By Kofi Adu Domfeh
The Ghana Climate Innovation Center (GCIC) has been launched as a technology hub designed to help over 100 local clean technology businesses develop and commercialize innovative solutions to climate change.
First of its kind in the country, the center will support Ghana’s National Climate Change Policy by contributing to the production of clean energy and the mitigation of up to 660,000 tons of CO2 over the next ten years.
The mitigation target is the equivalent of 140,000 cars for one year.
Ultimately, the GCIC is expected to help more than 300,000 Ghanaians increase their resilience to climate change.
It is an initiative under the World Bank’s Climate Technology Program, in partnership with Ashesi University, the governments of Denmark and the Netherlands, and Ghana’s Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI).
“The Ghana CIC solidifies the role of the private sector in helping Ghana manage the effects of climate change,” said Henry Kerali, World Bank Country Director for Ghana. “By enabling entrepreneurs and green innovators to test and scale new clean technologies, homegrown business solutions can help the country build climate resilience, while also contributing to job creation and economic development.”
Climate change could have a significant impact on Ghana’s economy. According to the World Bank report ‘Economics of Adaptation to Climate Change’, without a proper green growth strategy, Ghana’s agricultural GDP is projected to decline by 3 to 8% by the middle of the century.
Coastal erosion from rising sea levels could result in significant loss of land and forced migration, while extreme weather events could further strain the country’s infrastructure.
To reduce the long-term costs of climate change and create opportunities for sustainable growth, the GCIC will provide local companies with the knowledge and resources they need to prototype, develop, and market innovative clean technologies in sectors like climate-smart agriculture, waste water treatment, and off-grid renewable energy.
“The solutions that CIC entrepreneurs will create – from solar home systems to efficient irrigation – will help Ghana’s citizens manage these [climate] impacts,” said Henry Kerali.
The services offered by the center will include seed financing, policy interventions, and market connections, as well as technical and business training.
The World Bank’s Climate Technology Program is establishing a global network of Climate Innovation Centers (CICs) in seven countries around the world—Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Ethiopia, the Caribbean, Morocco and Vietnam.
The centers are locally owned institutions that provide local clean technology ventures with the knowledge, capital and access to markets required to launch and scale their businesses.