Africa investor (Ai) held the first NDC Investment Awards at COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, honoring achievements in driving NDC ambition and investment readiness across ten NDC sectors. Four NDC Partnership projects received awards at the event in recognition of their contribution to their countries’ NDC targets, one in Rwanda, Uganda, Eswatini, and Sao Tome and Principe respectively.
The NDC Investment Awards are the only international, pan-African awards that recognize and reward both public and private sector governments, institutions and individuals for excellence in NDC implementation. Launched at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) and on the margins of the High-Level Segment of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Ai announced the 100 Best NDC Projects Shortlist in September of 2022, out of which 22 projects were supported by the NDC Partnership in eight countries. The 100 projects shortlisted represented USD 32 billion of NDC financing and investment opportunities in 43 African countries in all 5 African sub-regions. Of these, ten projects were then selected for final awards.
Four NDC Partnership projects were recognized for awards at the ceremony, including:
Rwanda: Best Agriculture Development NDC Initiative
The Government of The Republic of Rwanda was awarded “Best Agriculture NDC Investment Initiative of The Year” for their project, Low-Carbon Transformation of the Rwandan Tea Processing Sector. This USD 60 million project aims to reduce emissions from tea production and aligns with Rwanda’s overall NDCs targets through the establishment of low-carbon tea factories. Tea is a significant cash crop for Rwanda, representing 15% of the country’s total exports, and has been identified as an economic driver in national development plans. The project will contribute to NDC targets benefiting more than 11,500 small-holder tea farmers and decreasing tea-sector emissions by more than half annually (54,000 Tons CO2e/year to 20,000 Tons CO2e/year). The Partnership supported this initiative by developing a Project Information Note (PIN) designed to provide potentially interested investors with critical background information, as well as by mobilizing support through the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) together with other partners including: GET invest (a GIZ implemented program funded by the European Union), the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany (BMZ), the Private Financing Advisory Network (PFAN), the Climate Investment Platform (CIP) and NDC Partnership members’ Sweden, Netherlands and Austria.
Uganda: Best Transport Development NDC Initiative
The Government of The Republic of Uganda was awarded “Best Transport NDC Investment Initiative of The Year” for their Promotion of Electric Motorcycles with a focus on the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area (GKMA). In alignment with NDC targets, this USD 11 million project aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector by shifting away from emissions-intensive growth in passenger vehicles and motorcycles towards an electric motorcycle fleet. The Government aims to design and launch a pilot demonstration of 500 electric vehicles for selected users to assess their performance and raise awareness for electric mobility. The Partnership supported the development of the initial concept for this project with a Project Information Note (PIN) and later mobilized funding from the United Kingdom through the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), which conducted a pre-feasibility study.
Eswatini: Best Urban Development NDC Initiative
The Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini was awarded “Best Urban Development NDC Investment Initiative of The Year” for their Strengthening of Urban Resilience (SURE) project, which seeks to climate-proof green, grey and blue infrastructure. This USD 20 million project aligns with the country’s NDCs targets and aims to build resilience in urban areas of Eswatini for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. Eswatini’s National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) initiated the project in 2019. It was included in the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Country program that same year. With support from The Commonwealth, the Partnership’s Climate Finance Advisor supported this project in 2020 through extensive consultations.
São Tomé and Príncipe: Best Health Development NDC Initiative
The Government of São Tomé and Príncipe was awarded “Best Health NDC Investment Initiative of The Year” for their Sustainable Energy for Health Service Project. Totaling USD 3 million, this project consists of the installation of hybrid solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, comprised of solar PV generators and batteries, in all 45 public sector health care facilities in Sao Tome and Principe and in the Ministry of Health’s headquarters. Impacted health care facilitates include two hospitals, seven district health care centers, 34 district health care facilities, a central medical warehouse and a central vaccine warehouse. The Partnership initially developed a PIN for this project and mobilized partner support, including the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), which conducted a pre-feasibility study in eighteen health facilities through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Following the ceremony, NDC Partnership Global Director Pablo Vieira celebrated the recognition members are receiving for their commitment to climate action, stating: “We are proud to see four Partnership projects receiving recognition for the important contributions of each of their NDCs. Developing countries are committed to implementing their NDCs and advancing climate-compatible development. Now it is time to facilitate the flow of climate finance towards NDC implementation so countries can continue to raise their ambition.”