Implementation of policies and regulations that aim at promoting climate and clean technologies in Africa remains a challenge. Stakeholders at a consultative workshop on climate and clean technology policies, organised by the United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA), agreed that policy implementation should be a collective effort on the part of governments, private sector actors, civil society organisations (CSOs), non-governmental organisations (NGOs), community leaders and the media. The workshop concluded that active involvement of all these stakeholders in policy implementation efforts, would put many African countries on the path to attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly the goals on climate action (SDG #13), clean energy (SDG #7), and the SDG#8 which aims to promote decent work and economic growth.
The consultative workshop was structured around sub-themes such as energy efficiency; solar energy; domestic waste management; water management and purification; and climate smart agriculture. The event provoked debate among experts and stakeholders in policy development and implementation, on what can be done to address policy challenges in the climate and clean technology sectors of Ghana. The participants identified numerous challenges confronting the climate and clean technology sectors of the country. These include limited government support, lack of awareness on existing policies, inadequate budgetary allocation to implement policies, absence of subsidies and high import taxes on climate and clean technology products, inadequate regulatory enforcement, weak institutional capacities and poor coordination among ministries, departments and agencies.
The workshop participants acknowledged cross-cutting strategic interventions that need to be put in place to address the barriers of promoting climate-smart and innovative businesses in the country. The interventions recognised include awareness creation on policies; capacity building across all levels; adequate legislations to encourage political will; data collection and archiving to inform policy formulation; innovative and participatory financing from various institutions; and stakeholder inclusiveness in policy implementation.
In a keynote address, Mr Fredua Agyeman, the Director of Environment of the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Ghana, emphasised the need for all stakeholders to partner with governments on policies implementation. He said “increasingly, it is understood and accepted that Governments do need the direct involvement of the private sector and other partners to attain meaningful results”.
On the other hand, Dr Elias T. Ayuk, the Director of UNU-INRA, in his welcome address, underscored the need to support entrepreneurs in the clean technology sector. He observed “small and medium scale businesses need to be supported by the public sector and civil society organisations so as to reduce the negative impact of their operations on the environment”.
For the participants, enforcement of rules and regulations and community involvement in policy awareness programmes are critical in addressing the policy implementation barriers. “Deliberate effort to involve all stakeholders including the private sector, women and youth in policy implementation would help ensure inclusiveness and sustainability’’, remarked Dr Eric Twum, a participant and a Climate Change & Adaptation Manager of the Ghana Agricultural Sector Investment Programme.
The stakeholder consultative workshop was held on the theme “Creating Enabling Environment for Scaling up Climate and Clean Technologies in Ghana”. It was organised within the policy and regulatory component of the Ghana Climate Innovation Centre (GCIC) project. The GCIC project is providing financing, mentoring, training and business advisory services to support emerging entrepreneurs and new ventures involved in developing locally appropriate solutions to climate change mitigation and adaptation in Ghana. It is being implemented by Ashesi University College (Ghana), the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV), Ernst & Young and UNU-INRA. UNU-INRA is leading the policy component of the project, which aims to help address the policy and regulatory challenges of the climate and clean technology sectors in Ghana. The World Bank, Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) and the Dutch Government are supporting the project.
The workshop brought together 50 Ghanaian experts, including policy makers which comprised officials from key ministries and government agencies; researchers from relevant universities and research centres; and representatives from the private sector; non-governmental organizations; and civil society groups.