Accra, Ghana, May 17, 2016 — 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 the Ghana Climate Innovation Center (GCIC) at Ashesi’s campus today. 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. (Click here for a summary of the event in quotes)
Honourable Julius Debrah, Chief of Staff at the Office of the President, Ghana, speaking at the launch
“Climate change is one of the defining challenges of our times,” said Patrick Awuah, President of Ashesi. “Now more than ever, we need to make a concerted effort to tackle this issue. The Ghana Climate Innovation Center is a new incubator committed to clean tech companies working to mitigate climate change and help our economies adapt to its effects.”
Climate change is projected to have a significant impact on Ghana’s economy if not properly managed. According to the World Bank report Economics of Adaptation to Climate Change, without a proper green growth strategy, Ghana’s agricultural GDP is projected to decline by 3 to 8% by the middle of the century. Coastal erosion from rising sea levels could result in significant loss of land and forced migration, while extreme weather events could further strain the country’s infrastructure.
Panel Discussion on Climate Change, led by former President of Ghana and UN Climate Change Envoy, H.E John Kufuor.
“The Ghana CIC solidifies the role of the private sector in helping Ghana manage the effects of climate change,” said Henry Kerali, World Bank Country Director for Ghana. “By enabling entrepreneurs and green innovators to test and scale new clean technologies, homegrown business solutions can help the country build climate resilience, while also contributing to job creation and economic development.”
H.E Hans Docter, Dutch Ambassador to Ghana
To reduce the long-term costs of climate change and create opportunities for sustainable growth, the GCIC will provide local companies with the knowledge and resources they need to prototype, develop, and market innovative clean technologies in sectors like climate-smart agriculture, waste water treatment, and off-grid renewable energy. The services offered by the center will include seed financing, policy interventions, and market connections, as well as technical and business training.
H.E Tove Dengbol, Danish Ambassador to Ghana
“It is good to see Ghana’s own people putting their hands to practical things like this,” said Hon. Julius Debrah, Chief of Staff at the Office of the President in Ghana, who led the launch of the center. “Apart from these entrepreneurs developing their individual enterprises, they would also help us preserve nature in the long run. I am very proud to be associated with the official opening of such a programme.”
Ganesh Rasagam, Practice Manager, Trade and Competitiveness Global Practise, World Bank Group
Supported by the governments of Denmark and the Netherlands, the GCIC will be managed by a consortium led by Ashesi University College with Ernst & Young, SNV Netherlands Development Organization, and the United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa.
The GCIC is part of the World Bank’s Climate Technology Program and its global network of Climate Innovation Centers. Other centers have been established in the Caribbean, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, South Africa, and Vietnam.