UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for Egypt Mahmoud Mohieldin speaks during a session on positioning Africa as a global hub for green hydrogen held at the Africa CEO Forum in Abidjan on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Mohieldin Media Office.
Mohieldin, who is also the UN special envoy on financing the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, made the remarks on Wednesday during a session on positioning Africa as a global hub for green hydrogen held at the Africa CEO Forum in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
The current edition of the annual forum brings together 1,800 business leaders, investors and policymakers from Africa and around the world to highlight the pivotal role of the private sector in the continent's development.
The climate champion noted that African countries have promising national and regional initiatives in the field of green hydrogen, but regulatory frameworks and working principles are needed to overcome related challenges.
Mohieldin emphasized the importance of increasing demand for African green hydrogen from neighbouring countries and regions, particularly Europe.
He added that Africa must also enhance the quality of green hydrogen production infrastructure, increase storage capacity and support supply chains.
The climate champion highlighted the need for Africa to invest in human capital, provide advanced technology related to the production of green hydrogen, and train its workforce to ensure the viability of this clean energy source.
Mohieldin confirmed that financing activities related to the green hydrogen industry in Africa should be done mainly through investment or concessional financing by international financial institutions (IFIs) and multilateral development banks (MDBs).
He pointed out the importance of these institutions and banks adopting new concessional financing policies that include low-interest rates and long-term payment and grace periods. Middle-income and low-income countries alike can benefit from this concessional financing, he pointed out.
The climate champion stressed the importance of implementing green hydrogen plans in Africa as soon as possible through the concerted efforts of governments and the private sector.
He also noted the importance of adhering to the standards and recommendations on the governance of environmental and social practices of companies and the private sector contained in relevant international reports to address the phenomenon of greenwashing.