Company Announement - The Climate Innovation Center South Africa will kick off its national program with a world-class conference on Green Technologies and Innovations for Inclusive Growth on March 25 and 26. The scaled-up CIC South Africa is the newest member of the World Bank/infoDev’s global network of Climate Innovation Centers, which includes hubs in Morocco, Vietnam, Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana and the Caribbean.
The CIC South Africa is a strategic green economy initiative of The Innovation Hub. The center will scale up its operations by adding under the same umbrella four of the most important business incubators in the country - Invo Tech, The East London IDZ Science and Technology Park, SEREBI, and The Nelson Mandela Bay Science and Technology Centre. Furthermore, with a US$1.5 million contribution from the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), the center will link its activities to the DBSA’s Green Fund, a key initiative in the country’s transition to a low-carbon economy.
By serving as a national hub for clean-tech companies and institutions, the CIC South Africa will play a primary role in catalyzing regional efforts towards green growth, while leveraging infoDev’s Climate Technology Program to establish international partnerships and linkages to emerging markets.
“The global transition to low-carbon growth holds tremendous economic opportunities for South Africa. Owing to its strong financial and technological infrastructure, the country is on the right track to become a clean-tech hub for the continent,” said Klaus Tilmes, Director of the Global Practice on Trade & Competitiveness of the World Bank Group. “To unlock this potential, the Climate Innovation Center in South Africa will leverage the expertise and market linkages provided by the World Bank/infoDev's network of Climate Innovation Centers.”
South Africa is a middle-income country, yet widespread poverty still represents a key development issue. According to the latest Statistics South Africa’s report ‘Poverty Trends in South Africa,’ in 2011 approximately 10 million people were living below the food poverty line. Living in the most challenging areas with the fewest resources to adapt, the poor are the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. By gathering for the first time a diverse pool of clean technology experts, government representatives, and local entrepreneurs, the CIC inaugural conference aims to identify and promote innovative technologies that can address local climate challenges affecting the poor, while also creating jobs and improving livelihoods.
“The increase in urbanization coupled with high youth unemployment necessitates that we urgently explore the development of alternative solutions to the ever-increasing demands for housing, food, energy, water and sanitation, whilst consciously ensuring minimal environmental impact and efficient utilization of resources,” said Mr. McLean Sibanda, CEO of The Innovation Hub. “Our partnership with infoDev Climate Technology Program assists in the efforts of developing an inclusive green economy that addresses challenges of food security, climate change and unemployment.”
In line with the conference’s themes of entrepreneurship and inclusive growth, the CIC South Africa will focus on the impact of innovative clean technologies on urban and rural poor, women, and youth. By providing financing, technical assistance and international market linkages, the center will accelerate the growth of innovative clean technology enterprises, which in turn will contribute to South Africa’s goals of carbon mitigation, access to energy and water, and increased agricultural efficiency.
The Climate Innovation Center South Africa has been established through a collaboration between the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA), The Innovation Hub, and the World Bank/infoDev’s Climate Technology Program.