Tarek Zouari shares opportunities and challenges in Africa’s green economy with Wealth Briefing Magazine

June 22, 2023

Investments in Africa are rising, particularly within the burgeoning Africa “green economy”. Tarek Zouari, the Managing Partner and founder of Exco Tunisia, highlights this area as a prime opportunity for foreign investors in an interview with Wealth Briefing Magazine. Read the full article or the summary below.

Africa’s green economy to create resilience

Zouari believes that the green economy in Africa is set to grow and will play a pivotal role in developing resilience for the who continent.

“Not only is there an appetite for foreign investment, but a growing population means there is demand for green innovation that creates a climate-resilient food supply, workforce, and economy.”

Zouari also notes the dual role of Africa as both a victim of and solution to climate change: “This presents both opportunities and challenges for Africa’s future development, positioning the continent as highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change and also a site of great renewable potential as the green economy evolves.”

Investment opportunities in the green economy

Renewable energy
Renewable energy represents a significant opportunity, with an abundance of solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal energy resources across the continent. Zouari believes Africa’s energy transition could present a $100 billion per year investment opportunity, with climate-resilient infrastructure offering potential investments between $130 billion and $170 billion.

Agriculture and agribusiness
Sustainable agricultural practices present an avenue for investors to make a real impact. Zouari suggests, “Foreign investors can participate in the development of sustainable agriculture projects, invest in agribusiness companies that prioritise sustainability, or provide financing to smallholder farmers to adopt sustainable farming practices.”

Waste management and recycling
“Waste management and recycling are also emerging sectors in the African green economy,” Zouari continues. Investments in infrastructure and waste management practices could significantly improve sustainability across the continent.

Green technology in mining
“Natural resources are a significant contributor to continental GDP, so green technology is increasingly being adopted in the mining industry as companies seek to reduce their environmental impact and improve sustainability,” Zouari said.

Accounting’s role in Africa’s green agenda

Accounting also plays a critical role in Africa’s green agenda, Zouari notes, by providing a framework for measuring, reporting, and managing environmental impact. “With the growing global focus on sustainable development, companies operating in Africa are increasingly expected to report on their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance,” he adds.

He emphasises the importance of adhering to these standards, stating, “A foreign investment’s ESG principles may determine their fate in the African market as governments, regulators and international funding bodies such as the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and the United Nations, increasingly prioritise ESG considerations in their project approval and funding decisions.”

Zouari also stresses the responsibility of the finance and accounting sector to support foreign green investment into Africa, “by conducting ESG assessments and audits to evaluate a company’s environmental, social, and governance practices and identify areas for improvement.” They also play a role in providing sustainability reporting and assurance services, as well as offering sustainability training and capacity building.

If you would like to learn more about the green economy in Africa, please get in touch.