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Cameroon: MINEP, UNECA Partner to Help Private Sector Stimulate Green Growth, Create Jobs
Category :- Environment Author :- N Gelmin S 
Posted on October 14, 2020, 4:15 pm
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The Ministry of Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development (MINEP) with the assistance of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) held a 2-day workshop on the potentials of the private sector in the stimulating green growth and job creation in Cameroon.

MINEP, UNECA Partner to Help Private Sector Stimulate Green Growth, Create Jobs

The workshop took place at the Yaounde Multi-purpose Sports Complex from Monday October 12th to Tuesday October 13th, 2020. It brought together experts and practitioners in a bid to improve on the knowledge on how the private sector can help stimulate green growth as well as create jobs in Cameroon, in the process.

Over 50 participants attended this exchange session including policy makers, academic experts, practitioners, and representatives of national institutions from the private sector, civil society organizations and the United Nations Agencies (UNECA, UNDP).

The workshop was opened by the Minister of Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development, HELE Pierre accompanied by the Director General of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Antonio M. A. Pedro.

The Minister noted that private sector has an important role to play in the enhancement of the green environment in Cameroon despite multiple environmental challenges of the time: Climate change, global warming and gas emission.

“It was long believed that the government could do it alone but we came to realize that the private sector has an important role to play as far as maintaining a green economy is concerned,” Minister Pierre said.

He further remarked that the fight against pollution which actually gives privilege to renewable energy could effectively enhance growth, though it requires much work. The project began in Cameroon in 2019.

MINEP, UNECA Partner to Help Private Sector Stimulate Green Growth, Create Jobs

The commission that has been working in the central Africa is now in Cameroon to help the private sector in valorizing its potentials so as to preserve green growth as well as create employment.

This workshop was therefore to commence the training of the private sector (practitioners) in the protection of the environment an effective management of renewable resources.

“For us, there is no contradiction between the motivation of the private sector and profiling or business in the protection of the environment. Our study will prove that with the development of the necessary competence, it is possible to protect the environment and still make money,” hinted Mr. Pedro.

“Here, Cameroon is in a better position given that the country has very important natural resources like the forest that can enable a durable exploitation and an opportunity to do business as well as protect the environment for the next generation to come.

It is about demonstrating the value proposition of promoting a green economy and the renewable energy market by exploiting among others, battery minerals, moving towards electric cars is going to be about 500 million dollars a year by 2050. Many of the resources that are at the core of this option, mainly cobalt, Cameroon have those resources,” Mr. Pedro remarked.

Instead of continuing to be exporters of raw materials, the UN expert advised that the private sector could be part of the value chain that utilizes those resources to go up in the value chain. “This is what we are bringing here. Instead of capturing only 3 percent of these 500 billion dollars a year, with the right investments in building your competences, the private sector can generate much more in terms of the options,” he said.

MINEP, UNECA Partner to Help Private Sector Stimulate Green Growth, Create Jobs

Today, solar energy also constitutes a very important option in reducing the level of carbon emission. Here, Cameroon also has, especially in the arid area of the Extreme North etc, the amount of solar energy needed for the private sector to invest in renewable energy.

With the solar energy, there are available batteries that can store energy up to 500megawatts that can light a big city.

It was therefore about sharing with the private sector all of those important developments in energy transmission “from fossil fuel energy to renewable energy, removing from diesel and gas-base vehicles to electric-base vehicles among other options that will prove that there is absolutely no contradiction between promoting sustainable development, protecting the environment and making money,” Mr. Pedro added.

To exploit these opportunities Cameroon needs to do research and development. The United National Commission is therefore calling for greater collaboration between universities and the private sector where universities will engage in research in development, looking at the options to translate some of those things into visible projects that the private sector can use to make money.

For all this to happen, the private sector must know about what is happening around the world and what is required in order to succeed.

However, the post-financing is also a vital point here as it requires that the private sector engages in green bond or green financing, Mr. Pedro hinted.

MINEP, UNECA Partner to Help Private Sector Stimulate Green Growth, Create Jobs

For him, if all these factors are in place and the sector is able of generating 500 billion dollars a year, the country can import the competences that it lacks for a certain period of time while developing theirs.

Meanwhile, the government is required to provide the necessary incentives for all these to be carried out effectively.

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