Needs of women and girls are at the heart of Canada’s development assistance efforts, which are grounded in the six pillars of their Feminist International Assistance Policy.
Additionally, environment and climate action and ensuring growth that works for everyone are priorities which frame Canada’s work in Ghana.
These remarks were made by the High Commissioner of Canada to Ghana, Kati Csaba, when she delivered the keynote address at the Incubating Climate Innovation Symposium organised by the Ghana Climate Innovation Centre – a pioneering business incubator in Ghana’s green economy – this week in Accra.
High Commisioner Csaba noted that it has become abundantly clear that climate change will continue to drive poverty, unless we can tap into the innovation, the energy and creativity of young entrepreneurs who have the potential to drive large-scale change.
“Canada understands that urgent action is needed to support climate action, and that is why a doubling of our international climate finance commitment to CA$5.3billion over the period 2022 – 2027 will respond to the current climate emergency; particularly in support of African countries which are disproportionally affected.”
As part of this commitment, she added, Canada will contribute CA$132.9million to establish the Canada-African Development Bank Climate Fund which aims to enhance women’s economic rights and participation in climate action, and to mobilise private capital to fill the climate investment gap in Africa.
“I am so pleased that Canada has been able to support green entrepreneurship and the sustainable growth of small- and medium-sized businesses in Ghana.”
An example of this commitment was announced by our Minister for International Development in March 2022 with CA$10million in partnership funding to Ashesi University’s Ghana Climate Innovation Centre, she emphasised.
“These funds will contribute to strengthening Ghana’s ability to respond to the economic and social impacts of climate change and the damage caused by COVID-19.
“240 small-scale and medium-scale men and women entrepreneurs will be supported with proof of concept grants and business advisory services, to develop profitable and locally-appropriate solutions to mitigate or adapt to climate change.”
Sector Leader, Sustainable Development at the World Bank, Lorenzo Carrera, addressed the symposium via video link and stated that climate change and development must be tackled together. This is because climate change affects growth, wages and shared prosperity, he added.
Mr. Lorenzo said estimates have it that by 2050 flooding would have caused damage worth US$2.9billion.
Edith Adera, Lead Coordinator, Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAP) and Regional Officer-African Development Bank (AfDB), in her contribution to a panel discussion said green growth is about human welfare in a rapidly changing world.
She added that there is about three trillion dollars for opportunities in green business that can be tapped into. She said it is a very good opportunity for young entrepreneurs across the continent to seize.
GCIC Executive Director, Ruka Sanusi, speaking on gender responsiveness to climate action indicated that research findings found out that male-owned firms significantly outperform female-owned firms globally, and that women-owned businesses tend to be smaller and grow less fast than their male counterparts.
They also tend to have lower growth expectations for their businesses. While women make up 60% of Ghana’s self-employed population, many businesses are micro-businesses and there are gender-related barriers to both advisory and financial support for scaling their businesses.
According to the GALI women-led start-ups report of March 2020, women-led ventures in comparison to their male counterparts work in sectors less attractive to venture capitalist investors, and are less likely to have equity fundraising targets.
As the global community struggles with climate change, the need for adaptation becomes more pronounced than ever before.