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Driving Change and Profit: Why Investing in Green Businesses in Africa Makes Sense

Image: Mathias Yabe at the AkoFresh ™️ farmer training.

As the concept of sustainability gains more traction and significance, businesses of all sizes, from small and medium enterprises to large corporations, are actively striving to minimize their environmental impact. This includes efforts to reduce waste, promote recycling, utilise renewable resources, decrease their carbon footprint, and limit emissions. By doing so, they are collectively working towards a more environmentally friendly future that benefits everyone.

Africa is emerging as a major player in the global green economy, thanks to the continent’s vast natural resources, growing population, and increasing demand for sustainable products and services.

Green businesses in Africa, like AkoFresh, are not just tackling environmental issues, but also generating employment opportunities within the community, taking sustainability and eco-minded innovation to the next level.

Mathias Yabe, an Anzisha Fellow (2022) from Ghana, began with his deep-rooted passion for farming, cultivated during his childhood in a farming community. Seeing firsthand the difficulties faced by small farmers during pre- and post-harvest stages, Mathias was motivated to create AkoFresh, aiming to address these challenges head-on. 

AkoFresh’s groundbreaking off-grid cold storage technology is a prime example of how sustainable solutions can combat food wastage. By prolonging the lifespan of perishable crops, these innovations not only combat food loss but also contribute to climate change mitigation efforts by reducing carbon emissions.

Mathias’s understanding that entrepreneurship goes beyond mere financial gain enabled him to harness social innovation to address pressing issues, and through AkoFresh, he showcases how young entrepreneurs in the green sector can drive positive change and forge a more sustainable future for future generations.

Benefits of Investing in Green Businesses in Africa

As the world becomes more focused on sustainability, green businesses are likely to continue to grow in popularity, making them an attractive investment opportunity for those looking to make a positive impact while also earning a profit. Here are some of the benefits when you decide to partner for a green future for Africa:

  • High Returns: Green businesses in Africa offer attractive returns on investment, with many companies reporting above-average profits. According to a report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), green businesses in Africa have an average return on investment of 20%, which is higher than the global average of 13%.

According to the UNEP report, “Investing in green businesses in Africa is not only good for the environment, but it is also good for business. These businesses are profitable, socially responsible, and contribute to sustainable development.”

  • Social Impact: Investing in green businesses in Africa can have a positive social impact by creating jobs, reducing poverty, and promoting sustainable development. These businesses are often located in rural areas where unemployment is high, and they provide training and employment opportunities for local communities.
  • Environmental Benefits: Green businesses in Africa are contributing to the protection of the environment by promoting sustainable practices such as renewable energy, waste management, and conservation of natural resources. By investing in these businesses, investors can help to mitigate climate change and reduce environmental degradation.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) reports that the green economy in Africa is projected to be worth $1 trillion by 2030. The report, “Creating Markets for Climate Business in Africa,” highlights the potential of the green economy in Africa and the role of private sector investment in driving growth and innovation. This growth is driven by a range of factors, including:

Renewable Energy: Africa has vast renewable energy resources, including solar, wind, and hydro power. The continent has the potential to generate 10 terawatts of solar power, which is more than 40 times the current electricity consumption.

Agriculture: Green businesses in the agriculture sector are promoting sustainable farming practices, such as organic farming and agroforestry. This is helping to improve food security, reduce deforestation, and increase incomes for smallholder farmers.

Waste Management: The rapid urbanization in Africa is leading to a growing waste management problem. Green businesses in this sector are providing innovative solutions, such as recycling, composting, and waste-to-energy technologies.

Many green businesses are focused on creating employment opportunities and stimulating economic development in local communities. This can have a ripple effect on the wider economy, helping to reduce poverty and inequality.

By investing in these businesses, investors can take advantage of the growth potential in the green economy and benefit from the increasing demand for sustainable products and services.

Lynn Brown
Lynn Brown
Lynn is a content marketer that focuses on brand storytelling through digital platforms. Skilled in a background of web development, search engine optimization and content production, Lynn is excited to utilize over 10 years’ experience in digital marketing to help grow the ecosystems that support Africa’s very young entrepreneurs to ensure their success.

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