Ghana-Climate-Innovation-Center-Launch-3- (1)
Ghana Climate Innovation Centre launched at Ashesi University
May 17, 2016
Marigold Adu of Global Bamboo Products selected as a Mandela Washington Fellowship Member
June 10, 2016

In Quotes: Launch of the Ghana Climate Innovation Centre at Ashesi


Ashesi University College, in partnership with the World Bank Group, the governments of Denmark and the Netherlands, and Ghana’s Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), inaugurated theGhana Climate Innovation Center (GCIC) at Ashesi’s campus today. (Read more about the inauguration here.)

The technology hub is geared to help over 100 local clean technology businesses grow and commercialize innovative solutions to climate change. Guests at the event included the Chief of Staff at the Office of the President of Ghana, Hon. Julius Debrah, H.E John Agyekum Kufuor, former President of Ghana, H.E Tove Degnbol, Danish Ambassador to Ghana, H.E Hans Docter, Dutch Ambassador to Ghana, and H.E Henry Kerali, World Bank Country Director for Ghana.

The first of its kind in the country, the center will support Ghana’s National Climate Change Policy over the next ten years by contributing to the production of clean tech solutions, which will ultimately help more than 300,000 Ghanaians increase their resilience to climate change.

Here is a recap of the conversation at the ceremony, in quotes.

“Climate change is one of the defining challenges of our times. Now more than ever, we need to make a concerted effort to tackle this issue. Success will depend on solid collaboration, within and between our organisations, and across geographic boundaries.”
— Patrick Awuah, President, Ashesi University College

“I believe that all the partners involved will make sure that this does not become a nine-day wonder. We shouldn’t just have a beautiful opening and that’s it; I will be very happy to be here one day to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the center, and hear about how best you’ve been able to impact our colleagues in West Africa.”
Hon. Julius Debrah, Chief of Staff, Office of the President, Ghana

“Finally, and perhaps most importantly, innovation centers such as this one demonstrate to Ghanaians and the world that Ghana’s own entrepreneurs can compete with the best entrepreneurs from anywhere in the world when the playing field is leveled. Entrepreneurs in Ghana face unique challenges. It takes more than bright ideas to create successful businesses where energy, infrastructure, access to early stage finance and other known challenges exist. The CIC is a locally based institution that can work with Ghana’s entrepreneurs to overcome these unique challenges.”
Henry Kerali, Ghana Country Director, World Bank Group (read on his behalf)

One of the first activities that the Ghana Climate Innovation Centre developed, is a good example of what you can do in the face of challenges. They organised a business challenge for a group of entrepreneurs here in Ghana, and said to them, “what do you see around you? What are the problems? How can you turn them into opportunity?” I was really bowled over by all the ideas and innovative business that developed out of that. And that was even before what you see here today. We really hope as the Dutch government that this initiative continues to grow and is another example of Holland and Ghana growing together.”
H.E Hans Docter, Dutch Ambassador to Ghana.

“Ashesi University and its partners have the daunting yet doable task of starting and leading the green revolution through the GCIC to challenge the status quo, while at the same time it will help create new and decent jobs. […] Today we experience an important step that will boost innovation, development and the private sector. I truly believe it will be game changer that will move Ghana towards green and sustainable growth.”
H.E Tove Dengbol, Danish Ambassador

We should hope that the renewed efforts that came together in Paris, attracting as many as 195 countries to agree to do something on climate change, should help us. But the sting is the tail. How are African countries positioning themselves to benefit from the extended help? As much as the world might want to help, we should have the human resource and the business sense to create absorptive capacity. Government policy will be the central driving force in all this; it’s only government that will have the capacity to move its people. So yes, Africa should benefit, but it will benefit only by preparing itself fully to access the funds and technologies that are out there.”
H.E John Kufuor, former President of Ghana and UN Climate Change Envoy.

“The World Bank Group did a study which showed that the global market for clean technology products in the coming decade is $6.4 trillion dollars; of which about $325 billion is the size of the market for sub-Saharan Africa. The opportunities in this sector are enormous. We probably have entrepreneurs here in this room today who can capture a share of that market, for Ghana and for the region. […] The policy environment has to enable that kind of entrepreneurship culture.”
Ganesh Rasagam, Practice Manager, Trade & Competitiveness Global Practise, World Bank Group

“If you look back today at what has happened since the late seventies you will see that Denmark has succeeded in creating economic growth to the tune of approximately 70% to 80% in real terms, while at the same time maintaining the same level of energy consumption. We have been able to decouple energy consumption from economic growth. […]

We succeeded through various means, primarily with the stick and carrot method; the stick being high energy taxes within the period, and the carrot being various incentive schemes over the years. The lessons learned in Denmark and in other energy efficient countries in the world, really suggest that we should put much more emphasis on inviting people from developing and less developed countries to our own countries to see what kind of solutions are available.”
— Fimm Mortensen, CEO, State of Green, Denmark

“Bamboo in itself has the potential to create jobs for more than a 100,000 people; it has economic value worth billions of dollars, and its nature creates sustainable environmental balance. The GCIC is a great partner for accelerating a business like mine moving forward; from what it has done so far, Global Bamboo has now moved from a startup to continuously churning out new products, and we are entering the market with new products. It is key that the CIC is in Ghana now. […]

How have we been able to find the financing? We have had to be creative with what we offer. Some of our financing has come out of affiliations with the right people who our business can be relevant to. But it is important that investors see economic value first, and then social impact value. Government must come in with policies that encourage green investment and puts in incentives that back it.”
Marigold Adu, Founding Partner & Manager, Global Bamboo Products Limited

“Today marks an important step for the Ghana Climate Innovation Center. Getting here has taken the collective efforts of many people, most of whom have been recognised here today. We are looking forward to everyone becoming a part of this important journey, which marks an important milestone for our country and for Ashesi.” — Fred Mcbagonluri, Executive Director, Ghana Climate Innovation Centre.

Source : Medium – Ashesi University