the UK Government committed to use its expertise and experience to partner with African countries to help them transition away from fossil fuels towards renewable, sustainable forms of clean energy.
British High Commissioner Catriona Laing, who attended the Summit, commented:
“In the year the UK is set to host the UN climate summit, COP26, we put clean energy at the heart of the UK-Africa Investment Summit.
Over the past 12 months, campaigners, including the inspirational Greta Thunberg, have shone a spotlight on the urgency for immediate and ambitious action to reduce the potentially devastating impact of climate change.
I am proud that the UK government is showing leadership, including through our legally-binding commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050. And I am delighted that Nigeria too is playing a leadership role, demonstrated through the strong participation at the UK-Africa Investment Summit by the Minister of State for the Environment Sharon Ikeazor and Nigerian national Damilola Ogunbiyi, who moderated the panel discussion on clean energy transition.
At the Summit, the UK announced a range of partnerships with African countries that I hope will support Nigerian leadership in setting an ambitious National Determined Contribution (NDC) to global emissions reduction targets. In particular, I hope that the £10m (over ₦4.7billion) UK Climate Finance Accelerator will help Nigeria secure greater investments in green energy, increasing the availability of sustainable power and creating new jobs.”
In total more than £50m (₦28.6billion) of new UK investment was pledged at the Summit for clean energy projects across Africa and new links were forged between UK and African companies, investors and policy makers to promote clean energy usage.