Today is our 5th anniversary as the African Centre for a Green Economy (AfriCGE), and what an incredible journey it has been. It’s very fulfilling to see what began as an idea on a piece of paper come to fruition. Believe it or not the idea to set up the Centre was first conceived more than 10 years ago in 2006 in Beijing, China of all places, where I first met my co-founder Dr Sepo Hachigonta.
We were both PhD students at the University of Cape Town, pursuing studies in related fields, and were on the same American scholarship, but we hadn’t known each other. A random meeting at a student conference led us to realize that, as emerging African leaders we need to proactively build alliances to be at the forefront of providing sustainability leadership on the continent.
It was on this basis that the Centre, was founded as a platform for emerging leaders on the continent to be at the forefront of driving sustainability leadership. Over the last 5 years, we have seen tremendous growth both in the support we have been able to provide to emerging leaders and how we have been able to assert our influence on key issues related to sustainability, poverty alleviation, inclusive growth etc.
Over the next 5 years, we will amplify our influence even more in pursuit of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). By harnessing the vast talent of young people on the continent, the Centre will continue to be a platform where we will drive green innovation and investments in Africa. Through radical experimentation, we will continue to pursue innovations that help to create opportunities for the most vulnerable, while advocating for inclusive and sustainable growth on the continent.
We have always thought of ourselves at the Centre not only as thought leader, but as action oriented establishment, not afraid to test new ideas or to pursue ventures that we think are impactful. We know a lot about what is needed to bring change, what is lacking is radical action on the ground.
Through our entrepreneurship program, the New Economy Accelerator (NEA) and our Impact investments Fund, we are going to move into a phase where our focus will shift building tangible enterprises that create jobs and advance the ideals of a new economy on the continent.
Many people have supported us in this journey, and continue to do so, thanks so much for helping us pursue our goals as an institution. Thanks also to the amazing team, without whom none of the ideas that were conceived could have gone into execution.