Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fighting climate change offers opportunity to boost African agriculture

David Musyoka and Ronald Njoroge in Xinhua: Fighting the effects of climate change is an opportunity for enhancing investments into the key sectors that could enable African states to achieve faster economic growth, an official of a U.S.-based charity has said.

Judith Rodin, the president of Rockefeller Foundation, said fighting the effects of climate change could provide an opportunity for increasing investments into the agricultural, financial and medical sectors in a way that generates economic growth.

Rodin said investments that focus on tackling the social effects of climate change have the potential to change the lives of the African populations and create industries that could also help in fighting poverty across the continent.

"If social investing is embraced by the continent, it could redirect enormous capital flows to the region. Most of the impact investments are above 1 million U.S. dollars and the evidence shows that potential money for investment is in the billions of U. S. dollars," Rodin told Xinhua in a recent interview in Nairobi.

She said focusing on climate impact investments such as the development of drought-resistant seeds, prevention of floods and the development of anti-malarial drugs and mosquito nets could contribute to the economic development of the African continent. "Because most investors are big organizations, the industry is searching for opportunities amongst already established social enterprises. Due to the fact that Africa lacks social services, impact investment could develop to become a very large industry with big economic footprint," Rodin said....

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