Africa’s most renowned universities are keen to be at the forefront of Research, Innovation and Outreach (RIO) of technologies, products, services and operating models that reduce CO2 emissions and help attain Net Zero Emissions (NZE). To achieve this, the gap between rhetoric and action needs to be reduced, if we are to have a fighting chance of reaching Net Zero by 2050 and capping the rise in global temperature at 1.5 °C in full attainment of the Paris Agreement.
Africa produces only about 4 percent of the world’s emissions, but is disproportionately vulnerable to the impact of climate change. To illustrate this, some countries in the Horn of Africa, Somalia, parts of Kenya and part of Sudan, are experiencing the fifth consecutive year without rain. On the other side of the continent in West Africa, several countries have been covered by the worst floods in decades.
Making African societies more resilient requires improvements in infrastructure, social safety nets, and the introduction of green energy and more drought-resistant crops, among many other investments. It is clear, Africa is not getting enough climate finance considering the scale of the problem.
Given the urgency to combat climate change, the continent sees itself forced to seek a path of low-carbon industrialisation and growth.
Fortunately, as Africa does not have the burden of a legacy fossil-powered industrial base at the scale of many more developed economies, it has instead an opportunity to take a leading role in the development of low-emission products, services and operating models for the whole world. This is a great opportunity for the whole world.
Start North is an association that serves as an accelerator network to promote the learning and application of new technologies in order to meet the challenges of global sustainable development.
From its inception in 2017, Start North’s vision has been that through technology and networking, we can make education truly a catalyst for sustainable innovation, business and job creation.
As part of that vision, which is increasingly recognised by African universities, governments and businesses alike, 5G Tech Spaces are part of the solution to enable Africa to leapfrog with clean innovation.